We batted .500 with our college football picks last week, thanks to a pair of SEC winners. Florida turned the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party into a laugher, and Arkansas dominated the second half to upset Tennessee. Unfortunately, Clemson lost outright to Notre Dame and Tulane’s 38-21 win over East Carolina caused our over 60.5 total points pick to come up just short. The 2-2 week runs this column’s record to 14-16 on the season.
As we turn the page to Week 11 college football picks, it’s important once again for bettors to stay up to date on all news and information related to the coronavirus. Several of this week’s games have already been postponed, but there are still several lines worth having some action on. Here are my best college football picks for the Week 11 card.
Week 11 College Football Picks
All odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
We kick off this week’s college football picks with a Tar Heel State showdown. Wake Forest, winners of four straight, travel to take on a North Carolina team that can’t seem to maintain consistency from week to week. The line on this game has dropped from the opening 17-point spread in favor of UNC to the current North Carolina -13.5 at Bovada Sportsbook.
Slowing down the Wake Forest offensive attack figures to be no easy task for North Carolina on Saturday. QB Sam Hartman has been sharp during the Demon Deacons’ winning streak. The key will be evading the Tar Heels’ pass rush. North Carolina has recorded 23 sacks on the season (five last week) while the Wake offensive line has allowed Hartman to be taken down 19 times. The Demon Deacons also bring a dynamic pair of running backs to the table in Christian Beal-Smith and Kenneth Walker III. Both could find daylight against a UNC defense allowing nearly 150 rushing yards per game.
North Carolina is no longer ranked in the AP Top-25 thanks to a pair of bad losses at the hands of Florida State and Virginia. The Tar Heels managed to get back on track last week against in-state rival Duke, earning a convincing 32-point win. Such is life for Mack Brown’s team in 2020. They’ll look dominant one week and lose outright as a sizable favorite the next. Quarterback Sam Howell is putting up impressive numbers nonetheless and figures to have an opportune matchup this week against a Wake Forest secondary that has leaked yards and scores all season long.
Wake Forest vs North Carolina College Football Picks
At 13.5, just short of a full two-touchdown margin, the spread on this game feels like a total trap to lure money on the home favor. Quite frankly, I think Wake Forest could win this game outright, let alone keep it competitive throughout. After backing North Carolina on numerous occasions this season, I’ll gladly pick against them this week.
Arkansas came through as a moneyline underdog last week, and I like them once again in this week’s college football picks. With that being said, Florida is coming off an impressive victory of their own right against Georgia. There has been limited line movement to this point, with Florida moving from an 18-point favorite down to -17.5 at Bovada Sportsbook.
The big headline to come out of the build-up for this SEC showdown is the positive coronavirus test for Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman. As a result, he won’t be on the Razorbacks sideline this week. Handicappers can debate just how impactful a head coach’s presence is to a team, but Arkansas should be in good hands with defensive coordinator Barry Odom serving as the interim coach. Saturday also marks the return to Gainesville for Arkansas QB Feleipe Franks, who transferred from Florida in the offseason. The Gators secondary has proven vulnerable, and Franks will look to build on what has been a strong season thus far.
On the other side of the ball, the Razorbacks’ defense will have its hands plenty full. Kyle Trask and the talent-laden Gators’ offense took it to the vaunted Georgia defense last week. Trask’s final stat line of 474 yards passing and four touchdowns is unlike any for a QB facing Georgia in recent memory. With so many weapons, it’s simply impossible to shut down the Gators attack. The best the Razorbacks can hope for on Saturday is to limit the damage.
Arkansas vs Florida College Football Picks
Florida will get theirs, but I believe Franks and the Razorbacks can score on the Gators defense as well. Texas A&M stands out as a common opponent between the two teams. Arkansas managed to earn a backdoor cover in their loss to the Aggies in a game that featured a similar point spread. Given that I rank the Aggies defense higher than Florida’s at this point in the season, this only reinforces a play on Arkansas. Add in the fact that this game could be a potential letdown for the Gators after last week’s huge win, Arkansas catching 17.5 points in this spot is the way to go.
Astute handicappers have to be licking their chops over this American Conference showdown. Any time a ranked team is catching points, it’s a major red flag. Bovada Sportsbook odds have unranked Tulsa is laying a full three points at home. It’s safe to say the public will be going against them in a big way.
After coming up well short in their bid for AAC supremacy against Cincinnati three weeks ago, quarterback Shane Buechele and the SMU offense have managed to right the ship against Navy and Temple in their last two games. Buechele is flanked by running back Ulysses Bentley IV and receiver Tyler Page in an SMU offense that is averaging 539.7 yards per game, the seventh-most in the country. Can they keep the momentum going against a tough Tulsa defense?
The other side of the equation is that for everything the Mustangs possess on offense, they lack defensively. Led by senior quarterback Zach Smith and star wideout Keylon Stokes, a 2021 NFL Draft prospect, the Tulsa offense should have no trouble finding their groove on Saturday. The Golden Hurricane have scored 34 points or more in all three of their AAC games this season.
SMU vs Tulsa College Football Picks
The Tulsa defense came up huge in their upset win against UCF earlier in the year, holding the Knights to 26 points in the win. Also notable from that effort was just a single field goal allowed after halftime. If Tulsa can weather a potential SMU offensive storm early on Saturday, they could be in great shape to once again control the second half. There’s a reason that the unranked Golden Hurricane are laying points to the ranked Mustangs. Be sure to side with the house on this one.