Chad Kelly going out with a knee injury was the perfect doo-doo Hershey kiss on top of the Jurassic Park triceratops size pile of excrement that this season has become. Now we get to look forward to the official Back-Up Bowl of the SEC as Jake Hubenak will take on either Shea Patterson or Jason Pellerin in College Station. The line opened at -20, then plummeted to -10 once Trevor Knight was ruled out. The rest of this weekend's slates feature big favorites at home, which can always be tough to hit. Sometimes the big home favorite gets bored, the crowd loses interest, and suddenly that big spread seems way out of reach. Here are some other musings from the other games this weekend.
- Despite Mississippi State shocking A&M, they're still a FOUR-touchdown dog to Bama in Tuscaloosa. Vegas still thinks the Tide can dominate anyone.
- Can the surging Cocks keep up their momentum against a Florida team that couldn't manage an offensive TD against Arkansas last week?
- Texas is favored against a ranked West Virginia team? Sure it's at home, but Charlie Strong can't seem to make up his mind whether he wants to stay in Austin or not. Could a 3-0 finish at the end of the season cool off his hot seat?
Week 11 picks against the spread
Spreads we love
USC at Washington (-8.5): The line opened at 7.5 and is up to 8.5 after some hefty money came in on the Huskies. After starting the season 1-3, Clay Helton has his Trojans surging. They're on a five-game win streak (4-1 ATS during that span), though only one of those Ws (Colorado) has a winning conference record. Hopefully Washington doesn't fall prey to the cursed No. 4 spot in the latest playoff rankings.
Auburn (-10.5) at Georgia: Here's another line that's grown over the course of the week. Auburn is 5-1 ATS but failed to cover a 23-point spread against Vandy last week. Auburn's rivalry with Georgia tends to be cooky madooky every year but we feel confident in the Tigers.
Spreads we're split on
Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-10): Will A&M be ready to let out all of their bottled up disappointment after getting out-marooned in Starkville last weekend? Regardless of which Ole Miss QB takes the majority of the snaps, most of us feel like A&M is still 10-points better than Ole Miss in every other facet of the game. The rest of us are riding the Shea Patterson hype train.
Kentucky at Tennessee (-12.5): After a heartbreaking loss to Georgia, the Cats look to bounce back in Neyland stadium against the reeling Volunteers. Sure, Tennessee has more talent, but the opposite momentum swings of these two teams leave this match up in limbo.
MSU at Alabama (-29.5): THIRTY POINTS. You'd think Alabama is hosting Directional State School Tech. This is Bama's third largest spread of the season behind only Kent State and Kentucky. It's actually bigger than the 27-point spread against WESTERN KENTUCKY. The Tide covered that game by one point so I think 30 points against an upswinging MSU squad is a tough bet to make.
LSU (-7) at Arkansas: LSU's only losses are to Wisconsin, Alabama and Auburn in a fluky, Les Miles clock management game. Is this team secretly REALLY good with close losses against other good teams? While the college football playoff rankings don't love LSU, Vegas (without the politics of the committee) still sees them as a top 15 team. Not all of us are buying their stock quite yet.
Last week's picks
We all whiffed on Florida State at NC State (FSU was favored by 6.5 but won 24-20) and A&M at State (which the Bulldogs won straight up). After
RCR stats guru Will Gates took it the hardest, plummeting from second place to second to last after going 1-9 ATS in Week 10. Let's check in to see how he's doing...
The middle of the pack is getting closer and closer, while Juco and TwoYards maintain their outlier success and failure.
Here are the current standings, with last week's record in parentheses.
- 47-31 (60%) Juco (5-5)
- 40-38 (51%) Smeargle (6-4) and Gray (5-5)
- 39-39 (50%) Alex (6-4)
- 38-40 (49%) Borkey (5-5), Jeff (5-5) and Zach (6-4)
- 36-42 (46%) Ghost (5-5), Whiskey (6-4) and Will (1-9)
- 30-48 (38%) TwoYards (6-4)
What are your thoughts on some of the double digit home favorites this weekend? Why is Texas favored? Who do you like in the Back-Up Bowl?