Best college football bets for Week 11

Phil Steele, Chris Fallica and "Stanford Steve" Coughlin
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Season records

Steele: 33-25-1 (last week: 4-1)
Coughlin: 35-13-1 ATS (last week: 3-2)
Fallica: 36-25-1 ATS (last week: 5-2



As we enter a crucial stage in the college football season, each team reveals more about itself by the week, and each game offers a chance for the most observant bettors to take advantage of what they learn. Every Thursday, Phil Steele, Chris Fallica and "Stanford Steve" Coughlin pick their top plays across the college football landscape.


Here are the best bets for Week 11 of the college football season:


Lines (with one exception) from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of Wednesday night. As always, shop for the best price.


No. 24 Auburn Tigers at No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs (-14; O/U 50)

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Fallica: You might fight the theme in my approach this week as you read along, and we'll start with a play against the only <offer style="box-sizing: border-box;"></offer>ranked team with a worse offense than Michigan State. While Georgia has the SEC East locked up, there's still the matter of playing for a return trip to the College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs really needed the off week after the loss in Baton Rouge, and since that moment, they couldn't have looked any better in disposing of top-15 opponents Florida and Kentucky.


D'Andre Swift is healthy and the team is getting healthier. Its depth is beginning to show as well. It feels as if the Bulldogs were dismissed after the loss to LSU, but they are still the only team in the country with an offense (third), defense (fourth) and special teams (10th) each ranked in the top 25 nationally in efficiency ratings. Georgia has won 10 straight at home by an average margin of 28.6 points. Nine of the 10 wins have been by at least 21, and all 10 have been by 14 (or more). Only Missouri scored more than 14 points (in a 53-28 UGA win). Against a great defense in Starkville, Auburn managed only nine points against Mississippi State.


ATS pick: Georgia -14
Score: Georgia 34, Auburn 14



No. 2 Clemson Tigers (-20) at No. 17 Boston College Eagles (O/U 58)

Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
Steele: Last year when these teams played in Death Valley, the score was tied 7-7 in the fourth quarter with Clemson adding four scores in the final 12 minutes for a misleading 34-7 final. Boston College is at home at night in what will be a chilly atmosphere that would favor the home team. Clemson had one other road night game this year and was outgained by 88 yards in a two-point win at Texas A&M.


Boston College has one of the top offensive lines in the country, which has given up only 13 sacks, and that O-line should be able to slow down that great Clemson defensive front. Clemson is playing with pressure and knows it just needs to win out to reach the College Football Playoff. Last week, the top six ranked teams all won big as favorites (LSU was an underdog), going 4-0-1 ATS with the average cover by 16.8 points. The action will be on the big favorites this week, and I will take advantage of the inflated number with a solid home underdog.


ATS pick: Boston College +20
Score: Clemson 33, Boston College 20



No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (-3.5) at No. 18 Michigan State Spartans (O/U 52)

Saturday, 12 p.m. ET

Coughlin: We're going back to the well here with the Buckeyes, after losing with them last week. Michigan State leads the country in rush defense, giving up only 125 yards per game, and I think Urban Meyer and Ryan Day are smart enough to realize that. Ohio State will not try to run the ball, and will instead throw it with star QB Dwayne Haskins, who has already thrown for over 3,000 yards and 30 TDs this season.


I'm also just still not a fan of the Spartans' offense. I'll lay the points with the road team.


ATS pick: Ohio State -3.5
Score: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 20


Fallica: Michigan State is typically a great underdog, but I think the matchup here favors the Buckeyes -- and they come at a bit of a discount. It has been the Buckeyes' defense that has been the problem this season, but I'm not sure the Spartans' offense, which is 61st nationally in offensive efficiency (second-worst rating of any team ranked in the top 25) will be able to exploit those problems in the back seven -- especially without Felton Davis. Ohio State is still a top-10 offense and anything more than 27 points scored should mean a cover for the Buckeyes. I think they get there.


ATS pick: Ohio State -3.5
Score: Ohio State 31, Michigan State 17



Ole Miss Rebels at Texas A&M Aggies (-12; O/U 67)

Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
Coughlin: The Aggies play at home for the first time since Oct. 6, when they handed Kentucky its first loss of the season. Texas A&M is fresh off a tough loss at Auburn last week in which it blew a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter, so a home game is just what the Aggies need in front of their awesome home crowd. The Ole Miss defense could be just what Jimbo and his boys need too, because the Rebels' D doesn't really do anything well.


Ole Miss gives up 499 yards of offense per game, including more than 210 yards on the ground. I love the advantage A&M has here because its strength is running the ball with Trayveon Williams, who has 931 yards and 10 TDs on the ground this year.


I'll give the points with the home team.


ATS pick: Texas A&M -12
Score: Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 23


Steele: Texas A&M is one of the most underrated teams in the country. The Aggies come in just 5-4, but their losses were at home against Alabama and Clemson, and on the road at Mississippi State and Auburn. Last week, Texas A&M had a 28-13 edge in first downs, a 421-278 edge in yards, and led by 10 points with 5:30 left at Auburn. A&M has a significant advantage on defense this week, holding foes to 115 yards per game below their season average, and Ole Miss is allowing opponents 60 yards per game above their season average.


Texas A&M is playing its first home game in a month and is 4-0 ATS at home, having outgained Clemson by 88 yards, and not allowing Kentucky to get a single snap from the Aggies side of the field during regulation with a 390-178 edge in yards. A&M will be able to run with Trayveon Williams going against an Ole Miss defense that is giving up 241 yards per game on the ground in SEC play; that defense also allows opposing quarterbacks to complete 67.4 percent of their throws.


ATS pick: Texas A&M -12
Score: Texas A&M 45 Ole Miss 24



South Florida Bulls at Cincinnati Bearcats(-14; O/U 57.5)

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Coughlin: After going against the Bearcats last week, it took about three minutes into the game to realize we were on the wrong side. I came away very impressed by Cincinnati and am pretty bummed the Bearcats aren't ranked in the last set of playoff rankings -- they're 8-1! The Bulls come north for this game -- which should be around 22 degrees at kickoff -- having lost two in a row after winning their first seven games. South Florida is giving up over 40 points a game in its past five contests, and the Bulls have averaged giving up over 440 yards per game on the season. Cincy's defense has been great all year, and as I mentioned before, the conditions seem to favor the Bearcats for a night game in historic Nippert Stadium.


I'll take the home team and give the points.


ATS pick: Cincinnati -14
Score: Cincinnati 45, USF 21


I'm also just still not a fan of the Spartans' offense. I'll lay the points with the road team.


ATS pick: Ohio State -3.5
Score: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 20


Fallica: Michigan State is typically a great underdog, but I think the matchup here favors the Buckeyes -- and they come at a bit of a discount. It has been the Buckeyes' defense that has been the problem this season, but I'm not sure the Spartans' offense, which is 61st nationally in offensive efficiency (second-worst rating of any team ranked in the top 25) will be able to exploit those problems in the back seven -- especially without Felton Davis. Ohio State is still a top-10 offense and anything more than 27 points scored should mean a cover for the Buckeyes. I think they get there.


ATS pick: Ohio State -3.5
Score: Ohio State 31, Michigan State 17



Ole Miss Rebels at Texas A&M Aggies (-12; O/U 67)

Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
Coughlin: The Aggies play at home for the first time since Oct. 6, when they handed Kentucky its first loss of the season. Texas A&M is fresh off a tough loss at Auburn last week in which it blew a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter, so a home game is just what the Aggies need in front of their awesome home crowd. The Ole Miss defense could be just what Jimbo and his boys need too, because the Rebels' D doesn't really do anything well.


Ole Miss gives up 499 yards of offense per game, including more than 210 yards on the ground. I love the advantage A&M has here because its strength is running the ball with Trayveon Williams, who has 931 yards and 10 TDs on the ground this year.


I'll give the points with the home team.


ATS pick: Texas A&M -12
Score: Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 23


Steele: Texas A&M is one of the most underrated teams in the country. The Aggies come in just 5-4, but their losses were at home against Alabama and Clemson, and on the road at Mississippi State and Auburn. Last week, Texas A&M had a 28-13 edge in first downs, a 421-278 edge in yards, and led by 10 points with 5:30 left at Auburn. A&M has a significant advantage on defense this week, holding foes to 115 yards per game below their season average, and Ole Miss is allowing opponents 60 yards per game above their season average.


Texas A&M is playing its first home game in a month and is 4-0 ATS at home, having outgained Clemson by 88 yards, and not allowing Kentucky to get a single snap from the Aggies side of the field during regulation with a 390-178 edge in yards. A&M will be able to run with Trayveon Williams going against an Ole Miss defense that is giving up 241 yards per game on the ground in SEC play; that defense also allows opposing quarterbacks to complete 67.4 percent of their throws.


ATS pick: Texas A&M -12
Score: Texas A&M 45 Ole Miss 24



South Florida Bulls at Cincinnati Bearcats(-14; O/U 57.5)

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Coughlin: After going against the Bearcats last week, it took about three minutes into the game to realize we were on the wrong side. I came away very impressed by Cincinnati and am pretty bummed the Bearcats aren't ranked in the last set of playoff rankings -- they're 8-1! The Bulls come north for this game -- which should be around 22 degrees at kickoff -- having lost two in a row after winning their first seven games. South Florida is giving up over 40 points a game in its past five contests, and the Bulls have averaged giving up over 440 yards per game on the season. Cincy's defense has been great all year, and as I mentioned before, the conditions seem to favor the Bearcats for a night game in historic Nippert Stadium.


I'll take the home team and give the points.


ATS pick: Cincinnati -14
Score: Cincinnati 45, USF 21




Wisconsin Badgers at No. 20 Penn State Nittany Lions (-9; O/U 55.5)

Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ABC)
Steele: The previous three meetings between these two teams have all been decided by a touchdown or less. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor(1,363 yards, 6.6 yards per carry, 11 TD) spearheads a dominant Wisconsin run game that averages 273 yards on the ground and 6.2 yards per carry. Wisconsin even rushed for 183 yards and 6.3 yards per carry against Michigan's top-rated defense.


The Badgers take on a Penn State rush defense that has given up 206 yards per game rushing over its past three games. Wisconsin is outgaining Big Ten foes by 37 yards per game, and Penn State is being outgained by 22 yards per game in Big Ten play. Wisconsin went into Iowa at night and won 28-17.


The Badgers will be using their backup quarterback in Jack Coan (replacing Alex Hornibrook, who has tossed 23 interceptions the past two years, so not much of a downgrade), who will be better prepared going into his second start. Penn State is most dangerous at home at night, but this game is at noon.


ATS pick: Wisconsin +9
Score: Penn State 27, Wisconsin 24


Fallica: After getting run out of Michigan Stadium in the second half, Penn State heads home and takes on a Badgers team that, like Penn State, has fallen short of expectations this year. In its past two road games, Wisconsin has put up 13 at Michigan and 17 at Northwestern. The Badgers will be down to backup QB Jack Coen and will try to rely on a ground game and defense to hang around in this one. Penn State has more answers on offense at this point in the year and, against the run, the Nittany Lions did play well last week outside of one long play by Karan Higdon.


ATS pick: Penn State -9
Score: Penn State 33, Wisconsin 17



Miami Hurricanes at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-3.5; O/U 55.5)

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN 2)
Steele: Miami has done well historically when facing the Georgia Tech option, thanks to its dynamic athletes in the defensive front seven. The Hurricanes have gone 8-1 straight up and 7-2 ATS in their past nine games against Georgia Tech. Mark Richt has also done well going against the Tech option, with a 15-2 straight up and 11-5-1 ATS record going back to his days at Georgia. Miami leads the nation in tackles for loss with 94, and gives up only 123 yards per game rushing and 3.2 yards per carry. Tech has faced two stout run defenses that also do well facing the option in Duke and Clemson, and lost both games by a combined 42 points.


ATS pick: Miami +3.5
Score: Miami 24, Georgia Tech 20



Temple Owls at Houston Cougars (-4.5; O/U 69)

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
Fallica: You have to wonder how much is left in the tank for Temple after going up and down the field last week at UCF. There's no way Ryquell Armsteadis close to 100 percent, and that could hurt against a Houston front that's much better than the one the Owls faced in Orlando, Florida. The Cougars' loss to SMU last week was a head-scratching letdown coming off a blowout win over then-undefeated South Florida. This is a chance to bounce back from that misstep and stay on track for a potential AAC title game showdown in Orlando. Expect the Houston offense to go fast and score often.


ATS pick: Houston -4.5
Score: Houston 44, Temple 31



Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at UAB Blazers (-11.5; O/U 46.5)

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Steele: UAB is 11-0 straight up and 10-0-1 ATS at home since the team was brought back in 2017. Southern Miss does have a solid defense, but UAB's defense is even stronger and in its past six games, the Blazers are giving up 241 total yards per game. These two teams have played four common foes. UAB has gone 4-0 versus those four teams and had an average score of 45.2-7.8; Southern Miss, against those same four teams, is 2-2 with an average score of 22.8-22.2.


UAB is the stronger team and has been dominant at home, and it will want to do well in its final home game of the season.


ATS pick: UAB -11.5
Score: UAB 31, Southern Mississippi 10



UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils(-13.5; O/U 59.5)

Saturday, 2 p.m. ET
Steele: UCLA has two Pac-12 wins, but those came against Cal when the Bruins were plus-five in turnovers and against an Arizona team that was down to a backup quarterback. Arizona outgained the Bruins by 60 yards in that game, but UCLA still won by a point. UCLA has lost its other Pac-12 games by 20.2 points per game, and allowed 225 yards per game rushing and 5.1 yards per carry on defense.


Arizona State has the triplets on offense, in running back Eno Benjamin (1,113 yards, 5.8 yards per carry), QB Manny Wilkins (65 percent completion rate, 15-3 TD-INT ratio, 311 yards rushing) and WR N'Keal Harry (55 catches, 828 yards, 9 TD), who could be the first receiver taken in next year's NFL draft. Arizona State's four home wins have been by 22.8 points per game, and UCLA's three road losses have been by an average of 23.6 points. UCLA is also on a second tough road trip after Chip Kelly's return to Oregon last week.


ATS pick: Arizona State -13.5
Score: Arizona State 40, UCLA 20



Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Cardinal(-23.5; O/U 59)

Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
Coughlin: I just don't think Stanford should be giving anyone 23.5 points.


I'll take the Beavers on the road and the points.


ATS pick: Oregon State +23.5
Score: Stanford 34, Oregon State 24


Fallica bonus play No.1

Thirteen-team money line parlay -- each $1 unit returns $2.96





Fallica bonus play No. 2

USC Trojans to win Pac-12 at 8-1 (available at Caesars)
Four teams currently have three losses in the Pac-12 South, and there's a good chance USC will be the only team to finish 6-3, thus finding itself in the Pac-12 title game. Here's how. SC would need to beat Cal and UCLA -- two games in which the Trojans will be favored. Utah just lost starting QB Tyler Huntley and has Oregon and a trip to Boulder left on the schedule. Arizona will be a healthy dog in Pullman, and also hosts Arizona State.


The Sun Devils must go to Autzen, Tucson and have UCLA this week. If that scenario plays out, SC has already beaten Washington State this season, and if it's Washington in the title game, it's not as if UW is close to what most thought it would be. You think you'd take a chance with USC at +800 in that game? That's what I thought.