College Football Week 12 Betting: Ohio State and Michigan State battle in the CFP Elimination Game
Chase the college football playoffs up to a home stretch. Three weekends of matches separate four teams from reaching the ultimate goal in the sport.
Last week it did almost nothing to change that landscape as Oklahoma was the only team in the top 10. Honestly, it looks like this weekend will give us a lot of the same as there aren’t many matches between the top teams, but it’s possible that a few surprises will separate the contenders from the contenders.
My picks took a very small step towards competing with a 6-4 performance. Had I known Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong wasn’t playing, I would have gotten that too, but I picked those games on Thursday night and consider them locked at that point. Altogether, my record sits at 50-65.
The 1st commentator award goes to Ukedadnole who won 8-2 as one of you continues to embarrass me every week.
Reminder that all fonts come from Tallysight.com.
The list starts with a big one as two of Horseshoe’s best Big Ten fights. Unfortunately for the Spartans, sports analysts don’t think it will be very soon… and I agree with them. If you listened to this week’s Seminole Wrap podcast (you should, it’s fun – rate, review, subscribe), I told you Ohio State became my pick for the team most likely to win the title outside of Georgia and most likely take them to the bottom. Their attack is unstoppable this season with a best 46.3 points per game. QB CJ Stroud should be in New York for the Heisman concert thanks in large part to his three receivers who will all play on Sundays on the road. Across the field, Michigan State had a great season on the back of RB Kenneth Walker III. the problem? The Spartans have the worst passing defense (already 130 out of 130) in FBS. It allows an average of just under 330 yards per game through the air. This rate is going up this weekend.
Prediction: Ohio State -19.5
- Iowa (+3.5) at No. 13, Oklahoma (Noun ET, Fox)
Ah Oklahoma. I’ve played with fire for a very long time. They escaped danger seemingly every week in the early part of the season, but those games laid the foundation for the final meltdown that occurred last week in Waco. Baylor—who is now ahead of the Sooners in the rankings—dominated the second half and ended OU’s CFP dreams. Now, they’ll be going home and hosting the Iowa State team that has disappointed this season even though they’ve been playing better lately. The only place the Hurricane suffered is on the road, but I’ll ride with the Sooners disappointed with last week’s loss.
Prediction: Iowa +3.5
Wake’s outside chance to slip into the playoffs looks alive and well with several teams playing ahead of each other, but they lack a distinct win and there is no one left in the table. Last week’s victory over NC State is a great start. Clemson will add to that and a potential compatibility with Pitt in the ACC title game could help them get there. I know Clemson is down but the name still carries weight. If you need proof of this, check out the line. I’ve fallen for these countless times where I don’t think the line makes sense and it explodes in my face, but you know I’m done with Clemson.
Prediction: Wake Forest +4.5
This is another one I featured on the Seminole Wrap podcast (rate, review, subscribe). I think I went in earlier this week at 2.5, but I love Florida here. I don’t know what to do with Boston College because they now have the return of QB Phil Jurkovec after a long absence. He looked great last week defeating Georgia Tech with no signs of rust, but that has to come at the end, right? In addition, Noles played really well with a healthy Jordan Travis. His confidence must be at an all-time high, so I’m riding with him and Fifa legend (trying to make that happen) Jermaine Johnson.
Prediction: Florida +1.5
- No. 21 Arkansas (+21.5) at No. 2 Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
I’m going to keep this simple because my best context for these two teams is that they’ve both played LSU for the past two weeks too soon. The fun result is Alabama losing as it makes a potential hex tie for the SEC West crown, which is pretty perfect. But it’s Alabama and I don’t buy that.
Prediction: Alabama -21.5
- Nebraska (+8.5) at No. 15 Wisconsin (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
When did Wisconsin get good again? The last thing I remember of the Badgers, Notre Dame was running up and down Soldier Field like it was 7 on 7. But they’ve clearly regrouped and are now back in the top 15. Believe it or not, they did it by the classic Wisconsin formula of running the ball. (12th place in the nation) and Defense (second). Not too bad, all things considered. They can now host the Nebraska side that just fired their offensive coaching staff so Scott Frost can save his job. The timing of this move is strange because they’ve had similar losses lately and have given Ohio State a great game. I think Wisconsin is winning, but I expect Nebraska to continue its converging streak of losses.
Prediction: Nebraska +8.5
- SMU (+11.5) at No. 5 Cincinnati (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Cincinnati feels like the team the committee is looking for reasons to move away. The Bearcats have recorded one loss over the past two seasons – the 24-21 Sugar Bowl against Georgia in which the Bulldogs recovered from a fourth-quarter deficit by two notches to win. I understand these teams can’t be considered after this season, but what more could the Bearkats do to earn respect? They walked the road and perfectly handled Notre Dame and Indiana – they are Power Five opponents – and were not pushed otherwise.
Enter SMU though. The Mustang features my favorite college football quarterback in Tanner Mordechai (pick up his slouchy bro) and is fun to watch. They had a slip in two games on the road against Houston and Memphis but rebounded massively against the UCF last week. I don’t know if the Mustang can win but they can definitely run with the Bearcats if they don’t click 100%.
Prediction: SMU +11.5
- Virginia (+14.5) at No. 18 Pittsburgh (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
It’s like deja vu all over again. No word from Virginia on QB Brennan Armstrong’s official status. He missed last week’s game (see the grumble above) with a rib injury, but Pete Nardozy’s coach says he fully expects to see him there this week and so do I. them to give the leopards whatever they can handle if there is.
Prediction: Virginia +14.5
It’s a fun place for me here. Kansas State was one of my early season darlings who felt underrated in many of their early contests, but faded after three straight losses to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Don’t look now though they are back to my good graces with four straight victories. On the flip side, Baylor became one of my favorite late season teams as QB Gerry Bohanon took their stride. K-State at home feels like a tiebreaker here, but I’m riding from my heart and (potential LSU coach) Dave Aranda.
- No. 3 Oregon (+3.5) at No. 23, Utah (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
quack! The Ducks seemed unstoppable because they ran through Pac-12 so smoothly (yes, they were defeated by Stanford but the bad calls obviously didn’t matter). Utah was the game many circled around earlier in the season as the place they could drop, but the Utes come out with a very disappointing performance against a very poor Arizona team last week. This looks like Oregon is continuing its run (get it) toward the playoffs, but I also expect to look up Saturday night and see fans rushing onto the field in Salt Lake City.
Prediction: Utah -3.5