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College Football Best Bets For Week 12

It’s hard to believe that most of the college football world only has two games left in the “regular season.” However, following rivalry weekend, we have conference championships, then the final bowl selections. In their most recent College Football Playoff Rankings, Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State once again filled out the four-team playoff bracket.

New College Football Playoff Rankings & Matchups

  1. Georgia (10-0) (Hosting Charleston Southern)
  2. Alabama (9-1) (Hosting Arkansas)
  3. Oregon (9-1) (At Utah)
  4. Ohio State (9-1) (Hosting No. 7 Michigan State)
  5. Cincinnati (10-0) (Hosting SMU)
  6. Michigan (9-1) (At Maryland)
  7. Michigan State (9-1) (At No. 4 Ohio State)
  8. Notre Dame (9-1) (Hosting Georgia Tech)
  9. Oklahoma State (9-1) (At Texas Tech)
  10. Wake Forest (9-1) (At Clemson)

Before we get into our best bets for the weekend, let’s take a look at the playoff race. Georgia has looked like one of the most dominant college football teams of recent memory. Ohio State finally got back on track last weekend with a 59-31 win over upset-minded Purdue. Alabama easily took care of New Mexico State last weekend and are gearing up to take on Arkansas this weekend. Oregon has their biggest game of the season on Saturday afternoon when they take on Utah. The Utes are favored in that game, and if Oregon falls, there are multiple teams looking to pounce.

On the outside looking in are Cincinnati, Michigan and Michigan State. Cincinnati will be favored in the rest of their games, so they could get in, but would need help. Michigan State controls their own destiny, simply because if they win out, they will be playing in the Big Ten Championship game. Finally, Michigan needs Ohio State to take care of business this weekend, so they could play spoiler for the Buckeyes on November 27th.

There’s still a lot of good football ahead of us, so let’s take a look at our best bets for the weekend.

college football betting picks michigan state ohio state
Credit: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Best Bets For Week 12 | College Football Betting

College football betting odds are taken from BetMGM Sportsbook.

Michigan State vs Ohio State

Spread: MSU +18.5 (-110) | OSU -18.5 (-110)
Moneyline: MSU (+650) | OSU (-1000)
Total: 68.5 Over (-105) | Under (-115)

Why You Should Bet The Under: This is a tough pick for me. Ohio State is the best offense in the country, but their defense gives up countless big plays. On the Michigan State sideline, they should be able to score some points on this Ohio State defense, if they can keep quarterback Payton Thorne upright. However, on the defensive side of the ball, the Spartans’ passing defense is suspect. Well, in that case, their entire defense is suspect. They are in the bottom quarter of Division I football teams in both total defense and passing defense. Ohio State should easily put up 50 points of their own.

As for the Ohio State defense? They are actually ranked 13th nationally in rushing defense, but in the bottom third in passing defense. Good thing for Ohio State, as the Spartans love to pound the rock with their Heisman contending running back Kenneth Walker III. With all of this being said, Ohio State and their opponent have only gone over 68.5 in three out of Ohio State’s 10 games. On top of that, Michigan State and their opponents have only gone over 68.5 three times.

At this point in the season, we know who the contenders and pretenders are. Michigan State is a tough matchup, absolutely. However, Ohio State should win this game by two possessions, but because they will be able to slow down Walker early on, the game will go under.

College Football Betting Pick: Under 68.5

Rutgers vs Penn State

Spread: RUTG +17.5 (-110) | PSU -17.5 (-110)
Moneyline: RUTG (+625) | PSU (-1000)
Total: 47 Over (-110) | Under (-110)

Why You Should Take Rutgers: This game is quietly going under the radar this weekend. Both teams started out the season looking promising, but they have faded here in the second half of the season. On top of that, the rumor mill circling around State College right now is crazy. Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin is bringing in a talented recruiting class next year, but he could very well be in Southern California. On the field, Penn State’s offense is a mess. Jahan Dotson is a hell of a receiver, but they have a tough time getting the ball to him. Quarterback Sean Clifford has been a warrior this year, playing through multiple injuries. But at this point in the year, his gas may be close to empty. All signs are pointing down at Penn State

As for Rutgers, well they got off to a great 3-0 start before losing a close game to Michigan. However, head coach Greg Schiano has this program on the rise. He’s locking down recruits from New Jersey, and his team is getting better every week. Honestly, this just seems like a game that Rutgers will be up for, but Penn State might come out sleep-walking.

Add on the fact that Rutgers has only been an underdog by 17 or more once this season, and they covered the spread. This should be a low-scoring game, so Rutgers with the points is the pick.

College Football Betting Pick: Rutgers +17.5

Cincinnati college football betting
Credit: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

SMU vs Cincinnati

Spread: SMU +10.5 (-110) | UC -10.5 (-110)
Moneyline: SMU (+360) | UC (-500)
Total: 64.5 Over (-110) | Under (-110)

Why You Should Take the Under: This is another under-the-radar game taking place this weekend. These two AAC rivals come into this matchup needing a win and some style points. For Cincinnati, Desmond Ridder is the key to the offense. He has faded down the stretch, but he’s still the on-field leader. Cincinnati’s defense is truly one of the best in college football. Cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner will be a high first-round pick, and he can shut down the best receivers. Cincinnati has failed to get the style points they need in the last couple of weeks, so I expect them to come out ready to play.

As for SMU, they are at a respectable 8-2, but they would love to crush Cincinnati’s playoff dreams. Signal caller Tanner Mordecai has been great this season, which is not surprising because SMU is where quarterbacks go to be re-born. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, this Cincinnati defense is elite and will control the tempo of the game. Cincinnati and their opponents have only scored 65 or more points two times. And, remember, Cincinnati isn’t facing an SEC schedule week in and week out. Love the under here.

College Football Betting Pick: Under 64.5

Kent State vs Akron

Spread: KSU -13.5 (-110) | AKRON +13.5 (-110)
Moneyline: KSU (-600) | AKRON (+425)
Total: 73.5 Over (-110) | Under (-110)

Why You Should Take Kent State: Ah, finally we have the Battle of the Wagon Wheel in northeast Ohio! These two rivals face off every year, where the winner takes control of the “Wagon Wheel.” The Golden Flashes of Kent State have won two straight in the rivalry, and I don’t see that changing this season.

Kent is in the top-15 of all of college football in total offense. Signal caller Dustin Crum and young head coach Sean Lewis will be lighting up the scoreboard on Saturday afternoon. Crum should be taken in the later rounds of the NFL Draft next spring. The Golden Flashes put up nearly 475 yards of offense per game. An x-factor for the Flashes could be receiver Dante Cephas. He’s another NFL prospect that is a big, strong, physical wide receiver. Crum and he have connected for over 900 yards this year and seven touchdowns.

As for Akron, they recently fired former head coach Tom Arth. The program has been in a decline for years now, and Arth had a 3-24 record with the Zips. However, quarterback DJ Irons is very exciting and can hurt the Kent State defense. Speaking of the Kent defense, it’s the third-worst defense in all of college football. They give up nearly 500 yards per game. So usually, the over would also be the play, but with some rain and wind moving in on Saturday, I like the Golden Flashes and the spread.

College Football Betting Pick: Kent State -13.5

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