• Rick

CFB Week 11 Best Bets

I'm back after a week removed putting out my best bets article, but I hope you were able to follow my plays on Twitter as I cashed in a 3-0 +5.58u weekend! Apologies for not providing the breakdowns of my favorite plays, but I'm hoping to continue the winning ways as we approach the home stretch in the college football regular season. Without further ado, lets get into the slate:

Vanderbilt Commodores @ Kentucky Wildcats (12:00 ET)

Favorite: Kentucky -17.5

Total: 47

Yes, I'm starting out with one of the grossest games on the slate. No, I don't think the Wildcats are that good. In fact, the Wildcats average fewer points per game and yards per game than the Commodores, but those stats are misleading. Vanderbilt played four non-conference games to begin their season and in those games averaged 42 points and 437 yards. Since then, across all of their games against SEC opponents, they're averaging just 14.4 points per game and 287 yards. Granted, two of those teams are Alabama and Georgia, but even in their other performances, it hasn't necessarily been pretty.

Now, I don't believe Kentucky is a ranked team. I don't think their offensive line is quality at all and I'm unsure how to feel about Will Levis as a quarterback prospect for the NFL. What I do know is that their defense is still very good. Aside from their game against Tennessee, Kentucky's defense hasn't allowed more than 24 points, allowing just 16.5 points per game. PFF grades them as the 2nd best coverage and 2nd best tackling team in the SEC, two areas that will be important against Vanderbilt who will try to extend your defense.

Kentucky's offense struggles to move the ball in general, but when they have success it's when they can get Christian Rodriguez and the running game established, turning into long, slow drives that chew clock. They don't have great receivers that can blow the top off of a defense. Look no further than Will Levis' 230 yards or less in each of his past four games as proof of that. It'll be a slow-paced, grind fest if Kentucky wins and because of that, I'll take Vanderbilt to not reach 17 points.

Pick: Vanderbilt TT u16.5 -115 (1u)

Silas Walker

Pittsburgh Panthers @ Virginia Cavaliers (12:00 ET)

Favorite: Pitt -5.5

Total: 41.5

I'm not sure why I like the lines in putrid games that nobody should have on their television on Saturday afternoon, but here we are. If you end up tailing this play or like it, it's absolutely one of those you don't watch until the final minutes and just hope to see your balance increase after the final on. Neither of these offenses are good. They aren't even average. We expected Virginia's to be bad, and while there was expected regression for Pittsburgh, it wasn't to this degree. Yes, Kenny Slovis has spent some time injured, but this offense even with him has been poor. Now 5-4 and with Virginia, Duke, and Miami left to play, the Panthers still see hope for an 8-4 finish and potentially end the season ranked.

To do so, they'll have to get through the Cavaliers. While the Cavaliers put up 28 points against UNC last week, anyone can do that. Casting aside that game, the Cavaliers have scored more than 17 points just once in their last 7 games. That game was a 22-20 loss against Syracuse. The Virginia offense is another level of horrible, and they're facing one of the better defenses in the ACC in Pittsburgh. I don't mind a play on the under, but I think Pittsburgh is able to cover the spread here. The stadium will be empty, it's a noon kickoff, and so long as the team doesn't come out sleeping they should be able to win something like a 23-10 game against the Cavaliers, much like they did against Syracuse last week.

Pick: Pittsburgh -5.5 -110 (1u)

Kansas State Wildcats @ Baylor Bears (7:00 ET)

Favorite: Baylor -2.5

Total: 52.5

The Baylor Bears are alive and well ladies and gentlemen! They started the season 3-3 losing to BYU, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State, and you, me, and everyone were ready to throw out their o7.5 wins ticket. Not so fast! They've now run off three impressive victories in a row against Kansas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma, with the last two coming on the road. Now against one of the best rushing teams in the conference, the winner of this game keeps their Big 12 Championship hopes alive while the other gets sent home packing.

Getting into what each team does well, for both offenses it's running the ball. Both teams average over 210 yards per game on the ground, and rank outside of the top 100 in throwing the ball. For Kansas State, that's out of necessity because their offensive line is poor and they have a quarterback by the name of Adrian Martinez who is one of the fastest in the country. Read options and the two-headed threat of him and Deuce Vaughn keep offenses off-balanced. While that is their strength, so is Baylor's rush defense. Baylor boasts the best defense in the Big 12 according to PFF, including the 2nd best rush defense and the best team in coverage. Baylor should be able to fill the box and trust their defensive backs to hold Kansas State's receivers in check in 1-on-1 coverage.

To Baylor's offense, they don't throw the ball well themselves either. Their offensive line is solid, but their receivers aren't dynamic enough to give them much balance. What they do have is a great run-blocking offensive line and one of the deepest running back rooms in the country. Over this three-game win streak, the Bears are averaging 262 rushing yards per game and will look to implement the same model here. The Wildcats have a very average defense, allowing 5.72 yards per play in the conference, and grade in the middle of the pack across all categories within the Big 12.

It feels like Baylor has found their stride this season after a tough start, and with them at home I trust them to pull it out late, even if by a field goal. Give me the Bears.

Pick: Bears -2.5 -115 (1.5u)

Jerry Larson - AP


Thank you for taking the time to read my CFB analysis, I hope you learned some about the games you didn't previously know much about and are able to cash some tickets with me! If you enjoyed this type of analysis, feel free to subscribe to Happy Hour Sports and never miss a post! We have plenty of articles for betting on:

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