College Football Odds, Picks: Our 6 Best Bets for Afternoon Games, Including Michigan State vs. Maryland (Saturday, Nov. 13)
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- College football Saturday rolls on, and our staff stepped up for the afternoon.
- Our writers hand-picked six of their best bets in this time slot, including a pick for Michigan State vs. Maryland.
- Check out all six of our top bets below.
Week 11 College Football Best Bets
Our Top 6 Picks for Saturday’s Afternoon Slate
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from Saturday’s afternoon slate of games. The picks below are for matchups that kick off between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET.
Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Georgia State vs. Coastal Carolina
Let me start off by saying Grayson McCall has been incredible this season, leading all quarterbacks in EPA. With him in the lineup, I make Coastal about a 17-point favorite here.
So, why am I taking Georgia State +10.5 as my best bet? Well, McCall isn’t playing due to an injury, and I have him worth about 10 points to the spread — about as high as you’ll find.
Coastal has arguably been a top-five offense this season with McCall even adjusting for schedule.
Yes, Coastal covered last week with Bryce Carpenter at quarterback, but that came against a free-falling Georgia Southern team. Plus, that game was 0-0 late in the first half (in a monsoon) before Coastal scored 21 points after two GaSo fumbles in its own territory followed by a blocked punt touchdown. Twenty-one points in a flash because of Georgia Southern mistakes, and game over.
I could be way off with my McCall assumption, but there are other things I like here.
Georgia State should come in highly motivated for this game. Not only is it still chasing bowl eligibility, but it’s talked all week about avenging an absolutely embarrassing 51-0 home loss at the hands of the Chants last year.
I also think the Panthers will have success on the ground against a Coastal front I think can be had in that department.
And it’s not like Coastal has looked overly impressive against the competent teams it’s played. The Chants barely beat Buffalo — which I have outside the top 100 — by three on the road, snuck by Troy at home by seven and lost at Appalachian State.
Here are the other teams they defeated:
- The Citadel
- Louisiana Monroe
- Arkansas State
That’s an FCS team and four of the six worst FBS teams in my latest power ratings. Yikes.
Maybe I’m wrong about McCall’s replacement value, but I’m willing to pay to find out by backing what should be a highly motivated Georgia State team with some decent on-field advantages.
Pick: Georgia State +10.5
Boston College vs. Georgia Tech
By Doug Ziefel
We saw last week just how different this Boston College offense is with its leader, quarterback Phil Jurkovec, on the field.
Jurkovec returned from injury for the “Red Bandana Game” and sparked the offense as he led the Eagles to an upset win over Virginia Tech. His ability as a dual-threat option at 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds makes him hard to tackle once he gets a full head of steam.
Now, Jurkovec and his crew head to Atlanta, where they will face a vulnerable Georgia Tech defense.
The Yellow Jackets are 112th in the nation in yards allowed per game. The majority of that comes through the air, as they have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 67% of their passes, which is 114th amongst FBS teams.
On the other side of the ball, the story is quite the opposite. The Eagles have been stout on defense this season.
This unit has held opponents to an average of 21 points per game, and unlike its opponent, the Boston College secondary has been great. It ranks sixth in opponent passing yards allowed and has limited quarterbacks to just a 57% completion percentage.
The Eagles defense has been outstanding in two key situations this year. They are 20th in opponent third-down percentage and 19th in opponent red-zone scoring percentage.
It’s these situations that are critical for Boston College to create and build momentum as its defense will be off the field and points will be left off the scoreboard.
Boston College will be able to move the ball behind Jurkovec’s thundering runs, and we may even see him air it out a bit against this suspect Yellow Jacket secondary.
As long as BC can contain the run game and string together stops, it’s very live dogs in this one. It even deserves a little moneyline sprinkle if you can find it at plus-money.
Pick: Boston College +2
Boston College vs. Georgia Tech
By Shawn Burns
After his team struggled in his absence, Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec made his return last week in the win over Virginia Tech following a hand injury early in the season.
It wasn’t a vintage Jurkovec performance, but he ran for a score and made a few key throws in the win. The Eagles are now 5-4 and will become bowl eligible with a win over Georgia Tech.
Jurkovec was clearly rusty against Virginia Tech, and after a full week of practice, look for him to be much more comfortable against a Georgia Tech defense that has struggled all season.
The Yellow Jackets are ranked 87th in scoring defense, 110th in passing defense and 111th in third-down defense.
Georgia Tech has scored at least 30 points in four of its past six games and averages 176 yards rushing per game.
It’s unclear who will start at quarterback for GT. It will either be Jeff Sims or Jordan Yates, but both are dual-threat quarterbacks who can create plays in the passing game and on the ground.
Running Back Jahmyr Gibbs is one of the most electric players in the country, and the Jackets have three backs who average over five yards per carry.
Boston College struggled defensively against Louisville and Syracuse, which also have mobile quarterbacks and strong rushing attacks.
Jurkovec is a legitimate NFL prospect, and I expect him to have a big game against a struggling Georgia Tech defense. At the same time, the Yellow Jackets have the skill position players to give Boston College fits defensively.
This will be a high-scoring matchup Saturday afternoon in Atlanta.
Pick: Over 54
Miami vs. Florida State
The Florida State offense has been steadily improving with Jordan Travis under center. Now, Travis didn’t play last weekend against NC State, but Travis is averaging 7.7 yards per attempt and has a 72.3 passing grade this season, per Pro Football Focus.
However, the strength of the Florida State offense has been its rushing attack. The running back tandem of Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward is averaging a whopping 6.9 yards per attempt.
That has led the Florida State rushing attack to a ranking of 28th in EPA/Rush, 18th in Offensive Line Yards, and seventh in rushing explosiveness.
It will be able to run the ball all over Miami’s front seven that’s allowing 4.3 yards per rush and ranks outside the top 70 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, rushing explosiveness allowed, and EPA/Rush allowed.
The Miami offense had to make a switch at quarterback with D’Eriq King being out for the season. However, Tyler Van Dyke has been really good in his five starts, averaging 9.6 yards per attempt with a 73.4 passing grade, per PFF.
However, this game is likely going to be on his shoulders because the Hurricanes’ run game has been absent all season, mainly due to struggles on the offensive line.
Miami ranks 87th in Rushing Success Rate, 127th in Offensive Line Yards, 128th in Stuff Rate Allowed, and 106th in EPA/Rush.
The strength of the Florida State defense is in its front seven, as the Seminoles are allowing only 4.0 yards per carry and have the 15th-best run defense grade, per PFF.
I have Florida State projected as a -2.3 favorite, so I think there’s some value on the Seminoles at +3.
Pick: Florida State +3
Maryland vs. No. 7 Michigan State
Michigan State is coming off a clunker of a loss to Purdue after riding the high of beating in-state rival Michigan — a win that put it in sole possession of first in the Big Ten.
This makes its showdown with Ohio State next week even more vital, as it’s a must-win if it wants to keep its Big Ten Championship hopes alive.
But before that showdown, the Spartans have to go against Maryland first. In a potential look-ahead spot, this matchup brings some betting intrigue.
Maryland is in the middle of a rebuild, one that’s seeing some modest success after years of being in the basement of the Big Ten.
This is in part due to quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who has taken the next step up in his development. He has led the Terps to a Pass Success ranking of 22nd, one that is sure to shred the MSU secondary.
If the offensive line can hold off Michigan State’s top-10 pass rush, then Tagovailoa will have plenty of opportunities to attack a poor Def. Pass Success unit.
Thirteen points is a large number for MSU to cover, especially when a bulk of its game plan will be focused on the run game. Maryland has a weak rush defense, one that Heisman candidate Kenneth Walker III will look to exploit.
If it goes run heavy as expected, that will bleed the clock all game. If Maryland can stop Walker from busting out a big play, it should find itself within the number all game.
We also potentially have a spot in which MSU calls off the starters late in the game to prepare for OSU, giving us any backdoor chances we may need.
I played Maryland +13 and would play this no less than +10.5.
Pick: Maryland +13
South Carolina vs. Missouri
South Carolina’s daunting pass rush made life miserable for Florida last weekend. Will it matter versus Missouri?
The Tigers have one of the best running backs in the country in Badie, who owns the third-best Yards per Team Attempt (2.11) in the country for draft-eligible prospects. He’s also responsible for more than 3/4 of the production out of Missouri’s backfield.
The Gamecocks give up close to five yards per pop on the ground this season and have watched that number balloon to 5.8 over the last three. They’ve allowed a grand total of five rushers to pass the century mark this season.
Missouri’s ceiling might be capped in 2021, but Badie’s chasing history: He only needs a couple hundred more yards to shatter the school’s single-season record.
He’ll be the workhorse Saturday in a game he should effortlessly crush this number.