Wilson: My 9 Favorite College Football Betting Picks in Week 11

Wilson: My 9 Favorite College Football Betting Picks in Week 11 article feature image
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USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Ta’amu and Michael Pinckney

  • Collin Wilson gives out his nine favorite college football betting picks for Week 11.
  • He's playing some home dogs and counting on the bottom rung of the SEC to step up late in the season.

A few upsets last week brought changes to the College Football Playoff rankings. Of note, No. 7 LSU is ranked higher than a one-loss Pac 12 leader No. 8 Washington State, No. 10 Ohio State ranks below No. 9 West Virginia, while No. 12 Central Florida continues to be passed by Power 5 teams.

According to The Action Network power ratings, No. 4 Michigan was the proper team to join the top four and No. 13 Syracuse may be the most overrated team in the playoff rankings. The Orange will get their shot in Week 12 against No. 3 Notre Dame.

The current top four is the dream scenario for Action College Podcast listeners. Clemson +750 was promoted preseason, Notre Dame numbers were suggested in Week 2, and Michigan futures were taken at the beginning of October. There is a bit of an issue with all futures running through some team named Alabama, but nothing that an open parlay card starting with the SEC Championship game can’t alleviate.

Before that, let’s pick some Week 11 winners.

This column will leverage The Action Network power ratings and plenty of advanced stats from Football Outsiders.

Be sure to check out my Sunday Morning Coffee column for our Week 12 projected spreads. Let’s get to the picks!

YTD: 45-44-1


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College Football Betting Picks, Week 11

Fresno at Boise State

  • Spread: Boise State +3
  • Over/Under: 54
  • Time: 10:15 p.m. ET (Friday)
  • TV channel: ESPN2

Fresno State is receiving plenty of attention for blowing out some of the worst teams in college football. The Bulldogs have a point differential of +106 over their past three games against UNLV, Hawaii and New Mexico. None of those teams rank in the top 100 of the S&P+ ratings.

Fresno has a strength of schedule ranked 128th, and took a loss against Minnesota in Week 2 against a true freshman quarterback. At a ranking of 34th in S&P+, Boise State will be the toughest game of Fresno’s regular season.

Boise has taken 10 of the last 12 meetings between the two teams. And even putting historical data aside, Fresno will have issues moving the ball on the ground, as it ranks 113th in opportunity rate and 90th in stuff rate.

Boise’s defense ranks 21st and 33rd in the respective categories, which should translate to Fresno going to the air early and often. Boise State fields a defensive line that is second in the nation in passing downs sack rate, adding additional pressure to Fresno quarterback Marcus McMaryion.

Shop for the key number of +3 and don’t forget to have a little on the moneyline to start your weekend.

Play On: Boise State +3

Ole Miss at Texas A&M

  • Spread: Texas A&M -13.5
  • Over/Under: 68
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

This game pits two teams on consecutive conference losses looking to rebound. Ole Miss did not get a bowl ban lifted for this season, but did see a ruling that will help future recruiting. The seniors on this Rebels squad will be playing spoiler in their last three games against Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has led the Ole Miss offense with over 3,000 yards passing and a 16-5 touchdown to interception ratio, with another 473 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground.

Ta’amu leads the ninth-most explosive offense in the country, specifically ranking 12th in rushing and eighth on passing downs. That will be bad news for a Texas A&M team that has done nothing but give up the big play all season.

The Aggies rank 125th on standard downs and 129th on passing downs against explosiveness. Texas A&M just recently allowed explosive plays to a lifeless Auburn offense.

Expect plenty of points in this one. The Rebels will have a great chance to score from anywhere on the field.

Play On: Ole Miss +13.5

BYU at UMass

  • Spread: UMass +14
  • Over/Under: 60
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: Eleven Sports

BYU travels east in a revenge spot from last year’s loss in Provo. The Cougars can still make a bowl and potentially get head coach Kilani Sitake off the hot seat.

UMass will combat that with an offense that ranks 12th in IsoPPP and 17th in passing explosiveness. If the BYU defense cannot stop the Minutemen, they may have trouble getting back into the game, as the Cougars rank 117th in IsoPPP and 90th in red zone scoring percentage.

If UMass didn’t need any help in having a quick strike offense, BYU junior corner Chris Wilcox will miss the remainder of the season during to injury. That should help wide receiver Anthony Isabella, who went for more than 300 yards last week versus Liberty.

Play On: UMass +14

Charlotte at Marshall

  • Spread: Marshall -13.5
  • Over/Under: 41.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN+

Charlotte has quietly played decent football to cover numbers against recent opponents Tennessee, Southen Miss and Western Kentucky. The latter two gifted the 49ers five interceptions, while the Volunteers played vanilla in a SEC non-conference sandwich.

Enter a Marshall team looking for its sixth win on the season to become bowl eligible. The Herd are fifth in overall havoc, which could play a factor against a Charlotte team that ranks 94th in havoc allowed.

Specifically, the offensive line for the 49ers is ranks 121st in passing downs sack rate which should be under pressure against a Marshall defense that is 17th in passing downs sack rate.

Play On: Marshall -13.5

Virginia Tech at Pitt

  • Spread: Pitt -3
  • Over/Under: 54.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPNU

Get a license in fortune telling if you had Pitt leading the ACC Coastal in the second week of November. The great thing about the Coastal division is that it is completely unpredictable.

Pitt has won its previous two games against Duke and Virginia, while Virginia Tech has lost its last two against Georgia Tech and Boston College. Pitt won those games because it stayed out of third and long, and you better believe Virginia Tech will force it into those situations.

Virginia Tech contained one of the best running backs in the nation with Boston College’s AJ Dillon. The Eagles running back was kept under 100 yards at 4 yards per carry. If Virginia Tech sells out for the rush, the Panthers may be in passing situations most of the day.

Pitt ranks 112th overall in passing downs  and 130th in explosiveness. The offensive line hardly protects Kenny Pickett with a sack rate of 103rd. Virginia Tech has had issues against explosiveness, but that is not Pitt’s game, particularly in the passing game, where they rank 119th in passing S&P+.

We will back a Hokies team that ranks seventh in red zone points per attempt. Quarterback Ryan Willis has played above expectations with 13 touchdowns on the season, and VT ranks 24th in passing downs explosiveness.

Play On: Virginia Tech +3

Washington State at Colorado

  • Spread: Colorado +6
  • Over/Under: 60.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN

Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. is still listed as questionable as of this writing, but Colorado may not need the services of one of the best players in college football to cover against Washington State. The Cougars leave Pullman for the first time since being ranked in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings.

Last week’s 19-13 victory was highlighted by a late interception in Cal’s end zone as the ball game was tied through the fourth quarter.

The pressure may be on the Cougars as they do everything they can to make the playoff. Colorado should bring more of the same defense pressure to limit the air raid scheme.

The Buffaloes defense rank 27th in sack rate and 39th against pass completion percentage. Colorado quarterback Steven Montez should cause the Cougars rush defense issues, where they rank 105th in efficiency against the rush. Mike Leach may have a different opinion of Ralph after this road trip.

Play On: Colorado +6

 

Miami at Georgia Tech

  • Spread: Georgia Tech -3
  • Over/Under: 55
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN2

This was one of my earliest plays of the week on The Action Network app as there are major advantages the Hurricanes have against the triple-option attack of Georgia Tech.

The key to beating a resurgent Georgia Tech team is winning the battle at the line of scrimmage and disrupting the Yellow Jackets backfield. This doesn’t seem to be an issue for Miami, which has covered seven and won eight of the past nine games against Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes are known for havoc and the turnover chain, but there are additional stats to back up Miami.

Standard downs are the key to the ball game, as Georgia Tech does not want to be in passing situations considering Tobias Oliver has taken over at quarterback and has 12 passing attempts this year. Miami has great standard downs defense ranking eighth in efficiency, 10th in line yards per carry, and first in sack rate. The Hurricanes are first in the nation in overall havoc led by a front seven that leads the nation in that department.

Miami having struggles on offense might be an understatement, scoring no more than 14 in three previous conference games against Virginia, Boston College and Duke. Georgia Tech’s defense may be the remedy for the Canes, as the Jackets are 90th in rushing defense S&P+ and 124th in passing downs defense. It may take a little havoc, but we are leaning on the Hurricanes to get bowl eligible with this game.

Play On: Miami +3

Temple at Houston

  • Spread: Houston -5
  • Over/Under: 69
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS Sports Network

Temple didn’t cover for the first time in seven games against Central Florida. The Owls had the chance to upset the Knights until a copious amount of flags came in favor of the home team. In total, Temple was dinged for 14 penalties at a total of 149 yards.

If you are a conspiracy theorist, then the AAC kept UCF alive for talk of the College Football Playoff, but the fact that Temple gained 670 yards was alarming.

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver may return for Houston in this game, but the story should be D’Eriq King’s explosiveness and what Temple can do against it. The quarterback has 30 touchdowns to 5 interceptions on the season stacked with 503 yards on the ground.

Temple’s defense is fully prepared to take on a mobile quarterback, limiting UCF’s McKenzie Milton to just 19 yards on 7 carries, Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson to 3 yards, and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder to a staggering 17 carries for -2 yards. Temple is 14th against explosiveness in standard downs and 13th against passing explosiveness.

I am putting money behind the Owls, who limit quarterback explosiveness and have covered eight of their last nine games on the road.

Play On: Temple +5

LSU at Arkansas

  • Spread: Arkansas +14
  • Over/Under: 47.5
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: SEC Network

First, we must congratulate Arkansas for escaping the Jefferson Pilot time-slot of 11 a.m. local kicks. Attendance has been an issue at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium because of the early kicks, but a forecast of 36 degrees and 10 mph may keep most of the fan base from attendance in primetime.

A few years ago, this rivalry was moved from Thanksgiving Friday to early November, as the SEC believed Arkansas’ natural rivalry was with Missouri (it is not) and LSU is a natural rival with Texas A&M (it is not). Arkansas always has the scheduling advantage coming off a bye week against an LSU team coming off the Alabama game. The ‘Battle for the Golden Boot’ has been a competitive rivalry, with plenty of upsets from Arkansas.

Not only does Arkansas have a scheduling advantage, but it gets two of its best players on each side of the ball back in linebacker Dre Greenlaw and wide receiver Jared Cornelius. This is Arkansas’ last home game of the season and it should get an inspired effort from the upperclassman. The Razorbacks have had the advantage in this rivalry, covering eight of the past 11 meetings.

Quarterback Ty Storey has had the benefit of an offensive line that ranks 19th in passing downs sack rate, assisting the pass explosiveness rank of 40th in the country. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator John Chavis knows his opponent all too well as former DC at LSU. Expect Chavis to dial up the blitz against Joe Burrow.

Arkansas is 31st in overall havoc, but ranks 17th on the defensive line and linebacker havoc. This should be the Razorbacks best effort, healthy off a bye week, and catching LSU off the Alabama game.

Play On: Arkansas +14

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