We’ve hit the home stretch of the 2018 college football season, and it’s never too early to start looking ahead. Week 11 of the season is around the corner, and it features key ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 contests.
The early lines are out, so let’s take a look at what the experts in the desert think of the coming week.
Lines you need to know
Clemson at Boston College (+17.5): It’ll be a big game atmosphere in Chestnut Hill, where the Eagles and Tigers will square off in a game that will give the winner the lead in the ACC Atlantic. Oddsmakers clearly think the public will side with the Tigers, which will certainly provide extra motivation for an Eagles squad that’s as physical as any in the division.
Mississippi State at Alabama (-25.5): The Crimson Tide locked up the SEC West title, but still need to avoid a hangover against the Bulldogs. With so much time between clinching the division and the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1, coach Nick Saban’s biggest goal now is to avoid complacency.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-18): Weird things happen in Bedlam, and the Sooners better hope that doesn’t happen Saturday night in Norman. Texas Tech put a scare into the Sooners last week, but oddsmakers clearly aren’t too concerned about the Cowboys’ offense taking advantage of Oklahoma’s defense in the same way.
Ohio State at Michigan State (+5.5): This looked like it’d be an important game for both squads during the season, and it still carries a ton of weight for the Buckeyes. With a conference loss on the docket and a defense that has been hit-or-miss (mostly miss of late), a loss in East Lansing would essentially eliminate them from the College Football Playoff hunt.
Other games of note
Auburn at Georgia (-13.5): The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry won’t matter for the CFP chances for both teams, but Auburn would love to spoil the Bulldogs’ CFP hopes one week after Kirby Smart’s crew wrapped up the SEC East crown. Oddsmakers don’t seem too high on the Tigers, most likely because blocking and running against anybody seems difficult at this point.
Oregon at Utah (-5): The Utes were stunned by Arizona State last week, but are still in the thick of the crowded Pac-12 South race. A win over Oregon — which topped UCLA last week — would get them back on track for the stretch run. Plus, watching Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert against the Utes defense will be a lot of fun.
Wisconsin at Penn State (-9): This looked like a game that would impact the Big Ten and national championship races before the season, but both teams have sputtered of late. Consider this a game to give one fan base at least something to be happy about in November.
Baylor at Iowa State (-14.5): Brock Purdy has been a revelation at quarterback for the Cylcones, who still have a shot at making the Big 12 Championship Game. The Bears just shocked Oklahoma State, and would love nothing more to play spoiler in a conference that is as wild and crazy as any in recent memory.
Florida State at Notre Dame (-18): This was supposed to be one of the games of the year prior to the season, but the Seminoles’ collapse changed that in a hurry. There’s still a ton of talent on FSU the roster, but clearly Las Vegas doesn’t seem to care.
Best of the rest
Wake Forest at NC State (-16)
Louisville at Syracuse (-21.5)
Fresno State at Boise State (+3)
Michigan at Rutgers (+36.5)
Virginia Tech at Pitt (-4)
Kentucky at Tennessee (+3.5)
TCU at West Virginia (-13.5)
Northwestern at Iowa (-9.5)
South Florida at Cincinnati (-10.5)
South Carolina at Florida (-7)
Cal at USC (-5.5)
LSU at Arkansas (+17)
Texas at Texas Tech (NL)
Washington State at Colorado (NL)
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