There are only a few weeks of full college football slates left before we get into postseason play, so let’s enjoy what we have left by winning some cash together.
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Saturday, Nov. 13 | 12:00 PM EST | ABC
The Pick: Michigan -1
Michigan has the best pass-rush tandem in college football. Edge defenders Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo are the only two teammates in the FBS who each have a 90.0-plus pass-rush grade for the 2021 season. Hutchinson, in particular, is the highest-graded player at the position nationally (93.6). Those two have led Michigan to the fifth-highest pressure rate in the Power Five (37.4%), which is an extreme area of weakness for Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford.
Penn State QB Sean Clifford under pressure in conference play this year
|Yards Per Attempt||3.3|
|EPA Per Play||-0.67|
Pass-rush matters at the Power Five level. Hutchinson and Ojabo have the potential to force Clifford into turnovers, whether it be via interception or a strip-sack. It’s also noteworthy that run defense isn’t exactly Penn State's strength. The Nittany Lions have allowed the third-worst successful run rate in Big Ten play this year. The Wolverines rank second in that metric on running back carries in conference play. Blake Corum’s status is up in the air, but Michigan actually has a higher success rate when giving the ball to Hassan Haskins.
With Michigan's advantages on the ground and in the pass-rush departments, take the Wolverines.
NO. 1 GEORGIA BULLDOGS at TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 3:30 PM EST | CBS
The Pick: UNDER 56
Georgia has a rare defense whose dominance will be talked about for decades down the road. The Bulldogs have allowed just five touchdowns to the opposing offenses in their nine games this year. Overall, they are allowing a score at a rate over seven percentage points lower than any other team in the Power Five.
Lowest Scoring Drive Allowed Percentage in the Power Five
|1. Georgia Bulldogs||10.4%|
|2. Wisconsin Badgers||17.6%|
|3. Texas A&M Aggies||19.3%|
|4. NC State Wolfpack||19.8%|
Tennessee has completely revamped its offense under new head coach Josh Heupel. His offense provides simplistic reads for the quarterback, and Hendon Hooker has executed the plan well on a weekly basis. Hooker owns an 81.1 passing grade for the season and has led the Vols to the ninth-most efficient passing offense since taking over the starting gig in Week 3.
However, do they have the horses to put up points on the Bulldogs? No. At this point, it doesn’t look like one exists. Heupel’s offense relies on big plays, and Tennessee is averaging 15.8 yards per completion in conference play under Hooker — nearly a yard more than any other SEC team. The Volunteers will spread out the offense sideline to sideline and try to catch the defense off guard, but Georgia does not get caught off guard. The Bulldogs are allowing the lowest explosive pass play rate in SEC play (10.1%) and should apply pressure on Hooker, whose biggest flaw is his pocket presence. The Tennessee quarterback is converting pressure to sacks at the highest rate in the Power Five (36.4%).
This is likely to be a low-scoring Tennessee offense that will see its quarterback brought to the ground more times than one can count on one hand. That screams under 56 points. The only time a Georgia game went over that total is when it beat UAB 56-7 and Vanderbilt 62-0.
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 2:30 PM EST | ESPN+
The Pick: South Alabama +22.5
Appalachian State quarterback Chase Brice has revived his career with the Mountaineers after a disappointing year at Duke in 2020. He has an 87.8 passing grade for the season and a 21:6 big-time-throw-to-turnover-worthy-play ratio. Those marks are well above his 2020 season, when he earned a 46.4 passing grade and a 10:22 big-time-throw-to-turnover-worthy-play ratio. That all being said, it’s important to note he has played lesser competition this year. This South Alabama defense will undoubtedly be the toughest one he has faced as a Mountaineer.
Led by first-year head coach Kane Wommack, the Jaguars have allowed the 11th-best successful pass play rate in the FBS this season. A year ago, South Alabama ranked 120th in that metric. They’ve limited big plays while forcing turnovers at an above-average rate in what is a single-high-safety defense. Brice’s passing grade dips over 10 points coverages with a single-high safety.
South Alabama can keep this within 22 points for the cover thanks to its defense.
Related content for you: College Football Offensive Line Rankings: Top 10 units ahead of Week 11 via Anthony Treash
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS at NO. 3 OREGON DUCKS
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 10:30 PM EST | ESPN
The Pick: Washington State +14
It's hard to have faith in Oregon’s passing offense. Anthony Brown has a 57.4 passing grade and more turnover-worthy plays (seven) than big-time throws (six) on true dropbacks in Pac-12 play. Washington State’s defense is no world-beater, but it is above average relative to its counterparts. It is third in conference games in EPA per pass allowed and has been forcing tight coverage at the second-highest rate among Pac-12 teams.
Washington State’s passing offense has been on a bit of a heater as of late, too. Led by quarterback Jayden de Laura, the Cougars have produced the second-most efficient passing offense in the Pac-12 since Week 6. A big reason for that has been de Laura’s deep passing. In that stretch, de Laura has completed 11-of-17 passes over 20 yards downfield for 358 yards and four touchdowns with seven big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays. Having that kind of success with Oregon edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux in his face won’t be easy, but de Laura has shown the ability to withstand mucky pockets and make off-platform throws.
After all, I’m not saying the Cougars are going to win, I just think they keep this within two scores.
OTHER BETS I LIKE TODAY
NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS at NO. 18 WISCONSIN BADGERS
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 12:00 PM EST | ESPN2
The Pick: Northwestern +24 and UNDER 41
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 12:00 PM EST | SEC Network
The Pick: New Mexico State +51.5 and UNDER 67
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 12:00 PM EST | SEC Network
The Pick: Houston -24
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 3:30 PM EST | ESPN2
The Pick: UNDER 58.5
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 4:00 PM EST | FOX
The Pick: Maryland +13 and UNDER 60.5
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 5:00 PM EST | ESPN+
The Pick: UNDER 66.5
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 7:00 PM EST | FS1
The Pick: Washington +5.5
TCU HORNED FROGS at NO. 10 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 8:00 PM EST | FOX
The Pick: UNDER 54.5