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There aren't many crucial matchups in college football this week, but that doesn't matter because No. 3 Alabama hosts No. 2 LSU in the biggest game of the regular season. The winner will be in the driver's seat to earn a spot in the College Football Playoffs, while the loser could find itself on the outside looking in.
Here's the betting breakdown for the biggest college games in Week 11.
It doesn't get much bigger than this, as LSU travels to Alabama for a clash between SEC heavyweights. From a betting perspective, the number hadn't moved off Alabama -6.5 as of Wednesday. The early line was Alabama -8.5, creating a 2-point middle opportunity for betters who jumped on LSU. If Alabama wins by seven points, it could spell disaster for sportsbooks that gave out early lines.
This will likely be the most heavily bet college football game of the 2019 regular season. Close to 60% of wagers are coming in on the underdog Tigers early on, according to Sports Insights. It's not surprising to see public bettors siding with undefeated LSU getting close to a touchdown. Expect that trend to continue as we get closer to kickoff.
For a complete breakdown of this game, check out our LSU-Alabama betting preview.
While everyone is focused on LSU-Alabama, there's another battle of the unbeatens taking place Saturday. Penn State came in at No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, ahead of defending national champion Clemson. Though that sparked some controversy, it will all work itself out - the Nittany Lions still have to play at Minnesota and Ohio State this season. Should Penn State win those two games and the Big Ten championship, there's no denying it belongs in the playoffs.
The Nittany Lions are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven meetings with Minnesota, though the two teams have only faced each other three times since 2011. This is a different Minnesota squad than those of the past, so recent trends won't matter much Saturday. P.J. Fleck's team has covered five straight, scoring at least 34 points in each game over that span. But Minnesota's offense will be put to the test Saturday when it faces Penn State's ninth-ranked defense. The Nittany Lions are allowing just 9.6 points per game, second only to Ohio State (7.9).
Don't underestimate the Gophers, though. After winning its first four by an average of five points per game, Minnesota has won its last four contests by an average of 32 points. And though Penn State's defense gets all the attention, the Gophers enter Saturday with FBS' 15th-ranked defensive unit. Both teams will be fresh coming off bye weeks, so this should be a tight game throughout. Taking Minnesota at home getting close to a touchdown makes sense.
Oklahoma is likely to be in a bad mood when it hosts Iowa State on Saturday. Not only are the Sooners coming off their first loss of the season as 24-point favorites against Kansas State, but they also came in at a surprising ninth in the first College Football Playoff rankings.
The Sooners have had two weeks to stew over their disappointing road performance at Kansas State, while the Cyclones are also coming off a bye after losing at home to Oklahoma State. Iowa State has performed well on the road this season, beating Texas Tech and West Virginia and losing 23-21 in the final seconds against undefeated Baylor.
Oklahoma has been one of the most profitable teams coming off a loss over the past two decades, going 26-10 ATS in this spot since 1999. The Sooners are also 15-0 ATS in games they win straight up coming off rest (bye/bowl games). But Iowa State is an underrated team, boasting the 19th-ranked defense in FBS and covering nine of its last 12 conference road games. Look for the pesky Cyclones to keep this game closer than expected.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.