2017 College Football Week 11 Preview

 

The final 3 weeks of the 2017-2018 College Football Regular Season could be amazingly wild. There are a number of teams that haven’t yet been eliminated from College Football Playoff contention. One of those teams, 8th ranked Wisconsin, heads to Stanford on Friday night to battle the Stanford Cardinal. A lot must go right for Washington to sniff the CFP.

There are 3 games this Saturday on Nov. 11 that could determine who takes a step further into the College Football Playoff. 2 Georgia heads to 10 Auburn. 9 TCU battles 7 Oklahoma in Norman. 5 Notre Dame travels to Miami to battle the 6th ranked Hurricanes.

FYI – The rankings I use for my College Football Week Previews are from the Coaches Poll. Check out the top college football action for Week 11!

2017 College Football Week 11 Preview

Friday, Nov. 10

8 Washington -7 at Stanford +7

Washington has gone down from the opening line of -7 to -5.5. At -5.5, 58% of college football handicappers believe in the Huskies. That leaves 42% to back Stanford at 5.5. Will the line rise back up to Washington -7? It could.

Once all the handicapping is done, it’s difficult to see Washington winning this game by less than 10 points. Usually, Stanford is a tough out at home. It shouldn’t matter in this case. Washington has the best defense in college football based on yards allowed per game. Opponents average 242.1 yards per versus the Huskies’ D.

Opponents average 11.1 points per game versus Washington’s defense. That ranks 2nd in college football. I believe the Huskies rout the Cardinal in this Friday matchup. I believe so much in Washington that they’re a best pick.

Best Pick:  Washington -7

Saturday, Nov. 11

15 Oklahoma State -6.5 at 23 Iowa State +6.5

Iowa State pushed as a +4 road dog in their 16 to 20 loss to West Virginia in Week 10. The Cyclones played a marvelous game. They just couldn’t get that final TD to beat the Mountaineers. One thing that impressed me is how Iowa State’s defense held West Virginia to only 20 points.

Iowa State allows 18.9 points and 367.1 total yards per game. That’s much better than what Oklahoma State’s defense allows on average. The Cowboys’ D allows a ridiculous 405.6 yards and over 28 points per game.

Oklahoma State scores a lot of points, though. So, then, what wins out on Saturday? Will Oklahoma State’s offense break down Iowa State’s defense? It will, but it won’t be enough. The Cowboys gave up 62 points to the Oklahoma Sooners in Week 10’s loss. Now, Oklahoma State faces a team with a much better defense, one that can control the Cowboys’ offense.

I like Iowa State on the money line.

Pick:  Iowa State +6.5

24 NC State -3 at Boston College +3

69% of college football handicappers are all over NC State at -3. That makes no sense to me. Up until 2 weeks ago, NC State had looked like one of the better teams in the ACC. Then, NC State battled Notre Dame on the road and lost 14 to 35. This past Saturday in College Football Week 10, NC State lost 31 to 38 to Clemson.

Boston College has been on a tear. The Eagles have won 4 out of their last 5 straight up. They’ve gone 6 and 0 against the spread in their last 6. BC’s defense has become downright scary good. I think the Eagles win it straight up.

Pick:  Boston College +3

16 Michigan State +14.5 at 11 Ohio State -14.5

I know that Michigan State can fail miserably at times. The 18 to 38 home loss to Notre Dame earlier in the season was downright pathetic. But, I can’t help but feel that Ohio State’s 23 to 55 loss to Iowa in Week 10 was a negative turning point for the Buckeyes.

How can coach Urban Meyer possibly turn around Ohio State’s sinking ship? I don’t believe he can. The trends also point to a Michigan State win against the spread. The underdog is 6 and 0 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two. The road team is 7 and 2 ATS in the last 9 meetings between these 2.

Ohio State is a terrible 1 and 4 ATS in 5 home games this season. Michigan State all the way in another best pick.

Best Pick: Michigan State 

Rutgers +31 at 13 Penn State -31

Rutgers is 7 and 2 against the spread this season. However, the Scarlet Knights have covered spreads versus Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, and Maryland. None of those teams are nearly as talented as the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Penn State had Ohio State on the ropes in Week 9. In Week 10, the Lions took a 3-point lead into the 4th quarter versus the Michigan State Spartans. Penn State lost both games. They’re angry and frustrated. Also, they’re 6-2-1 against the spread this season. I think the Lions easily cover the spread versus Rutgers on Saturday.

Pick: Penn State -31 

Arkansas +17.5 at 25 LSU -17.5

Sure, LSU lost 10 to 24 in their rivalry game versus the Alabama Crimson Tide this past Saturday. LSU’s real rival is Arkansas, though. The Tigers and Razorbacks battle every season for the Golden Boot. Saturday’s game is the 63rd time the rivals have met.

This game means something to LSU. LSU is a good football team while Arkansas certainly isn’t. I think the Tigers romp over the Razorbacks on Nov. 11.

Pick: LSU -17.5

Connecticut +37 at 12 UCF -37

Central Florida is undefeated. They’re also going to beat Connecticut on Saturday to remain undefeated. With that being written, I can’t give Connecticut 37 points. I just can’t. First, UCF is 0-2-1 against the spread in their last 3 games. Second, Connecticut has gone 3 and 1 against the spread in their last 4 games.

UCF could run out to a 42 points lead, lay off, and allow Connecticut to do just enough to beat the Knights against the spread. That’s exactly what I believe happens in this game.

Pick: Connecticut +37

17 Virginia Tech -3 at Georgia Tech +3

Virginia Tech is a decent football team. However, outside of the win against West Virginia, there’s not a lot to talk about. What I mean is that most of Virginia Tech’s wins have come versus bad teams like Duke, Delaware, and East Carolina. Just playing East Carolina and Delaware in the same season means that you’re probably not prepared to battle a team like Georgia Tech on the road.

The Yellow Jackets are 4 and 4. G-Tech is 6 and 1 against the spread. They’re 4 and 0 against the spread in home games. I think Georgia Tech beats Virginia Tech straight up.

Pick: Georgia Tech +3 

Iowa +12.5 at 3 Wisconsin -12.5

Iowa pulled off the shocking 55 to 23 upset over Ohio State in College Football Week 10. I don’t believe they come close to that sort of upset in Week 11. Some might not know this, but Wisconsin’s defense is one of the best in college football. The Badgers allow 13.3 points per game. Iowa should also play underwhelmingly after the upset win over the Buckeyes.

Badgers -12.5 over the Hawkeyes is a best pick.

Best Pick:  Wisconsin -12.5

Florida State +16 at 4 Clemson -16

Usually, I’d be all over Florida State at +16. The Seminoles used to be a team that never gave up. They used to be a squad that reached for the stars versus opponents that were better than they are. That Florida State team, the one with heart, doesn’t exist in the 2017-2018 College Football Season.

Clemson should rout the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday. FSU has lost 2 out of their last 4. The Seminoles are 2 and 8 against the spread in the last 10 meetings between these two in Clemson. This should be one of those, “Ouch! That looked like it hurt!” games.

Best Pick:  Clemson -16

2 Georgia -2.5 at 10 Auburn +2.5

Wow. 72% of college football handicappers are all over the Georgia Bulldogs at -2.5 versus the Auburn Tigers. I know that Georgia is a good team. Auburn isn’t a bad team, though. The Bulldogs are ranked first on the College Football Playoff Rankings.

I think they end up ranked fourth after they lose straight up to Auburn, probably by 1 to 3 points, on Saturday. Auburn should beat Georgia straight at up at home.

Pick:  Auburn +2.5 

14 USC -12.5 at Colorado

At 6 and 1 in the conference, USC could take another step towards nailing down a spot in the Pac 12 Championship should they beat Colorado on Nov. 11. I do believe that USC wins. I can’t back the Trojans against the spread, though. The Trojans are giving up way too many points to a Colorado team that beat California 44 to 28 in their last home game. I’ll side with the Buffaloes.

Pick:  Colorado +12.5

1 Alabama -14 at 18 Mississippi State +14

Alabama has a lot of injuries on defense. The Crimson Tide are only 4 and 5 against the spread as it is. Mississippi State is 4 and 1 against the spread in their 5 home games this season. I think the Bulldogs keep the game closer than 14 points even though I believe Alabama wins, and is never in any danger at any point of losing.

That’s a long way of writing Alabama should secure a controlled 10 to 13 point win over Mississippi State in this game.

Pick: Mississippi State +14

9 Texas Christian +7 at 7 Oklahoma -7

My final best pick for College Football Week 11 occurs in the TCU at Oklahoma game. Oklahoma can score points, no doubt. But, the Sooners have a terrible defense. Even though Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State in Week 10, they gave up 52 points to the Cowboys. TCU allows 13.9 points per game on average. If Oklahoma scores over 30, TCU could counter with 38, or 42.

I think the Horned Frogs take it because their defense is way better than Oklahoma’s.

 Best Pick:  TCU +7

5 Notre Dame -3 at 6 Miami +3

Week 11’s top game has Notre Dame traveling to Miami to battle the Hurricanes. Miami is undefeated. Notre Dame is ranked third in the CFP Rankings. If Miami can upset Notre Dame, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to keep the Canes out of the Top 4.

Who do I like against the spread? Oh, man, I took the better part of an hour handicapping this one. I love Notre Dame. However, I feel that Miami is just a different team when something’s at stake. The Canes have lost against the spread to Georgia Tech, Syracuse, and UNC. They’ve beaten Florida State and Virginia Tech both straight up and against the spread.

I’m siding with the Miami Hurricanes. I believe they beat Notre Dame straight up on Nov. 11. The Canes step it up versus their toughest opponents. Notre Dame is the best team Miami has played this season.

 Pick: Miami +3