If there were any upsides for Alabama fans in Week 10 they were two-fold. 1. The LSU game was so predictable you could literally script most of it days in advance, and 2. Because of that predictable bumbling, a Machiavellian sort of Gump could make a killing Saturday night: LSU +13.5 was almost free money. And, much as I hate to confess it, I am that Machiavellian Gump. It was most bitter hundred dollars I’ve ever made.
On to Week 11, and as always, we shall endeavor to give you a handy half-dozen games: One we like, one we love, an underdog to consider, one to steer clear of, a ginormous spread worth your time, and a mortal lock. Plus I will throw in bonus one: a toss-up game worth your time and money.
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Not With A 10’ Pole And Stolen Money
Arkansas +3.5 vs. LSU
Look, LSU is a better team but there are a few things wrong here.
1. Letdown game; Top 10 teams typically don’t rush the field against another Top 10 team without being kind of surprised it happened,
2. Arkansas will do what BOB was too f’n stupid to — run the ball with tempo, which is LSU’s kryptonite,
3. LSU traditionally plays poorly in Fayetteville for the Boot,
4. LSU is just 1-2 ATS away / neutral this year, and
5. BK is notorious good for one huge let-down a year. This is about as good a spot as any.
LSU is favored by the algorithm -8.44 this week. And I don’t trust that for a second, not against this team, in this game, in this spot. But it’s your money.
One We Love:
Penn State -10 vs. Maryland
Penn State’s offense gives up way too many INTs, hurting its defense a lot (see, second Half vs. OSU, Central Michigan, UM, etc.). But when they hang on to the ball, they’re nasty and especially so at home. Maryland has the worst home vs. away turnover differential in the Big 10 for a reason: they’re error prone outside of the bay...and always have been under Locks.
UMD leading WR Rakim Jarrett is probably out too, and production has been spotty elsewhere in the WR corps. Plus, who knows when Interception Machine Taulia Tagovailoa is going to make an appearance instead of Gambling-but-Accurate Taulia Tagovailoa.
All that seems like too much. This is a good pick here if Clifford’s trash ass could stop turning the ball over and giving teams life. Maryland will get some scores in, but likely not enough.
Take the Nitty Kitties -15.48
Underdog With Bite
We almost went with North Texas +5.5 at UAB here. Analytically, UNT is the better team. And if they hang on to the ball, they’ll win that game. Instead, we’re going with this one:
UConn +14 vs. Liberty
Hugh Freeze is 1-2 ATS on the road this year, and 4-10 in his Liberty career as a road favorite.
Contrast that with 2022 UConn, who is 8-2 ATS, and 4-1 at home as an underdog — with four S/U wins: three of them as an underdog. Arkansas game aside, Liberty is playing -3.5 PPG under expected road values. And the numbers simply like the Huskies to play it close and ugly, ground and pound — with precious little scoring by anyone.
It’s kind of close, but I may take this one honestly. UConn -12.13
Marginal Number We Like Anyway
Washington at Oregon -12.5
The Huskies defense is really, really bad. The Oregon offense is not. The only question is whether UW can put up enough puts on the road to cover the spread here. If they can, it’s borderline. And as close as this is, Oregon still may be the better call. They’re 7-1 ATS after the UGA game and have been devouring P12 teams.
Narrow, but I’d still take it. Oregon -12.81
Ginormous Spread Worth Your While
There are actually only three “ginormous” games this week. Two of those are within the analytical margin of error (UNL +30.5 at Michigan, Ohio State vs. Indiana +40). So, it’s this one by default. But, you know, it was the best of the bunch before we even cranked the data.
Colorado +34.5 at USC
You know our rule, and we are 7-2 with it: Always bet against the Buffs...even with this stinky USC defense — and lawd is it stinky — it’s expected to be a romp.
One We Like:
USCe +8 at Florida
Gata has a very good running game; USCe has a very poor run defense — and the pass D ain’t much better. How bad is it? Probably enough to give AR15 some decent Combine tap.
That, and usually inspired home play in BHG Stadium, matter a bunch. The only way forward for the ‘Cocks here is against UF’s subpar secondary. But, man, have you actually seen Spencer Rattler throw in live SEC games?
Rattler is woeful. Go’ Gata -13.22
I had to really scrape the barrel this week. There were about a dozen good games, a few nice tossups, and a trio of underdogs. But this one seems like it was probably the closest to “sure thing,” and I don’t know why.
San Jose State -3 at San Diego State
NoCal vs. SoCal, in this curious game of two outstanding defenses with teams who oddly perform better on the road than at home. The difference is, SJSU has something resembling an offense, and is a bit better all the way around on both sides of the ball.
Take the Spartans here by about a touchdown. SJSU -6.64
I actually took Auburn -1.5 vs. Texas A&M. That was...
This poll is closed
Shrewd. Jimbo has lost this team and Auburn is actually a bit better than their record
Dumb as hell. Aggie still has a huge talent advantage, and Auburn can’t hang on to the ball.
I always knew you were a stealth Barn lover
Want some more of these? I crank the data every week, for every single game over at my companion site: (Almost) Giving Away Money. Check it out, and prosper.