During the college football season, the Stadium staff will provide weekly betting picks and advice in this roundtable. Here are our thoughts on the Week 11 slate.
Note: Ben and Nate will discuss all of their college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
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Alex Symonds, Stadium Senior Producer: Arkansas +3.5 over LSU.
This game scratches me right where I itch. LSU won a dramatic overtime game last week against Alabama in Death Valley and thousands of the 102,321 Tiger faithful stormed the field to celebrate Brian Kelly’s first signature win in Baton Rouge. It was awesome to watch and one of the best moments of the college football season.
Why do I bring all this up? I’m skeptical LSU will be able to get to the same level of intensity this week for an 11 a.m. kickoff at Razorback Stadium against an Arkansas team that just lost to Liberty as a two-touchdown favorite. This is purely a situational play for me, and my money will be on the Razorbacks.
Ben Wittenstein, Stadium Social Media Producer: Oregon -13.5 over Washington.
I’ve had the unfortunate luck of betting the Ducks in the only two games they have lost ATS this year. This time, though? This time, my luck changes. The Ducks welcome in a high-powered Washington team getting almost 14 points. But the game that makes me confident in this one is Oregon’s 15-point win over UCLA a few weeks ago. The Bruins came into Eugene with plenty of people thinking they’d be able to hang with the Ducks, and it didn’t happen. Oregon’s been in this situation before and covered, and I expect them to do it again at home against Washington.
Nate Jacobson, Stadium Sports Betting Analyst: Arkansas +3.5 over LSU.
I tend to look at situational angles when handicapping November college football games because the numbers are usually correct by this time of year. But the most glaring spot play this week is fading LSU off their walk-off win over Alabama as nearly a two-touchdown home underdog in head coach Brian Kelly’s first game involved with this rivalry.
Now the Tigers travel to face an Arkansas team coming off an embarrassing home loss to Liberty. Those two results create this point spread with the Razorbacks getting over a field goal at home. I’m expecting a natural letdown from LSU and Arkansas to get up for this rivalry game.
AS: South Alabama -16.5 over Texas State.
South Alabama might be the best college football team you haven’t watched this season. The Jaguars are 7-2 this season (4-1 in the Sun Belt) and a few unlucky bounces away from being 9-0. I made this game South Alabama -21 thanks in large part to a monumental mismatch when the Bobcats have the ball.
Texas State is last in the Sun Belt in both yards per pass attempt and rush yards per game, while the Jaguars’ defense ranks in the top three in the league in both categories. As long as South Alabama can avoid turnovers and special teams mistakes, I’m confident the Jaguars will cover this number.
BW: Over 58.5 in Indiana vs. Ohio State.
I have zero faith in the Indiana defense to even force one punt in this game. It’s going to be open season for Ohio State, and they’re going to take advantage at home. In the past five IU-OSU games, the total has gone over 60 — defense simply isn’t a thing in this series.
I am a tad bit worried that Indiana won’t be able to get in the end zone, but I’m hoping garbage time (which might start at the beginning of the second half) will give them at least one or two chances to put up some points. Ohio State will almost certainly score 49+ in this one, so as long as IU can get into the end zone just once, I like the over in Columbus.
NJ: Navy +15.5 over Notre Dame.
I’m going to stay with the theme of fading a team after a monumental victory in Week 10. Notre Dame and their first-year head coach Marcus Freeman made a statement knocking off No. 4 Clemson 35-14 at home. Notre Dame dominated the game, but also benefitted from two non-offensive touchdowns, recording just 85 passing yards.
We’ve seen this Notre Dame team fail numerous times in the big favorite role this season, including outright losses to Marshall and Stanford. I like Navy to keep it within the number in a game where the total has dropped to 39.5. Notre Dame doesn’t have the passing offense to win by a big margin, and it’s a tough spot for a noon start in Baltimore.
AS: Maryland (+320) over Penn State.
The standard practice for each of these picks is to write a quick blurb to explain our selections. The reasoning for this pick is simple: I feel like Maryland is due, and I don’t have any numbers to back it up. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
BW: Indiana (+8000) over Ohio State.
This number is MASSIVE. And it’s only available at one sportsbook that I could find. So, why not? With all the craziness going on in the world right now, why not put a few bucks on a massive upset? What’re you gonna do, root for Ohio State? No, absolutely not. That’s honestly worse than losing a little bit of money. Live a little, you deserve it. We’re in stressful times, you need some quality entertainment — why not root for an insane upset?
When Indiana somehow goes up 3-0 on their first possession, that feeling of hope with a rush of endorphins will be worth it, even after Ohio State goes on a 35-0 run to end the half. So if you can find an IU moneyline price, go for it. Because 10 years from now, you’re going to want to tell your kids you called the biggest upset in college football history.
NJ: Washington (+400) over Oregon.
This bet can go very poorly because of Washington’s defensive struggles. On top of that, the Huskies haven’t fared well outside of Seattle. But other than Arkansas and Navy, Washington is the only other underdog I have on my short list of potential bets this week, so I’ll slot them in this section.
I do believe this number is a bit inflated because of Oregon’s position at No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. All the talk surrounding Oregon is if they finish 12-1, they’ll make the four-team field to compete for a national title. But I’ve seen several Pac-12 teams in the past fold when it looks like they have a clear path to the playoff, and maybe some possible nerves will catch up to the Ducks this week against their Pacific Northwest rival. The smarter play in this game is Washington +13.5, but I’ll have a sliver of my bet on Washington to win the game at 4/1.
AS: Ole Miss +12 over Alabama.
Is the Alabama dynasty dead? You can find plenty of national pundits that think so, and they’re taking their chance to dance on Nick Saban’s grave after last week’s overtime loss to LSU. I think Alabama has some coaching and personnel issues, but I don’t think I’d go so far to write off the Tide just yet.
With Ole Miss coming off the bye and Alabama seemingly out of the playoff race for the first time since 2019, I want to back Lane Kiffin’s squad in this spot — but Saban’s trademark “rat poison” tactics have scared me off. If this point spread hits +14, I’ll have no choice but to bet on the Rebels.
BW: Clemson -7 over Louisville.
Clemson being back at home after a tough road loss seems like a solid spot. However, Louisville isn’t getting the credit it deserves. They’ve covered in four-straight games and seem to have righted the ship after a rough loss to Boston College as a 13.5-point favorite. But going on the road to Clemson is always a tough task, and I don’t think I’d be able to strongly back the Cardinals here. While Clemson is on the right side for a bounce-back game at home, I just don’t trust the Tigers’ offense enough to believe in them.
NJ: Texas Tech -3.5 over Kansas.
LSU, Notre Dame and Kansas were the three teams last week where fans stormed the field after their teams won. LSU and Notre Dame supporters did it for upsetting top-six teams, while Kansas’ fans tore down the goalposts for recording the all-important win No. 6 to gain bowl eligibility.
I really want to fade Kansas this week during an evening date with Texas Tech in Lubbock, but the Red Raiders have some QB uncertainty with Behren Morton already ruled out with an ankle injury. Texas Tech does have two other QBs who have started games this season in Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith, but I’d rather stay away from a team with question marks at such a key position.