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Betting Against The Spread: Week 11 Picks


-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on twitter)

After two poor weeks of college football picks, I am back in the winning column with a slightly better than mediocre performance. I did go 5-0-1 in my top six picks but then limped to the finish with upsets by Iowa, NC State and Louisville.

Stanford has covered thirteen straight weeks, but I just can't go back to the well this weekend (even though I am picking the Cardinal to win outright). This week, I am headed to the Midwest and Sun Belt with seven of my nine picks hailing from the Big Ten and SEC this weekend.

Season Record ATS: 62-39-1 (7-5-1 last week)

Week 10's Top Picks:

Ohio State (-7) at Purdue
The Boilermakers have lost by a combined 98-31 over the last two weekends, and OSU topped Purdue 49-0 last season. The development of Braxton Miller and the very talented defense has led to three straight key wins for the Buckeyes. Purdue has failed to cover two straight weeks. My Pick: Ohio State -7

Rice (+15.5) at Northwestern
The Owls have allowed 148 points in the their last three games, and Northwestern is riding high after their upset road win over Nebraska, having scored 87 points in their two-game winning streak. This is a game the Wildcats have to win if they expect to get to a fourth straight bowl. Kain Colter has turned into quite the leader — whether he is lined up at quarterback or wide receiver. My Pick: Northwestern -15.5

Oklahoma State (-17) at Texas Tech
Despite the valiant effort by Kansas State a week ago, the Cowboys are still 7-2 against the spread this season. Tech has lost four of five games and has allowed at least 34 points in seven straight games — including a combined 93-27 two-week span heading into this game. In case you didn't know, the Pokes can score: Try No. 2 in the nation at 50.1 points per game. My Pick: Oklahoma State -17

Michigan (pk) at Illinois
The Illini will need to score points to beat Michigan, and that is something they have struggled to do during their current three-game losing streak. They have scored four total touchdowns in those games — which are four fewer touchdowns than they scored in the memorable 67-65 overtime win for the Maize and Blue last season. Denard Robinson accounted for 367 yards of offense and three scores last season. My Pick: Michigan

Tennessee (+14) at Arkansas
The Vols have scored 20 total points in their last three SEC games and will pose no threat to the Razorbacks. Justin Worley is starting his third career game and will be asked to match points with Tyler Wilson and arguably the deepest receiving corps in the nation. Plus, kickoff is at 6:00 PM ET, and the Hogs have covered three straight games in which the kickoff wasn't at noon. My Pick: Arkansas -14

Auburn (+13) at Georgia
The Dawgs have won five straight SEC games, but they have won by eight points or less in each of the last three. Auburn got back on track last weekend by dropping 41 points on Ole Miss and should be very competitive in this year's renewal of the South's Oldest Rivalry. Auburn won't win the game outright, but the Tigers will keep it close. My Pick: Auburn +13

Western Kentucky (+42) at LSU
Expect an emotional letdown for LSU — which could still mean a 35-point win. WKU is playing the best football of its entire FBS existence, riding a four-game winning streak, and is 7-2 against the spread. The total is 48.5, so Vegas is picking LSU to win 45-3. That doesn't feel right at all. My Pick: Western Kentucky +42

Texas (-1.5) at Missouri
The Longhorns are leading the Big 12 in rushing defense and total defense and are second in the league in scoring defense. Texas has scored 95 points in two huge wins over the last two weeks, and Missouri has allowed 39.3 points per game over their last three contests. My Pick: Texas -1.5

Alabama (-17.5) at Mississippi State
If there is one team (not named Penn State) I wouldn't want to be this weekend, it's the Bulldogs. Alabama realizes that it is still in the heart of the BCS National Championship hunt and needs style points to reach one of the top two spots in the rankings. MSU ranks 8th in the SEC against the run, and Bama is leading the league in rushing. Expect a huge game from Trent Richardson. My Pick: Alabama -17.5

2011 Trends:

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9-0 Against the Spread: Stanford

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2-7 Against the Spread: Maryland, Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech

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Other Week 11 Content:

Mitch Light's Top Ten Games of the Week
Steven Lassan's Top Ten Storylines of Week 10

Athlon Sports Picks Every Game of Week 10

In-Depth Oregon-Stanford Game Preview