Skip to main content

Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 12 Picks and Odds


That was my first rough week of the season on the college football side, but there were bad beats with UTEP losing at the end as well as Air Force blowing the cover. The big question now with so few weeks left in the regular season is which team is still motivated to play and which ones have already mailed it in.

Image placeholder title

You've got to read articles and scan through press conferences to see what the players and coaches are saying. There may be some big numbers out there, but there are several teams that have already checked out and merely playing out the string.

Record: 29-30 (0-5 last week)

Note: All games are on Saturday, Nov. 19 and times are ET.

Oregon (3-7) at Utah (8-2), 2 p.m.

I'm pretty sure that Oregon has given up on the season as the defense has been torched to the tune of 40 or more points in six of the last seven games. This group has not been able to slow anyone down and Utah has put up at least 45 points in two of its last three games. The Utes will be playing their final home game of the season. Their defense has sprung a leak or two the last few weeks, giving up 102 points over a three-week span. The Ducks have some pieces to build off of on offense so they should be able to contribute to this total. They've gone over in six of their seven Pac-12 matchups. SELECTION: Over 70.5

Texas (5-5) at Kansas (1-9), 3:30 p.m.

I stubbornly will continue to go to the well with overs in Kansas games. The Jayhawks allow 39.3 points per game while Texas checks in at 32.3. The Longhorns will be a little ornery after losing at home to West Virginia last time out. They have not had problems putting up points, especially on the road where they have already scored 31 at Oklahoma State and 45 at Texas Tech. The Jayhawks have allowed at least 40 points in four of their last five games. They continue to try to find a quarterback to run the offense, but to no avail. The trends continue to point to the under, but I think this one will be a high-scoring affair. SELECTION: Over 63

The Citadel (10-0) at North Carolina (7-3), 3:30 p.m.

This is an intriguing matchup on Saturday as the Bulldogs are one of the best running teams in the country. They also have a pretty good FCS-level defense. The Citadel will be tested by quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Tar Heels’ offense though. North Carolina has had few issues against FBS defenses so I can't see the Heels struggling at home against the Bulldogs. I can't imagine UNC will 100 percent be focused for this one so I see the letdown on the defensive side where they have allowed 222.3 rushing yards per game I could see The Citadel covering, but I think this one features a lot of points. SELECTION: Over 52.5

Austin Peay (0-10) at Kentucky (5-5), 4:30 p.m.

The Governors are pretty awful and are still in search of their first win of the season. They are second to last in the FCS in defense, allowing 516.3 yards per game. Austin Peay opened the season with a 57-17 loss to Troy and has been blown out in almost every game to some extent. It's the final game of the Governors’ season so some early scores by Kentucky will probably be enough. The Wildcats meanwhile are playing for an all-important sixth win and to get the taste of last week’s loss to Tennessee out of their mouths. Offense is not an issue, scoring 30 points or more in three of their last four. It is a bit concerning that they didn't cover against New Mexico State earlier in the year, but I think they do here. SELECTION: Kentucky -41.5

Image placeholder title

Air Force (7-3) at San Jose State (3-7), 10:30 p.m.

San Jose State got some extra time to prepare for Air Force and at this point is merely playing for pride with an eye towards setting the foundation for 2017. Kenny Potter and this offense will have to keep the Falcons off the field as Air Force has won three straight and is clicking offensively. The Spartans have won their last two home games and could put up a fight, at least on offense. The question will be if they can slow down the Air Force triple option. It's hard trying to find a lot of trends to back this pick, but I think the visiting Falcons struggle in this one. SELECTION: San Jose State +10

Image placeholder title


— I wish I had the stones to take UTSA in its non-conference matchup against Texas A&M. The Aggies have to be reeling with Trevor Knight out and another tough loss last time out against Ole Miss. The Roadrunners have been kind to me this year, but their defense is bad and it's their third straight road game. I'd love to play the over, but can UTSA contribute to that? I don’t think the Aggies will be fully invested in this one though, which makes it a tough play.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.