NCAAF Week 11 Friday’s Top Picks Featuring East Carolina, USC and Fresno State

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Tahj Washington #16 of the USC Trojans celebrates a touchdown against the California Golden Bears. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP.

The college football weekend gets off to an early start as 3 key conference battles kick things off on Friday night.

Two contenders in the AAC try to get into position to catch first-place Tulane as East Carolina visits Cincinnati. Out in the Pac-12, USC tries to continue to make its case for a College Football Playoff spot as it faces Colorado in Los Angeles, and in the Mountain West, Fresno State tries to sort things out in the Mountain West division as it visits UNLV.

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East Carolina Pirates vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

Friday, November 11, 2022 – 08:00 PM EST at Nippert Stadium

Cincinnati hits the home stretch of the season tied for 2nd place in the AAC. The Bearcats are 7-2, 4-1 in the conference, and tied with UCF, a game behind Tulane. Cincinnati closes the regular season with a showdown against Tulane. If they want it to be a showdown for the regular season title, they’ll need to take care of business against ECU and Temple, first.

East Carolina’s surprising season is also coming down to the wire, with the Pirates in a three-team tie for fourth place at 6-3, 3-2 in AAC play. The Pirates come off of a bye week with a three-game stretch, at Cincy, vs. Houston, and at Temple. ECU upset BYU in Utah before the bye to become bowl eligible and enters on a three-game winning streak.

The Bearcats will be looking to extend their 31-game home winning streak. They’ll need to find an answer in their run game, which struggled in a loss to UCF 2 weeks ago and wasn’t much better against Navy on Saturday.

"We have to do what people are giving us," coach Luke Fickell said. "We need to get back to the run. We need to have that balance. We need to be physical. We need to grind some things out."

The Bearcats got back injured running back Corey Kiner, who missed UCF and the first 3 quarters against Navy before returning to the field.

The Pick

Cincinnati is not the same team that advanced to the College Football Playoff last year, so this game should be more evenly matched than the line would indicate.

ECU may not pull the upset, but according to the best sportsbooks, the Pirates should be able to hang with the Bearcats.

NCAAF Pick: East Carolina +6.5 (-112) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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East Carolina +6.5 (-112)
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Colorado Buffaloes vs. USC Trojans

Friday, November 11, 2022 - 09:30 PM EST at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

USC has won 2 straight since suffering its only loss of the season, at No. 20 Utah. That was a serious hit to the Trojans’ hope of a berth in the CFB Playoff, but USC can still make a case if it wins out and takes the Pac-12 title.

The Trojans are currently in 2nd place at 8-1, 6-1 in the conference, a half-game behind unbeaten Oregon. After Colorado, USC faces a pair of ranked teams: UCLA and Notre Dame, so they have the opportunity to get some big names on their resume.

Colorado is not one of them. The Buffaloes have lost 3 straight and are 1-8, 1-5 on the season. Colorado has given up 40 or more points 7 times this season ranking 123 out of 131 teams in offense, 129th on defense.

USC has been playing without its 2 top receivers in Jordan Addison and Mario Williams, as well as its top 2 linebackers in Eric Gentry and Ralen Goforth.

The Pick

The Trojans will likely be conservative in their potential return against a team they should dominate.

NCAAF Pick: USC -34.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Fresno State Bulldogs vs. UNLV Rebels

Friday, November 11, 2022 - 10:30 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium

Fresno State enters the week tied for 1st place in the Mountain West Division at 5-4, 4-1 in the conference. The Bulldogs have won 4 straight games and will close with hapless Nevada and Mountain Division contender Wyoming, so a win over Fresno is critical as Fresno tries to keep pace with fellow division co-leader San Jose State.

UNLV has lost 4 straight games and is 4-5, 2-3 in the conference. The Rebels got back quarterback Doug Brumfield, who had missed time with a concussion, but Vegas had 4 turnovers and couldn’t get its defense off the field in a 14-10 loss to San Diego State last week.

Fresno, meanwhile, hammered Hawaii, putting up 55 points and 572 yards of offense.

The Pick

Following the NCAAF odds, look for the Bulldogs to continue to roll.

NCAAF Pick: Fresno State -9.5 (-106) at Bookmaker

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*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.