College football Week 11 picks against the spread for every top-25 matchup
No. 1 LSU meets No. 2 Alabama in the “Game of the Century,” and that is the main event on the Week 11 college football schedule.
A matchup of 8-0 teams between No. 5 Penn State and No. 13 Minnesota at noon will serve as the appetizer before the 3:30 p.m. showdown between the Tigers and Crimson Tide. There are 16 games featuring top-25 teams, and Sporting News is hoping to stay hot on its weekly picks against the spread.
Here is a look at our record so far this season:
Straight up: 152-39 .796 (13-1 last week)
Against the spread: 108-83, .565 (11-3 last week)
Upset picks: 2-11, .154 (0-2 last week)
With that, Sporting News’ Week 11 picks against the spread for top-25 teams (lines provided courtesy of Sportsbook Review as of Tuesday, Nov. 5, at noon ET):
Maryland at No. 3 Ohio State (-42.5)
Ohio State is 7-1 against the spread this season and will be well-rested coming off a bye week. The spread is absurd for a conference game, and the Terps are stuck in a four-game losing skid. Their losses to Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan were by an average of 44 points per game. This is a tough call, but it takes one touchdown to make it interesting.
Ohio State wins 50-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 5 Penn State (-7) at No. 13 Minnesota
The Gophers get a showcase game at home, and both teams had a bye week to add new wrinkles. Penn State won the last meeting 29-26 in a 2016 thriller that set the course for where the program is now. This is right on the line.
Penn State wins 24-16 and COVERS the spread.
Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida (-26)
It’s a hangover spot for the Gators, who were been hammered by Missouri in each of the last two seasons after losing to Georgia. Vanderbilt continues to struggle on offense, but they hang around long enough to cover here.
Florida wins 31-10 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 11 Baylor (-1.5) at TCU
The Bears can’t afford to look ahead to the showdowns against Oklahoma and Texas knowing the Horned Frogs have won the last four meetings in this series. Freshman quarterback Max Duggan plays better at home, and TCU ends Baylor’s perfect season.
TCU wins 24-21 in an UPSET.
East Carolina at No. 23 SMU (-21.5)
East Carolina pulled out the stops in an overtime loss to Cincinnati, and SMU is coming off a primetime loss at Memphis. The Mustangs have hit the over in eight games this season, so another shootout seems inevitable.
SMU wins 48-27 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama (-6)
It’s the “Game of the Century,” and don’t count on knowing anything more about Tua Tagovailoa’s status until kickoff. The line could drop a little more, which adds value to the Crimson Tide knowing they have won the last eight meetings. Alabama wins again in a thriller they might run back in the College Football Playoff.
Alabama wins 34-27 and COVERS the spread.
UConn at No. 17 Cincinnati (-35)
The Huskies have been underdogs of at least 20 points six times this season, and they are 3-3 in that situation. The Bearcats are 5-3 against the spread this season, but the line looks too high for the second straight week.
Cincinnati wins 41-13 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 20 Kansas State at Texas (-7)
The Wildcats have emerged as one of the best stories of the season under first-year coach Chris Klieman, and they would make another statement by sweeping Oklahoma and Texas in the regular season. The Longhorns are 3-2 against the spread as a favorite this season, but they pull out a much-needed win here.
Texas wins 38-28 and COVERS the spread.
No. 22 Wake Forest (-2) at Virginia Tech
We whiffed trying to pick N.C. State to cover against the Demon Deacons last week, and that’s a nod to the job Dave Clawson has done with this team. Wake Forest won the last meeting between the teams in the infamous 6-3 game in 2014. The teams put up a few more points this time around, but the Deacons keep it rolling.
Wake Forest wins 31-27 and COVERS the spread.
No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin (-9.5)
It’s worth knowing the Badgers won the last meeting at Camp Randall Stadium 38-14. Both teams had a bye week, but that’s a lot of points in an old-school Big Ten showdown.
Wisconsin wins 24-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Missouri at No. 6 Georgia (-17.5)
Georgia is 2-4 against the spread against the Tigers since they joined the SEC, and there is a risk for an emotional letdown after the Florida game. We think it goes the other way, and Jake Fromm plays with even more confidence when the ground game gets rolling against the Tigers.
Georgia wins 38-19 and COVERS the spread.
No. 4 Clemson (-32.5) at N.C. State
Clemson is 5-1 against the spread in ACC games, and all of those spreads were by 24 points or more. The Tigers are in search-and-destroy mode, but will that matter with such a huge line? Keep in mind that North Carolina is the only team to score more than 14 points against Clemson this season.
Clemson wins 48-13 and COVERS the spread.
No. 15 Notre Dame (-8) at Duke
Notre Dame is coming off a last-minute win against Virginia Tech, and the Irish still have New Year’s Day 6 bowl hopes in line. They improve to 4-0 against ACC teams with a win at Duke.
Notre Dame wins 35-21 and COVERS the spread.
Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma (-14.5)
Oklahoma had an off week to stew about the loss to Kansas State, and the best way to get back in the Playoff conversation is to put together a string of blowouts in conference play. Iowa State runs into the wrong team at the wrong time.
Oklahoma wins 48-23 and COVERS the spread.
Wyoming at No. 21 Boise State (-13)
The Broncos are 4-3-1 against the spread this year, but that record is 3-1 at home. Wyoming’s two losses this season are by a combined seven points, and this is a chance to win at Boise State for the first time.
Boise State wins 28-23 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Nevada at No. 24 San Diego State (-17.5)
San Diego State had a bye week to prepare for Nevada, which averages just 14 points per game on the road this season. The Aztecs have won seven games by an average of 9.6 points per game. It’s not a blowout here either.
San Diego State wins 31-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.