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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Picks for Week 11


There are few college football teams I'd rather watch more than the Naval Academy. The way they run the option with such precision that bridges the talent gap between them and their opponent is something to behold. Let's be honest, if they ran a normal offense, the Midshipmen wouldn't have just one loss. Keenan Reynolds is such a joy to watch and if I wasn't such a big Temple fan, I'd be rooting for them to play in a New Year's bowl. Navy is what is right in college football right now.

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Record: 46-43 (3-4 last week)

UTSA (1-8) at Charlotte (2-7)

It's the final home game for Charlotte in its first season as a FBS member. Since winning its first two games, the 49ers have lost seven straight with a lot of those games being uncompetitive. There is a bit of momentum though offensively after scoring 31 points last week and committing only one turnover in a 48-31 loss at FIU. Defensively it's been a struggle for the 49ers although you have to wonder how much of a threat the Roadrunners present. UTSA has had its issues on defense, allowing four straight games of 30 points or more. The Roadrunners were in a similar situation back on Halloween when they played at woeful North Texas, who was winless at the time. The Mean Green took the game 30-23 and added to UTSA's misery. I'm going with the home team and hoping Charlotte puts it all together for the home crowd one last time this season. SELECTION: Charlotte +6

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Akron (4-5) at Miami (Ohio) (2-8)

The RedHawks are coming off a 28-13 win over Eastern Michigan last time out and are now welcoming Akron to town. It's the Zips’ fourth road game in their last five, and the final one of the regular season. Miami's offense has been alright this season.  The RedHawks had a stretch of five straight games where they couldn't produce more than 14 points. Akron's defense has been respectable outside of allowing 59 points to Bowling Green. The Zips have held five of their last seven opponents to 14 points or less. Akron has gone under in 22 of its last 33 games including six of nine this season. The Zips have gone under in 18 of their last 26 Saturday games as well. SELECTION: Under 43

Kansas (0-9) at TCU (8-1)

The Horned Frogs are going to be an ornery bunch on Saturday after losing to Oklahoma State last time out. The Horned Frogs need to put up points and win comfortably in order to get back on the positive side with the College Football Playoff committee. TCU has been rolling opponents this season, averaging 46.7 points per game. Kansas has allowed more than that, giving up 48.4 points and 584.2 yards per game. The Jayhawks have given up 30 points or more in six straight games with four of those being 58 points or more. TCU has gone over in 17 of its last 29 Saturday games. The Frogs can't make totals involving awful Kansas high enough. SELECTION: Over 70.5

Arkansas State (6-3) at ULM (1-8)

These two Sun Belt teams are heading in different directions although neither can play defense that well. Arkansas State outscores its opponents 36.2-31.1 points per game because of a balanced attack led by QB Fredi Knighten. Michael Gordon has been very good at running back and should find success against a ULM team that allows 229.9 yards per game on the ground. These two teams have combined for 10 overs in 18 games this season. The Red Wolves have gone over in 15 of their last 22 games as a favorite and 10 of their last 11 in November. ULM has already given up 51 points at home to Georgia Southern and 59 to Appalachian State. SELECTION: Over 57

Alabama (8-1) at Mississippi State (7-2)

This is Dak Prescott's chance to shine on a big stage as Alabama comes to Starkville. The Crimson Tide are fresh off a convincing win over LSU where the defense held down Leonard Fournette. They have allowed just 75.8 rushing yards per game. Mississippi State wants to be balanced as an offense and may struggle to do so against Bama. The good thing is that the boys from Starkville play good defense themselves. They've held four straight opponents to 20 points or less. We may get an unfocused Alabama team after the LSU win. These two SEC West foes have played seven unders in their last 11 games in Starkville. Last year it was a 25-20 Tide victory. SELECTION: Under 52

Arkansas (5-4) at LSU (7-1)

I know what you are thinking... am I really going to make another SEC wager? This one seems to be too good to be true. We've got Arkansas coming in off a thrilling road win at Ole Miss in overtime. It's the Razorbacks’ third straight victory and third straight great offensive performance. Now they run into an LSU defense that is holding opponents to just 330.6 yards per game. The Tigers are coming off a deflating loss to the Crimson Tide where they couldn't get the offense going. Leonard Fournette will be eager to regain the status of Heisman front-runner and could do so against an Arkansas defense that allowed 222 rushing yards to the Rebels. The Tigers are going to be extremely motivated for this one. SELECTION: LSU ML (top off your moneyline parlay with the Tigers)

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North Texas (1-8) at Tennessee (5-4)

It's a mismatch of sorts as Tennessee hosts North Texas. The Mean Green have lost by 43 points at Louisiana Tech, 35 at Southern Miss and 46 at Iowa. They don't do a lot well and are currently playing their second of three straight road games. North Texas has scored 14 points or less in four of its last six, as the passing attack has been up and down all season.  Tennessee is in a good spot here as the Volunteers are coming off an unimpressive win over South Carolina and only have a road game at Missouri next. The Volunteers beat Western Carolina 55-10 at home back in September and have a 31-point win at Kentucky as well so they are capable of big numbers. North Texas has failed to cover in 13 of its last 19 games as an underdog. I hate laying big numbers but... SELECTION: Tennessee -41

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Western Carolina (6-3) at Texas A&M (6-3)

It's the final home game of the season for the Aggies, who are looking to bounce back after last week's lackluster performance at home against Auburn. Western Carolina is no slouch although the FCS member did fall 55-10 to Tennessee earlier this season. The Catamounts’ offense is capable of scoring on an unfocused Aggies defense especially in garbage time. Western Carolina has struggled against teams with any semblance of offense, as evidenced by the 41 points scored by Chattanooga. Texas A&M wants to send the 12th Man out with a big win and big numbers in this one. Last year the Aggies smoked Lamar 73-3 while beating Sam Houston State 65-28 at home in 2013. SELECTION: Over 62


- Where's Indiana's head at right now after another close home loss this season? The Hoosiers were beating Ohio State and Iowa at times at home before collapsing late. This is a team on a five-game losing streak including a defeat at the hands of Rutgers, who shouldn't be beating anyone. Michigan comes to town with renewed motivation after Michigan State’s loss last week. The Wolverines’ offense is clicking right now, but the defense is about to get one of its stiffest tests of the season. Michigan has covered in five of its last seven road games in this series.

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- Marshall has more motivation then just a football game on Saturday, as it's the 45th anniversary of the plane crash that killed the entire football team back in 1970. The school will be holding their fountain ceremony earlier in the day, which the football team will take part in. The Thundering Herd are 3-2 on the anniversary of the crash with the last game coming back in 2013, a 45-34 win over Tulsa. I've backed FIU several times this season and the Golden Panthers are 6-3-1 ATS, but who knows how the Herd will handle everything surrounding this game. We'll sit this one out, but I think the visitors can hang around in this one.

- Florida State is coming off a tough loss at Clemson and has lost two of its last three games. The Seminoles have an early 12:30 kickoff as they host NC State. The Wolfpack are bowl eligible and playing good defense. Upon closer review though, some of those numbers are fraudulent. They have allowed 149 yards or more on the ground to four of their last five ACC opponents. Any unit can look good with the non-conference schedule this team has played. Because of the opponent's success on the ground, there's not as much need for airing it out. I don't know who is starting under center for the Seminoles, but I really can't trust NC State on the road.

- Oklahoma State is the flavor of the week after its convincing win over TCU. The Cowboys have home games against Baylor and Oklahoma coming up, but will be in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday. It's been a house of horrors for OSU, having lost five of the last eight there. Iowa State shut out Texas at home 24-0 on Halloween and didn't play too awful against the Sooners last week. The Cowboys have a lot at stake, but focus in this one has to be an issue. The question I have for you the reader is if you have the stones to take the Cyclones in this spot even though they are outmanned.

- Florida has clinched its spot in the SEC title game after an ugly 9-7 win over Vanderbilt. The Gators have just three games left with FAU and Florida State coming after a harmless road game at South Carolina, right? The Gamecocks have lost four of their last five, but will close out the season with three at home. South Carolina's offense has put up some good numbers as of late and the Gamecocks have won their last two home games. Florida will be without potentially three defensive starters in this one. The Gators should be on upset alert.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.