Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the college football weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will feature a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Now that we have actual CFP Rankings being unveiled every Tuesday, I will pick games involving teams that are either undefeated or major conference teams with no more than one loss.
Last week, I reminded you that we have not had a season with four major conference undefeated teams in the CFP/BCS era, and that still rings true after Clemson lost to Notre Dame. However, the push for the College Football Playoff is still very active with 11 teams still having some reasonable path to the playoff that does not require much more than winning all of their remaining games. Games involving all of those teams are listed at the bottom
I said I would pick an old reliable over/under last week, and that hit. Unfortunately, however, that was all that hit. It's time to get back into positive territory, so here are this week's picks.
Week 11 picks
Indiana at No. 2 Ohio State
After a miserable day weather-wise in Evanston, Illinois, the Buckeyes will be happy to be at home and playing in better, if not warmer, conditions. The Ohio State offense will have some frustrations to take out, and there are few teams more willing to allow that than Indiana. The Hoosiers will not need to contribute much to push the total over. Pick: Over 58
Iowa State is the top-rated team in the country in relative total and second in relative scoring defense in games between FBS teams. The Cyclones are also outside the top 100 in relative offensive yards and points. The Cowboys are reeling, in no small part due to injuries, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Spencer Sanders missed the Pokes' previous game against Kansas, and may not be ready to go this week either. Points may be pretty tough to come by in this one. Pick: Under 48.5
Fresno State at UNLV
Fresno State QB Jake Haener, the preseason Mountain West Player of the Year, is back from injury and the Bulldogs are looking a lot more like the team many predicted to win the conference. Oddsmakers have not caught up yet, though. UNLV was competitive against San Diego State last week but got trounced in their three prior games by better opposition. Fresno State should roll. Pick: Fresno State -9.5
Upset of the week
North Texas at UAB
These are two teams going in opposite directions. The Mean Green are rolling, having won four of their last five. The only loss among those came at league-leader UTSA. North Texas scored over 40 points in each of those wins. The Blazers have lost three straight, although they took the Roadrunners to overtime their last time out. I like UNT to keep its momentum going as it builds to a possible place in the Conference USA Championship Game. Pick: North Texas +6, +192 ML
Other CFP candidates
- No. 1 Georgia (O/U 53) at Mississippi State Pick: Under 53
- Nebraska at No. 3 Michigan (O/U 49) Pick: Over 49
- No. 4 TCU (-7) at Texas Pick: TCU
- Missouri at No. 5 Tennessee (-20.5) Pick: Tennessee
- Washington at No. 6 Oregon (O/U 72.5) Pick: Over 72.5
- No. 7 LSU (-3) at Arkansas Pick: LSU
- Colorado at No. 8 USC (-34) Pick: Colorado
- Louisville at No. 10 Clemson (-7) Pick: Clemson
- Arizona at No. 12 UCLA (-10.5) at State Pick: UCLA
- No. 15 North Carolina (+3.5) at Wake Forest Pick: UNC
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 11, and which top-25 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.