Week 11 was my week to “get right.” Ended up 5-2 on the week, and my overall season record has now improved to 40-34-2 on the Tuesday picks show. This week, I didn’t find an edge in a lot of the games, so it’s a smaller card than usual, but I do feel good about these games. My best college football picks for the week continue to combine trends and stats, so we can hopefully cash even more bets in week 12.
Washington State Cougars vs. Stanford Cardinal
Saturday, November 21, 2020 – 10:30 PM ET at Stanford Stadium
There really isn’t a world in which Stanford should be favored over any team in the Pac 12 until they show they’re capable of playing with anyone. Yes, they were able to surprise Oregon with a few things in the first game for both teams, but an outmanned Colorado team handled them in their own stadium last week.
Stanford’s defense is their weak point, and it’s the entire defense, not just one part. Regarding success rate allowed, the Cardinal defense is ranked #119. In explosiveness allowed, they are #109. Washington State’s offense is top 25 in both of those metrics.
Don’t get me wrong - Washington St is not a juggernaut on defense either, but the Stanford offense is nothing to write home about. The advantage absolutely lies with Coach Nick Rolovich’s Run-and-Shoot offense in Pullman, and I think the Cougars will not only cover the +2.5, but win the game outright.
AGAINST THE SPREAD
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, November 21, 2020, 3:30 PM ET at Jack Trice Stadium
There’s no statistics out there that point to Kansas St being the play. Iowa St opened as a 7 point favorite, and it was immediately bet up to 11 and has sat there most of the week. Iowa St is the play in basically every advanced metric (success rate, explosive rate, etc), so it makes sense.
However, Kansas St is 4-1 ATS & SU in their last 5 against Iowa State, and are also 8-2 ATS in their last 10 as a double digit underdog, including 6-0 in the last 6. When it doesn’t make any sense, there is something to the coaching aspect, and Kansas St is certainly one of the best coached teams in the country.
If you’re looking for a little statistical security to make you feel better about siding with the Wildcats, you can also look at the pts per play for/against metric, which, on average, would have Iowa St favored -1.26 by a score of 29.32 to 28.05. I’m siding with the Wildcats to find a way to keep this one close.
UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon Ducks
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 3 PM ET at Autzen Stadium
UCLA’s Sunday game against Cal helped them feel significantly better about themselves, and it helped their numbers out tremendously. However, I know what I’ve watched with my own eyeballs, and Oregon is a WAY better team than UCLA.
Offensively and defensively, UCLA's lines are not going to be able to hold up against the Ducks in this game. For everything that we enjoyed last week out of UCLA’s explosive plays against Cal on short notice, Oregon will be much better prepared to deal with those.
UCLA’s defense is also going to have issues, as Oregon ranks top 10 in all 6 major offensive efficiency metrics under new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. The Ducks are too much right here and I expect them to win this one handily.
San Jose State Spartans vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 7:30 PM ET at Bulldog Stadium
This line has completely flipped on this one, as Fresno opened as 2.5 pt favorite at home, and now the Spartans are a road favorite. I believe that’s the correct line of thinking.
While Fresno has looked much improved in their last 3 games after an opening game loss, the wins have come against 3 of the worst teams in the MWC. Meanwhile, SJSU is sitting at 4-0 on the young season with wins over Air Force and San Diego State.
San Jose State has a slight talent advantage. They were able to get the win last season at home, and have won 3 of the last 5 at Fresno State. I think San Jose St is the better overall team, and I’m going to side with the Spartans to continue their magical 4-0 ATS run to start this season.
NCAAF Pick: San Jose St. -2.5 at -108 with Heritage Sports
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 7:30 PM ET at Ryan Field
This game SCREAMS old school Big Ten slugfest. While Wisconsin has looked dominant in their first 2 games, they came 4 weeks apart, and were complete destructions of really bad football teams. Northwestern, on the other hand, has played 4 games against teams that have at least been competent.
So while Wisconsin’s offense looked amazing against Illinois and Michigan, those 2 teams are 1-3 each, and they have the #91 and #92 scoring defenses in the country in pts per game average. Northwestern is #7.
The NU offense isn’t the best. They’re ok. But Wisconsin’s defense is #1 in the country in that same stat we just talked about - pts per game allowed. This screams 17-13, which is WAY under the total on the top sportsbooks.