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College Football Picks Week 11
Little Brother Coming Up Big
Mockingly referred to as Little Brother by their rivals at Michigan, the Michigan State Spartans are instead the Michigan team coming up big in the Big Ten this season, and not the more vaunted Wolverines. And after Michigan State's upset of Penn State, Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio has as many wins over teams ranked in the top seven in the last week as Michigan's Jim Harbaugh has for his entire college coaching career.
The Spartans have already toppled Michigan and Penn State this season but can they turn a triple play and knock off the Buckeyes? Ohio State will be ornery after getting stomped 55-24 by Iowa but there's also got to be plenty of doubt regarding the Buckeyes when you look at their record against good teams this season.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin continues to fly under the radar in the Big Ten, rolling along unbeaten after a solid rout of Indiana. They will face an Iowa team flying high after swatting the Buckeyes. Miami (Fla.) also continues to confound the critics who expect they will fall from the unbeaten ranks every week. The latest storm facing the Hurricanes comes this week in the form of Notre Dame.
The picks for this week's top NCAA football games, both straight up and against the spread, with odds provided by Bovada.lv.
*Week 10 Record: 6-4 straight up, 2-7-1 against the spread
Winner Leads Big Ten East
Michigan State (+425) at Ohio State (-650) - Is Ohio State for real, or are the Buckeyes merely a mirage of greatness? Certainly, their resume raises some concerning questions. They were crushed 31-16 by Oklahoma and last week, hammered 55-24 by Iowa. The Buckeyes rallied desperately to squeak past Penn State, and the Spartans also handled the Nittany Lions last week. It might be too much to ask Michigan State to win at Columbus but it's also too much to ask the Buckeyes to cover the spread.
Pick: Michigan State (+14.5), under (55)
Badgers Pierce Hawkeyes
Iowa (+350) at Wisconsin (-500) - Ike was in the White House the last time the No. 20 Hawkeyes won back to back games against top 10 teams. Iowa QB Nate Stanley fired five touchdown passes in the win over Ohio State and has 22 TDs and just four interceptions on his card this season. But 9-0 No. 8 Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook's passing efficiency rating of 158,3 is ranked 12th in the nation and RB Jonathan Taylor has rushed for 1,368 yards and a 7.2 yards per carry average.
Pick: Iowa (+11.5), over (46)
Irish Will Run Away from Hurricanes
Notre Dame (-160) at Miami (+140) - The winner of this one stays in the argument for a college football playoff berth. Other than their one-point loss to Georgia, the 8-1 No. 3-ranked Fighting Irish have looked the part of a contender, with solid all-around QB play from Brandon Wimbush. Notre Dame's fifth-ranked rushing attack (325.8 yards per game) will spell the difference. Malik Rosier, QB for No. 7 Miami, will turn the ball over one too many times and the 8-0 Hurricanes will tumble from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Pick: Notre Dame (-3.5), under (57)
Tigers Control Own Destiny
Georgia (-150) at Auburn (+130) - Auburn has looked like a much better football team in recent games, and that might give you pause to play the upset in this contest. But the fact of the matter is whenever the No. 10 Tigers (7-2) have run up against a stiff defense like the one the No. 1 unbeaten 9-0 Bulldogs send out there, it's been no contest. Georgia has won nine of 11 from Auburn. One of those Auburn wins was fashioned by Heisman winner Cam Newton and the other via a Hail Mary pass in 2013.
Pick: Georgia (-3), over (47)
Hey Bulldogs - Look Out
Alabama (-650) at Mississippi State (+425) - No. 16 Mississippi State is a solid 7-2 and this may be the Bulldogs' best shot to take down No. 2 Alabama for the first time since 2007. But Mississippi State coach Don Mullen is 0-8 against the Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs rush for 259 yards a game but 9-0 Alabama allows just 76 yards per game on the ground and Mississippi State shows no pass atack to speak of. When Georgia and Auburn shut down the Bulldogs' run attack the result was as predictable as this week's outcome.
Pick: Alabama (-14.5), under (51)
Love Won't Conquer Huskies
Washington (-230) at Stanford (+190) - The 8-1, ninth-ranked Huskies suit up one of the best run defenses in the NCAA, and that's not good news at all for the Cardinal, whose star running back Bryce Love continues to be plagued by a nagging ankle injury. He was limited to 16 carries and 69 yards last week against Washington State. Love is the best running back the Huskies have faced but the Huskies are the best run defenders that Love has faced. Washington remains in the hunt to return to the college football playoff.
Pick: Washington (-6), over (45)
Playoff Spot On The Line
TCU (+205) at Oklahoma (-245) - The Oklahoma and Oklahoma State basketball teams will be hard-pressed to replicate last week's 62-52 Sooner triumph. Other than their stumble against Iowa State, the 8-1 No. 5 Sooners have answered every question posed to them this season. Likewise, No. 6 TCU is 8-1 with a sole loss to Iowa State. The loser says goodbye to the playoffs. It's the best defense in the Big 12 (TCU) versus the best offense in the nation. Oklahoma is averging over 600 yards a game.
Pick: Oklahoma (-6), under (63)
Don't Count On Another Cyclone Strike
Oklahoma State (-250) at Iowa State (+210) - It isn't often that a team can put 52 points on the board and still lose by 10 but that's what happened last week to the Cowboys. Already with upset wins over Oklahoma and TCU under their belt, the No. 20 Cyclones (6-3) will look to add another feather to their cap in the form of the 7-2 Cowboys, and you can make an argument that they are catching No. 15 Oklahoma State at a moment when the Cowboys are ripe for the picking. But the Mason Rudolph-James Washington show will prove too potent for Iowa State.
Pick: Oklahoma State (-7), over (62)
Gamecocks Feast On Gators
Florida (+235) at South Carolina (-275) - The Gamecocks opened as nine-point favorites in this one, as the Gators look like a train wreck the day after - nothing but carnage and smoldering wreckage to see here. Florida fired head coach Jim McElwain after a 42-7 loss to Georgia but under interim coach Randy Shannon they were drubbed 45-16 by Missouri, the Gators' fourth straight loss to fall to 3-5. If you are looking for the lock of the week, this is it.
Pick: South Carolina (-7.5), over (45)
Tigers Pounce On Wounded Prey
Florida State (+500) at Clemson (-800) - This used to be the biggest game of the season in the ACC and it just might still be one of the biggest for Clemson. At 8-1, the defending NCAA champion Tigers are clinging to the fourth and final spot in the playoff tournament, so they can ill-afford to stumble against a 3-5 Seminoles team that is clearly struggling. Look for Clemson to push all game long to run up a big score and keep themselves positioned for bigger things.
Pick: Clemson (-16), over (46)
NCAA Football Top 10 Teams This Week
Current odds (Bovada) to win the college football championship listed after team record.
- (1) Georgia (9-0) +400 - Have allowed 14 points or fewer in six games
- (2) Alabama (9-0) -140 - Tide's 1980 title run was derailed by loss to Mississippi State
- (3) Notre Dame (8-1) +700 - Running game should be difference maker against Miami
- (4) Clemson (8-1) +700 - Four wins over top 25 teams this season
- (5) Oklahoma (7-1) +1400 - Baker Mayfield now Heisman Trophy favorite
- (8) TCU (7-1) +4000 - Like Oklahoma, lone loss was to Iowa State
- (10) Miami (FL) (8-0) +1600 - If they beat Notre Dame, would be in playoff argument
- (9) Wisconsin (9-0) +1600 - Saturday's Iowa game first this season against ranked opponent
- (-) Washington (8-1) +2800 - Huskies just keep crushing everybody
- (-) Auburn (7-2) +4000 - Still face both Georgia and Alabama
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