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Week 10 College Football Recap – Week 11 Betting Lookahead

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College Football Betting Recap For Week 10

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Football content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his college football Week 10 betting recap as well as his lookahead to Week 11 of college football kicking off on Tuesday! What are his takeaways and look aheads from a betting perspective? Read below now!

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College Football Handicapping Motivation & Lookahead Spots

It’s not easy for a football team to play its best every time they suit up. Some games are bigger than others, and some coaches are guilty of getting a team properly motivated for one game, but not for another. Each and every season we see teams have a letdown, often the week before a “bigger” game.

The three games I wrote about in last week’s article were examples of when it’s easy to get a team motivated. Lots of well-respected handicappers I know thought Notre Dame was going to run away and hide from Clemson, but I said “not so fast”.

Playing Notre Dame is often a motivator in itself. My take on Clemson was that if they didn’t get over a touchdown behind early, then the crowd and the team would be engaged in the outcome. That turned out to be the case.

Rivalry games often bring out the best in the underdog, even if the favored team has a decided talent edge. That’s why oddsmakers usually do not give full value to the favored team in season-ending rivalry games unless the favored team is playing for a national title or another coveted reward.

Last week I wrote about Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma. The Sooners were off their first loss, while the Cowboys were playing well, and of course wanted to send Oklahoma to the SEC with a final Bedlam loss.

Below I will bravely chart out a few teams and/or games where it might be wise to look beyond just the cold, hard stat sheet in handicapping the game.

Use this as a sample exercise, as there will be other games not listed here that are worth thinking about as you do you own handicapping.

North Carolina State became bowl eligible with home upsets of Clemson and Miami Florida. Despite these victories, they are highly unlikely to make the ACC title game, as they do not face front-runner Florida State, and trail Louisville by one game in the standings, and the Cardinals beat NC State.

Motivation will NOT be as high, and understandably so when they face Wake Forest and Virginia Tech in back-to-back road games. I think they lose at least one of these affairs.

Oklahoma State is suddenly in the Big 12 playoff picture and could be favored the rest of the way, which will earn them a spot in the title game.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in “letdown” mode after a thrilling win over Oklahoma. They are unfamiliar with this Saturday’s foe (UCF) and have to travel to their place.

Baylor is 3-6, and off a heartbreaking overtime loss to Houston. Yes, they are technically still able to go to a bowl game if they run the table, but 3-6 was not what the team and coach had in mind for 2023.

Coupled with a leaky run defense and a worse than expected run attack, I’m not going to run to the window to back this team the rest of 2023.

South Carolina hasn’t had the best of seasons, but I’m still saying that they will be motivated to finish 2023 with a bowl berth.

We often see teams used to competing for ten-win seasons lose momentum when things go wrong, but the Gamecocks are more like a team that is always scrapping to achieve bowl eligibility. I see this team trying hard until they get that next loss, which would eliminate their bowl hopes.

Alabama has all of their goals in front of them, but I’m sending out an early “beware” notice when they face Auburn on 11/25. Auburn is 3-2 their last five hosting Alabama, and 4-1 vs. the spread, all as an underdog.

If things continue on their present course, the Tigers will have the rush differential edge, which in my database, would fit into a current 90-58 against the spread advantage.

Rutgers is 6-3, but I’m worried about their motivation and stamina as we head down the closing stretch. They come off a tough game vs. Ohio State where they led at the half, and now have back-to-back road games at Iowa, a great defensive team, and at Penn State.

Penn State has dominated this series, just like they have dominated the Maryland series, as shown just last week. Does Rutgers run out of gas on 11/18?

Michigan continues to have my top NCAA Power Number, but could we see regression down the stretch? All games have been won by at least 24 points, but a closer look at their opponents is quite telling.

Not one of the teams they faced is rated even close to the top 25. On top of that, the world seems to be crashing in on Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines based on the sign stealing scandal.

If going to Penn State isn’t enough, Michigan stays on the road for a classic “trap” game vs. Maryland.

Yes, Maryland has their own set of issues, but that may still be the best offense Michigan will have faced, and Michigan could be caught looking ahead to Ohio State. Look for some “closer than expected” results in the next two weeks.

There’s so much going on in the PAC 12 that I’ll just go rapid fire with this conference.

California is 3-6. I think motivation ends the minute they lose their next game.
USC just fired their defensive coordinator. All goals for 2023 are now gone.
Oregon is the top Power Rated team in the PAC 12, which was true for me before and after their loss to Washington. As hinted here last week, I still feel the game on 11/18 at ASU will be tricky.
Washington will be tough to beat the rest of the way, but even with a loss they still would qualify for the PAC 12 title game. Facing Utah won’t be easy, but the game at Oregon State could be even tougher. The last three games have been decided in the last seconds, and all came with controversy.
Arizona on the surface is trending up, while Colorado is trending down. The numbers will certainly give Arizona an edge, and I could see them taking care of business, but Colorado still has something to play for. Arizona just became bowl eligible, a huge goal of theirs. They will need to avoid a letdown.

College Football Handicapping Rest of the Way: Conclusion

Remember, handicapping motivation and potential letdown spots is not an exact science. I have been very successful combining motivational factors with on-field metrics in the past, and firmly believe the best approach late in the season is to make sure you do your due diligence and look at each game with an open mind.

Make sure you do the technical analysis before acting, because motivational factors can be overcome if the team in question has a decided technical or matchup edge.

In addition, read the local papers and get the latest buzz on what might be happening to gain a handicapping advantage.

Will the team out of contention be playing underclassmen with an eye on the future more than on the present?

Will the favored team with a lookahead game rest players in the second half once the game result is mostly in hand? Any distraction or change in the process can affect a team’s rhythm.

Good luck with all your handicapping this week, and in the weeks to come.

Follow me on twitter @ronacesports to be alerted of future articles, and to find my weekly podcasts with @lasvegascris on Tuesday and Jeff Dawson on Friday, where I discuss NCAA content as well as NFL content.

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