The college football season is winding down as we are already at Week 11, and we are here with three last-minute value bets for the Saturday slate.
These are value-based bets based on our proprietary model, many of which are underdogs. We have two such value dogs this week, as well as a late-night Pac-12 total.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, November 11, 2023 – 12:00 PM ET at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium
Texas Tech may be 4-5 while Kansas is coming off two high-profile upsets, but the Red Raiders have been one of the unluckiest teams in the country while the Jayhawks still have serious defensive issues, so we are taking the points Saturday.
If Not for Bad Luck…
Texas Tech could have begun 6-0 instead of 3-3. The Red Raiders opened with a triple-overtime two-point loss at Wyoming, took an Oregon team that is playing some of the best football in the country down to the wire before a Pick Six in the final minute resulted in an eight-point loss, and lost their two top quarterbacks while losing by seven at West Virginia.
They lost their next two games vs. Kansas State and BYU with third-string quarterback Jake Strong under center but outgained each opponent while done in by a ridiculous 8-0 turnover margin over the two games combined. The good news is starting quarterback Behren Morton returned last week in a big win over TCU, and he looked great completing 28-of-36 passes for 282 yards with two touchdown passes and no picks.
Still No Defense
Kansas comes off two great wins vs. Oklahoma at home and Iowa State on the road to go to 7-2, but besides this being a prime letdown spot, the Jayhawks still struggled defensively in the two upsets and that is an area the now healthy Morton can attack.
Kansas is allowing 27.3 points per game with an 87th-ranked total defense that is 102nd vs. the run and 98th in yards per pass attempt allowed at 7.8. On the flip side, the Kansas offensive success is predicated on the run, ranking 19th nationally in rushing offense, but they may have more trouble than usual establishing that vs. a Texas Tech run defense ranked in the top 10 in EPA.
So despite the records of these teams, we feel Texas Tech is very undervalued due to their bad turnover luck and being without their top two quarterbacks for two losses, so take the points with the Raiders here with Morton back and healthy.
Predicted Score: Texas Tech 34 – Kansas 30
NC State Wolfpack vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Saturday, November 11, 2023 – 02:00 PM ET at Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium
This looks like a great situational spot for a Wake Forest team that needs to win this game to keep bowl game hopes alive vs. an NC State team coming off back-to-back upsets of Clemson and Miami, so take the points with Wake at home.
Prime Letdown Spot?
Besides coming off the two upsets, NC State also became bowl eligible with last week’s win getting the Wolfpack to 6-3, making this even more of a letdown spot with little else to play for the last three games since it is not as if NC State has any chance at a major New Year’s Six bowl game.
Moreover, the Pack were rather lucky to pull the upsets. First, they were outgained by Clemson 364-202 but benefited by a 2-0 turnover margin including a huge Pick Six. Then they were outgained again by the Hurricanes but survived again with a late fourth-down stop at the goal line before tacking on a touchdown in the final minute for a deceptive 14-point margin.
Letdowns and luck aside, this is also a nice statistical matchup for a Wake Forest defense ranked in the top 25 nationally in EPA per Rush Allowed. The NC State offense has struggled overall ranking 114th in total offense, and the 97th-ranked rushing offense does not figure to do much vs. that Wake run defense.
Let us also not forget that Wolfpack quarterback MJ Morris made a late decision to redshirt, meaning NC State is turning back to Brennan Armstrong, who was awful this year before losing his job to Morris and should struggle even more with little to no rushing support. On the flip side, Wake Forest quarterback Mitch Griffis passed for 241 yards vs. Duke last week while averaging a whopping 12.7 yards per attempt.
Frankly, we do not even think NC State should be favored on the road here while forced to go back to Armstrong after Morris guided them to the two upsets, so take the points with Wake in a probable small upset.
Predicted Score: Wake Forest 24 – NC State 17
USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks
Saturday, November 11, 2023 – 10:30 PM ET at Autzen Stadium
We expect USC to be a demoralized, unmotivated team this week after last week’s loss virtually eliminated them from Pac-12 contention and any hope for a New Year’s Six bowl, while we feel the Oregon defense has been an unsung part of their 8-1 record, so we are betting the Under in “Pac-12 After Dark” Saturday.
Title Hopes Dashed
USC began this season with national championship aspirations with Heisman Trophy quarterback Caleb Williams returning, so being reduced to a minor bowl is more disappointing for the Trojans than it would be for an average team. But in the end, the defense was the downfall while losing three of the last four games following a 6-0 start, with the lone win in this span being 50-49 over California.
That led to the firing of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, adding even more to the demoralization of the team. Thus, USC has gone for a preseason national title contender to now being a 15-point underdog. Furthermore, Williams has been more erratic this season post-Heisman Trophy, and while he was great the last two weeks, we now expect regression with nothing left to play for.
You will be hard-pressed to find a better one-loss team than Oregon right now, whose only loss came in the final minute on the road at Washington 36-33 vs. the 9-0 Huskies. And while the Ducks typically rank fourth in the land in total offense at 485.5 yards per game, this is a much more complete team that is also 18th in total defense allowing only 301.7 yards per game in a conference full of high-powered offenses.
That includes ranking 12th in yards per pass allowed at a miniscule 5.9, and the Ducks are also 17th in sacks with 30 on the year while allowing only 10 passes all season to exceed 30 yards, which should make life difficult for the potentially unmotivated Williams.
We see this as a comfortable win for Oregon, although we are uncomfortable with laying 15 points. We do think that this total is too high though, as we do not expect the USC offense to score as much as usual, so the Under is our bet here.
Predicted Score: Oregon 41 – USC 24
NCAAF Pick: Under 76 (-110) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.