It’s November! Midweek #MACtion is taking the world by storm and who knows what’s going to happen with the big cheating scandal? Regardless, three weeks remain, the CFP Rankings are out and a few teams have already clinched Conference Championship appearances.
NCAAF Week 11 Best Bets
We haven’t been as regular as we should but let’s just say last week was a very hectic one in the Crabtree household. Due to that, we just Xeeted out the picks and, overall, it was very nice.
Utah covered big, Mizzou kept it close, Cincinnati nearly got the win, and Washington got the big win. Notre Dame, unfortunately, helped nobody.
Overall: 31-23 (4-1 last week)
Michigan @ Penn State (+4.5)
The signs are there and Michigan is all over it. These two premier-ish programs have only faced off 26 times with Michigan owning a 16-10 mark while winning each of the last two*. These two programs have been two of the top three in the Big Ten over the past dozen seasons or so and it’s no different this year.
The Wolverines travel to Happy Valley after easily winning each of their first nine games against less-than-stellar competition. This will be the first time they’ll lace up against a team with a pulse this year, as evidenced by their 111th-ranked Strength of Schedule (based on ESPN). That mark is by far the weakest among all Power 5 programs. Their defense has been great, of course. They’ve stepped up at every venture and have allowed the fewest points in the nation (6.7 points allowed per game).
Penn State, meanwhile, also possesses an elite defense but they have actually tripped up in their loss to Ohio State. That game featured quite possibly the worst game of Drew Allar‘s young career and it’s not going to get much easier here. The key for the Nittany Lions is to limit the impact of those dynamic running backs. Considering they’ve allowed 60.6 yards on the ground per game, they should be up to the task.
Penn State is better than their loss to Ohio State made it seem. The run defense is no joke. Take away the outlier in Week 1, that average dives down to less than 50. They’re coming off of a game against Maryland where they held the Terps to -49. Yes, negative 49.
Texas Tech @ Kansas (-3.5)
Kansas beat Oklahoma in football in 2023. Sorry, didn’t write anything last week so we had to throw that in there. Regardless, the Red Raiders and Jayhawks, while looking ahead to basketball season, suit up for the 25th time in history. Considering Kansas has very rarely fielded a semi-decent team, TTU owns a commanding 22-2 lead.
This year has not been a banner year for Texas Tech. However, they have a silver lining in Tahj Brooks. The fourth-year running back is hitting his stride and is seventh in the country with 1,033 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Over his last seven games, he’s averaged about 132 yards per game and was two yards away from seven consecutive 100+ yard days.
Did you hear? Kansas beat Oklahoma in football in 2023. Jokes aside, this Kansas team looks like they might be for real. Will they contend for the Big 12 title? Probably not but they have had a great season thus far. Devin Neal leads the way on the ground with 828 yards and nine touchdowns (not to mention 200 yards and a touchdown through the air) with Daniel Hishaw, Jr. adding 517 yards and eight scores.
Perhaps Vegas knows something we don’t but 3.5 points at home is not a lot. Kansas should get the job done here and do so comfortably.
Tennessee @ Mizzou (+1.5)
A team riding the high expectations from last year travels to a surprising upstart in the SEC this week. Since Missouri is a newer program in the SEC, these two teams have not faced off much. This year marks just the 12th time and Tennessee owns a slim 6-5 lead but Mizzou is not going to be satisfied unless they tie that up.
To this point, Tennessee has been a meh team, overall. They dropped two games already to Florida and Alabama, the former a tad more embarrassing than the latter. Either way, it seems like Joe Milton is starting to find his footing. Milton, as we’ve mentioned before, could hit the moon. Which moon, of course, is the question as his accuracy is not quite as refined.
Mizzou had a legitimate shot of dethroning Georgia last week and just could not finish the job. This offense has a legitimate rushing threat in Cody Schrader but if you do not know the name Luther Burden, you need to. Burden is seventh in the nation with 958 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s questionable this weekend so we will have to see how much of an impact that it will have.
This week is big for Mizzou. Will narrowly losing to Georgia be Missouri’s Super Bowl or will they rebound and get a ranked upset win over Tennessee? Chalk us down as believers in the Tigers this year.
Utah @ Washington (-8.5)
The first of two Pac-12 matchups this week pits a pair of teams still in the running for the conference title. Utah and Washington have faced off 15 times to this point and Washington owns a commanding 13-2 lead which includes a narrow three-point win from last year.
Utah has been able to compete all year despite not having Cam Rising at quarterback. This year has been a gauntlet for the Utes. This week is the fifth time they’ll be in a ranked matchup but they split the previous four. It’s impressive that Utah is 7-2 at this point with just 352.1 yards per game (40th worst in FBS) and just 25 points per game (50th worst).
Washington, on the other hand, has one of the top quarterback-receiver combos in the nation. Michael Penix, Jr. has the inside track for the Heisman and another strong performance against a ranked foe may be what all but solidifies is for him. Washington has the fourth-best offense in terms of scoring and yardage.
Utah is a good team and giving them 8.5 points is tempting. However, Washington seems like they are getting things together and are ramping up for a real CFP run. Penix may have his Heisman Moment this week.
USC @ Oregon (-14.5)
Two future Big Ten(ish) programs face off in the nightcap and these teams are heading in two very different directions. USC, as one would guess, owns a decent lead in this all-time series between these two, 38-22-2.
First off, let’s quit clowning on Caleb Williams for showing emotion. He’s still a phenomenal quarterback, is set to go first-overall in next year’s draft, and has seen his second Heisman be yeeted out the window because he’s had to play hero ball week in and week out thanks to Alex Grinch’s god-awful defense. USC still has one of the elite offenses in all of football…they are just held back by a porous defense that would struggle to stop a U-10 girls’ soccer team running the wing-t.
Oregon, on the other hand, is confusing when it comes to discussing its CFP hopes. On one hand, they have a narrow loss to a very good Washington team. On the other hand, that’s about it. They have yet to beat anyone worth anything, so beating USC would certainly help. Bo Nix is in the Heisman conversation and will have a prime opportunity to have his own Heisman Moment this weekend.
This will be the second straight we bet against USC and it will be the second straight week we are correct. USC has a ridiculous offense but that defense is sorry. They should be able to keep things respectable for a while but Nix and that offense will get the best of the Trojans and pull away late.
Main Image: Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK