In this article, we’ll provide you our top college football betting picks for Week 11. These matchups include the Penn State Nittany Lions at Minnesota Golden Gophers, LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide & Iowa Hawkeyes at Wisconsin Badgers. We’ll study the betting lines, teams, and players to give you our recommended college football betting picks to beat the New Jersey sportsbooks!
#4 Penn State Nittany Lions (-7) at #17 Minnesota Golden Gophers – Total: 48
Saturday, November 9, 2019 – 12:00 p.m. EST
Two undefeated Big Ten teams get together as the Penn State Nittany Lions hit the road to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Luckily, Saturday will be the warmest day of the week at 43 degrees, as opposed to the temperatures in the 20s and 30s during the other days. Our top betting pick is for the total to go over 48 points. Let’s dive into the research to see why we’re heading in this direction.
The Nittany Lions are getting more public bets (62%), as opposed to all money wagered (55%). Obviously, seven points is a lot to cover on the road, and it feels like there’s a lot of faith being placed on the undefeated Golden Gophers. The total has a big difference of thoughts as well, with 67% of public bets being placed on the under, while only 47% of all money wagered is heading in that direction.
Penn State Form
Penn State found itself inside the Top 4 of the College Football Playoff rankings this week. It was certainly shocking to see them in over the defending champions, Clemson. Nonetheless, this is a team that is still looking to make a big statement going forward. That starts with a big performance on the road against Minnesota.
While the Nittany Lions haven’t been lighting up the scoreboard, there’s reason to believe Saturday will be a different story. The Golden Gophers’ defense has not allowed more than 17 points in each of the last four games, but their opponents bring a lot more talent to the table than any of the previous four.
QB Sean Clifford has been strong with 20 TD-3 INT this season. However, it’s the balanced rushing attack that ultimately set things up in the passing game. Minnesota’s defensive numbers look great this season, but that’ll happen when you’re playing lackluster opponents. Despite having a strong showing in the last four games, the Golden Gopher’s defense was not that great in the first four games of the season.
After winning its first four games by single digits, Minnesota has won the next four (all against Big Ten opponents) by an average of 31.8 points. Of course, this game is important. But it’s also the first of a four-game string that will ultimately decide the Golden Gopher’s season. After this game, they’ll face #18 Iowa on the road, Northwestern on the road and then #13 Wisconsin at home to close out the season.
While Penn State boasts the country’s second-best rushing defense (68.4 yards per game), Minnesota’s ground-attack is 31st best with 204.5 yards per game. This will be the key matchup in the game, considering RB Rodney Smith has 100-yard games in five straight. If the Golden Gophers continue that success on the ground, it’ll make things easier for the passing attack. QB Tanner Morgan has 18 TD-4 INT this season.
Two of the last three meetings between the schools have gone over the total. We like that to happen once again. Both offenses have been playing well, moving the chains with great regularity. Not to mention, both of these defenses have played a little better than anticipated. With better offenses on display, we should see enough points on the scoreboard to make this work.
2 LSU Tigers at #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (-6.5) – Total: 64
Saturday, November 9, 2019 – 3:30 p.m. EST
The annual SEC matchup between the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide usually plays a big part in the College Football Playoff discussion. There’s a big trend that has developed over the years that’ll lead us to our decision. Our top betting pick is for the total to go under 64 points. Let’s dive into those trends to see which we’re not big on many points being scored in this one.
LSU has received a little less than two-thirds of public bets/money wagered to cover the 6.5-point spread. Even for Alabama, this is a huge number to cover against a talented team. On the total, 62% of public bets have gone to the under, while only 52% of all money wagered is also going in that direction.
This is, by far, the most potent offensive attack that we’ve seen from LSU in recent memory. QB Joe Burrow is putting together a fantastic season, but he has slowed down a bit in each of the last two games – albeit, both LSU wins. And being slowed down means that the Tigers didn’t score 40 points in either game – the only two times that has happened this season.
Even though Bama’s schedule hasn’t been difficult, this is certainly the best defense Burrow and LSU has seen up to this point. Year after year these guys stock and reload, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
LSU’s defense lost a key piece this week when senior LB Michael Divinity Jr. left the team because of personal reasons. The Tigers will use different players to substitute for his absence. But prominent schools like this one typically have a lot of depth at nearly every position. It shouldn’t be a major factor for bettors to harp on.
Alabama has won each of the last eight meetings against LSU. However, this is about as even as the programs have ever been. QB Tua Tagovailoa has been dealing with an ankle injury and he’ll be a game-time decision.
However, when looking at the spread you have to think he’ll be available for this one. Not to mention, Tagovailoa will certainly be needed in this high-profile matchup. Bama’s offense will need to run the ball effectively to keep Burrow & Co. off the field. We believe they’ll be able to do so.
Both teams have been solid on defense, but it’s Alabama allowing slightly fewer total yards per game. Although Burrow is on a roll this season, last season’s matchup against Alabama was a 29-0 loss. Burrow was only 18-for-35 with 184 passing yards and one interception in that game.
While there will be a great wealth of future-NFL talent on the field again, these games don’t typically have many points scored. In fact, 10 of the last 11 Alabama-LSU games have failed to go over the total. This won’t be another one of those single-digit scoring games from either side. But 64 points are just way too many to score in this heavyweight matchup.
18 Iowa Hawkeyes at #13 Wisconsin Badgers (-9.5) – Total: 38.5
Saturday, November 9, 2019 – 4:00 p.m. EST
It’s another Big Ten matchup as the Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Camp Randall for a date with the Wisconsin Badgers. The winner of this contest could have an outside shot of making it to the Big Ten Championship Game. Our top betting pick is for Wisconsin to cover the 9.5-point spread at home. Let’s dive into the numbers to see how we landed on this conclusion.
There’s lots of agreement from bettors, with 63% of public bets and 83% of all money wagered on Wisconsin. The line is somewhat telling, in that the Badgers are this heavily favored. Iowa typically doesn’t play well against these traditional powerhouses and we can probably chalk the oddsmakers’ thoughts up to that.
Iowa’s defense has been the strength of this team, allowing only 265.9 total yards and 10.1 points per game. Granted, they haven’t faced a powerful running attack like Wisconsin’s yet, and that’ll likely be their downfall on Saturday.
Only two programs – Penn State and Michigan – were able to run for over 100 yards against Iowa. Don’t expect that to continue on Saturday, with the potent attack that Wisconsin brings to the table. The 9.5-point spread seems to indicate that Iowa’s defense won’t be as dominant as usual.
No QB in each of the last four games has completed 60% of their passes against Iowa. That’s an interesting matchup, considering QB Jack Coan has completed 74.5% of his passes this season. Needless to say, Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin running attack will need to be on their A-game. In two career games against Iowa, Taylor has amassed a total of 270 yards on the ground.
While a lot has been made of Iowa’s defense, it’s actually Wisconsin allowing the fewest total yards per game (223.5). Iowa’s offense is nothing special, scoring a total of 15 points against two ranked opponents this season. With the home Camp Randall crowd rocking, we should expect those points to shoot up all of a sudden.
Wisconsin plays much better at home, with one of the best crowds in all of college football. Not to mention, they’ll be coming in off the bye week after losing each of their last two games. There is plenty of motivation for the Badgers to come up big with extra time to prepare.