The regular season is drawing closer to a close and the big games keep on coming.
We have three Top 15 matchups on Saturday with both No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP Poll, Georgia and Michigan, taking on top 10 foes. Further, Washington will face a stiff test against visiting Utah. We have picks against the spread for every Top 25 in action this week in what could be the springboard for a ton of postseason discussion.
Here are all my picks for Week 11, and I recommend betting these at Caesars Sportsbook, which matches all new users' first bet up to $1,000 when they follow the link below! That's all you have to do!
Full season record: 84-87-4
No. 10 Ole Miss vs. No. 1 Gerogia Prediction and Pick
PICK: Georgia -11
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 9 Penn State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Michigan -4
I've been banging the Michigan is the best team in the country drum all season long. The team has arguably the best quarterback in the country this season at the helm and will face a worse than the numbers indicate secondary in PSU that has failed in its few tests this season.
Meanwhile, the PSU offense isn't equipped to challenge the Wolverines' defense. To take down a team that is top 10 in success rate on both sides of the ball, you need to hit explosive plays and generate turnovers. While the Nittany Lions are second in the nation in turnovers gained (20), the team has one of the lowest explosive play rates in the country.
Some may point to Michigan not playing a formidable opponent as a reason to knock them, but I believe it's generating value on Saturday's point spread. I can't trust Penn State to sustain drives against Michigan's sturdy defense where I believe McCarthy can stretch the field vertically to generate separation and another convincing win that will jumpstart his November Heisman campaign.
I envision Michigan wins 27-13.
Michigan State vs. No. 3 Ohio State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Michigan State +31
Miami (Florida) vs. No. 4 Florida State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Florida State -14.5
No. 13 Utah vs. No. 5 Washington Prediction and Pick
PICK: Utah +9.5
The key in this game will be if Utah can keep Washington's offense off the field. While the Utes went toe-to-toe with USC in a high-scoring game, I do hold the Huskies' defense in a slightly higher regard.
With that being said, this is still a poor defense.
The Huskies are 112th in defensive success rate and particularly bad at stopping the run, 117th in EPA/Rush, and 124th in rushing success rate allowed. If the Utes can stay ahead of schedule with Barnes under center and a hopefully healthy Ja'Quinden Jackson, who is fresh off an 111-yard performance despite leaving the game early, the team may be able to limit Washington's possessions.
Utah's secondary grades out as a top-10 defense in terms of EPA/Play, but this is arguably the best passing offense in the country, so it's going to be difficult to expect a lockdown effort. With that being said, the Utes do as good of a job as any team in the PAC-12 at getting to the passer, ranking 12th in total sacks and the best third-down defense in the country (25%).
The Utes can stay competitive on the margins with its ability to generate pressure, get off the field on third down, and lock down in the red zone (57%). While I won't call for the outright upset, I believe the team is going to be able to keep up by playing the game on its terms and limiting Washington's offense from seeing the field too often.
USC vs. No. 6 Oregon Prediction and Pick
PICK: USC +15
No. 7 Texas vs. TCU Prediction and Pick
PICK: TCU +10
No. 8 Alabama vs. Kentucky Prediction and Pick
PICK: Alabama -10
Kentucky's Devin Leary had been playing better over the last few weeks but appeared to reaggravate his shoulder injury, among some other bumps and bruises in the team's win at Mississippi State last week.
While some may want to fade the Crimson Tide off of a strong performance by beating LSU and securing control of the SEC West, I believe that the Wildcats' ineffective offense is going to put the team in a negative game script and Leary won't be able to pass the team back into this one.
Kentucky's best form of offense this season has been running back Ray Davis, who anchors a unit that is top 40 in EPA/Rush, but the Crimson Tide are top 20 in defensive success rate against the run and can pull away and cover.
Virginia vs. No. 11 Louisville Prediction and Pick
PICK: Louisville -20
Stanford vs. No. 12 Oregon State Prediction and Pick
PICK: Stanford +21
No. 14 Tennessee vs. No. 16 Missouri Prediction and Pick
PICK: Missouri +1
The Tigers put up a valiant effort against Georgia, covering the three-possession spread with ease and testing the Bulldogs secondary. However, Georgia was able to generate enough explosive passes to keep the Tigers at bay.
The team will look to continue its strong campaign with a home game against Tennessee. While star wide receiver Luther Burden is questionable for this game, I don't trust Tennessee's offense to travel to Columbia and test the Mizzou secondary.
Joe Milton continues to struggle on deep passes this season, completing only 38% of his passes of more than 10 yards, which is going to put pressure on Jaylen Wright and the Vols run game (which has been excellent) to show up yet again. The Mizzou rush defense is top 40 in yards per carry and 19th in defensive line yards, so the Vols will need to outduel one of the better rush defense groups in the nation.
I'm getting the better team at home to win outright? Let's hope Burden is healthy enough to go and we can cash another ticket fading this Tennessee team on the road.
West Virginia vs. No. 17 Oklahoma Prediction and Pick
PICK: West Virginia +13.5
Oklahoma's fall from grace, but somewhat expected, as the team thrived on an unsustainable turnover margin and explosive plays from Dillon Gabriel. Now, the team's down-to-down struggles are coming to light and the team has dropped two straight and failed to cover three in a row.
I think they fail to cover yet again at home against a West Virginia team that thrives as an underdog. The team is a run-first offense that is right around 100th in plays per minute. The team will look to slow this game down and keep the OU offense off the field. With fewer possessions, the underdog becomes that much more valuable.
The WVU defense has been rock solid this year, top 50 in terms of both success rate and EPA/Play, so the team does a good job of avoiding catastrophic big plays, which has been what Oklahoma has thrived on all season long. The OU run game continues to be a concern, 63rd in yards per carry and outside the top 100 in explosive rush rate.
I'll take the running dog Mountaineers to continue its success in this spot. The only time it didn't cover as an underdog this season (3-1 overall) was when James Franklin and Penn State punched in a garbage time score on the final play of the game.
Florida vs. No. 18 LSU Prediction and Pick
PICK: LSU -13.5
Texas Tech vs. No. 19 Kansas Prediction and Pick
PICK: Texas Tech +4
Tulsa vs. No. 20 Tulane Prediction and Pick
PICK: Tulane -23
UConn vs. No. 21 James Madison Prediction and Pick
PICK: James Madison -24.5
No. 23 Arizona vs. Colorado Prediction and Pick
PICK: Arizona -10.5
One of the best stories in college football this season has been the play of Arizona, who is a few bounces away from being undefeated actually, losing two games in overtime and another by a touchdown to Washington.
The team is starting freshman Noah Fifita, who is far more stable than prior quarterback Jayden de Laura. While Fifita isn't as explosive and pushing the ball down the field, he has this offense operating at a high level still. Over the balance of the year, the team is fifth in success rate and the freshman is completing 75% of his passes with 14 touchdowns to four interceptions.
He'll face a Colorado defense that is outside the top 110 in terms of yards per play and success rate on the year. The Buffs are going to struggle to get stops, but the offense has become a big concern. Deion Sanders made a head-scratching change at offensive coordinator last week, demoting Sean Lewis and his up-tempo scheme with Pat Shurmur.
Shedeur Sanders has been the most sacked quarterback in college football this season, possibly sparking the change, but it won't get easier this week against Arizona, who has 23 sacks on the year, which is 33rd in the country.
I expect Arizona to pull away early and Colorado cover yet again.
Duke vs. No. 24 North Carolina Prediction and Pick
PICK: North Carolina -14
Old Dominion vs. No. 25 Liberty Prediction and Pick
PICK: Liberty -13.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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