The 2011 college football regular season is rapidly coming to a close as teams begin to wrap-up their conference play in anticipation of the upcoming bowl season. The odds makers have done a pretty good job at keeping their lines sharp; making it a bit tougher to uncover the value in each week’s point spreads. The trick is to do your homework to spot the value in a few select matchups that allow you to ‘bang the book’ with a high unit play.
Last week we were off the mark a bit with the wrong call on Texas Tech, Clemson, and Iowa, but after going back to work on handicapping this week’s contests, we are confident to release a few more ‘best bets ‘ for Saturday’s games.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Northwestern Wildcats (-15.5)
Minnesota is bringing up the rear in the Big Ten Legends Division with just two wins on the year and only one in the conference, but it remains a tough out with a 5-5 record ATS. It has covered against Michigan State and Wisconsin in its past two games and is 2-2 ATS on the road this season.
Northwestern is 5-5 both SU and ATS overall but just 2-4 SU in conference play. Its defense is ranked 70th in the nation in points allowed; giving-up an average of 28.3 a game. It does come into this game having won three straight both SU and ATS.
In this series, the Golden Gophers are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings and 6-0 ATS in their last six trips to Northwestern. The road team is 10-2 ATS in the last 12 meetings and the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four.
The Free Pick: Northwestern 27 Minnesota 17
Clemson Tigers (-7.5) vs. North Carolina Wolfpack
Clemson stung us last week with a 31-28 squeaker over Wake Forest as a 16-point home favorite, but we are right back on the Tigers as a favorite on the road for this week’s game. They are 9-1 straight-up on the year and 7-3 against the spread. Clemson is 2-1 SU and ATS on the road this season and still very much in control of the ACC Atlantic Division title with a 6-1 SU record in ACC play.
NC State has dropped two of its last three games to fall to 5-5 SU overall and 3-6-1 ATS. Last week the Wolfpack failed to cover as 2.5-point road favorites in a 14-10 loss to Boston College. They are averaging the exact same amount of points as they are giving-up (24.3).
Head-to-head in this series, the road team is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings and Clemson is 5-0 ATS in its last five trips to North Carolina. With some much on the line, the Tigers do not mess around this week in nailing down a win.
The Free Pick: Clemson 33 NC State 20
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Texas Longhorns (-9.5)
Kansas State has been one of the best performing underdogs in college football this season. It is 8-2 SU overall and 8-2 ATS. It has been an underdog in seven of its 10 games. It has won four of the games outright and covered the spread in six of the seven games.
Texas is 6-3 SU overall and 5-4 ATS. It has lost three of its last five games including a 17-5 loss to Missouri last Saturday as a one-point road underdog. It is 4-2 SU at home this season and 3-3 ATS.
The Wildcats are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games in the Big 12, while the Longhorns are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 conference games. Head-to-head in this series, the underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings and Kansas State is 4-0 ATS in the last four games between the two.
The Free Pick: Kansas State 35 Texas 31
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.