NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 11 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
We've reached the time of year again where most of my introductions will touch on the College Football Playoff and its rankings of teams that have a chance of getting in. The first CFP rankings came out earlier in the week, and I like what the committee did by putting LSU and Alabama together at No. 2 and No. 3. This tells me that the loser of this game falls outside of the top-4, with Clemson ready to take their spot next week. This is good because it solidifies the message that a loss is a loss no matter who you play, and you should be punished accordingly.
It's also important to remember that the first CFP rankings have never been the final CFP rankings, which mean the teams are going to change plenty of times over the next month, and there's nothing to panic about just yet. Continue to win your football games and the committee will (should) do the right thing.
Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
No. 12 Baylor Bears TCU Horned Frogs (+2.5, 48): If you are a Horned Frogs fan, I would suggest not watching this game, because this is going to be ugly. The Baylor Bears have an undefeated season to defend. And with an offense as explosive as theirs, it's going to be tough for TCU to keep up in this game given the fact they are down to their third-string freshman QB, Max Duggan. Even so, Duggan is dealing with a finger injury that will hamper him throughout the game and allow Baylor's underrated defense to make big plays and keep the undefeated season intact. Look, this game opened up as Baylor -1, but with the injury news for TCU, it's been bet up to -2.5 , and with good reason. It also wouldn't shock me to see this game continue to climb over the key number of three just because Baylor has way more to play for than TCU at this point in the season. As for the total, it opened up at 51.5 but has been bet down to 48, and we don't see the reason for this. Baylor's defense could contribute with one or two scores of their own which would, in turn, push this total over the number.
Stanford Cardinal @ Colorado Buffaloes (+3.5, 55.5): After a solid start to the season that saw the Buffaloes go 3-1, they've essentially fallen off the cliff with a five-game losing streak to put their bowl participation in serious jeopardy. Now they have to take on a Stanford team that is getting healthy at the right time and one that is coming off a confidence-boosting win over Arizona as three-point favorites. It shouldn't come as a surprise to see the Cardinal come away with a good away win as they got their starting QB back under center in K.J. Costello. Costello has been out since Sept 21, so his presence was definitely a welcoming sight for those cheering for the team in red. Furthermore, his healthy and productive return is the entire reason this line has jumped from Stanford PK to Stanford -3.5. When Costello is on, he's one of the better QB's in the Pac-12, and the Buffaloes likely won't have any answers for him on defense. The total has been bet up from its opening of 53.5 to 55.5, and with good reason. Both teams give up boatloads of points. And with both teams desperately needing a win, it wouldn't shock me to see the coaches opening up the playbooks and allowing their playmakers and leaders to go out and make plays to win the football game.
Tennessee Volunteers @ Kentucky Wildcats (-1, 42): Whenever you hear the phrase "there's a better chance pigs fly than the Volunteers winning two games to get bowl eligible," you know there is a serious problem surrounding the team. To say the Vols have had a rough year would be an understatement, and now they have to find two wins in three games to go bowling. That's a tough ask for a team that's been as inconsistent as any this season. Their opponent this week is Kentucky and they are a pretty good team. The Wildcats have won two of their last three games and are also looking for two wins in their remaining four games to get to the coveted six-win mark. This game opened up as Kentucky -4 but has been quickly bet down to Kentucky -1, and with no good reason. When a coach comes out and says that he's unhappy with how practice has gone this week, as Jeremy Pruitt said of his Tennessee squad, that's usually a sign of players checking out and not taking things seriously. The total has taken a hit and dropped from 43.5 to 42, and we do see a little value left in taking the under in this spot.
Florida State Seminoles @ Boston College Eagles (-2.5, 63): These two teams are going in opposite directions, and we are shocked that BC is not a bigger favorite than they are. Florida State got embarrassed by Miami last week, and as such fired their coach. Boston College went into Syracuse and ran all over them to the tune of 496 rushing yards. This game opened up as a PK, and maybe linemakers are believing that the FSU team does, in fact, have the talent required to win football games and that it was their coach who was killing the momentum? I highly doubt that, and the line movement suggests the same as it's been bet in favor of BC and has made the Eagles 2.5-point favorites on their home field. Wouldn't shock me to see this number move higher as BC is the better team, and no interim head coach is going to get his players to buy into what he's preaching with three games left on the schedule. As for the total, it's held steady at 63.
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