A top ten team goes down seemingly every week in college football. This week was no different as the previously unbeaten Oklahoma Sooners lost their first game at Baylor since Robert Griffin III was their quarterback. That brings the season total to 22 top ten teams that have lost this year, and another one is destined to lose this week when No. 4 Ohio State hosts No. 7 Michigan State. In addition, it may shock many that No. 3 Oregon is road underdogs at No. 23 Utah. However, given how many top-ranked teams have lost this year, perhaps this should not be considered surprising.
Are we calling for any upsets this week?
Here are my top plays for Week 12 in college football.
Best Bets for Week 12: College Football
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Last Season: 35-22 (+9.5 units)
YTD: 24-15 (+6.6 units)
Michigan State at Ohio State (-19.5)
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the only team in the country to score 50 or more points in five games this season. Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud has thrown for at least 300 yards in five of the last six games and has at least four passing touchdowns in four of the previous six. He now faces a Michigan State pass defense that is the worst in the Big Ten, allowing 329 yards per game. Call us crazy, but given all this, we are still backing the Spartans to cover this huge number.
While the Buckeyes certainly will not be overlooking a top ten team in their own building, this game does not mean as much to them as the game next week against their biggest rivals. Thus, we expect Ohio State to look ahead to their colossal matchup against Michigan next week, which could have a berth in the Big Ten championship game on the line. Michigan State has the formula for keeping Ohio State’s explosive offense off the field, as the country’s leading rusher, Kenneth Walker III, can expect a ton of carries in this game.
Ohio State has owned this rivalry of late, covering the spread in each of the last four meetings with Michigan State. However, the Spartans are 7-1-2 ATS in their previous ten games and 4-1 ATS in their previous five road games. This game will be closer than the experts think.
PICK: Michigan State +19.5
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame: O/U 60
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had scored 31 or more points in each of their first four games after their loss to Cincinnati. However, that streak was snapped last week against Virginia, as head coach Brian Kelly knew he could dominate Virginia even with a conservative game plan. Georgia Tech enters this game on a four-game losing streak, and they are tied for 118th in the country in scoring. Despite Notre Dame averaging 32.3 PPG on the season, this feels like another game where the Irish will take the air out of the ball in a game they project to be up early.
The high temperature in South Bend on Saturday will be in the low 40s and will drop to the 30s by the game’s conclusion. That will affect Jack Coan and the Notre Dame passing offense, limiting their big-play ability with their athletic wide receivers. In addition, Kelly and the Irish coaching staff would like nothing more than to get their running game going and build confidence among their offensive line heading into the final week of the regular season and a major bowl game.
The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these teams and has cashed in four of Notre Dame’s last five home games. Georgia Tech would likely need to get to at least 21 points for this over to hit, and I am not sure that is possible against an Irish defense that has allowed 16 or fewer in three of their last four games.
PICK: UNDER 60
Kansas at TCU (-21)
The Kansas Jayhawks made history with their road win last week against Texas. They snapped a 56-game conference road losing streak, which was the longest active streak in FBS. And per ESPN Stats & Info, it was their first straight-up win as an underdog of at least 24 points since the 1978 FBS/FCS split. Kansas had been 0-100 SU in their school history when underdogs of at least 24 points. So what will the Jayhawks do for an encore? We believe they will be so excited to have won the Texas game that they will revert to being the usual doormat of the conference in this week’s road game.
TCU has lost four of their last five games but has played a brutal schedule in that span with three games against ranked opponents. Their lone win was a 30-28 home victory against Baylor, who has a chance to make the Big 12 championship game. That win was their first game under interim head coach Jerry Kill, and we expect the Horned Frogs to play inspired once again at home on Senior Day.
The home team has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings between these teams, and Kansas has covered in just three of their previous 16 conference games. Meanwhile, TCU is accustomed to bouncing back from poor offensive performances, as they are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following a week in which they scored less than 20 points in their previous game. The perception surrounding these teams is at opposite ends of the spectrum, but we are happy to back the Horned Frogs in a buy-low spot.
PICK: TCU -21
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