We did not row the boat last week and we will not be rowing the boat this week either. Minnesota failed to stop a backup quarterback driving the length of the field in the waning minutes against Illinois and it cost us a winning week. That’s just how it goes sometimes — and how it’s been going this year for me and my model — but all you can do is move on. I plan to keep chipping away at our deficit and hopefully salvage a poor season.
Last week’s record: 4-5, -1.55 units
Season record: 35-47-2, -15.17 units, -16.5% ROI
Nine plays on the card this week, which includes some Tuesday night MACtion as well as a few totals. I haven’t played too many totals this year, maybe to a fault, but I think the matchups in these games this week are too good to pass up. Also, I’m very tempted to take the under in Iowa–Rutgers. I think they could struggle to score 24 points in that game, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have no idea if my model is able to account for games with this little offense and good defense.
Either way, let’s get to the card. Best of luck to us!
Week 11 college football best bets
Please make sure to shop around at various sportsbooks for the best possible number. Over the course of the season, a half point here or five cents there will add up.
Worst line to bet is the final number that I would make a bet at. For example, if I bet under 49.5 and the “worst line to bet” is 49 -110, I would not make that bet at 48.5 -110 or 49 -115.
All bets are to win one unit on favorites and risk one unit on underdogs unless otherwise noted. All odds are from BetMGM and are locked when the pick was made. Click here for live odds.
Central Michigan +3 (-110) at Western Michigan
My model makes this a pick ’em so I’m glad to take the field goal here. Western Michigan doesn’t do anything particularly well while Central Michigan should have an advantage with its rushing attack. Western Michigan has given up over 4.5 yards per play on the ground on four separate occasions this season so I expect some ground and pound out of the Chips tonight.
Worst line to bet: Central Michigan +3 (-115)
Model projection: Western Michigan 28.3, Central Michigan 27.8
Illinois -6.5 (-115) vs. Indiana
Hey, backing Illinois a week after fading them — our oars are still broken so no rowing is allowed — but I think this is more of a fade of Indiana. Two weeks ago Indiana took Penn State to the wire in Happy Valley and last week managed to upset Wisconsin. So I think this is a little bit of a sell-high moment for the Hoosiers and I, once again, will be betting on a Big Ten West school to win me money. Sigh.
Worst line to bet: Illinois -6.5 (-115)
Model projection: Illinois 26.5, Indiana 19
Miami at Florida State over 49.5 (-110)
Miami is a bit of a mess right now (always?), but I think the game state that the Hurricanes are likely to be in against Florida State (trailing) bodes well for the over. I think Miami might be able to find a little more success through the air than one would expect. Meanwhile, Florida State should be getting a little healthier on the offensive side of the ball. Points, points, points!
Worst line to bet: Over 50 (-110)
Model projection: Florida State 34, Miami 21.5
Houston -2.5 (-110) vs. Cincinnati
Another week of backing Houston as my model thinks the market is a little slow to adjust its rating of the Cougars. Houston got to the window for us as an outright dog last week against Baylor (it wasn’t without a sweat, of course) and I think the Cougars are the team to bet this week too. I don’t love the matchup for Houston, but Cincinnati’s defense hasn’t put in a good performance against any Big 12 foes and I expect that to continue on the road.
Worst line to bet: Houston -3 (-110)
Model projection: Houston 30.5, Cincinnati 25.5
TCU +10 (-110) vs. Texas
Be sure to shop around here as a few books have come off of +10, but a few of the bigger name ones are still hanging double digits. Texas is the superior team here, but I think TCU’s offense is good enough to not allow Texas to get out to a big lead here. The Longhorns are super explosive, so that’s a concern, but if TCU can make Texas drive down the field, the Horned Frogs should be able to keep this game to a single-digit margin.
Worst line to bet: TCU +10 (-115)
Model projection: Texas 31, TCU 24
Alabama at Kentucky under 48 (-110)
I actually have a little bit of an edge on Kentucky here, but I think this is an absolute nightmare of a matchup for them. Kentucky cannot throw the ball at all. The Wildcats want to run it. Well, Alabama has one of, if not, the best run defenses in the entire country. The Crimson Tide are 17th in the country when it comes to success rate against the run and that’s before adjusting for schedule. Maybe Alabama’s offense keeps it rolling, but I’m willing to take a chance that there aren’t a ton of points scored in this one.
Worst line to bet: Under 48 (-115)
Model projection: Alabama 25, Kentucky 16.5
Georgia State -2.5 (-105) vs. Appalachian State
This should be an interesting matchup as App State should have an advantage through the air and Georgia State should have an advantage on the ground. The difference, for me, is that Georgia State should have the more balanced attack. Throw in the fact that Georgia State is at home and I think this margin should be at least a field goal.
Worst line to bet: Georgia State -3 (-110)
Model projection: Georgia State 31.8, Appalachian State 26.8
Navy +3 (-110) vs. UAB
This is a simple handicap. UAB currently ranks 130th in success rate against the run and 131st in EPA/rush. Does that sound like a winning formula against the Naval Academy? I don’t think so. UAB should be able to pass on Navy’s horrid pass defense, but Navy will want to slow this game down as much as possible and I think the Midshipmen have the matchup to do so.
Worst line to bet: Navy +3 (-115)
Model projection: Navy 27, UAB 27
Auburn +3 (-110) at Arkansas (to win 0.5 units) and under 48.5 (-110) (to win 0.5 units)
I’m going to split the risk between these two plays even though I think they’re correlated. I think both of these offenses are really going to struggle in this game. Both defenses are the superior units and neither offense does anything all that well. My model is just a little higher on Auburn right now and based on how low-scoring my model thinks this game will be, I don’t think Arkansas should be laying a field goal.
Worst line to bet: Auburn +3 (-115) and Under 48 (-110)
Model projection: Arkansas 21.5, Auburn 21
(Photo of Jordan Travis: Justin Berl / Getty Images)