A strong Week 10 came just at the right time. Burned by the continuously underachieving Aggies and Mizzou in the early window, it was 3-0 (+4 units) the rest of the day, inching into positive territory on the season. This week feels like the final turn, before the stretch run to close out the regular season. Still time for some teams to make a move toward the pole and improve their position for the finish.
Bet 1: Virginia +5.5 (-110) vs Pitt (11:00am CT Sat 11/12, ACCN; all odds via PointsBet)
The always tempting home dog strikes again. It hasn’t been pretty in Tony Elliott’s debut season in Charlottesville, but they’re playing their best ball as of late with bowl eligibility chances hanging on by a thread. If they beat Pitt on Saturday, just a Grayson McCall-less Coastal Carolina and Virginia Tech remain in their way. Pitt is far from road-proven, having only won at Western Michigan so far. Pitt probably pulls it out as the better team, but UVA will keep it close as they did losing to UNC by just 3 last week.
Bet 2: Oklahoma at West Virginia under 68 (-110) (11:00am CT Sat 11/12, FS1)
West Virginia has been dreadful since their Thursday night upset of Baylor a month ago. their best showing having been against TCU at home, sandwiched between blowout road losses at Texas Tech and Iowa St. Oklahoma had some momentum with the return of Dillon Gabriel, but couldn’t keep it going against Baylor. WVU is without half of their dynamic backfield with Tony Mathis out, and JT Daniels was so bad he was pulled from the game at ISU. It’s not going to be so much as good defense, but sloppy offense that will get in the way of this high total hitting. Something like 34-24 due to stalled drives and turnovers.
Bet 3: Penn State -10.5 (-110) vs Maryland (2:30pm CT Sat 11/12, Fox)
This pains me as I’m taking one of my least favorite coaches to win comfortably over one of my favorites, and I’ve been wrong on PSU every time this year, but I see them having turned a corner with more juice knowing they’re getting Drew Allar work as he is the leader that they see as finally cracking the OSU-UM hold on the B1G East. They aren’t putting it all on his shoulders as Clifford still played most of the Indiana game, but they aren’t masking the priority that is Allar. Terps always have a chip on their shoulder in this game, but a packed Beaver Stadium with young playmakers whipping the crowd up will be too much. (Now go screw me again Franklin)
Bet 4: TCU +7.5 (-115) vs Texas (6:30pm CT Sat 11/12, ABC)
When TCU’s undefeated season reaches its end, will it look like UCLA, Clemson and Tennessee, or more like Alabama and USC? Will it end this week after all? It’s the second one that stands out. We don’t need to crown Texas just yet. They’re not as good as the Oregon or UGA, and TCU is better than Clemson. Max Duggan will keep answering and this will stay entertaining all the way to the end. Hopefully a classic reminiscent of the Crabtree game vs UT in 2008.
Best Bet (2 units): Utah -24 (-110) vs Stanford (9:00pm CT Sat 11/12, ESPN)
When Stanford goes wrong, they go really wrong. They had a nice midseason jolt that resulted in wins at Notre Dame and against Arizona St, but they emptied their tank to get them. They’ve since lost 38-13 at UCLA, then 24-14 at home to Wazzu. It’s shaping up similarly to last November when their closest game was a 21-point loss in Corvallis, and they lost to Utah 52-7. It doesn’t have to be as bad, but Utah is highly motivated to keep their inside track to the Pac-12 Championship Game. No look-ahead to Oregon here. If anything, put it way out of reach early, and keep Rising and others healthy.
Last week: 3-2, +1.8. Season: 16-18-1, +0.14 units.