Betting News & Analysis

Week 11 College Football Picks: Getting nearly 2 TDs, Rice is a strong bet at WKU

Houston, Texas, USA; Rice Owls running back Cameron Montgomery (1) runs with the ball as Houston Cougars defensive back Jayce Rogers (6) attempts to make a tackle during the third quarter at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bet Rice +13.5 at Western Kentucky: The Owls have outperformed their underdog status this season, save for their big loss two weeks ago to Charlotte, whom Western Kentucky beat convincingly, creating a market over adjustment.

Bet Charlotte +11 at Middle Tennessee: Not much has changed with these programs over the past 12 months, so why are the double-digit dogs after winning last year's matchup by three points?

• The 49ers' success rate is 6% higher than the Blue Raiders against similar schedules over the past month.

Last updated: Nov. 11, 10:00 a.m.

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

A no-sweat week is exactly what was required after a small recent slide. Ohio State at Northwestern was forecast for strong winds. The market did not move too much late in the week after moving from 61.5 to 57.5 early, then down again to 55.5. Somewhat surprisingly given the forecast, that is where it closed. The gusting wind arrived and prevented teams from attempting field goals, and there were multiple attempts to convert 4th-and-medium and 4th-and-long as a result. The under relied on Ohio State not putting up too many points on the ground, and because the Buckeyes ran the ball 81% of the time on first and second down, Northwestern was able to concentrate on stopping the run and limited them to a pitiful -0.306 EPA/play on early downs. 

This weekly preview now stands at 9-7 on the season for +1.34 units and a 7.63% ROI. 

Rice (+13.5) @ Western Kentucky 

Western Kentucky has posted big numbers against teams with bad defenses this year, but the Hilltoppers' performances against better teams have left something to be desired. Rice is no pushover — the Owls have outperformed underdog status all year, beating Louisiana-Lafayette, UAB and Florida Atlantic — even leading against Houston with five minutes to go as a 17.5-point road dog.

Rice's big loss to Charlotte two weeks ago is a complete outlier performance in an otherwise solid campaign, and the Owls corrected their mistakes with a good win over UTEP. Western Kentucky blew out that same Charlotte team last week, and the market has over-adjusted for the stark contrast of those two performances. 

Best Bet: Rice +13.5 (playable to 10.5)

Bet Gameplan: Playable to 10.5

Charlotte (+11) @ Middle Tennessee

Not much has changed for either of these teams over the past 12 months, but the market sees things very differently than it did in their game last year. The 49ers were favored by 2.5 points in that game — and ended up winning by three — but now they are double-digit underdogs in the reverse fixture. Neither of these teams can defend, and we are likely to see a shootout, but Charlotte has posted a 6% higher success rate on early downs over the past month than Middle Tennessee against similar schedules (both teams played Western Kentucky and UAB). Charlotte’s offensive advantage is as big if not bigger than Middle Tennessee’s defensive advantage, and there is no reason that this spread is this wide.

Best Bet: Charlotte +11

Bet Gameplan: Playable to 9.5


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