FOX Sports Betting Analyst
FOX’s “Big Noon Kickoff” heads to Happy Valley this weekend for a massive Big Ten showdown between Michigan and Penn State.
And you know damn well I’m betting it.
I’ve circled two college football wagers and three NFL bets for the weekend ahead.
Remember, this space isn’t the place for a million picks or five-team parlays, either. These will always be the games I love the most.
Let’s go to work.
All times ET
Michigan Wolverines (-4, O/U 45) @ Penn State Nittany Lions (Noon, FOX and FOX Sports App)
The market is telling us a story in this one.
Conventional wisdom says that when two solid defenses meet, it’s probably a good idea to look “Under.” Then you dive a little deeper to learn that Circa Sports opened a total of 43.5 last Sunday, and now we’re almost painted 45.
Michigan’s offense is going to score points. J.J. McCarthy is the most dangerous quarterback Jim Harbaugh has worked with in Ann Arbor and the Wolverines are going to put points on the board.
Sharp football bettor and data scientist Ed Feng pointed out in his newsletter that while the Wolverines defense is very, very good, their opponents to date have not been. Surely, Penn State can wrangle up a couple of touchdowns.
Don’t think for one second MIchigan won’t try and run it up.
PICK: Over 45 points scored by both teams combined
Michigan vs. Penn State showdown best bets Week 11
Oklahoma State Cowboys (-2.5, O/U 65.5) @ UCF Knights (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
It’s time to pop the Cowboy balloon.
The Pokes have surprised many pundits this year, and it’s wild how they’re currently in a first-place tie with Texas atop the Big XII. So why is Oklahoma State only laying 2.5 points at the Bounce House against UCF?
UCF is still scratching and clawing its way toward a bowl berth and I expect the Knights “A” game in this spot. We’ve seen them hang with Kansas State and Oklahoma and I like ‘em quite a bit with their season on the line.
And naturally, I’m fading OSU off the upset of Oklahoma.
PICK: UCF (+2.5) to lose by fewer than 2.5 points (or win outright)
San Francisco 49ers (-3, O/U 45) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports App)
The last time we saw the Niners, they were a hobbled offensive bunch and couldn’t score much against Joe Burrow’s Bengals.
It was a team that desperately needed the bye week to regroup.
Deebo Samuel is expected to be a full go Sunday and star left tackle Trent Williams returned to practice Thursday. Assuming those two play, life will be much easier on Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and Brandon Aiyuk.
Jacksonville has slowly morphed into one of the better teams in the NFL over the last couple of years, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence is much improved.
But this is Niners or pass for me.
PICK: 49ers (-3) to win by more than 3 points
Will 49ers end their three-game skid with a road win vs. Jaguars in Week 10?
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-6.5, O/U 38) (1 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports App)
There aren’t many people higher on Baltimore than me.
I discussed them “Over” 9.5 and 10 wins and +220 to win the AFC North before the season on “Bear Bets” and those wagers all look promising.
That said, this is a lot of points to lay against a defensively-charged division rival. Cleveland’s defense front is legit and Myles Garrett might be the best player on the field. And the Browns know the Ravens very, very well.
Las Vegas bookmaker John Murray told FOX Sports the Ravens are one of the most popular sides of the season. Most bettors are lining up to lay Baltimore, and they’re putting the Ravens in endless moneyline parlays.
And yet the line still sits under “7.”
PICK: Browns (+6.5) to lose by fewer than 6.5 points (or win outright)
Tennessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1, O/U 39) (1 p.m. ET CBS)
I’m excited for Baker Mayfield against Will Levis.
The Titans’ offense has looked much different the last two games thanks to Levis’ ability to bomb the ball down the field with ease. His arm plays in this league and as long as he doesn’t turn it over, he’ll be fine.
I still like the Bucs in this spot, though.
Tampa Bay’s offense ranks in the top 10 in multiple advanced metrics according to Sumer Sports, and it’s pretty obvious how much better this attack is when Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both healthy at the same time.
I’ll gladly lay the penny right now before it gets richer.
PICK: Buccaneers (-1) to win by more than 1 point
2023 Record: (21-25-1, -6.7)
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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