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B/R College Football 2021 Betting Locks with Adam Kramer: Week 11

Adam Kramer@kegsneggsNational College Football Lead WriterNovember 11, 2021

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy takes the field for the team's NCAA college football game against Kansas on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
Brody Schmidt/Associated Press

As the season grows deeper, our powers grow stronger. Like a well-coached football program, the latest college football picks against the spread are finding a rhythm as time progresses. The goal isn't to peak in late September; now is the time.

And after two winning weeks in a row, momentum must be maintained for Week 11. And we have a wonderful card to do just that. 

A 6-4 performance lifts the overall record to 48-50-2 for the year. It has been a slog to get within striking distance of .500, although a solid week will get us there. 

Before I dive into this week's picks, here is what went right and wrong with the previous week.

The Good: Purdue (+3) vs. Michigan State: As an added bonus, I also picked Purdue to beat Sparty outright. Apologies for the humblebrag. While Michigan State fought back, this one felt pretty good throughout. 

The Bad: Air Force (-2.5) vs. Army: Air Force fought hard to get the game into overtime, and Army fumbled the ball on its first OT possession. The problem? The fumble ended up in the end zone, and Army fell on it for the game-winning touchdown. I paced around my basement for this one.

Time for winners. You know the drill.

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Michigan (-1) at Penn State 

Tony Ding/Associated Press

Jim Harbaugh, please don't burn me again. I beg of you. 

You burned me against Michigan State—a game I got far too cozy in after you built up a substantial lead. I am willing to put that result to bed in exchange for a win against Penn State, preferably by more than one point.

And I think it's a reasonable ask. While this is a difficult environment to play in, I still am not fully certain what version of the Nittany Lions will appear. Let's not forget that this team lost a lackluster, grotesque matchup against Illinois just a short time ago.

Penn State bounced back last week with a win (and cover) at Maryland. But this will be a sizable jump in competition. The same can be said for Michigan, which rolled Indiana and covered the 20.5-point spread Saturday.

I said it against Michigan State, and I'll say it again. I just think Michigan is a (slightly) better team.

To be clear, I was wrong last time. Here's to an improved result this weekend.

   

Georgia Tech (-2) vs. Boston College

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Home-field advantage is critical. In this sport, it can mean pretty much everything in the right situation.

This feels like the right situation for Georgia Tech, which enters Week 11 at 3-6. It's a cliche, but the Yellow Jackets are better than a 3-6 team. Not light-years better, but better. (I hate when people say that, and you might feel the same. But here, it works.)

Playing at home should be an enormous boost this week, especially when you consider Boston College's performances on the road. Before beating Virginia Tech at home last Friday, the Eagles lost consecutive games at Louisville and Syracuse while scoring 20 total points. 

And the week before that? BC scored seven points against North Carolina State at home. Boston College owns the No. 93-ranked scoring offense. 

This game won't be pretty; that should go without saying. But gambling isn't always a beauty pageant. All we need to do is win.

The Yellow Jackets get right at home.  

   

Baylor (+5.5) vs. Oklahoma 

Sam Hodde/Associated Press

Last week, TCU over Baylor was the play. And we were all over it.

Now? We're back on the Baylor bandwagon in one of the most meaningful football games the Big 12 will play all season.

For starters, Baylor is a different team at home. The Bears are perfect against the spread in their own building with wins over Iowa State, BYU and Texas. (I'm not sure how significant the win over Texas matters these days, but let's go with it.)

Naturally, the public will likely side with Oklahoma. It is, after all, Oklahoma. That being said, I still cannot escape the close call against Kansas a few weeks back. Or West Virginia. Or Tulane. Or Kansas State.

Quarterback Caleb Williams has certainly changed the outlook of the Sooners. He is a great deal of fun to watch. Still, I am not completely sold on this group.

Also, Oklahoma has covered just one road game—there's Texas again—and it needed a miraculous comeback to do so. 

Baylor with the points. Baylor outright.

   

Virginia (+5.5) vs. Notre Dame 

Kathleen Batten/Associated Press

The last time we saw Virginia, the Cavaliers allowed BYU to score (roughly) 989 points in four quarters. Well, technically it was only 66. Although it felt like more.

Still, that was two weeks ago. Last week, Virginia enjoyed a bye. (Much needed.)

Before that, this team was on a bit of a roll. The Cavaliers won four consecutive games and covered the spread in all four. And the offense seemed to find a rhythm after some early struggles.

Given Notre Dame's Top 10 College Football Playoff ranking, the Irish are likely to be a popular selection this week. Perhaps your friend has already texted you about them; if not, it could still happen.

This is an obvious play, and regulars of this weekly staple know how I feel about obvious plays.

Notre Dame has won and covered in its last four games, although I can't say the competition has been riveting. Those wins include Virginia Tech, USC, North Carolina and Navy. 

Oh, and three of those games were at home. 

While Brian Kelly's team has earned its ranking, this is a slippery spot. As long as Virginia doesn't repeat its defensive effort against BYU, it could put a scare into a team suddenly very much on the cusp of playoff intrigue.

   

Oklahoma State (-13) vs. TCU

Kathleen Batten/Associated Press

The Pokes are good. Plain and simple.

After picking West Virginia to upset Oklahoma State last week, I realized this was a bad decision somewhere in the middle of the second quarter. Also, shoutout to the OK State fans that let me know how wrong I was in my Twitter DMs.

From a sheer gambling perspective, the Pokes are one of the hottest teams in college football. They have covered the spread in their last seven games and have only one loss on the year.

That loss, a 24-21 defeat to Iowa State, could have gone either way.

TCU, of course, is riding high after beating Baylor. It was an emotional week after Gary Patterson parted ways with the program he helped build, and the Horned Frogs were able to ride the wave.

Can they do it again? I just don't see it. In fact, this feels like a prime spot for regression.

Oklahoma State does it with defense and offense. This one could be lopsided.

    

Other Games on the Card

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Florida State (+2.5) vs. Miami: I got burned by the Seminoles last week, although I'm getting back on the horse. The team is playing better, and I think it (finally) shows. 

UNLV (+3.5) vs. Hawai'i: UNLV won a football game, and now it gets to play Hawai'i, a team with a 1-4 road record. I really like the underdog in this spot. Time for win No. 2. 

North Texas (+1.5) vs. UTEP: Speaking of betting on teams with a losing record, enter the Mean Green. After a long losing streak, North Texas has won two games in a row. Let's make it three.

San Jose State (-4.5) vs. Utah State: This is a sneaky-good game on the Week 11 card. It's also an interesting point spread, in part because Utah State has been so good of late. San Jose State proves the oddsmakers right.

Auburn (-5.5) vs Mississippi State: Well, last week was rough. Playing A&M's defense will do that. This week, at home, should be much different. Auburn by 10.

Pittsburgh (-7) vs. North Carolina: It was a solid win for UNC last week that we were on. A week later, we're heading our separate ways. Pitt wins a fun Thursday night game comfortably. 

    

Odds via DraftKings and accurate as of Wednesday.

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