Week 11 CFB Gambling Picks: Bama-Ole Miss, TCU-Texas and more (presented by Betfred Sportsbook)
It's Wednesday, and you know what that means: It's time to make some Week 11 college football picks!
Where has the time gone!
Can't lie, last week was a little bit tough, as the picks went 2-6 overall.
But you know what: Much like Alabama, it's time for us to bounce back!
And unlike Alabama, we might actually do it!
(Sorry Bama fans, we all know it's true).
Before we get to the picks, a quick caveat. As I told you last week, it's late in the year, and you must remember: This is the time of year, where it's just hard to figure out what you're going to get from individual teams. Some teams (think the LSU's, TCU's etc.) are flying high with everything to play for. Some, like Alabama feel like their season is done. Others, are banged up, or coming down with the flu (we'll get to that in a minute) or just ready to be done with the year.
So, gamble with caution.
As always, in addition to the picks, make sure to download the College Football Betting show - with new episodes dropping every Thursday morning. You can listen here.
And also, the picks - again, as always - are presented by Betfred Sportsbook. At Betfred you can bet $50 on any game this weekend and get $250 in free cash, courtesy of Betfred. Take advantage of the opportunity here.
Now, to the picks:
Oklahoma at West Virginia (OVER 67.5): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, FS1
Last week, Oklahoma lost to Baylor to fall and 5-4 on the season. You probably missed it, because well, Oklahoma stinks and no one is really paying all that close attention to what they're doing right now. To be blunt, I'm kind of blown away that Brent Venables isn't taking more heat. Especially in a world where first year head coaches like Sonny Dykes, Brian Kelly and yes, Lincoln Riley are thriving in Year 1.
But what's even stranger is this: It's the Oklahoma defense that continues to let them down.
As a matter of fact, if you take out a game against Iowa State (the worst offensive team in the Big 12), here is what Oklahoma has given up to Big 12 opponents this year: 41 (Kansas State), 55 (TCU), 49 (Texas), 42 (Kansas) and 38 against Baylor last week.
WHAT? WHY ISN'T BRENT VENABLES TAKING MORE HEAT! DEFENSE IS SUPPOSED TO BE HIS STRENGTH!!!!!
So yeah, this defense stinks, but you know who else's defense stinks? West Virginia. If you take out their game against Iowa State as well, here are the point totals they've given up in Big 12 play: 41, 48, 40, 38 and 55.
Neither defense is good, and I'm not sure either is even trying at this point. We should fly by the over here.
No. 9 Alabama at No. 11 Ole Miss (+12): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
In theory, I guess this is the biggest game of the week. But I mean, at this point we all know Alabama's MO, and that's this: They're a soft, lost and confusing team. This is one of Nick Saban's most talented rosters ever, and they continue to underachieve across the board.
More specifically, they continue to underachieve on the road. Did you know - and this stat blew me away - that going back to last year, in their last eight road games, Alabama is just 5-3 straight up? And during that stretch they're just 2-6 against the spread, with the two covers coming last October against Mississippi State and this year against Arkansas. Yes, that Arkansas game is the one that was a four-point game in the middle of the third, only for Bama to rally for the back door cover.
Point being, I don't care what the Crimson Tide's record is, they're not a very good football team at this point. And more importantly, for the first time in these player's careers, they essentially have nothing to play for.
As for Ole Miss, well this is a monster home game, on a national platform, and a crowd - which Lane Kiffin has criticized this season - will be fired up. Ole Miss gave Bama fits when they played in Oxford two years ago, and I suspect they do the same here.
South Carolina (+8) at Florida: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, SEC Network
While the downside of getting this late into the season is that you have no idea who is playing for what, the upside is, you kind of know who certain teams are at this point.
And I really do feel like I know both of these teams at this point.
To me, Florida is honestly, sort of overachieving. As I've said for weeks, I don't really know what this team does well, but to their credit, they've basically won all the games they're supposed to this season. Their four losses are to four teams ranked in the College Football Playoff poll, and of their five wins, four were against unranked opponents. Their Week 1 win over Utah is the outlier, and let's be honest: If Utah had any tape on Anthony Richardson coming into that game, they probably.
South Carolina on the other hand isn't particularly talented, but is much the same: They play hard, and beat the teams they're supposed to. They, like Florida have one outlier this year: A loss to a Missouri team which is actually pretty good on defense.
In the end, both teams play hard, and to me, have similar talent levels.
I just don't think the Gators are eight points better than the Gamecocks.
No. 25 Washington (+13.5) at No. 6 Oregon: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Put simply, Oregon is one of the best stories in all of college football. A team that got blown out on opening night (against what turned out to be the best team in the country) has bounced back, gotten better every week, and is now in position to make the College Football Playoff.
Here's the thing though: As great as Oregon is, and they're awesome, there is one thing they don't do well: Defend the pass. They currently rank 117th in pass defense, and in their closest game since Georgia (a narrow win over Washington State) gave up close to 400 yards through the air.
Well, guess who has the No. 1 pass offense in college football? It's not Ohio State or Tennessee, but Washington.
On the flip side, Oregon runs the ball well, ranking in the Top 15 in the country.
Well, guess who has the best run defense that Oregon has seen since Georgia in Week 1? You guessed it, the Washington Huskies.
Oregon wins, but Washington moves the ball well enough to keep things close in Eugene.
No. 4 TCU (+7) at No. 18 Texas (-4 - first half): Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET ESPN
Ah yes, the old double dip here, as we're betting the Texas first half line of -4, but also taking TCU +7 for the game.
Why? Well, it's pretty straightforward. Steve Sarkisian is historically a first half coach, all while TCU has made it a habit of falling down early only to rally late in games.
Don't believe me? Let's just take a look at some recent games.
For Texas, last week the Longhorns were up 31-10 at the half, only to have to hold on for dear life in a 34-27 victory over Kansas State. The game before, they were up 31-24 at the half against Oklahoma State, only to lose 41-34.
Then there's the TCU Horned Frogs, who trailed 13-10 at the half last week against Texas Tech before rallying to win, and in two other games (Kansas State and Oklahoma State) trailed by double figures at the half) to win as well.
Sometimes, you don't have to overthink it.
This is who these teams are: Texas a first half team, and TCU a second half team. Which is why we're betting both sides of the coin here.
No. 23 Florida State (-7.5) at Syracuse: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, ACC Network
While I don't like taking big road favorites, this feels like the right side to me.
Like I've said about so many other teams in this preview, it feels like we know who Florida State is at this point - and it's just a solid, all-around football team. They're 6-3, but have basically played one bad game all year. They lost to NC State in the final seconds and outgained Clemson by well over 100 yards in a loss there as well, meaning that outside a dud against Wake Forest this team has been lights out.
Then there's Syracuse which, umm, is not playing it's best of late. After a 6-0 start they've now lost three straight, all as the status of quarterback Garrett Shrader is up in the air. Dino Babers was actually asked about Shrader's health this week and gave an all-time line, saying, and this is a direct quote:
“I would say that he’s got an owie that we’re sensitive to."
More than owie to the quarterback is an owie to their run defense, which gave up 161 yards to Pitt, 246 yards to Notre Dame and 293 yards to Clemson in the last three weeks.
Well, Florida State has a better rush offense than all those teams, and should be able to go up and down the field at the Carrier Dome (yes, we still call it the Carrier Dome in these parts).
Take the Noles.
No. 7 LSU (-3) at Arkansas: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN: This line makes no sense. And usually when a line makes no sense, it means that something unexpected will happen. Not saying it will, but I'm not betting my hard-earned money to find out.
Missouri at Tennessee (-20.5): Saturday, 12:00 p.m., CBS: On the one hand, Tennessee has been an unemotional football team, not letting the highs and lows affect them after big wins all year. So, I'm not sold that they come out flat in this game. On the other hand, there is the body blow effect, and there's also the noon local time kick-off effect, as well as the fact that Missouri quietly plays pretty good defense. This is just a hard pass for me.
Nebraska at No. 4 Michigan (-31.5): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC: Admittedly, Michigan has an elite run offense and Nebraska can't stop the run to save its life. Still, 31 points sure does feel like a lot, doesn't it?
Georgia (-16) at Mississippi State: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN: Mississippi State can't stop the run, and we saw what Georgia's corners did to Tennessee last week. So I like Georgia, but on the road at night, I'd rather just put my money somewhere else.
Texas A&M at Auburn (-1.5): Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network: Both these teams are in the midst of major flu outbreaks in their respective locker rooms. Some say you'll get sick from watching, and certainly, betting on this game.
A reminder: The picks are brought to you by Betfred Sportsbook. New users can get $250 when they bet $50 on any game this weekend - good in Arizona, Colorado and Iowa only