College Football Week 11: Predictions Against the Spread
After a 4-13 ATS record last week, there isn’t much to say other than, it might be wise to go the other way on my picks this week.
Twenty-two games are on the docket, thanks to the lack of AP’s Top 25 teams squaring off against each other and the absence of teams on a bye.
This most likely means more bad news to my overall record.
Let’s take a look what this wonderful weekend of games has in store.
Last Week’s Record: 4-13
Season Record: 90-98-5
No. 1 Oregon (-20) @ California
California has been a terrible car wreck this season and could miss a bowl for the first time since 2001.
Although Oregon has lost three straight in Berkeley, that trend will quickly change.
Oregon averages 46.5 points on the road and Cal will not come close to disturbing these high-flying Ducks.
Pick: Oregon -20
No. 2 Auburn (-9) Vs. Georgia
This week’s speculations around Cam Newton could translate into carnage on the field against the Bulldogs.
While Newton’s talent needs to speak louder than these recent words, Georgia has been on a tear, and this might be harder than some might think.
Auburn’s weapons should supersede Georgia’s, though, emerging with a decent-sized victory.
Pick: Auburn -9
No. 3 TCU (-27) Vs. San Diego State
TCU’s enormous win against Utah is still resonating, but the Horned Frogs can’t lose focus now.
However, San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley is one of the most underrated passers in the NCAA and is capable of keeping the Aztecs within a few touchdowns.
TCU wins, but not by four scores.
Pick: San Diego State +27
No. 4 Boise State (-34.5) @ Idaho
Just when you think Boise State doesn’t have another 30-point victory in them, they come out and completely destroy Hawaii.
The Broncos are undefeated in the Kibbie Dome (6-0) and handed the Vandals a 35-point loss in Moscow two years ago.
Expect Boise State to dice up Idaho into fries once again.
Pick: Boise State -34.5
No. 5 LSU (-32) Vs. La.-Monroe
LSU is riding extremely high after another magical win by Wizard Les Miles.
LSU and La.-Monroe have knocked heads only one other time, a 49-7 demolishing back in 2003.
La.-Monroe has an unproductive offense, a loose defense, and nonexistent special teams. The Tigers will not have a problem completely devouring these Warhawks.
Pick: LSU -32
No. 6 Wisconsin (-22) Vs. Indiana
While Indiana has failed to score more than 17 points the past three games, Wisconsin has posted at least 30 points per game since its loss to Michigan State.
The Badgers are in the hunt for the Big Ten title, and the Hoosiers will have problems keeping this game pretty.
Pick: Wisconsin -22
No. 7 Stanford (-5.5) @ Arizona State
Stanford’s explosive offense keeps surprising people. Despite last week’s slaying of Arizona, the Cardinal appears to be getting zero respect from Vegas.
This line is suspiciously low, even though the Sun Devils seem to be improving.
Andrew Luck won’t be stopped by ASU’s 58th-ranked defense, and this game could get ugly.
Pick: Stanford -5.5
No. 8 Ohio State (-18) Vs. Penn State
After an abysmal start to the Big Ten season, Penn State has flourished, winning three straight.
A trip to the Horseshoe could bring these young Nittany Lions back to earth, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
Penn State has had decent success in Columbus (6-8), and they could keep this game from getting out of hand.
Pick: Penn State +18
No. 9 Nebraska (-35) Vs. Kansas
Astronomical losses are not uncommon for Kansas this season, losing to Baylor by 48 and Kansas State by 52.
Another shellacking by Nebraska in Lincoln could be in store.
The “Black Shirts” should keep these dismal Jayhawks to minimal points, while Nebraska’s offense will find the end zone with ease against Kansas’ terrible defense.
Pick: Nebraska -35
No. 11 Alabama (-13.5) Vs. No. 17 Mississippi State
In one of only two games between AP Top 25 teams, Alabama’s overcompensating spread seems a little high.
Alabama should bounce back from last week’s stumble, but Mississippi State’s defense has been suffocating, allowing just 17.0 p/g.
Covering this lofty line could be problematic for Bama.
Pick: Mississippi State +13.5
No. 12 Oklahoma State (-5.5) @ Texas
Texas’ tumble has yet to come to a stop, and the Cowboys’ high-powered passing game (353.6 y/d), parlayed with their fiery running game (195.7 y/g), could spell trouble.
While OSU has only won once in Austin and have lost 12 straight to the Longhorns, that trend should change this weekend.
Pick: Oklahoma State -5.5
No. 13 Iowa (-11.5) @ Northwestern
Iowa avoided a scare last week against Indiana, narrowly escaping with an 18-13 win.
Northwestern is feeling the scorn of surrendering a 21-0 lead to Penn State, but this team has more talent than some would like to admit.
The Wildcats won’t win, but they won’t lose by more than 10 points at home.
Pick: Northwestern +11.5
No. 14 Arkansas (-29.5) Vs. UTEP
UTEP’s only tussle with Arkansas was in 1989, and things didn’t end pretty.
A 32-point beating is how that game concluded, and the matchup this season has the potential to end even worse.
Arkansas’ multitude of weapons against UTEP’s untested defense should keep the scoreboard operator fairly busy for the entire day.
Pick: Arkansas -29.5
No. 15 Utah (-5.5) @ Notre Dame
Utah’s embarrassing loss to TCU sent the Utes crashing down to earth, and unfortunately, raised several questions about the validity of this offense.
Luckily for them, they get to rebound against the battered and wounded Irish.
Utah has been preying on the weak this season and this game against Notre Dame should not be any different.
Pick: Utah -5.5
No. 16 Virginia Tech (-4) @ North Carolina
North Carolina finally showed some life last week in an excruciatingly close game against No. 24 Florida State.
While Virginia Tech has been perfect in ACC play, they might be catching the Tar Heels at an inopportune time.
North Carolina should use home field to their advantage, surprising the Hokies.
Pick: North Carolina +4
No. 18 Arizona (-4.5) Vs. USC
Although Arizona took one on the chin last week against Stanford, their offense should see much less pressure from USC’s bumbling defense.
USC certainly has the offensive firepower to participate in a shootout, but the Wildcats will dominate this game and win by at least a touchdown.
Pick: Arizona -4.5
No. 19 Oklahoma -15.5 Vs. Texas Tech
A two-touchdown spread clearly means Vegas bookmakers believe Texas Tech’s upset of Missouri was probably a fluke.
Oklahoma is coming off an embarrassing upset, as well, and maybe, just maybe, Texas Tech can pull off back-to-back jaw droppers.
Even if they can’t, the Sooners’ defense seems a tad shaky, and covering this spread might be difficult.
Pick: Texas Tech +15.5
No. 20 Missouri (-12.5) Vs. Kansas State
Missouri has apparently fallen flat on their face, losing their last two games and averaging a pathetic 17 points per game.
But, a rebound game has to be lurking.
Although Kansas State has displayed flashes of success, they have consistently sputtered against ranked teams, and this road trip to Missouri should completely deflate their happy balloon from last week’s win.
Pick: Missouri -12.5
No. 21 Nevada (-8) @ Fresno State
Week in and week out, Nevada’s pistol offense continues to roll through teams.
This week’s trip to Fresno should not stop this train.
Even though the Bulldogs’ offense is capable of putting up points (34.8 p/g), they should struggle to score at the Wolf Pack’s pace (44.2 p/g).
Pick: Nevada -8
No. 22 South Carolina @ No. 24 Florida (-6.5)
A demoralizing loss to Arkansas last week should not dispel the notion that South Carolina can come into the Swamp and emerge victorious.
Florida has yet to prove that they can contend with ranked teams (0-2), and this visit by the Gamecocks could continue this latest trend.
South Carolina’s offense will be the difference in this game.
Pick: South Carolina +6.5
No. 23 Texas A&M -3 @ Baylor
After last week’s 55-28 shelling by Oklahoma State, it appears that Baylor can’t hang with an offense that can rapidly put up points.
Unfortunately for them, Texas A&M is another one of those teams, which could mean another disaster for the Bears.
Aggies win in an old-fashioned shootout.
Pick: Texas A&M -3
No. 25 UCF (-10) Vs. Southern Mississippi
UCF received some airtime the past week with a big, nationally televised win over Houston and an appearance on the AP’s Top 25.
The Knights offense has littered the scoreboard with points (33.7p/g), while their defense manages to keep opponents from doing the same (18.3 p/g).
Southern Mississippi can also put up points, though, and they should keep this one close.
Pick: Southern Mississippi +10