Wilson: My Projected Odds for Every Week 11 College Football Game
Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish football team.
The only element more epic than the game play of Notre Dame’s victory over Clemson was the number of times play stopped for review. Ian Book took advantage of a banged-up Tigers defense in the double-overtime upset.
The Irish benefitted from three turnovers, including a scoop-and-score touchdown, along with plenty of explosive offense.
There will be a new No. 1 in college football once the polls are released, as the Tigers were joined by No. 5 Georgia after its loss to Florida. The Gators were down, 14-0, early before rattling off 41 of the next 48 points put on the board. Florida came up with the defense in its most important game, producing three sacks, seven quarterback hurries. It also held Georgia to 2 of 13 on third down after ranking near the bottom of FBS in opponent 3rd down conversions.
In Group of Five action, Coastal Carolina remained undefeated along with Cincinnati, Marshall, BYU and Liberty. The Flames have now beaten two Power Five teams in Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Malik Willis continues to do it all for Liberty, which has NC State and Coastal Carolina left on its slate.
The Pac-12 returned to action — or at least eight conference teams did — as the Washington-Cal and Arizona-Utah games were postponed due to COVID-19 situations. Arizona State had an 83% postgame win expectancy against USC, yet the Trojans scored two last touchdowns and stole a victory thanks to an onside kick.
The Sun Devils ended the game with two turnover-on-downs series, as Pac-12 officiating remained questionable.
Oregon produced a 99% postgame win expectancy, as the new-look Joe Moorhead offense produced a positive success rate in every quarter. In just four possessions during the second half, the Ducks had three touchdowns and a missed field goal.
Will the College Football Playoff consider a Group of Five team? The SEC, Pac-12, Big 10 and ACC still have undefeated teams for the selection committee, but any loss by Alabama or Notre Dame will surely get BYU and Cincinnati under the spotlight. Numbers have been adjusted after Week 10 play and now include Cincinnati in the Top 10.
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Here are the projections for Week 11:
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Projected College Football Odds, Week 11
A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; a positive number means the home team is an underdog.
Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Week 11 Notes
- Ohio State is the No. 1 Offensive Success Rate unit.
- UCLA and Arizona State are the top explosive teams in the country.
- Cincinnati is the new leader atop the Defensive Success Rate list.
- Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan leaped Kentucky as the best defense in the nation at limiting explosive plays.
- Florida, Western Michigan and Boise State are at the top in offensive finishing drives.
Week 11 Situational Spots to Play
- Central Michigan was victorious despite Ohio ending with a 69% postgame win expectancy. The Chipps were able to turn a Bobcat turnover at the 16-yard line into a touchdown
- Oklahoma State won in Manhattan despite Kansas State collecting a 97% post-game win expectancy. The Wildcats out gained the Pokes by more than 100 yards, but quarterback Will Howard’s fumble became the deciding factor.
- Notre Dame must avoid a hangover in a trip to Boston College. The Eagles pulled off the upset in 1993 after the Irish beat No. 1 Florida State the week before.
- Florida will host Arkansas, possibly without tight end Kyle Pitts. The Gators look to avoid hangover after taking the lead in the SEC East from Georgia.
- Indiana and Ohio State are in a Week 11 lookahead spot, as the undefeated Hoosiers and Buckeyes meet in Week 12.
- Appalachian State will host Georgia State, while Coastal Carolina travels to Troy. Both the Mountaineers and Chants have overlook to a Week 12 collision.
Week 11 Injury Report
- Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier did not play and quarterback Jack Sears was pulled from the BYU game. Both are questionable for a Thursday game against Colorado State.
- Central Michigan quarterback David Moore remains suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. It is unknown if he will be reinstated Wednesday for the Northern Illinois game.
- Florida tight end Kyle Pitts left with an upper-body injury, as his status for Arkansas is unclear.
- Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis left with an unspecified injury. His status for NC State is unknown.
- Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels left the game with a leg injury, as his status is unknown for Texas.
- San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel left with an unspecified injury, leading to it being unknown if he will be available for the UNLV game.
- Stanford quarterback Davis Mills did not play due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano exited the Arkansas game with a head injury.
Terms to Know
Postgame Win Expectancy is a calculation of all variables in a box score that dictate who would win the game if it was played a high number of times. Turnover luck, success rate and yards per play are notable components of this calculation and can influence a single game. But over a large sample, the team that moved the ball better would win more often than not.
There have been plenty of box scores in which a team wins as an underdog, but a negative value is applied to that team’s power rating because the result was fluky rather than systematic.
Coach scheme changes can adjust a power rating quickly. For example, Oregon will undergo a change from Marcus Arroyo’s conservative play-calling to new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s system. Moorhead’s offense features a heavy dose of 11 personnel, west coast spread concepts and modern RPOs.
That offensive philosophy has led to more explosiveness and higher rates of success on standard downs at each of Moorhead’s previous stops at Penn State and Mississippi State. In a situation like this, a power rating can be useful to quickly adjust a team’s forecast for future games. In the case of Mike Leach, an adjustment of totals is coming with an increase in plays per game.
Success Rate, Finishing Drives and Explosiveness were first defined in Bill Connelly’s Five Factors and are strong indicators for future box scores. While EPA (Expected Points Added) and IsoPPP (Isolated Points Per Play) can be highly variable from season to season, Success Rate is a stable data point for handicappers to use for projections.
Simply put, if a team consistently achieves the desired amount of yards — determined by down and distance — then this is a “play-on” team with your bankroll. Texas A&M ranked 17th in offensive success rate last season and returns 80% of its offensive production for 2020; that combination makes the Aggies a play-on team.