It might be time to start taking Baylor seriously. Matt Rhule’s oft-overlooked squad is now 8-0 after sweating out a 17-14 victory over West Virginia on Saturday. A national championship is still a distant dream for the Bears, but they’ve shown they deserve to be in the conversation thanks to their potent offence and a defence that bends, but doesn’t break.
Week 11 is just days away and we can hardly wait to see which teams solidify their CFP chances. Our latest NCAAF Betting Guide has you covered with hard-hitting insight and analysis on some of this week’s most eagerly anticipated games as well as the latest trends and storylines from across the U.S.
|LSU Tigers||+6 (-110)||+180||N/A|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-6 (-110)||-225||N/A|
*All odds are subject to change.
It has finally arrived. The Game of the Year. #1 LSU travels to Tuscaloosa this Saturday to take on #2 Alabama, and without a doubt the eyes of College Football Nation will be watching intently to see if the new-look Tigers and their QB Joe Burrow are ready to supplant the Tide as the premier team in the SEC.
Alabama is a fairly known commodity. Despite sending massive amounts of talent to the NFL every year, they have consistently restocked the shelves by hauling in the very best recruiting classes. These classes have contributed to a decade of success that is nearly unprecedented in the sport. In 2019, Alabama is 8-0 straight up and 4-4 against the spread. They average 48.6 points per game while giving up just 15.2 points per game.
On the other side of the field, LSU is also 8-0 straight up, and 5-3 against the spread. They are scoring 46.8 points per game on offense and giving up 20 per game on defense. They are led by Heisman favorite QB Joe Burrow, who has made a number of big plays en route to the highest completion percentage of any QB in the country this year.
Before today I thought I might be a Joe Burrow fan, but now I’m 100% sure of it. All Burrow did after bouncing right back up from this hit was take LSU the other 80 yards for a touchdown. pic.twitter.com/UfUBEwc2ib
— Nick Yeoman (@NYeoman) October 26, 2019
Recent history between these two teams suggests that Alabama holds the upper-hand. They have dominated LSU in winning the last eight matchups, and are favored by seven points in this one as well. Much of LSU’s issues have been on offense, however, as they have been unable to muster much threat against a traditionally stout Alabama defense. This appears to be less of an issue this year, with LSU scoring far more points in 2019 than they have at any other point this decade.
The biggest question mark heading into this game will be Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa’s health. Coming off ankle surgery, will he be the same QB that was favored to win the Heisman each of the last two years and is projected to be the first overall draft pick in the upcoming draft? The line on this game indicates he will return at full health.
Saban on Tua Tagovailoa (ankle): “If he can play in the game, it will be a game-time decision. He did practice two days last week. We’ll see where he’s at today, and we’ll manage the reps accordingly.”
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) November 4, 2019
Even if Tagovailoa does return and plays near 100%, LSU is a different team than the one we’ve known for years. They are skilled offensively and tough defensively. Saturday in Tuscaloosa is set to be the most dramatic event of the regular season, and its winner will all but lock up a spot in the playoff.
|Penn State Nittany Lions||-6.5 (-111)||-250||O 47 (-112)|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||+6.5 (-109)||+200||U 47 (-108)|
The two biggest surprises in the Big Ten face off this Saturday with Penn State traveling to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota. Both teams head into this game undefeated at 8-0 straight up. Penn State is 5-3 against the spread, while Minnesota is 5-2-1. Despite both teams coming in undefeated and Minnesota playing at home, Penn State is favored.
Penn State has loads of talent and is excelling with a significant number of talented blue-chip underclassmen, but the bedrock of their success has been the defense. Penn State is second in the nation in points per game given up at just 9.6, and much of that success is due to their ability to completely shut down the opponent’s running game. Penn State leads the nation by a wide margin in rushing yards allowed per attempt at just 2.0 yards. By having such success stopping the run, Penn State is forcing teams into obvious passing downs and then has the edge rushers to create sacks. Through their first eight games, Penn State has accumulated 30 sacks, which is good for seventh in the nation.
Another one ✅
— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) October 5, 2019
On the other side of the field, Minnesota has been led by their incredibly efficient QB, Tanner Morgan. Morgan is completing 65.3% of his passes on the year and has 18 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He is seventh in the nation in pass efficiency rating, and his big-play threat is WR Rashod Bateman, who is averaging 20.8 yards per completion and has six touchdowns on the season.
The biggest question mark in this game is whether Minnesota’s success has been fool’s good as a result of an easy schedule. Minnesota has the 77th rated strength of schedule, while Penn State’s is seventh. Their toughest competition has been a mediocre Nebraska team, while Penn State is battle-tested having faced off against Michigan and Iowa already. Both teams have exceeded expectations thus far in 2019, but Penn State is better positioned to continue that success beyond Week 11.
|Iowa Hawkeyes||+9.5 (-110)||+295||O 38 (-110)|
|Wisconsin Badgers||-9.5 (-110)||-385||U 38 (-110)|
Prior to the season, the battle of the Big Ten West was thought to be a three-team race between Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa. Minnesota has thrown things for a major loop, but Saturday’s matchup between Iowa and Wisconsin will very likely still go a long way toward deciding the division. Minnesota still has to play Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin in what makes for effectively a round robin November tournament to finish the year. Wisconsin gets this game at home and is installed as a sizable favorite.
Wisconsin started the year on fire, but after two disappointing losses now sit at 6-2 straight up and 3-2 in conference play. They are 5-3 against the spread. Iowa is also 6-2 straight up and 3-2 in conference, but has just a 3-5 record against the spread. Iowa’s disappointing performances relative to bettors’ expectations has come from an offense that is struggling to score points. In two losses, they scored just three and 12 points. Quarterback Nate Stanley was expected to have a better senior year but he has shown little improvement from previous seasons. In fact, his QB rating is slightly lower than it was during his sophomore and junior campaigns, and he just has 10 touchdowns while throwing five interceptions.
Despite inefficiencies on offense, Nate Stanley is still leading the B1G in Pass Yards:
1. Stanley (IOWA) – 1,771
2. Clifford (PSU) – 1,742
3. Morgan (MINN) – 1,623
6. Justin Fields (OSU) – 1,492pic.twitter.com/eK1ouOEsgj
— Locked On Hawkeyes (@LockedOnIowa) October 21, 2019
For Wisconsin, star running back Jonathan Taylor has been the motor driving the offense. He is rarely tackled by a single defender and has both the speed and strength to make an impact at the college level and in the NFL. He is averaging 5.7 yards per attempt and has shown the ability to catch the ball as well with 17 receptions for 143 more yards. Taylor struggled tremendously against Ohio State, but that wasn’t unexpected.
Wisconsin clearly has the upper-hand in this game as they average 11.2 points per game more on offense and give up just 1.3 points per game more on defense. Take away the Ohio State loss, however, and Wisconsin is averaging just 7.6 points per game against Iowa’s 10.1. Despite having identical records, Wisconsin has been the stronger team throughout the entirety of the season and gets the benefit of playing at home. Wisconsin will very likely win on Saturday, but laying double digits against this Iowa defense will make for an intriguing sweat for bettors.
Here are the betting trends you need to know for Week 11:
- Home teams have won 67% of all games SU in 2019
- Home favorites have won a staggering 84% of all games SU in 2019
- Teams ranked in the AP Top 25 went 11-1 against unranked opponents in Week 8
- 52% of all games have gone UNDER the projected total in 2019
- Underdogs were 21-27-0 ATS in Week 7 and are 288-307-10 overall in 2019
We’ve narrowed down the remaining Week 11 games you can’t afford to miss.
|Vanderbilt vs. #10 Florida||Sat, November 9||FLA -25||48.0|
|Maryland vs. #3 Ohio State||Sat, November 9||OSU -42||63.0|
|#20 Kansas State vs. Texas||Sat, November 9||TEX -5.5||58.0|
|#22 Wake Forest vs. Virginia Tech||Sat, November 9||VT +3||64.0|
|UConn vs. #17 Cincinnati||Sat, November 9||CIN -35||56.0|
|Missouri vs. #6 Georgia||Sat, November 9||UGA -21||47.0|
|#4 Clemson vs. North Carolina State||Sat, November 9||NCST +30.5||53.0|
|#15 Notre Dame vs. Duke||Sat, November 9||DUKE +7||51.5|
|Iowa State vs. #9 Oklahoma||Sat, November 9||OKLA -13.5||67.0|
|Nevada vs. #24 San Diego State||Sat, November 9||SDSU -17||39.5|
|Wyoming vs. #21 Boise State||Sat, November 9||BSU -13||48.5|
— Josh An (@_imjoshan) November 3, 2019
USC head coach Clay Helton has heard all the rumblings about his job security, but he’s adamant that he’s the right man for the job despite a crushing 56-24 loss to Oregon.
Zombie apocalypses? Boring. Redundant. But…you know Mike Leach (@Coach_Leach) wouldn’t mind blasting a couple.
“Shootin’ zombies, okay here’s another one, another one. This is a really ugly zombie…wow! Pretty attractive for a zombie.” pic.twitter.com/MExBcuFtRa
— Alyssa Charlston (@Alyssacharlston) November 4, 2019
Mike Leach is the anti Gregg Popovich. The Cougars head coach is physically incapable of providing a short response to even the silliest of questions.
QB @Masonfine09 discusses his 7-TD performance in tonight’s win over UTEP
— North Texas Football (@MeanGreenFB) November 3, 2019
He may have been two days late, but North Texas QB Mason Fine officially won Halloween by showing up to the team’s post game press conference dressed in a giant inflatable dinosaur costume.
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell had his third 300+ yard passing game of the season on Saturday as he threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns against Virginia. Here are three things you should know about the star freshman:
- Howell attended Sun Valley High School in Monroe, North Carolina, where he threw for 3,240 yards and 36 TDs and rushed for 1,392 yards and 17 scores as a senior.
- Howell set the North Carolina record for total yards with 17,036 and ranks second in state history in career passing yards.
- On August 31, Howell became the first true freshman QB to start a season opener for UNC. He threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns in his first taste of collegiate action.