Week 11 of the college football season features four matchups between ranked teams.
Oh, and Alabama is a 51.5-point favorite against New Mexico State.
Those ranked matchups should be more entertaining. No. 4 Oklahoma travels to No. 18 Baylor after a bye week, and No. 9 Michigan will look to keep its Big Ten East hopes alive at No. 23 Penn State.
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The primetime window features a SEC West showdown between No. 11 Texas A&M and No. 12 Ole Miss and an ACC Atlantic matchup between No. 21 NC State and No. 13 Wake Forest.
Each week, Sporting News picks every AP Top 25 game by the spread. Here is a look at our track record this season:
- Straight up: 140-50 (16-6 in Week 10)
- Against the spread: 93-97 (11-11 in Week 10)
- Upsets: 7-13 (0-1 in Week 10)
With that in mind, a look at this week’s picks:
Week 11 Picks Against the Spread
Thursday, Nov. 11
- North Carolina at No. 25 Pitt (-6.5) (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Pitt has the highest-scoring offense in the country (45.0 ppg.), but the Tar Heels (38.9) are not that far behind. Kenny Pickett and Sam Howell should put on a show, and the over (74.5) is a good play here, too. The last nine meetings dating back to 2000 have been decided by seven points or less.
Pick: Pitt wins 41-38 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Friday, Nov. 12
- Cincinnati (-23.5) at South Florida (6 p.m., ESPN)
The Bearcats are being pressured to put up big numbers, and they have failed to cover each of the last three weeks. Jerome Ford’s leg injury is a concern. The Bulls are 2-2 ATS when they are underdogs of more than 20 points. Cincinnati finally gets the blowout win.
Pick: Cincinnati wins 44-17 and COVERS the spread.
Saturday, Nov. 13
- New Mexico State at No. 1 Alabama (-51.5) (12 p.m., SEC Network)
What are you even supposed to do with that kind of spread? The Aggies are 1-8, but they are 5-3 ATS as underdogs and they have covered every time the spread is more than 25 points. Alabama will pick their score here, but you have to take that many points, right?
Pick: Alabama wins 56-9 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 4 Oklahoma (-5.5) at No. 18 Baylor (12 p.m., FOX)
This line has dropped 1.5 points from its open; a sign of faith in the Bears despite their loss to TCU. Oklahoma has won the last seven meetings, but the last three in Waco by 10 points or less. We think the Sooners come out hot from the bye week.
Pick: Oklahoma wins 41-31 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 9 Michigan (-0.5) at No. 23 Penn State (12 p.m., ABC)
The Wolverines need this one more, and it won’t be easy knowing they have lost five or their last six visits to Beaver Stadium. Michigan and Penn State both have top-10 defenses, so it’s going to come down to which team generates a more-consistent running game. Penn State won that battle last year. Michigan flips the script in a close one.
Pick: Michigan wins 26-23 and COVERS the spread.
- Mississippi State at No. 16 Auburn (-4.5) (12 p.m., ESPN)
It’s a good matchup between two inconsistent teams. The Tigers have won the last two at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Auburn is 4-1 S/U and 3-0 ATS at home this season. Bo Nix gets back on track in another close one.
Pick: Auburn wins 31-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 17 Houston (-24.5) at Temple (12 p.m., ESPN+)
Cincinnati fans will be keeping an eye on Houston, which has been a road warrior this season. Temple has lost its four games by 39.5 points per game. This spread is still way high, but the Cougars come out and make a statement with their high-scoring offense.
Pick: Houston wins 43-17 and COVERS the spread.
- Northwestern at No. 20 Wisconsin (-23.5) (12 p.m., ESPN2)
Wisconsin is on a roll. The Badgers have won five in a row and have a shot at getting to the Big Ten championship game. Northwestern is 2-3 ATS as an underdog, and they have split the last six meetings with the Badgers.
Pick: Wisconsin wins 34-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Georgia State at No. 22 Coastal Carolina (-9.5) (2 p.m., ESPN+)
Georgia State hung with Louisiana on the road last week and has won three of its last four. Coastal Carolina hasn’t scored more than 35 points the last three weeks, but that single-digit spread makes it easier to bet on the Chanticleers.
Pick: Coastal Carolina wins 34-23 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 1 Georgia (-20.5) at Tennessee (3:30 p.m., CBS)
The line has dropped here, too. The Vols have the third-highest scoring offense in the SEC at 38.2 points per game. Georgia hasn’t allowed more than 13 points in a game all season. The Bulldogs have won the last four meetings by an average of 29.8 points per game. What does progress look like for Tennessee? We might regret this later.
Pick: Georgia wins 35-16 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Purdue at No. 6 Ohio State (-20.5) (3:30 p.m., ABC)
The Buckeyes have failed to cover the last two weeks, and Purdue has taken on the role of Big Ten giant killer after wins against Iowa and Michigan State. Purdue handed Ohio State its last Big Ten loss in 2018, too. The Boilermakers will make a few splash plays with David Bell, but how will they stop the Ohio State offense?
Pick: Ohio State wins 42-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Southern Miss at No. 15 UTSA (-29) (3:30 p.m., ESPN+)
Southern Miss is 1-8 S/U and 1-8 ATS for the season, and they are on the road against a prolific UTSA offense. That’s bad news against a Roadrunners offense that has put up 40-plus points per game the last four weeks. UTSA also is trying to get the New Year’s Day Six bowls’ attention. That requires style points.
Pick: UTSA wins 45-14 and COVERS the spread.
- Minnesota at No. 19 Iowa (-5.5) (3:30 p.m., BTN)
Minnesota is down to its third-string tailback and struggled on offense in a loss to Illinois. Iowa has won the last six meetings in the series, but the last three at Kinnick Stadium have been one-score games. We like the Hawkeyes’ defense at home.
Pick: Iowa wins 24-17 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 14 Louisiana (-6.5) at Troy (3:30 p.m, ESPN+)
Louisiana beat Troy 53-3 in the last meeting in 2019, a result the Trojans likely haven’t forgotten. Louisiana is 2-6 ATS as a favorite, but this is the first single-digit spread. Take advantage.
Pick: Louisiana wins 31-23 and COVERS the spread.
- Maryland at No. 8 Michigan State (-12.5) (4 p.m. FOX)
Michigan State is coming off a heart-breaking loss to Purdue, and they face another pass-happy offense in Maryland. The Terps haven’t fared well against the Big Ten East’s best teams, but they might be able to hang around in this one.
Pick: Michigan State wins 35-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 11 Texas A&M (-2.5) at No. 12 Ole Miss (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Aggies and Rebels didn’t play last year, so it’s the first time we get Jimbo Fisher vs. Lane Kiffin. That should lead to an entertaining game, one the Aggies have to be careful on the road. If the Rebels can turn this into a shootout, then Kiffin will pull out the upset special at home.
Pick: Ole Miss wins 34-31 in an UPSET.
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- No. 7 Notre Dame (-5.5) at Virginia (7:30 p.m., ABC)
This might be the most-entertaining game of the night. Virginia has won four straight games. Brennan Armstrong ranks second in the FBS with 3,557 passing yards, though he is a game-time decision with a rib injury suffered against BYU. The Irish are 3-0 against the Cavaliers all time, and the last one in Charlottesville was a 34-27 thriller. Virginia gets its revenge as long as Armstrong plays.
Pick: Virginia wins 34-31 in an UPSET.
- No. 21 NC State at No. 13 Wake Forest (-2.5) (7:30 p.m., ACC Network)
The winner will be sitting pretty in the ACC Atlantic race, but neither team can clinch. The Wolfpack has the best defense in the ACC at 16.0 points per game. Wake Forest averages 44.7 points per game. NC State won a 45-42 shootout last year. We’re going to flip the result, and the Deacons get a huge showdown with Clemson next.
Pick: Wake Forest wins 45-42 and COVERS the spread.
- TCU at No. 10 Oklahoma State (-12.5) (8 p.m., FOX)
TCU upset Baylor last week, so the Cowboys better have their guard up. The Horned Frogs have won three of the last four in the series, too. We’re still going to trust the hot home favorite. The Cowboys have covered in seven straight games.
Pick: Oklahoma State wins 33-20 and COVERS the spread.
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- Washington State at No. 5 Oregon (-13.5) (10:30 p.m., ESPN)
“Pac-12 After Dark” provides another spotlight on the Ducks, who are trying to maintain their spot in the College Football Playoff pecking order. Washington State has covered in their last six games, however, and they will make it interesting on the road.
Pick: Oregon wins 34-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.