10 best predictions for this week’s college football slate. What games appear to be the best bets and best picks for the Week 11 games?
10 Best College Football Predictions: Week 11
Results So Far: 60-52-1
This is a strangely odd week.
It’s not like there are a slew massive world-change games like we got in Week 10 – I want nothing to do with TCU vs Texas against the spread; more on that later on – and now we get into the bizarre finishing kick where we lose control.
Everything we know, every pattern, and every trend now has to take into account Senior Day – Georgia Tech hosting Miami this week for that, by the way – when emotions run high and teams usually play at another level.
We’re also entering the portion of the program when teams locked into a losing season have no more Fs to give and end up throwing that interesting freshman quarterback into the mix. Maybe teams play differently when the pressure is off, or maybe a coach comes up with something special to avoid being fired, or …
Yeah, I know, the picks.
And I do apologize in advance tor all you who just want the against the spread calls and aren’t interested in the seemingly safer point totals for some of the key games this week.
Fortunately for me, Twitter might be gone by the time you read this, so feel free to shake your fist in anger and assume the message will be received.
So with that, we start out with a point total pick I don’t actually believe in.
Click on each game for the preview
POINT TOTAL 77.5
This is me trying to be an adult.
It’s North Carolina vs Wake Forest. These two put on a 58-55 show last year in a Tar Heel win, and the two have the offenses to do it all again.
North Carolina is all O and no D, but its games aren’t getting that far out of control. The Appalachian State game got to 124, the Notre Dame battle rolled up 78, and Wake Forest hands out 40 points a game like Halloween candy.
It’s a primetime game that I actually think will be plays in the 40s on both sides, but …
A man is nothing without his principles. If you’re a regular around these parts, you know what I’m going to say …
If the world is giving you a college total of 70 or more, you go under – TOO many things can go wrong – and if you don’t win, enjoy the show.
None of the last five North Carolina games have hit 78.
With ALL of that hoo-ha just spouted …
POINT TOTAL 77.5
Again, I actually like the over on the North Carolina-Wake Forest game, but I couldn’t do it. I have to stick to what I believe. Do the same thing every time, and over the long haul you’ll be ahead.
Stuff goes up, stuff goes down, but if you do things the right way, eat plenty of fiber, tip 20%, and let that guy with all the creepy political stickers merge into your lane, everything will work out just fine.
That includes always taking the under on a college point total of 70 or more.
Don’t think you know something, and don’t go with your gut – you ALWAYS go under on a college point total of 70 or more …
I can’t. It would be wrong to suggest doing that here.
UCLA is going to score somewhere between 45 and 49 points, How do we know this? Arizona has allowed somewhere between 45 and 49 points in five of the six Pac-12 games, and the one outlier was against Colorado.
Arizona will score between 31 and 39 points. How dow we know this? It did that in six of the nine games so far, and UCLA has allowed 32 points or more in four of the last five games.
One more point total and then I’ll get into the ATS side of things.
POINT TOTAL 59.5
I was originally going with Indiana getting 40.5 here, but the line moved to 39.5. That shouldn’t have mattered, but all of a sudden I had visions of a 52-10 Ohio State win just as much as I could see a 44-3 victory.
Either way, I get the sense that Ohio State is a tad salty after last week’s 21-7 win over Northwestern.
The weather was miserable, the wind was around 50 mph – I know, I was in it in the greater Chicago area on Saturday – and there wasn’t any passing game. Even so, you could tell all week that CJ Stroud and company want to stretch their legs a bit after that.
This won’t be 77-21 like the Buckeye win over Toledo, but the home side should be able to take care of almost all of the heavy lifting itself.
Just hope it isn’t 58-0.
Okay, enough point totals for a bit.
LINE Air Force -21.5
ATS PICK Air Force
Sort of like the Indiana-Ohio State game, this one seems like we should be able to figure it out based on the spread and the point total.
The Falcons are favored by 21.5 at home and the point total is 37.5. That seems about right considering New Mexico has scored 14 points or fewer in six of its nine games. Here’s where this tilts.
Air Force has scored fewer than 27 points four times – 14 against Wyoming and Boise State, and 13 against Army and Navy. Boise State’s defense is great, Wyoming and Army were away from Fort Collins, and Navy games vs other service academies are low scoring.
At home, Air Force host up 41 or more against three mediocre teams at the same level as the Lobos. That, and New Mexico only faced two decent running teams so far and got rolled for over 200 yards in blowout losses to LSU (38-0) and Fresno State (41-9).
LINE Alabama -11.5
ATS PICK Ole Miss
I’m not going to lie and pretend there’s any better insight to this that isn’t written up in the game preview, and even then it basically comes down to this.
Alabama isn’t Alabama right now against good teams, especially on the road.
Alabama 20, Texas 19 – it probably should’ve been a loss.
Alabama was having problems with Arkansas for three quarters before everything turned in fourth quarter of the 49-26 win, but that was SHAKY.
Tennessee? It probably should’ve been a win, but wasn’t, and didn’t cover.
LSU? It probably should’ve been a win, but wasn’t, and didn’t cover. Both Tennessee and LSU came though ATS.
It’s Alabama. It could win 45-3 and you wouldn’t blink, but if you’re giving me a double-digit home dog as good as Ole Miss, fine – it’s the revival of DDHD bit that crushed so hard for three weeks 20 years ago in this piece …
Don’t think, just pick.
NEXT: College Football Pick Against the Spread No. 5: Boise State at Nevada
LINE Boise State -20.5
PICK Boise State
Boise State has messed with me all year. The Mountain West has messed with me all year.
I’m very, very due.
Sort of like the Air Force call over New Mexico, one team can run, and the other team is going to struggle to stop the run. It’s not going to be any more complicated than that, except that Boise State’s defense has been totally dominant in Mountain West play.
Forget the strange loss to BYU last week – all of a sudden the Cougars realized they’re supposed to be good. Boise State has yet to allow more than 271 yards of total offense in Mountain West play, and it’s dominating.
It beat Colorado State by 39. Dropped Fresno State by 20, rumbled by San Diego State by 24, and stuffed New Mexico by 17.
Everyone spends so much time throwing on Nevada that they forget to run, but Boise State’s revamped ground attack should hit 200 yards without a problem, and the defense will take care of the rest.
Speaking of being due …
NEXT: College Football Pick Against the Spread No. 4: Notre Dame at Navy
LINE Notre Dame -15.5
ATS PICK Notre Dame
I’ve been better at figuring out the Irish than I think.
I’m still stunned I whiffed so badly on the Clemson over Notre Dame call, but I got the win over North Carolina along with the closer-than-expected game against Ohio State.
This week it’s all about believing the running game that showed up against the Tigers is about to make the trip to Baltimore.
Navy isn’t playing that poorly. It’s defense has been okay, and the offense has done enough to keep things close, and there have been only two times when it lost by 16 or more – 37-13 to Memphis, and 38-20 to Houston.
But it has yet to play a Power Five program.
It hung around with Cincinnati last week, but there wasn’t anything on the ground from the Bearcat O. There won’t be much from the Navy ground game in this against an Irish D that allowed over 165 yards just twice.
Air Force ran on Navy for 200 yards, Houston ran for 180, and the Irish should come up with at least 230 in this.
All that, and 34-6 Irish. That was last year.
52-20 Notre Dame in 2019. 44-22 in 2018. It was lean in 2016 and 2017, but 41-24 in 2015.
Be shocked if Navy gets past 20 points.
NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 3 Northwestern at Minnesota
LINE Minnesota -17.5
If Minnesota plays like it normally plays, and Northwestern plays like it normally plays, this should be a total wipeout.
The Gophers are No. 1 in the nation in third down conversions. Northwestern is one of the worst teams in America at coming up with third down stops.
The Gophers are No. 2 in the nation in third down stops. Northwestern has a hard time converting anywhere near 40% of its chances.
Minnesota owns the time of possession battle – it’s No. 2 behind Air Force – it’s fourth in the nation against the pass, and it doesn’t screw up. Northwestern feasts off of turnovers and penalties, and those aren’t coming.
Most importantly to the cause here, Minnesota is fourth in the nation in scoring defense, and Northwestern is 126 in the nation in scoring offense.
At home, the Gophers had major injury problems in the backfield and lost to Purdue 20-10.
Other than that anomaly, they’ve won each of their other four homes games by 31 or more, Northwestern’s stats are skewed thanks to two miserable weather games and a trip to Ireland, and …
Be stunned if the Cats get more than 10 points.
NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 2 Big 12 Big Totals (Again)
POINT TOTALS Kansas State at Baylor 52.5, TCU at Texas 64.5
PICK Over, Over
As I honked at you last week, WE DON’T DO PARLAYS AROUND HERE.
And why? Because everything could be right and things still don’t work.
Oklahoma State for some reason decided to stop scoring now. If you went against me and parlayed the three Big 12 point total here last week, you’d have lost. If you single bet all three, you won.
So, again, DO NOT DO PARLAYS. They’re greedy.
Instead, stick with what’s happening. Read the Big 12 room – every game not involving Iowa State seemingly ends up 38-34.
Baylor has put up 31 or more in every game but the weird loss to BYU and the home loss to Oklahoma State – and even that game against the Cowboys got to 61. Kansas State will be happy to come into Waco and score 30 points.
64.5 is a tad high for TCU at Texas, but these two are about to put on a show in the ABC primetime showcase game.
With the exception of the 20-19 win over Alabama, all the Texas games against teams with good offenses turned into shootouts. TCU has scored 34 or more in every game.
NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 1 Army vs Troy
1. Army at Troy
POINT TOTAL 45.5
I can’t promise the same LOCK OF THE CENTURY for last week PICK OF A GENERATION status like the under on Air Force-Army – you were good after the first drive on that.
This, though, might not be too far off for one key reason.
The Troy defense has been solid.
It might bend, but it doesn’t break all that often and it’s amazing against the run. Ole Miss ran for 266 yards on it – and the final score was 28-10.
Louisiana ran for 208 yards on the Trojans – and the final score was 23-17.
The Appalachian State game got to 61, but that was with a late Hail Mary in a relative shootout for Troy. Since Week 3 only the 34-27 game against WKU – it threw for 406 yards – got past 46.
Troy’s defensive issues are against teams that throw, and obviously that’s not Army.
Army will control the clock. Troy will control the clock.
Army will run. Troy can stop the run.
Troy can’t run. Army can’t stop the run. We’re okay here.
Yes, almost all the Army games got to the 46 point total, but both offenses will be likeminded. and there’s a chance one D holds the other O to next to nothing.
Again, this won’t stall like the Army-Air Force game, but it might.