There are seven remaining undefeated FBS teams in the country after Appalachian State was upset by Georgia Southern on Thursday night and SMU fell to Memphis on Saturday.
At least two more unbeaten teams will lose in Week 11, as Minnesota hosts Penn State and LSU has their highly anticipated clash against Alabama. With four weeks to go in the regular season, Ohio State, Clemson and Baylor are the other three unbeaten teams.
Here is my handicapping approach for each team the rest of the regular season:
LSU is a six-point underdog at Alabama this weekend. The line assumes that Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will play in this game, but might not be fully healthy after sustaining an ankle injury in Week 8, and the lack of injury information would keep me off the game at this number. The possible spot to fade the Tigers would be the week after when they travel for another road game against Ole Miss. A lot will depend on the result of this Saturday’s game against Bama, so I would avoid fading LSU against Ole Miss if they lose to the Tide because they might look to win by a margin to impress the Playoff committee. That being said, I’d only consider betting against LSU down the stretch if they were able to pull off a win against Alabama.
The week after Alabama plays LSU, they go on the road to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are a team I don’t have much trust betting in because they have been dominated when they have to step up in class against Auburn and LSU. The spot to bet against Alabama is in the Iron Bowl at Auburn. The Tigers already have two losses on the season and won’t win the SEC, but a secondary goal would be to beat their in-state rival. Auburn plays Samford the week before Alabama, so they have a good scheduling spot that will allow them to be prepared to face the Crimson Tide.
Ohio State has been one of the most dominant teams in the country and has exceeded market expectations more than any program. The Buckeyes are 7-1 against the spread with their non-cover coming in Week 1, and they have covered those seven contests by over 21 points per game. Ohio State is a 42.5-point favorite against Maryland this week and will be favored by even more at Rutgers the following week. The Buckeyes finish the season hosting Penn State and at Michigan, but I have no desire betting against them, and I definitely don’t want to bet on them at inflated numbers. I’ll likely stay away from betting Ohio State games until the College Football Playoff.
Clemson has quietly gone undefeated, and they are starting to cover spreads too. They have covered their last three games against FBS programs with the shortest spread of that bunch being 24.5 at Louisville. This coming week, the Tigers are a 32.5-point road favorite against North Carolina State and then host Wake Forest the next week. The game I would look to fade Clemson is in the final week of the season at South Carolina — IF the Gamecocks are underdogs of 21 points or more. South Carolina is 4-5 on the season, but has had one of the most difficult schedules in the country. If they are 5-6 heading into this game, South Carolina would be an attractive side to bet on since they’d be fighting for bowl eligibility.
Penn State is currently a 6.5-point favorite at Minnesota this week in an 11 a.m. local time kickoff. It’s a matchup I’m personally going to stay away from, but the tricky spot on Penn State’s schedule comes a week later when they face Indiana. The 7-2 Hoosiers will be coming off the bye and catch the Nittany Lions the week after the Minnesota game and a week before their trip to Ohio State. Regardless of the result of Penn State’s game against Minnesota, I would consider betting on Indiana at a spread of +14 or better.
Minnesota has taken advantage of every break on their schedule and has already gone over their win total that was set at 7.5 before the season. Now coming off the bye, the Golden Gophers’ schedule gets much stiffer. They’ll face Penn State this week before back-to-back road trips to Iowa and Northwestern. Then they’ll host Wisconsin in a game that could decide the Big Ten West on the last day of November. I’m interested in betting against Minnesota when they play at Iowa in Week 12, but what’s giving me pause on backing the Hawkeyes is Iowa’s upcoming game at Wisconsin. That takes out some of the scheduling edge for Iowa in their matchup against Minnesota, so I’ll be watching those teams closely this weekend to get a read on the Big Ten West.
Baylor is 8-0 and clinched the over on their win total of 7.5 with a victory over West Virginia in Week 10. However, it was an ugly win as they won 17-14 as 18-point favorites in the game. It was also a performance that makes me want to start fading Baylor the rest of the regular season because they aren’t as good as the undefeated record indicates. Right now, Baylor is a small favorite at TCU in Week 11, and I’m strongly considering a bet on TCU as home underdogs. The line value is there, and it’s a bad spot for Baylor with a home game against Oklahoma on deck.