Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bets: College Football, Hoops 11/13by Alex Kielar November 13, 2021 1 comment
Welcome back to Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bets. It is currently one of the best times of year for the sporting world, with a lot of the major sports going on. With the World Series ending a couple of weeks ago, baseball is really the only sport not in season. This weekend is packed full of action, and multiple screens will be needed. With that in mind, let’s dive into some bets for college football and college basketball. College hoops just returned this week, while college football is going through its final weeks of the regular season. Time for Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bets to hit its stride.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor (+5.5)
Despite being 9-0, the Oklahoma Sooners are 4-5 against the spread. That includes failing to cover as 38.5 point favorites against a one-win Kansas team two games ago. Oklahoma hasn’t exactly been playing stellar opponents of late, and Baylor is no joke with one of the better defenses in the Big 12. The Bears are coming off an upset 30-28 loss to TCU last week, which the Sooners trounced 52-21. But that could fuel Baylor as they come back home angry looking to spoil Oklahoma’s playoff chances. Caleb Williams has thrived in the Sooner offense ever since he took over for Spencer “Heisman Favorite” Rattler four weeks ago against Texas.
Despite the Oklahoma offense being solid, their defense has been shaky. They rank near the bottom in the country in passing defense based on a number of statistical categories, including allowing 8.8 yards per passing attempt (111th). But Baylor runs the ball over 60 percent of the time, and the Sooners front seven has been dominant, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. With that said, Baylor ranks 10th in the nation with 5.5 average yards per carry, so something will have to give here.
The Bears have the third-best pass-blocking grade in the country, so they should be able to handle the Sooners’ pass rush. Gerry Bohanon has also been efficient when he does pass, throwing for 8.8 yards per attempt, and he has an 88.6 passing grade from a clean pocket. So if he gets time to throw, Baylor will have a strong passing attack to help even out the rushing attack. But when under pressure, Bohanon has just a 34.6 passing grade. So if Oklahoma can get pressure, they can cause problems for the Baylor offense. Look for this to be an old-fashioned Big 12 battle, with the teams trading punches until the end.
Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Baylor (+5.5)
Purdue (+21) vs. Ohio State
Purdue is hungry to spoil another team’s playoff chances, after coming off an upset win over Michigan State. In my humble opinion (Old Takes Exposed me if I’m wrong), giving Ohio State 21 points is absurd. Yes, Purdue has three losses, but the two of their six wins were against top-five opponents. One of them was against Iowa, who turned out to be frauds, but it is still a solid resume-building win. On the other side of things, Ohio State has failed to cover as 18.5 point and 14-point favorites the last two weeks and almost didn’t get out of Nebraska with a win last week.
The Boilermakers have averaged 332.6 yards passing per game, which is the eighth-best in the country, while quarterback Aidan O’Connell has averaged 343 yards per game in the past five games. David Bell will be tough for the Buckeyes to contain, as his 1,003 yards leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth in the FBS. In the upset of Michigan State, the junior receiver caught 11 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown. Purdue ranks 23rd in pass-rushing grade, led by one of the best edge rushers in the nation in George Karlaftis.
C.J. Stroud will face the most pressure he has faced all season, making it tougher to find his plethora of top targets. The Buckeyes running game struggled against the Cornhuskers, while Purdue has been great against the run as well. This game will most certainly stay closer than three touchdowns, and Purdue may even come out with another upset. For what it’s worth, the last time these two met, Purdue stunned the number two ranked Ohio State, 49-20, in 2018.
Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Purdue (+21)
Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss over 57
Texas A&M comes in on a four-game winning streak, including wins over Alabama and Auburn, following their loss to Mississippi in early October. The Aggies have two very skilled running backs, Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. They shouldn’t face much resistance against the Ole Miss defense which struggles in containing the run. The Rebels look to go fast in this game, while Zach Calzada can be explosive for the Aggies. Matt Corral was shaken up with an ankle injury last week, but the Heisman candidate looks to be fully healthy for this matchup. Jonathan Mingo is out and Braylon Sanders is not at full health, so Ole Miss will have to rely on running backs Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner. With their explosiveness added to Corral’s ability to throw and run at full strength, this game could easily turn into a shootout. Smash the over.
Vermont (+11.5) vs. Maryland
Maryland has started the season 2-0, but came out flat in both games and failed to cover. Vermont won their first game over Northern Iowa, 71-57 while doubling the point spread. The Catamounts don’t turn the ball over much and keeping the Terrapins out of transition will be a huge benefit to keeping this within single digits. Vermont shot 45 percent from the field in their opening win and 33.3 percent from behind the arc. Maryland allowed George Washington to shoot 40.9 percent from the floor and only shot at 37.5 percent. Vermont allowed UNI to shoot at just 35.8 percent. The Catamounts play slow and can potentially control the pace of this game, so they can keep up with the Terps.
Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Vermont (+11.5)
Gardner-Webb (+20.5) vs. Arkansas
Arkansas failed to cover a 19-point spread in their season-opening game, winning 74-61 over Mercer. Gardner-Webb, meanwhile lost by six as 9.5 point underdogs to the UNLV Rebels. The Bulldogs held UNLV to 38.3 shooting from the field and just 3-of-20 from three. The Razorbacks got off to a shaky start on Tuesday but ultimately pulled away. All while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor with 35 rebounds and 13 team assists. It wasn’t a classic Arkansas performance, but they got in the win column. Another shaky start will put the pressure on Arkansas as they face a team that nearly pulled off the upset last game.
Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Gardner-Webb (+20.5)
Texas vs. Gonzaga (-7.5)
Gonzaga hasn’t lost a home game since January 2018, and they get a big test against the Chris Beard lead Texas Longhorns. The Zags look to have another dominant season, as they lost Jalen Suggs but added his former high school teammate and top-five recruit, center Chet Holmgren. Holmgren stands at a massive seven-feet tall, has a smooth jump shot, and has solid guard skills for his size. Paired with Drew Timmie makes for the perfect duo for this squad who looks to cut the nets in April. Texas obviously has a lot of talent as well, but they won’t be able to keep up with the Zags. Gonzaga has a chip on their shoulder after losing the National Championship this past spring and won’t let anything or anyone get in their way.
Cap’n Kielar’s Best Bet: Gonzaga (-7.5)
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