Wilson: 2 Early College Football Bets for Week 11, Including Alabama-LSU
Chuck Cook-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Joe Burrow.
College football’s Week 11 opening numbers witnessed a flurry of activity on opening lines, none more than Penn State, LSU and Charlotte. Who?
The 49ers have strung together a fantastic 2019 under new had coach Will Healy, formerly of Austin Peay. After suffering a 22-48 record under Brad Lambert since 2013, Charlotte’s transition from an FCS Independent to a potential Conference USA bowl team is impressive. A 4-5 schedule includes recent outright underdog victories over Middle Tennessee State and North Texas.
Charlotte ends the season with UTEP, Marshall and Old Dominion. The 49ers are explosive, ranking in the top 20 in rush and top 50 in passing. This team has all the makings of a great Bahamas Bowl participant, but we would settle for New Orleans or New Mexico Bowl berth as a chance to enjoy more of Will Healy’s club.
Bowl motivation plays a part of the November handicap. Will Florida State respond with the firing of Willie Taggart? Is Chad Morris a lame duck at Arkansas despite a roster full of underclassmen? How does the new athletic director at USC affect the Urban Meyer rumors?
The Action Network’s power ratings will be the home base of our handicap, but college football is one of the biggest sports where situational and motivation play a part.
As I always do on Sundays, I used our power ratings to bet a few openers, including a few I’ll detail more below.
Let’s take a look at one of my favorite early bets of the week. Stay tuned for much more betting coverage in the run-up to Saturday.
All odds as of Sunday evening. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
College Football Games I Bet Early and Projected Spreads
Note: A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; inverse for a positive number.
UAB at Southern Miss (-7)
3:30 p.m. ET | NFL Network
The love affair with Blazers football has carried over from 2018. After winning Conference USA last season, UAB has garnered wagers every other weekend in 2019. The road trip to Tennessee started off horribly with a first half that consisted of three interceptions, four punts and a fumble.
— Tennessee Athletics (@Vol_Sports) November 3, 2019
The Blazers will rank 93rd in Havoc Allowed when our content is released later in the week, but a trip to Southern Mississippi will find a team worse off than UAB in ball protection. The Golden Eagles have had 20 combined fumbles and interceptions on offense, leading Southern Miss to a Havoc Allowed ranking of 114th. The Blazers remain the picture of chaos with a rank of 8th in FBS for defensive Havoc.
Regardless of the havoc ratings, Southern Miss ranks 130th in the nation in opponent explosive pass defense. Led by Tyler Johnston, UAB ranks 30th in explosive pass offense. On the other side of the ball the UAB defense is equipped to handle the Southern Miss passing attack, ranking 5th in opponent passing success rate.
Look for UAB to continue their march to a date with Louisiana Tech for the Conference USA West division.
The Pick: UAB +7
LSU at Alabama (-6)
3:30 p.m. ET | CBS
For those of you following along on the Action App, there were multiple hits on the total following Sunday’s opening line release. CG Technology released a total of 63, while the Westgate SuperBook opened with 64. Our Action Network projection for this titanic game is 69.
For those of you on @ActionApp, our Total Projection for LSU-Bama will be 69
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) November 3, 2019
The Action Network will have this game covered top to bottom, but there are reasons to discuss the early wagers on the over. I have personally kidded in media spots that LSU and Alabama are the new Big 12. Both teams feature high-caliber, lightning-paced offenses that minimize defensive efficiency and could tire any unprepared team by the 2nd half. LSU had 46 rushing attempts and 42 passing attempts in their last game against Auburn and wore out the vaunted Tigers defenses by the end of the game.
Alabama and LSU rank second and third in passing offense due to two star quarterbacks in Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow, meaning there should be plenty of passing on Saturday. LSU is the most efficient passing offense in the nation, so Burrow should have a big day even against a strong Alabama defense. LSU’s defense ranks 113th in opponent pass explosiveness, which infers that Mac Jones or Tagovailoa should have plenty of YAC’s to Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith.
If the market total gets closer to the projection of 69 there may be a buyback on the 63.5 and 64, but I expect this game to have plenty of scoring from the two best offenses in the nation.
The Pick: Over 64