Now that November has arrived, here are four storylines to consider when looking at the lines for Week 11 in college football.
Week 11 features massive point spreads
The top six in the new College Football Playoff rankings will likely be Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia and Oklahoma in some order. All six of those teams are involved in lopsided games in Week 11:
- Alabama (-24.5) vs. Mississippi State
- Clemson (-17.5) at Boston College
- Notre Dame (-18) vs. Florida State
- Michigan (-37.5) at Rutgers
- Georgia (-14.5) vs. Auburn
- Oklahoma (-18) vs. Oklahoma State
It would be shocking to see any of the favorites suffer an upset loss, which is why I can’t trust any of these underdogs to cover the huge spreads against motivated playoff contenders.
Look to bet against Alabama and Georgia at halftime
There’s an angle I’m looking to capitalize on when Alabama and Georgia head into the locker room at halftime this weekend – I’ll be betting against both teams for the second-half line.
That’s because Alabama and Georgia both clinched spots in the SEC Championship Game with road wins in Week 10. Since both teams know they’ll be playing in Atlanta on December 1, I expect very simplified game plans for both programs the rest of the season.
Neither team will want to put too many new wrinkles or formations on tape for their opponent to study, which is why Alabama and Georgia will likely coast in the second half of their matchups if they build big first-half leads in Week 11.
That’s why I’m taking Mississippi State and Auburn on the second-half line on Saturday.
The potential letdown for Kentucky and LSU is built into the lines
The two top-10 teams that lost in Week 10 were Kentucky and LSU, who were both over touchdown underdogs at home.
A basic handicapping angle, especially in college football, is to bet against the team the week after their season-long dreams were crushed. This is something I covered earlier this season after Penn State and Washington picked up their second losses of the season.
Kentucky and LSU were one game away from clinching their respective divisions and a trip to the SEC Championship Game. While it was a surprise that Kentucky was in contention at all, LSU hoped to win the SEC West after notching several big wins early in their conference schedule.
Keeping that in mind, betting against Kentucky and LSU in Week 11 is the way to go. But to the surprise of no one, Vegas oddsmakers built that “letdown factor” into the respective game lines.
Kentucky is a four-point favorite at Tennessee while LSU is 12.5-point chalk at Arkansas. Those lines would be much more sizable if this wasn’t the “dream-crusher” matchup for both programs.
Is there a rare opportunity to buy low on Ohio State?
Ohio State is one of the premier programs in college football, usually resulting in inflated point spreads for their games because of their strong brand and on-field success.
But legitimate concerns have recently materialized in Columbus, as evident by a 29-point loss at Purdue and an underwhelming home win against Nebraska.
Despite trending down, it appears that Ohio State can reach the College Football Playoff if they win out. Before that happens, Ohio State (-3.5) needs to beat Michigan State on Saturday.
There might be some line value on the Buckeyes based on recent results. Michigan closed as a 7.5-point favorite in East Lansing just over two weeks ago, and now, Ohio State is laying just over a field goal in the same spot. While Michigan is a better team than Ohio State right now, they aren’t four points better.
Remember that Ohio State still has as much talent as any program in the country. They know they control their own fate, so don’t be surprised if they put together an impressive performance as 3.5-point favorites against Michigan State in Week 11.