Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 11!
#15 Texas A&M Aggies (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -14, Total: 56.5
Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL – Saturday, November 10th, 3:30 ET
The Crimson Tide have played a lot of great teams this year, including Mississippi State, LSU, and Michigan. However, of all of those battles – and yes, that includes the meeting with the Bayou Bengals – this is the one which is considered the toughest game. Had you factored out home field advantage, the oddsmakers estimated LSU to be approximately 12 points worse than Alabama. This week? The difference is just 10.5 points. This is clearly the biggest challenge for QB Johnny Manziel in his young career, though it might not be beyond him. He struggled against both LSU and Florida, but he did put up more points against those teams than most did. These clubs haven’t met since 1988, but they are going to do so every year now that they share the SEC West together. A win for the Crimson Tide, and they lock up the division and will have their ticket punched to the SEC Championship Game.
#2 Kansas State Wildcats (9-0 SU, 8-1 ATS) @ TCU Horned Frogs (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS)
Spread: Kansas State -7.5, Total: 60
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX – Saturday, November 10th, 7:00 ET
All eyes are on QB Collin Klein in this one. Klein is most definitively the Heisman Trophy favorite at this point, but he left last week’s game with the infamous “undisclosed injury.” At the outset of the week, Head Coach Bill Snyder said that Klein was likely going to give it a go on Saturday in the Lone Star State, and that’s exactly what is going to happen. This is a dangerous game for the No. 2 ranked team in the land, probably the most dangerous that is left on the slate. However, with three road wins already, two of which were covered by at least three touchdowns, there is no reason for Wildcats fans to fret. TCU is coming off of its biggest win of the year against West Virginia though, and it is going to hope to continue to march into the Top 25 if it can pull off this upset at home.
#3 Oregon Ducks (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) @ Cal Golden Bears (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -28, Total: 67.5
AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA – Saturday, November 10th, 10:30 ET
Over 70% of the betting action is on the Ducks as of midweek, and that means that there are going to be a lot of bettors hoping to see a heck of a lot of points put on the board. The Quack Attack beat the snot out of USC last week on the road by dropping 62 points and 700+ yards, but this is a bad spot for a letdown game. There really is nothing to gain for Oregon, knowing that the computers are only going to punish it whether it wins or loses for playing such a weak foe. The Golden Bears’ season is said and done with thanks to a seventh loss last week, but Head Coach Jeff Tedford could possibly still be saved with an upset. If not, a guaranteed 4-8 or 3-9 season would certainly see Tedford thrown out the door in Berkeley, which is a fitting end for a team that vastly underachieved this year. The Ducks covered last year’s game with a 43-15 win, but the last time they came to the Golden State to take on Cal, they had to survive a 15-13 victory in which just one touchdown was scored.
#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) @ Boston College Eagles (2-7 SU, 2-7 ATS)
Spread: Notre Dame -19, Total: 47.5
Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA – Saturday, November 10th, 8:00 ET
The good Catholic rivalry continues this week for the Eagles and the Fighting Irish, and just as we saw in the game above with Oregon and Cal, we have one team that has very little to gain and everything to lose on the road against a team that is finished for the year and has a de facto lame duck head coach. Yes, Frank Spaziani is expected to be the first coach given the boot at the end of this regular season barring a miracle of a change in his team, and his Eagles are a living nightmare at the moment. They have just one win over the course of the whole season against FBS foes, and that came against a Maryland team that truly has become lame with all of its quarterback injuries. Notre Dame can’t afford to punt this one away, but it had better have learned its lesson about rivalry games last year. The Eagles nearly won in South Bend, losing just 16-14 as 24-point underdogs. It was the third cover over the course of the last four years in this series for BC.
#5 Georgia Bulldogs (8-1 SU, 4-5 ATS) @ Auburn Tigers (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -15.5, Total: 53
Jordan Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL – Saturday, November 10th, 7:00 ET
Here we go again. Another game. Another road team ranked in the Top 5. Nothing to gain. Everything to lose. Lame duck head coach coaching the other team. Auburn has been the biggest disaster in the SEC this year, and Head Coach Gene Chizik will be the second coach, next to Kentucky’s Joker Phillips that gets the boot at the end of the campaign in all likelihood. Georgia has been great since getting ripped by South Carolina, but it hasn’t had to do a heck of a lot on the road. Remember that the Bulldogs only barely beat Kentucky, were tested for three quarters by Missouri, and were destroyed by South Carolina in three very suspect games. This might have been a dangerous game if not for the fact that the Bulldogs are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS over the course of the last 10 games in this rivalry.
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) @ #6 Florida Gators (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS)
Spread: Florida -26.5, Total: 50.5
Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL – Saturday, November 10th, 12:21 ET
The Sun Belt has had a great time of it this year against the SEC from a betting standpoint, and there have even been a few upsets to note as well. This clearly shouldn’t be an upset, but we have seen dumber things happen than this. The Cajuns are one of the top teams in the Sun Belt this year, and Florida has really screwed around with a number of teams that it should have never been involved in games with, including last week against Missouri when the Tigers took the Gators all the way down to the wire. Florida at least knows that no one else in front of it has a lot to gain or lose this week in the BCS Rankings barring an upset, so the fact that this is such a weak game is of no concern. These teams have met three times since 1985, with Florida winning the three by the aggregate score of 161-35.
#21 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) @ #7 LSU Tigers (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS)
Spread: LSU -14.5, Total: 44
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA – Saturday, November 10th, 7:00 ET
You have to go back to 1999 to find the last time that the Bulldogs beat the Tigers, and you have to go to 1991 for the last win for the Dogs here in Baton Rouge. That’s a stretch of 19 wins against just one loss in this series for the Bayou Bengals, and there have been some ugly romps in that stretch. Mississippi State has been held in single digits 10 of the last 20 games in this series and has averaged just 12.8 points per game in these games. There were three shutouts as well. LSU’s National Championship dreams took a massive hit, but matters aren’t fatal yet. We have seen the Tigers come back from the depths with two losses before, and they will have a shot to do it once again this year with a heck of a lot of help. Winning this one is a pre-requisite, though, especially against an MSU team that has dropped two games in a row in horrid fashion both weeks.
Arkansas Razorbacks (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS) @ #8 South Carolina Gamecocks (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -14, Total: 53
Williams Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC – Saturday, November 10th, 12:00 ET
At the outset of the year, it really looked like this was going to be a great game between a pair of Top 10 teams and potentially a preview, had all gone well, of the SEC Championship Game. That lasted all of one week until Arkansas was beaten by Louisiana Monroe, and then it looked like the game would be a dog in which the Gamecocks romped. However, we have to be careful here with the Hogs. They’ve quietly won three out of four, though none of have come against the best teams in the world by any stretch of the imagination. Remember that South Carolina doesn’t have RB Marcus Lattimore, and it has looked a bit lost since getting romped by the Gators in the Swamp. This isn’t a great series historically for Cocky and the gang, as SC has dropped three in a row both SU and ATS and has lost all of those games by at least 16 points. The talent is there for the Razorbacks to win this game, but it is going to take a superlative effort to do so.
#9 Louisville Cardinals (9-0 SU, 4-5 ATS) @ Syracuse Orange (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -3, Total: 58
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY – Saturday, November 10th, 12:00 ET
Louisville is that “other” 9-0 team that no one really talks about all that much. The Cardinals still really don’t have the respect of most in the nation, and that includes the oddsmakers, who think there is a real chance that they lose this game. This one means everything for the ‘Cuse, who know that they need to find two wins somewhere over the course of the next three games to be able to make it to a bowl game. The last two meetings of these clubs both went to the Cards relatively comfortably, but prior to that, Syracuse had covered five in a row, including a 38-35 upset in favor of the Orange as 37 point underdogs, a game which really sent Louisville spiraling out of control for the next few years before Head Coach Charlie Strong came and righted the ship.
#10 Florida State Seminoles (8-1 SU, 4-4 ATS) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -14, Total: 51.5
Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA – Thursday, November 8th, 7:30 ET
The Hokies and the Seminoles were both supposed to be Top 15 teams this year, and both were supposed to be contenders for the BCS National Championship. Florida State is as fringe of a contender as exists right now, and the Hokies know that if they lose this one as they should, they need to win each of their last two games of the year just to make it to a bowl game. Of course, a 6-6 team in the ACC might be good enough to play for the ACC Championship as well, so this could still very well be the first of two meetings of these two teams. Florida State knows that it likely has to win this one, or its chances at the BCS are up in flames, though at least at large consideration will have to be given to the Noles if they finish up at 10-2 in spite of the fact that, at that point, they will not play in the ACC Championship Game in all likelihood. These teams last met in the title game for the ACC, a 44-33 win for the Hokies in the de facto debut as a starter of QB EJ Manuel, who is making his first and only return trip to his home state of Virginia for this game.
#11 Oregon State Beavers (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) @ #14 Stanford Cardinal (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -4.5, Total: 44.5
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA – Saturday, November 10th, 3:00 ET
The Rose Bowl? The Pac-12 Championship? Another spot in the BCS? They could all be on the line this week down on “The Farm” in what might be the most important game of the entire weekend. This one will go unnoticed for sure, but Stanford and Oregon State both have great defenses and a heck of a lot of potential. The winner will have its Pac-12 Championship hopes still intact, while the loser knows that it is probably off to the Holiday Bowl or the Sun Bowl barring an upset of Oregon (both teams still play the Ducks down the road). The Cardinal have claimed the last two in this series with relative ease, wining 38-13 at Reser Stadium last year and 38-0 two years ago here at Stanford Stadium, but prior to that, the team had failed to cover three of the last four against OSU.
Baylor Bears (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS) @ #12 Oklahoma Sooners (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -21.5, Total: 77
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK – Saturday, November 10th, 3:30 ET
The Sooners know that they are in good shape right now for a bid to the BCS, but they have to keep winning and likely have to win out to get into the biggest bowl games of the campaign. Baylor ruined any shot of Oklahoma to be in the BCS last year though, and this would be the second straight time that it would happen. The Bears are playing for their own bowl hopes at the moment as well, knowing that they need to go 2-2 in these final four games just to make the second season. The Bears are 6-3 ATS in the last nine games in this series ever since being 54.5 point underdogs to the Sooners in 2003, a game that was covered thanks to a 41-3 loss in spite of the fact that Baylor had just 183 total yards. To put that in comparison, the Bears had 616 yards in last year’s game.
Maryland Terrapins (4-5 SU, 4-4-1 ATS) @ #13 Clemson Tigers (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS)
Spread: Clemson -31.5, Total: 55
Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC – Saturday, November 10th, 3:30 ET
Maryland probably has the biggest problem right now in the country, as it has no choice but to use a linebacker at the quarterback position after a ton of injuries that have knocked the first four signal callers out. Clemson meanwhile, is just rolling and hoping that its one loss doesn’t ultimately keep it out of the BCS. With Boise State out of the way, the Tigers have to feel good if they win out whether they win the ACC or not, but nothing is guaranteed. Last year, there were 101 points scored in this game, but it is clear that if there are that many this time around, it’s going to be Clemson scoring in the 80s or 90s. The Tigers have won and covered two in a row in this series, though it is going to take a massive effort to get the job done in this one.
Penn State Nittany Lions (6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS) @ #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Spread: Nebraska -7, Total: 53
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE – Saturday, November 10th, 3:30 ET
The Cornhuskers know that they need to win three more games to make it to the Big Ten Championship Game, though losing one of the three won’t necessarily eliminate them if Michigan loses another game. Penn State is going to try to make life a living hell on Nebraska like the Huskers did to it last year, taking it out of the Big Ten title game as well with a 17-14 win in University Park. The Nittany Lions have done tremendously well, winning six of the last seven games since losing to Ohio and Virginia to start off the season. However, this is a really tough task and one that doesn’t figure to be passed in all likelihood. QB Mat McGloin and the Penn State offense have scored at least 23 points in every game since Week 2, and that will have to happen again. The good news for the Lions? They’re 2-0-1 ATS in the three meetings that these teams have played since 2002, and back then, the they trumped the then No. 1 Huskers in Happy Valley.
Iowa State Cyclones (5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS) @ #17 Texas Longhorns (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS)
Spread: Texas -10, Total: 57
Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX – Saturday, November 10th, 12:00 ET
Hearts are going to be heavy in Austin on Saturday, as the man that this stadium is named after, Darrell K. Royal passed away this week. It gives even more motivation for the Longhorns to get the job done against the Cyclones, and they are going to have to win this one if they want to keep their slim BCS bowl hopes alive. Iowa State needs to win one more game this year to be able to qualify for a bowl game, and we figure that this probably isn’t the game where that is going to happen. Two years ago, the Cyclones came here to Austin as 21-point underdogs and walked away with a 28-21 shocking upset, but last year, the Horns returned the favor and won 37-14 in Ames. The road team has covered six in a row in this series dating back to 2002, and the road team has won four of those six games.
#18 UCLA Bruins (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS) @ Washington State Cougars (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS)
Spread: UCLA -14.5, Total: 60.5
Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA – Saturday, November 10th, 10:30 ET
There are two de facto bye weeks in the Pac-12 this year, and Washington State happens to be one of them. The oddsmakers at least have the slight concern that the Bruins could be in some trouble in this game, giving the Cougs at least a half of a chance at winning outright. UCLA has been playing like the second best team in the Pac-12 for the last several weeks. Three straight games are in the win column for Head Coach Jim Mora Jr. and company, and now, the road to the Pac-12 Championship Game in the South Division goes through the Rose Bowl. This is the first time in 11 years that UCLA has been ranked in front of USC in the AP Poll, and it is a moment to savor for sure for Bruins fans. The Cougs have covered eight of the last 10 in this series in spite of the fact that they haven’t won a single game SU against UCLA since 2007.
Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4 SU, 5-3-1 ATS) @ #19 USC Trojans (6-3 SU, 2-7 ATS)
Spread: USC -9, Total: 65.5
Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA – Saturday, November 10th, 3:00 ET
USC now knows that the road to the Rose Bowl is the only path left to worry about, as a third loss has officially eliminated it from the BCS National Championship picture, as if there was much of a doubt before. It isn’t all that often that the Men of Troy lose twice in a row at home, but that possibility definitely still exists. The Sun Devils are more or less the forgotten team in the Pac-12 South title race, but winning this game would change all of that. Both of these teams are still in a strong position, and the Trojans know that winning out will send them to the Rose Bowl. Over the course of the last few years, the gap has been closing between these two teams quite a bit. The Sun Devils were dogs by 29 four years ago, 11.5 three years ago, 5.5 two years ago, and finally, they were favored by 2.5 last year. All four games were covered, and last year, ASU even figured out how to win the game and win it impressively by three touchdowns. This is a dangerous game for sure.
#20 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-1 SU, 5-3-1 ATS) @ Texas State Bobcats (3-5 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Spread: Louisiana Tech -20.5, Total: 71
Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, TX – Saturday, November 10th, 7:00 ET
An absolutely gift was handed down to the Bulldogs last week when Boise State was beaten by San Diego State, but this isn’t a game that is going to help them all that much. The Bulldogs know that they have the opportunity to get into the BCS this year if they can win out, but they are going to need to do so impressively and get a heck of a lot of help. This is a big chance for Texas State to pull off an upset, knowing that it isn’t going to have all that many chances to bring a ranked team to town. Still, the Bobcats are a fledgling team with just two wins over FBS teams. The first against Houston though, gives hope that an upset could still be brewing. Texas State at least stayed competitive against Utah State and San Jose State, but both games were on the road. This won’t be easy for the Bulldogs in spite of their awesome offense.
Kansas Jayhawks (1-8 SU, 4-5 ATS) @ #22 Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS)
Spread: Texas Tech -25.5, Total: 59
AT&T Jones Stadium, Lubbock, TX – Saturday, November 10th, 12:00 ET
The Red Raiders have their Big XII bye week this week against Kansas, the one team that just continues to be miserable in this conference. The Jayhawks are the only team to not have a shot whatsoever of making a bowl game, and in fact, Head Coach Charlie Weis, the newest coach of the Big XII fraternity, might be fired for as miserable as this first campaign in Lawrence has been. Texas Tech is still hoping for the Cotton Bowl, but that would take winning out and likely getting some help. The Red Raiders have dropped at least 42 on the board in the last three in this series, winning and covering all three by comfortable margins. This one isn’t expected to be remotely close, but it is expected to be another 42+ point effort. Guns up!
Army Black Knights (2-7 SU, 3-6 ATS) @ #23 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Spread: Rutgers -17, Total: 51.5
High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ – Saturday, November 10th, 12:00 ET
Army and Rutgers play each other regularly at this point, and it is a rivalry that doesn’t make much sense for the Scarlet Knights to want to continue. The Black Knights aren’t doing anything for the good of Rutgers’ strength of schedule, and at this point, it is clearly the Big East title or bust for the hosts. Winning or losing this game means very little in the grand schematics for the school, as there is little difference between finishing second on the Big East bowl ladder or third, and there are likely to only be three (possibly four) eligible teams. Army has been beaten in this series eight consecutive times dating back to 1998, and the Scarlet Knights are a rock solid 7-1 ATS in those games. Last year in West Point, Rutgers scored a 27-12 victory as nine-point favorites.
#24 Northwestern Wildcats (7-2 SU, 8-1 ATS) @ Michigan Wolverines (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS)
Spread: Michigan -11.5, Total: 52.5
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI – Saturday, November 10th, 12:00 ET
The Wildcats aren’t going to be winning the Big Ten this year in all likelihood, but they can make matters a lot more interesting if they can win and if Penn State pulls off the upset in Lincoln on Saturday. Michigan too, knows that it needs to win out and get some help to be able to win the Big Ten Legends Division. The loser of this one can pack their bags in all likelihood for the Sunshine State for one of the three bowl tie-ins that the Big Ten has on January 1st in Florida. QB Denard Robinson figures to play after hurting his hand two weeks ago against Nebraska and sitting out against Minnesota. The road team has won three games in a row in this series, though last year’s 42-24 win for the Wolverines marked the first cover for Big Blue after three failed attempts.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.
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