College football expert picks week 11

College Football Picks Week 11: Top 25 Rankings, Schedule, Odds and Predictions

Featured Columnist November 4, 2019 Comments Comment Bubble Icon

LSU may be ahead of Alabama in the AP Top 25, but the Crimson Tide enter Saturday’s SEC West showdown as the favored side.

The Crimson Tide have won eight straight matchups and earned two shutouts in the last three seasons against the Tigers.

Ed Orgeron’s side looks different in 2019 because of its improved offense, but Alabama has plenty of offensive firepower on its roster as well.

The SEC may have the best Week 11 matchup, but it is not the only conference with Top 25 showdowns.

In the Big Ten, Penn State visits Minnesota in a battle of unbeaten sides and Wisconsin squares off with Iowa as both teams try to keep their bleak Big Ten Championship Game hopes alive.

Week 11 Schedule

Odds from Caesars, OddsChecker and Vegas Insider; predictions against the spread in bold.

Saturday, November 9

Maryland at No. 3 Ohio State (-43.5) (Noon, Fox)

No. 5 Penn State (-6.5) at No. 13 Minnesota (Noon, ABC)

Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida (-24.5) (Noon, ESPN)

No. 11 Baylor (-1) at TCU (Noon, FS1)

East Carolina at No. 23 SMU (-24) (Noon, ESPNU)

No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama (-6.5) (3:30 p.m., CBS)

UConn at No. 17 Cincinnati (-34.5) (3:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)

No. 20 Kansas State at Texas (-5.5) (3:30 p.m., ESPN)

No. 22 Wake Forest (-3) at Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m., ACC Network)

No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin (-10) (4 p.m., FS1)

Missouri at No. 6 Georgia (-14.5) (7 p.m., ESPN)

No. 4 Clemson (-31) at NC State (7:30 p.m., ABC)

No. 15 Notre Dame (-6.5) at Duke (7:30 p.m., ACC Network)

Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma (-13) (8 p.m., Fox)

Wyoming at No. 21 Boise State (-11.5) (10:15 p.m., ESPN)

Nevada at No. 24 San Diego State (-16.5) (10:30 p.m., ESPN2)

Predictions

LSU (+6.5) at Alabama

Alabama has four consecutive double-digit wins over LSU.

In their eight-game winning run over the Tigers, the Crimson Tide earned three shutouts and conceded an average of 9.1 points.

In 2018, Nick Saban’s team outgained LSU 576-196 and held a 281-12 advantage in rushing yards.

A significant yardage difference is not expected Saturday, as the Tigers enter with an offense that boasts the fourth-most total yards per game in the FBS.

In LSU’s new offense, Joe Burrow has 30 passing touchdowns. He threw 16 over 13 games in his first campaign as the team’s starting quarterback.

In three meetings with ranked foes, the senior is 84-of-105 for 1,085 yards and eight scores.

Alabama is the best passing defense Burrow will face, as it ranks 13th in the FBS with 180.1 passing yards conceded per game.

At minimum, the Tigers should score more than in previous seasons against Alabama. Before the Week 9 win over Auburn, LSU eclipsed the 30-point mark in seven straight contests.

Although Texas is not as strong as Alabama, the Tigers have experience producing on the road at a Power Five foe. That should at least help LSU manage tough situations at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

There is a chance Saturday’s game turns into a high-scoring affair since Alabama ranks five positions behind its SEC West counterpart in total yards per game.

Even if Tua Tagovailoa is not at 100 percent, he should receive plenty of support from a quartet of receivers and a star running back in Najee Harris.

If LSU leaves Alabama with a win, or keeps the game within six points, it will have shut down some combination of DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle.

But if those receivers break free from coverage, Alabama could roll to its ninth straight win over the Tigers and move one step closer to the College Football Playoff.

Penn State (-6.5) at Minnesota

Penn State is one of two FBS sides to concede under 10 points per game.

The Nittany Lions enter TCF Bank Stadium ranked second in scoring defense and rushing yards conceded per game.

In its previous two road games, James Franklin’s side held Iowa and Michigan State to 19 total points.

The pass-rushing duo of Yetur Gross-Matos and Shaka Toney, who both have 5.5 sacks, could wreak havoc on Minnesota’s offensive line.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan has suffered 16 sacks, but he has been taken down once in the last four games.

However, the level of competition in September and October was significantly lower for the Golden Gophers, who now have to take on Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin in the three of the next four contests.

If Morgan remains clean in the pocket, he could find some success, as he produced eight touchdown passes versus Illinois, Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland.

If Penn State puts pressure on the signal-caller and eliminates the impact of running back Rodney Smith, who has 889 rushing yards and seven scores, it could roll to its ninth victory.

The Nittany Lions could also get off to another fast start, as it scored 21 first-half points against both Michigan and Michigan State.

That could happen again if KJ Hamler torches Minnesota’s secondary for a few long gains. The sophomore wideout holds a five-game touchdown streak and has a 20-yard reception in every matchup.

If Penn State strikes through Hamler and its stable of running backs, it will move another step closer to setting up a battle of unbeatens with Ohio State November 23.

A Minnesota loss could open the door for the winner of Iowa-Wisconsin to win the Big Ten West through a head-to-head win over the Golden Gophers.

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