With a large amount of COVID-19 postponements hitting the SEC hard and forcing the No. 3 team in the nation to sit this weekend out, it has been a chaotic seven days across the college football landscape. Nevertheless, the show goes on and Week 11 is on the horizon! As you look to place your bets for the upcoming slate, our partners at BetMGM are here to offer you a stellar deal. New players in a state where BetMGM operates (TN, NJ, CO, IN, WV) can register their accounts with BetMGM and use the code BROBIBLE to receive a 100% deposit match up to $500.
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For every dollar that you put in, BetMGM will make it two! Once you’re signed up, it’s time to look for some value. We went three-for-three in our upset bids last weekend and ended the night by vicariously storming the field in South Bend. Let’s see if we can do it again, shall we?
Here are three games that will be close down the stretch and could fall in favor of the underdog:
Iowa vs. Minnesota
Friday, November 13, 2020 — 6:00 p.m. EST at TCF Bank Stadium
Why Iowa will win:
Iowa dropped a pair of games to Purdue and Northwestern (both teams are undefeated) by a combined five points to open the season and bounced back with a win over Michigan State last week. The Hawkeyes continue to do what they do best and work behind a offensive line that historically manhandles opposing front-sevens week-in and week-out. This year, however, that comes both on the ground and through the air. Quarterback Spencer Petras is talented in his own right, and his receiving core makes plays around him. We saw that on display during the first two games as Petras racked up 89 total pass attempts— uncharted territory for a Kirk Ferentz team that traditionally runs the ball between the tackles.
Tyler Goodson gets the Hawkeyes on the board first. Iowa 7, Michigan State 0. #iowa #football #swarm2020 #thisisiowafootballpic.twitter.com/3gzdWd6bge
— Iowa Football (@iowa_footballig) November 7, 2020
They flipped the switch back to normal in Week 3 and ran the ball 41 times for 226 yards in a 49-7 win over the Spartans. On defense, Iowa has not allowed more than three touchdowns this season and held their most recent opponents to only 286 total yards and forced three turnovers.
Why Minnesota will win:
The Golden Gophers struggled to get anything going defensively in their first two games and were simply outscored in the losses. Their secondary has been exploited at times and it would be easy to assume that Petras will do it again this weekend. However, the Hawkeyes quarterback is putting up yardage while completing less than 55 percent of his pass attempts and has only two touchdowns with three interceptions. As a result, Iowa is only converting 33 percent of third downs, as opposed to its 40+ percent conversion rate in the past few years. If the Minnesota defense can continue this trend and give the ball back to its offense, things bode well for P.J. Fleck’s group.
Behind quarterback Tanner Morgan, the passing attack hasn’t been as successful as might have been expected before the season, but the run game has allowed the Gophers to move the chains consistently and dominate the time of possession battle— even in losses. Running back Mohamed Ibrahim has been a workhorse and averages 5.9 yards per carry and has 10 touchdowns in three games. He will continue to run behind his massive offensive line.
May you all find something you appreciate as much as Mo appreciates the offensive line. 💛 pic.twitter.com/P6jYcCojzt
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) November 7, 2020
Should he not be able to move the ball with as much success, Morgan will need to step up and play up to his big-arm potential. He is completing over 60 percent of his passes, but has struggled with getting the ball out quickly.
It’s going to be a good ole fashioned Big Ten slugfest on Friday night. Both teams are going to push the run game until it can’t anymore, at which point the deep ball will be a huge factor. If that is the case, the slight edge goes to Morgan and his top target Rashod Bateman, who could go in the first round of the NFL Draft and could help win this game with a big play or two in the second half. If you prefer the security of the field goal in a ground-and-pound matchup, take the points.
Pick: Minesota Moneyline at +140 or Minnesota +3.5 at -115 on BetMGM Sportsbook
No. 9 Miami (Florida) vs Virginia Tech
Saturday, November 14, 2020 — 12:00 p.m. EST at Lane Stadium
Why Miami will win:
Transfer quarterback D’Eriq King joined the Hurricanes with high expectations and has been impressive thus far. Miami’s offense revolves almost entirely around the duel-threat dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate. He has completed about 64 percent of his passes for 1,828 yards and 16 touchdowns and leads the team in rushing with 406 yards. No. 1 wins games and his team has only lost to the No. 1 Clemson Tigers thus far. What could arguably Manny Diaz’s team’s biggest challenge of the second half comes on Saturday and for the No. 9 team in the nation to be the underdog seems strange.
Outside of its quarterback, the offense has had trouble running the ball, but if it is going to turn around, this is the week for it to happen. Virginia Tech’s run defense has been abysmal in four of its last five games and allowed Liberty to run for 249 yards. Of the nearly 250 rushing yards allowed, the Flames quarterback Malik Willis went for over 100, which should set up King to explode. In addition, the Hokies are 11th out of 15 ACC teams in pass defense, which leaves King’s arm poised for success as well.
Someone stop D’Eriq King. The Canes are rolling. #ItsAllAboutTheU pic.twitter.com/Taskr8m5mc
— The Juice Betting 💰 (@TheJuiceBetting) November 7, 2020
Led by Temple transfer defensive end Quincy Roche, Miami’s defense plays aggressive and has been great stopping the pass. However, it ranks No. 55 in the nation for run defense and faces the No. 5 rushing offense in the country on Saturday. Still, the Hurricanes have played a bend-but-don’t-break defense and allow just 24.9 points per game.
Why Virginia Tech will win:
The Hokies offense revolves around the run game, and their primary back is nursing a hamstring injury. Khalil Herbert played only one snap against Liberty last weekend before he was removed from the game and his status for Saturday is unclear. Even if he plays, it will be curious to see how it effects him. Without Herbert, quarterback Hendon Hooker became the team’s leading rusher and finished the loss with 156 yards. The rest of the backfield contributed just 45 yards on the ground. For Virginia Tech to continue its strong rushing attack, Rutgers transfer Raheem Blackshear will have to step up and play a bigger role.
When he isn’t carrying the run game on his back, Hooker has been extremely efficient as a passer over the last two weeks. The 6-foot-4 junior completed 30 of his last 37 passes for 400 yards. Receivers Tayvion Robinson and Tre Turner, along with tight end James Mitchel, account for two thirds of the team’s receptions on the year and will have to get open quickly before Miami’s pass rush collapses the pocket.
On defense, the Virginia Tech bunch is allowing 31.5 points per game and had a hard time stopping Liberty’s quarterback, let alone King. However, its pass rush has been solid and has a real opportunity to expose a weak Miami offensive line. It will have to get something going early and often to throw the Hurricanes’ superstar athlete out of rhythm.
Virginia Tech is going to come out swinging and it would be just weird enough for it to lose to Liberty and reload against Miami. However, the offense won’t be at full strength and a game-changing play will go in favor of the visitors to put it away. King is on the cusp of entering the Heisman discussion on a legitimate level and this game provides a great opportunity for him, and the No. 9 team in the country, to continue the successful season.
Pick: Miami (Florida) Moneyline at +105 on BetMGM Sportsbook
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. Boston College
Saturday, November 14, 2020 — 3:30 p.m. EST at Alumni Stadium
Why Notre Dame will win:
The No. 2 team in the country just pulled the upset last week, and looked solid in the win. However, it was against a true freshman backup quarterback (yes, a very good one, but still), at home, in double overtime, with the momentum in its favor. To continue the winning ways, quarterback Ian Book will have to make good decisions and replicate his fantastic day against the Tigers.
Both the offensive and defensive lines are fantastic, Book makes the passing game work just enough, the run game can break a few big plays to the edge and consistency has been key. The Irish lead the conference in third down conversions and time of possession, while the defense leads the ACC in third down stops. Penalties are minimal, turnovers aren’t problematic and the methodical production keeps on rolling.
Why Boston College will win:
Clemson’s run game was held to 34 net yards against Notre Dame and it still took double overtime for the upset to happen. Boston College won’t have to run the ball to keep the game tight, and that bodes well because it hasn’t done much on the ground this year. The Eagles will have to start fast, sling the ball around and never look back.
It’s a revenge game for Fighting Irish transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec and he has been terrific thus far. This time last year, he was in the quarterback room alongside Book and now ranks ahead of his former teammate in both passing yards per game and completion percentage this season. The 6-foot-5, big-armed sophomore has thrown for over 200 yards in every game except the win over Georgia Tech, when the team ran the ball with success. He is completing more than 60 percent of his passes and has 15 touchdowns with four interceptions. He isn’t as talented as D.J. Uiagalelei, who led Clemson last weekend, but Jurkovec has the poise, the coaching, and the receiving weapons to put pressure on a relatively untested Notre Dame secondary.
Phil Jurkovec is going to be playing on Sundays pic.twitter.com/CizibaYCAQ
— Kevin (@kev262626) October 3, 2020
The defense doesn’t necessarily have to play lights out for Boston College to win, but it will certainly need to force Notre Dame off of the field on third down on a few instances throughout the game and hold them to a few field goals early in the game.
To add another wrinkle to this already storyline-packed edition of the Holy War, it’s the Red Bandana Game, which honors the memory of Welles Crowther. Crowther was a former B.C. lacrosse player who lost his life after saving as many as 18 lives in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Eagles will be rocking some unique uniforms for the occasion.
The reason we wear these jerseys…
A thread telling Welles’ story pic.twitter.com/tvd2bcrV43
— BC Football (@BCFootball) November 11, 2020
Saturday will mean just a little bit more for the home team.
B.C. played Clemson tight two weeks ago, and Clemson played Notre Dame tight last week. By transitive property, the Eagles are set up to keep things close. It is very possible that the Irish are as good as their ranking would suggest and they come out with a point to prove, so don’t tail this pick if you’re not prepared to potentially eat your words and finish the night making a case for Brian Kelly’s team to be in the College Football Playoff. However, Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley has something brewing in Chestnut Hill and will have his guys equally, if not more, fired up for The Red Bandana Game.
Boston College vs. Notre Dame
The Holy War
And now… pic.twitter.com/7SrmSi0F4A
— BC Football (@BCFootball) November 8, 2020
The cover feels like it’s in the cards and an outright win doesn’t seem out of the question. If the Eagles can cause Book fits, the run game won’t be enough for the Irish to pull away.
Pick: Boston College +13.5 at -110 on BetMGM Sportsbook
BONUS PICK: Colorado vs. Stanford
Saturday, November 14, 2020 — 3:30 p.m. EST at Stanford Stadium
We don’t know much about the Pac 12 after the first week, so I’m not confident enough to dive in head first out West just yet. Neither of these two teams are projected to contend for the conference, but if you’re feeling frisky, there is a chance for some nice + odds here. Colorado is 1-0 after a win over UCLA, while Stanford is 0-1 after a loss to No. 11 Oregon. The Buffaloes offense looked explosive last week and put up 525 yards against the Bruins, to the Cardinal’s 413 against the Ducks. On the other side of the ball, this weekend’s home team allowed almost 20 more yards to its opponents last weekend, and that doesn’t bode well. Colorado may simply out-score them.
Pick: Colorado Moneyline at +190 on BetMGM Sportsbook
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