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College Football Week 11 Lines
Virginia Cavaliers At No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
After their bye week the Virginia Cavaliers travel to South Bend to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In their last game the Cavaliers were beaten thoroughly by the BYU Cougars in Provo, Utah, 66-49. Virginia’s record overall is 6-3 (4-2 in division play) and in contention for winning the ACC Coastal division thus earning a berth in the ACC Championship game. In the loss, star quarterback Brennan Armstrong was injured (ribs) in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. His status for the game at Notre Dame is unknown and will be closely monitored. Averaging over 31 points a game, Notre Dame is in contention for a CFP birth after being ranked #10 in the initial poll. The schools last met in South Bend during the 2019 season with the Irish winning 35-20.
Virginia is averaging 38.9 points per game in 2021. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong has been the team MVP through 9 games this season. If he is unable to play, freshman Jay Woolfolk would most likely get the start. Woolfolk was 2-5 with 35 yards in limited action at BYU. On the season, Armstrong has already set the Virginia single season passing yardage record with 3,557 passing yards. He’s also added 27 touchdown passes and has thrown for at least 300 yards in eight out of nine games. Keytaon Thompson, the former Mississippi State quarterback, is a weapon the Cavaliers have utilized as a runner and pass catcher. Wayne Taulapapa is leading Virginia in rushing with 290 yards while adding two touchdowns.
The Virginia defense is allowing 466.2 yards of total offense and 30.8 points per game this season. The unit has recovered four fumbles and intercepted five passes on the season; creating turnovers against Notre Dame will be a key for victory.
Notre Dame’s passing attack has been erratic with Jack Coan under center. The Wisconsin transfer needs to be smart with the ball and not commit turnovers. Coan has thrown for over 1,600 yards, 10 touchdowns and completed over 60% of his passes this season. The ground game is led by running back Kyren Williams who rushed for over 1,400 yards last year and already has over 950 yards from scrimmage this year.
The Irish defense is led by linebacker JD Bertrand and defensive end Isaiah Foskey. On the season they have combined for 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Future top 10 NFL draft pick, safety Kyle Hamilton has been out since suffering a knee injury vs. USC, he could return for the game against the Cavaliers. In 2021, Hamilton has two tackles for loss, three interceptions and 4 passes defensed. A statistic to keep in mind especially if Armstrong is out, the Notre Dame defense has over 15 takeaways.
Best Bet: Notre Dame ML
Author: Scott Steinberg
No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 14 Baylor Bears
In all seriousness, how easy have the Oklahoma Sooners had it so far this season? They have not played one team that is still ranked in the Top 25. With that being said, the Sooners now have to face arguably their three toughest conference opponents in their last three games. I don’t see it going very well for them. There have been several times this season where the Sooners have looked like a football team with no identity, including when they were indecisive over who would start at quarterback. Eventually the role was solidified and went to freshman sensation Caleb Williams. The past several seasons, quarterback has been the most consistent position for the Sooners; however, now it is not. Still, somehow they are ranked No. 4 in the nation. Baylor should have no issue keeping this game very close at home, especially knowing that this could be the most important game of the season for them. Baylor’s only loss this year came on the road against Oklahoma State, who is now ranked No. 11 in the nation. Oklahoma may be ninth in the country in points per game, but it ranks 67th in opponent points per game, despite playing one of the easiest schedules to date of any ranked football team. While Baylor isn’t the greatest offensive team, it is still 29th in points per game and 18th in rushing yards per game. Running back Abram Smith has been on a tear for the Bears, especially the past two games, averaging 166.5 rushing yards. Altogether, this game has all the makings of a Baylor home win against the No. 4 Sooners, knocking them out of CFP contention. Even if the Bears lose, they should still cover easily.
Best Bet: Baylor Bears ATS
Author: Andrew Norton
North Carolina at No. 25 Pittsburgh
This is an exciting matchup between two of the most promising young quarterbacks in college football. North Carolina passer Sam Howell went into the season as one of the top picks for the Heisman Trophy, and has put together some good performances, even if he hasn’t been as productive as expected. The good news is that the three-interception Week 1 disaster against Virginia Tech is in the rearview mirror for Howell. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett is making his own case for the Heisman Trophy this season. Pickett’s been outshining Howell in the numbers, as seen with his six-touchdown game against Western Michigan. So which young passer will leave the game victorious?
Personally, I don’t believe the North Carolina defense will be able to make any stops against this Pittsburgh offense. Just look a few weeks back, when the Tar Heels allowed Miami to put up 42 points and 421 total yards. Now they’re facing off against a Pittsburgh squad that put up 77 points against New Hampshire in September. North Carolina has suffered some rough losses this season to Notre Dame, Florida State, and Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has shown fight in every game this season, including narrow losses to Miami and Western Michigan. Frankly, I have more faith in the Panthers to stay aggressive throughout all four quarters in this matchup. Pittsburgh outranks the Tar Heels both offensively and defensively, so I’m going with the Panthers this Saturday. Considering the productivity of both of these offenses, I’d also take a look at the over on the point total.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh ATS
Author: Anthony Elio
Purdue Boilermakers at No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes
Between wins over Iowa and Nebraska as well as close losses to Notre Dame and Michigan State, Purdue has had a sneaky-good football program this season. It starts with Aidan O’Connell, who has saved his best play for the team’s most important games, including a 375-yard passing, 2-touchdown and no interception game against Iowa earlier this year. O’Connell’s production as a senior has been impressive, and with the 35th-ranked defense in FEI, Football Outsiders’ efficiency metric, Ohio State has been vulnerable this year. David Bell has had an impressive season for the Boilermakers and already has 53 catches for 786 yards and four touchdowns through seven games heading into Week 10. Ohio State may be 8-1, but they aren’t the powerhouse program they have been in recent years and narrow wins over Penn State and Neraska won’t exactly instill a ton of confidence in the betting public. This is also a prime lookahead spot for the Buckeyes with Michigan State and Michigan on the horizon following this game. Purdue’s defense has been very good this season, allowing just 15 touchdowns, tied for the eighth-fewest heading into Week 10. While C.J. Stroud, Ohio State’s freshman quarterback, is starting to come into his own, he’s still prone to the mistakes typical of a young passer. With a solid defense and an efficient offense led by senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell, I trust Purdue to make this a game, even on the road. I also like the under here as I expect some classic, gritty smash-mouth Big 10 football.
Best Bet: Purdue ATS, under
Author: Jacob Wayne