The Dumb Brain — College Football Week 11

Nothin to see here... just sweeping stats, data and analytics under the rug.

Welcome back into ‘The Dumb Brain’! I believe the title speaks for itself. For the last few years, I have been unable to follow hard data and analytics backing a gambling pick for one simple reason — my dumb brain gets in the way.

I’ve never been able to follow the advice of “gambling experts” and their data simply because this is gambling. If you don’t feel a pick in your gut or believe in it, why take it?

Each week for the rest of the season, I’ll give you my card for the upcoming Saturday slate and my dumb brain’s reasoning behind each pick. If you feel these picks too, follow them with me, or fade me if you’d like — *hint* there’s a reason this is called the dumb brain.

These picks will cover the bigger games of the weekend because, quite frankly, I don’t really give a damn about the Charlotte/UTEP or Louisville/Miami games on the slate — no offense to the irrelevant teams of the CFB world. 

Week 10 Recap (6-3-0)

I’m just giving away money at this point y’all. I haven’t been on a heater like this in my entire life, and it’s pretty much continued over the entire college football season. After last week, we extended to 34-17-0 since the 2-7-0 week. If this keeps up, we may have to change the name of this thing next season — even though, as you may see in my latest piece, I’m a little stitious.

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Week 11 (YTD: 53-35-0, +13.2 units)

This is it folks. This week is the biggest one of the year for me. I don’t even care about the rest of the slate. There’s one of these games above all else for me, and if you’ve been a frequent reader of this column, you clearly know which one it is.

Game of the Century: Part II is set to be the biggest game of the weekend, and possibly the entire college football season. The rest of the slate is set up to be one of the best of the season, but none of them compare to the showdown in Tuscaloosa. I’ll try to break the rest of em down for you as best as I can. Let’s get into the card.

Maryland (+43) at #1 Ohio State O/U 65, Noon EST, FOX

It doesn’t get much easier than this one folks. Maryland is about as terrible a team as there is in the Power 5 and Ohio State has been as looked incredibly dominant this year. Maryland let Michigan hang 38 on them, so I’m expecting at least a 50-burger from Ohio State here.

Lock of the Week Pick: Ohio State -43. The Buckeyes just keep covering, so I’m going to be forced to keep putting money on them. This number could be 50 and I’d still ride with them lock it in.

#4 Penn State (-7) at #17 Minnesota O/U 48, Noon EST, ABC

They are Rowin’ the Fleckin’ boat up in Minnesota these days. This might possibly the biggest game in the history of Minnesota’s program. I don’t know how you can go against a team in their biggest moment ever like the Gophers are in this one.

The Picks: Penn State -7 and UNDER 48. There is NO CHANCE I’m putting money on this unproven Minnesota team. They are the least-balanced team in the B1G Ten and heavily favor the run, and just so happen to be going up against the number 1 run defense in the conference. Nittany Lions roll.

#19 Wake Forest (-2) at Virginia Tech O/U 61.5, 3:30 EST, ACC Network

This one has look-ahead game written all over it. Wake has to go to Clemson next weekend, and even though they have no shot to win that game, I could see their players looking right past Virginia Tech.

The Pick: Wake Forest -2. Wake hasn’t had the best defense this year, but they’ve been able to come up with some stops, when necessary, to win ball games. Virginia Tech is coming off a physical game against Notre Dame so I can see that playing a factor. I don’t feel great about it, but I’m going with my gut on this one.

#16 Kansas State (+7) at Texas O/U 57.5, 3:30 EST, ESPN

The Pick: OVER 57.5. Texas has really let me down this season. Their defense is absolutely atrocious and they’ll give up points to anyone. They are, however, pretty solid on the other side of the ball, and I’m expecting this one to turn into a shootout. Give me all the points in this one.

#2 LSU (+6) at #3 Alabama O/U 62.5, 3:30 EST, CBS

This is the big one folks. My entire year comes down to this one game. I’ll try to keep it short on the pick break down here because I already had my longer preview earlier this week. The game is going to come down to two things — Tua’s health and which defense can make enough stops against the opposing offense.

I don’t see how Tua is going to be 100 percent in this one after only 20 days of recovery from his tight-rope surgery. Obviously, he’s going to play because he’s a competitor and wants to help his team win, but I don’t know how mobile he’s actually going to be.

When it comes down to the defenses, I like LSU’s experience and battle-tested resume over Alabama’s unproven defense with four freshmen in key positions. I don’t expect either of them to shut the other’s offense down, but I trust LSU’s experience at the moment.

The Picks: LSU +6, OVER 62.5 and LSU ML +180. These two teams are mirror images of each other and I don’t see either of them separating by more than a touchdown at the end of this one. LSU has been good to me all season, both on the field and in this column, so I’d be a hypocrite to back off them now. Geaux Tigahs.

**AP #1 vs. #2 Fun Facts: #1 team is 15-6-2 straight up all-time and anytime the #1 team has been an underdog, they’re 5-0 straight up.

#18 Iowa (+9.5) at #13 Wisconsin O/U 38, 4:00 EST, FOX

The Pick: UNDER 38. This game SCREAMS under. Neither team has a really good offense and both defenses have been some of the best in the country. I’d be shocked if this one gets over 24 in the total if we’re being honest.

Missouri (+16) at #6 Georgia O/U 48, 7:00 EST, ESPN

Missouri was all the “experts” sleeper pick to win the SEC East this year, and boy oh boy, could they not have been more wrong. After rebounding from their loss against Wyoming in the opening week, Mizzou decided to lose to Vandy and get blown out by a Kentucky team which doesn’t have a quarterback. Seems pretty hard to do.

The Pick: Georgia -16. Normally, I’d stay away from a let-down situation like this for Georgia, but Missouri has been so bad that my brain won’t let me pass on a number this low. Set it and forget it.

#5 Clemson (-32.5) at NC State O/U 54, 7:30 EST, ABC

We’re in that time of the year where Clemson has gotten past their sloppy game of the year and they decide to turn it on and start absolutely killing teams. NC State is a bad football team and the line being this low really doesn’t make much sense to me.

The Picks: Clemson -32.5 and OVER 54. NC State allowed Wake to put up 44 on them last week, so I could easily see Clemson surpassing the total of 54 on their own here. This one should be easy money.

Iowa State (+14.5) at #9 Oklahoma O/U 66.5, 8:00 EST, FOX

I don’t think any of us were really surprised by Oklahoma’s defense letting them down and preventing a perfect season in the Big 12 this year. I think the Playoff Committee sent the message to them loud-and-clear after their embarrassing loss to Kansas State. The Sooners are going to need some style-points if they want to sniff the CFP this year, so the kill-everyone tour starts this week.

The Pick: Oklahoma -14.5 and OVER 66.5. Like I said, Oklahoma’s defense let them down the last time out and I don’t think they’ll be able to completely shut-down Brock Purdy and Iowa State. The Cyclones will be able to do just enough to push this one over, but Oklahoma still covers here.

Well, that will complete the card for this week. May the gambling gods be kind, and let’s go win some money folks. See y’all next week.
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