Three best underdog bets for Week 11 on the college football schedule
It’s shaping up to be a fun week in college football, as MACtion as usual provided a ton of entertainment on Tuesday and Wednesday before Pittsburgh and North Carolina went to overtime on Thursday. Fifth-ranked Cincinnati takes the field on Friday. After that, we’ll have a full Saturday slate on our hands, with 3 all-top 24 showdowns. Those include Oklahoma vs Baylor plus a test for No. 4 Ohio State against Purdue.
Let’s take a look at some underdogs who can be expected to cover the spread or win outright in Week 11 of the college football season.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights +7 over Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana has taken a big step back from its impressive 2020 campaign. After posting a strong 6-1 regular-season record a year ago, head coach Tom Allen’s squad is a disappointing 2-7 in 2021. The Hoosiers’ wins are a blowout of FCS Idaho and a 2-point defeat of Western Kentucky. Aside from a 35-point output against Maryland, Indiana’s offense has done virtually nothing against Big 10 opponents. The Hoosiers have scored 7 or fewer points in 4 of their 6 conference contests.
The QB position is a mess for Indiana, and they had to turn to freshman Donaven McCulley in their last 2 games. Michael Penix Jr. and Jack Tuttle returned to practice this week, but it remains to be seen who will get the start on Saturday. A 52-3 loss to Wisconsin notwithstanding, Rutgers’ defense has held its own. The Scarlet Knights should keep this one close.
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NC State Wolfpack ML over Wake Forest Demon Deacons
At the beginning of the season, a game between NC State and Wake Forest surely wasn’t circled on the calendars of many college football fans. However, this is suddenly a game that could go a long way in deciding the fate of the ACC Atlantic Division. With the Wolfpack having already beaten Clemson, the winner of Saturday’s contest essentially controls their own destiny to reach the ACC Championship game.
But both teams arrive in different positions after the Wolfpack knocked off Florida State a week ago, while the Demon Deacons blew a 3-possession lead over North Carolina en route to their first loss of the season. Wake Forest’s offense is stellar, but this is by far the toughest defense that QB Sam Hartman and the Demon Deacons have faced up to this point.
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LSU Tigers +3 over Arkansas Razorbacks
It is clear that this LSU team is not quitting on head coach Ed Orgeron. The Tigers gave second-ranked Alabama all it could handle last week and they should be able to build off that performance. They will be happy to be back at home on the heels of back-to-back road losses. The good news for LSU is that Arkansas is 0-2 SU on the road this season, compared to posting a 5-1 record at home. The Tigers are 3-1 SU at home. LSU has played well as a home underdog in recent memory. It is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games as a home underdog. The last time LSU was listed as a home ‘dog (+11.5 vs Florida on October 16), it won the game outright 49-42.
One key area that could decide this game is penalties. Arkansas was penalized 11 times for 84 yards last week against Mississippi State. That has been a common theme for the Razorbacks this season, as they rank 12th out of 14 SEC teams in penalties per game (8.6) and penalty yards per game (71.3). On the other hand, LSU has been playing disciplined football. The Tigers have done a good job of staying out of their own way, averaging the fewest penalty yards per game in all of college football (31.4).
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