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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 12 Picks

Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee Volunteers

There is no way to sugar coat it. In the big games last weekend, I didn’t perform well, going 2-4 outright and 2-4 against the spread.

My top picks didn’t perform much better, going 1-2 in the “real-er” picks. It pushed my season record to 38-38-1. Needless to say, it’s been a down year. My only saving grace is another winning record in the Top 25 (8-6) and a tie with Mitch Light for the best record (86-78-4) among the Athlon pickers.

Last Week: 1-2

Year-to-Date: 38-38-1

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Ohio St (-13) at Minnesota

The Gophers barely held on to beat Purdue and have lost to Illinois. Ohio State needs to be on letdown alert but otherwise there is nothing to like about this matchup for the Gophers. Urban Meyer’s team is 7-2 against the number this year and in desperate need of style points. Prediction: Ohio State -13.5

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Clemson (-3) at Georgia Tech

To beat Paul Johnson’s triple option, you need a great defensive line and Clemson has just that. The Tigers are also getting QB DeShaun Watson back, one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league even though he's a true freshman. Clemson seems like the significantly better team. Prediction: Clemson -3

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Indiana (+7) at Rutgers

The Knights have had two weeks to prepare and know that one more win gets them to a bowl game and therefore should be incredibly motivated. Rutgers is fifth in the Big Ten at 5.9 yards per play and should be able to get some points against the league’s second-worst scoring defense (32.3 ppg). Prediction: Rutgers -7

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Virginia Tech (+4.5) at Duke

The Blue Devils are inching closer to a Coastal Division repeat but can’t afford to lose again with Georgia Tech and Miami breathing down its neck. Duke won last year outright in Blacksburg and the Hokies are playing horrible football. Take David Cutcliffe and his 7-2 record against the spread. Prediction: Duke -4.5

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Florida St (-2.5) at Miami

The Noles play with fire every weekend and it has cost gamblers all season (FSU sports a 2-7 record ATS). Miami is improved but should still be overmatched in what could be a heavy Seminole crowd in South Florida. Florida State will find a way to win again in the second half. Prediction: Florida St -2.5

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Nebraska (+7) at Wisconsin

Nebraska feels like the better team and has a significant advantage at quarterback. Moving the ball with a less-than-healthy Ameer Abdullah against the very stout UW defensive front will be difficult but this feels like a big number. Prediction: Nebraska +7

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Kentucky (+8) at Tennessee

I’ll venture away from the Big Ten and ACC for the first time this week. The Wildcats' defense has been atrocious of late, giving up over 300 yards rushing in three of the last four games. Tennessee is rested after the bye week and is at home. The Cats are terrible on the road and should struggle once again. Josh Dobbs and Jalen Hurd will have big games on the ground. Prediction: Tennessee -8

TCU and Western Michigan are the best two teams in the nation against the spread, as both sport an 8-1 mark. Both are laying large margins this weekend against Kansas (-28.5) and Eastern Michigan (-28) respectively. Don’t expect Gary Patterson, who needs style points, to let off the pedal too much.

SMU is 2-6 against the number and has been terrible in all phases of the game all year. South Florida is just 5-4 against the spread but should cover the 11-point spread. UTEP is 7-2 this season against the spread and is at home against North Texas laying 6.5 points. Take the Miners.

Two OSU’s from Stillwater and Corvallis have been terrible against the spread this season and both should lose at home this weekend. Oregon State is 2-7 against the spread and will find it difficult covering the 9-point number against Arizona State. Oklahoma State is 2-6-1 against the spread and is laying 2.5 points against Texas. Take the Sun Devils and the Horns.

Top 25 Picks ATS:

Top 25

Braden Gall

Mitch Light

David Fox

Steven Lassan

Mississippi St (+8) at Alabama

Florida St (-2.5) at Miami

TCU (-28.5) at Kansas

Arizona St (-9) at Oregon St

Ohio St (-13) at Minnesota

Auburn (+2.5) at Georgia

Michigan St (-12) at Maryland

Washington (+9) at Arizona

Nebraska (+7) at Wisconsin

LSU (+2) at Arkansas

Northwestern (+17.5) at Notre Dame

Clemson (-3) at Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech (+4.5) at Duke

Utah (+7.5) at Stanford

Missouri (+4.5) at Texas A&M

Last Week:

8-6

11-3

7-7

6-8

YTD:

86-78-4

86-78-4

76-88-4

82-82-4