Before placing your Week 11 College Football picks, read this crucial report which highlights dangerous underdogs in the betting odds.
Big 12 Conference Showdown in Fort Worth on Saturday
#9 Kansas State at #6 TCU
If you were worried there wouldn’t be any good games to place your College Football pick on this Saturday, well, you can stop as there are at least four great ones scheduled for Saturday night alone, including the two featured and handicapped here in this space along with a Big Ten showdown between (AP) #7 Michigan State and #13 Ohio State in East Lansing (ABC) and an SEC West clash between #4 Alabama and #14 LSU in Baton Rouge (CBS). Oh my. All four of these games will have national championship race implications with any potential losers being dealt a serious blow in any title hopes with a loss this Saturday night.
Here, oddsmakers have made host and (AP) #6 TCU (7-1 SU, 7-1 ATS) healthy 6-point Favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) over guests and #9 Kansas State (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) which can keep hold of first place in the Big 12 with the upset here over the Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. Hint at movement toward the Underdog may be seen (Monday evening) where the College Football odds have moved to TCU -4½ points at Pinnacle, a sports book often to be first with any early line movement. The Money Line (Winner) odds have hosts TCU -207 with the Wildcats +187 (Pinnacle). Even if you don’t bet on this game, make it a point to watch this...and expect as much purple as a Prince concert.
Kansas State (5-0 in Big 12) has already knocked off #11 Oklahoma at Home in Norman when the Sooners were ranked near the top and a loss to #5 Auburn is enough to keep the Wildcats hungry here against the Horned Frogs. And with the talented troika of QB Jake Waters (1,878 yards, 11 TDs), RB Charles Jones (92 rushes, 431 yards, 11 TDs) and WR Tyler Lockett (49 receptions, 682 yards, 5 TDs, 23 career TDs), Kansas State can hurt you with the run or the pass and the Wildcats are +6 in TO Margin—but that stat and reality is immediately muted when you notice that TCU is #1 with a +15, or a +1.888 average turnover margin per game, a hallmark of a Gary Patterson-coached (85-77-1 ATS) team.
But if it’s a close game, and it should be throughout as a back-and-forth chess match should evolve in a game with so much meaning and so much on-field talent, the 6 points could loom very large here and like TCU, the Wildcats will know heading in that a loss more than likely bounces them from the national title race. So, in essence, this is a playoff game of sorts.
On Trend Avenue, Kansas State is 3-1 ATS L4 vs. TCU but it’s the Wildcats mind-boggling 13-1 ATS L14 record as a Road Underdog which tips the scales and the betting confidence level. Kansas State is also 7-3 SU L10 in that role as a Road Underdog, so the +187 Money Line wager is worth a gander in one of the biggest games in both the Big 12 and the country this season—and one very good reason to have at least two TVs (or devices) fired up for prime time this Saturday night.
Free College Football Pick: Kansas State +6
Oregon Will Be Up Against It in the Beehive State
#5 Oregon at #20 Utah
Utah lost in OT at Arizona State last week and will be in the mood to take it out on someone and who’s in town but #5 Oregon? What a perfect spot to bet on the Utes and take the 9½ points in a game they could win. What a way to cap off a great night of NCAAF College Football, with this Pac-12 matchup between conference relative-new kids and host #20 Utah (6-2 SU, 7-1 ATS) against perennial powerhouse #5 Oregon (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS) on the FieldTurf of Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City where it is forecast to be partly Cloudy and 49° on Saturday night. So, just perfect weather for college football.
Oddsmakers have made visiting Oregon huge 9½-point Favorites over Utah here (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), and that line seems a couple of points off. And when a team getting so many points can even potentially win a game like this, then recommending taking the Underdog and the points comes naturally. And who knows where the line goes from here on out (it’s Monday night)—and there actually is a 10 out there right now (Station Casinos)—but maybe buying that extra ½ point to put your bet on the key number of (+) 10, and taking Utah +10 is a nice way to start this game although respect does have to be paid to this Ducks team which gets up and down the field like no other when they have the football. The Money Line (Winner) odds market here has just opened, so there are limited numbers, but Oregon is -365 (Pinnacle) with Underdog and Home team Utah priced at an enticing +310.
Besides the obvious reasons to like coach Kyle Whittingham (62-52-3 ATS) and the Utes here, it’s easy to like Utah because of all of the little things it consistently does right on a football field, much like both Kansas State and TCU above. The Utes always excel on Special Teams and their #3 national ranking in FGs Made Per Game (2.4), #4 ranking in Gross Punt yards and +8 TO margin are just some usually unseen numbers indicative of how this team beats opponents and gains field advantage by an incredible kicking game and mental discipline. The defense is sound too, allowing 22.3 ppg and with QB Travis Wilson, RB Devotae Booker (990 yards) and WRs Dres Anderson and Kenneth Scott, the offense (and special teams) should be able to put up around 33+ points against Oregon, meaning the Ducks, with QB Marcus Mariota, will probably have to score at least 44 to get over the point spread.
And with the Utes whole mantra and game-plan in practice all week likely to be to stop the mighty Oregon offense, taking a talented team that’s incredible on Special Teams at Home with 9½ or 10 points and has that defensive mantra in mind is just to hard to resist. And remember that the Utes would love nothing more than to knock Oregon out of the national championship race and that there is just one real professional sports team in the state (the NBA’s Utah Jazz) and that a game like this is huge for the state, the city and the Utah fans and is easily the biggest game in the Beehive State this calendar year. The state of Utah will be rocking—(well, BYU fans and Provo will probably be pulling for Oregon)—and the majority of the national television audience will likely be pulling for the Home Underdogs, the Utes, as will fans of teams from other schools still in the national championship race.
Trend-wise, Utah is 3-1 ATS L4 against Oregon, although these two haven’t played much, though they will more now with the Utes joining the Pac-12. Last year when these two met in Eugene, the Ducks defeated Utah, 44-21 as massive 28½-point Favorites, failing to cover the huge, over-inflated point spread. This time around, expect a much more competitive game with Utah (4-1 ATS L5 as Home Underdog) again serving notice that it not only is a force to be reckoned with in this Pac-12 Conference, but a school that plans to fight to be a champion like the more recognizable names in the league. Utah’s football program served notice to the world when it beat Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl and an upset here over #5 Oregon on Saturday night in the Salt Lake Valley would be a friendly reminder that this is a team to remember...and one never to give double-digits to at Home in the friendly confines of Salt Lake City.
Free College Football Pick: Utah +9½ at The Greek