There are three games that stand out above the others in week 11 of the college football season. Two national-title contenders and two Pac-12 hopefuls will occupy the big stage on the tube. Here’s our college football betting picks for the week including three nationally televised games.
Kansas State Wildcats @ TCU Horned Frogs
Odds: Kansas State -7.5
One of the most remarkable statistics to emerge from the first 10 weeks of the college football season is that Kansas State has scored 111 points off its opponents’ turnovers while allowing zero points – not one – from any of the turnovers it has committed this season. The Wildcats have a remarkable ability to minimize mistakes but then play excellent sudden-change defense on the few occasions when they give up the ball. Head coach Bill Snyder is able to get his team to play at a consistent level. Kansas State simply doesn’t beat itself, and it is regularly opportunistic against any kind of opponent in any style of game. The Wildcats are supremely resourceful. They are well-schooled and do not find themselves out of position on the field. Their quarterback, Collin Klein, might not be fully healthy, so they won’t cover the spread, but they should be able to win this game outright.
Pick: TCU +7.5
Texas A&M Aggies @ Alabama Crimson Tide
Odds: Alabama -13.5
Texas A&M has a new-age coach, Kevin Sumlin, a man who has tried to maximize avant garde concepts and use both speed and field spacing to his advantage. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is a disciple of old-school football, in which the stronger and physically imposing team wins games by brute force at the line of scrimmage, knocking the blocks off the opponent. Texas A&M is a younger and less proven team, but the Aggies will have a chance to throw the ball against Alabama’s secondary, which performed poorly against LSU this past weekend. However, the sense here is that Alabama is tougher, more experienced, and more prepared to win. If you are going to bet college football this week, take the Crimson Tide by a comfortable margin.
Pick: Alabama -13.5
Oregon State Beavers @ Stanford Cardinal
Odds: Stanford -4.5
Stanford should be able to outmuscle and overpower Oregon State on both sides of the ball. Stanford has not achieved as much as Oregon State this season, but the Cardinal do have more talent at most positions. They should be able to gain leverage at the line of scrimmage and win battles at the point of attack. Moreover, Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz – despite leading his team to victory last week against Arizona State – has not protected the ball well. He has been plagued by turnovers, as has the Oregon State offense in general over the past few weeks. Stanford, if it can merely display airtight ball security, doesn’t have to ring up big offensive numbers. It can focus on shutting down Oregon State, playing for field position, and wearing down the Beavers in the fourth quarter.
Pick: Stanford -4.5