This week’s college football picks for Week 12 are laser-focused on a pair of very meaningful NCAA conference showdowns in the Big Ten and SEC.
NCAA Week 12 Picks & Parlays
Michigan State Spartans (+420) vs No. 14 Michigan Wolverines (-580)
Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor MI| 12:00 PM ET
This Saturday, NCAA Week 12 kicks off with the Battle for Michigan as it goes down at the Big House. The Wolverines have dropped two games this season, both to Big Ten rivals, and have no shot at the conference title or a spot in the playoffs. Too bad, as they have really turned it on over the last few weeks and look like a team who could hang with the big boys at the top of the NCAA rankings.
Since their loss to Wisconsin, the Wolverines have gone 5-1 against the spread with the only exception being their loss to Penn State. They are sixth in the Big Ten in scoring with 31.8 PPG and have looked sharper each week.
The Spartans, on the other hand, are a complete mess right now and haven’t won a game since September. They hit rock bottom last weekend with a truly legendary meltdown against a weak Illinois team whom the Wolverines beat up on a few weeks ago. Michigan State was in total control of this game and led the Illini 31-10 heading into the fourth quarter. They somehow allowed 27 points in the fourth quarter and managed to lose by three.
The Spartans rank 12th in scoring at just 23.1 PPG and 7th in passing yards per game in the Big Ten with 235 per game. It’s clear they need a spark on offense to have a shot at hanging in this game. They don’t even rank in the top 100 teams in terms of total offense and things seem just seem to be getting worse.
Michigan State will need to lean heavily on their running game, specifically Elijah Collins. The redshirt freshman has posted 715 yards and is averaging a very strong five yards per carry. In the 49 games these two teams have played, the team who had more overall rushing yards have won 44.
Despite their obvious issues, I still believe the betting value in NCAA week 12 lies with the Spartans this weekend to cover this 14-point spread. Thing is when the lines first broke for this game the Wolverines were mere six-point favorites. In the six weeks since then, the Wolverines have stepped up their game significantly while the Spartans have total self-destructed. But Michigan State’s skid does not warrant such a swing in the odds in my opinion. The spread more than doubled as oddsmakers adjusted in preparation for the influx of action on U of M.
Coach Dantonio is fighting for his job and a lopsided loss to an in-state rival would likely be the final nail in the coffin. The Spartans are 8-4 against Michigan with him as head coach, including wins their last two trips into the Big House. The Momentum is clearly with the Wolverines but rivalry games tend to be especially unpredictable. I think we see a very different Spartans team this weekend as they look to keep their coach employed and try to upset Michigan on their home turf.
Best Bet: Michigan State Spartans +14 (-115)
No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs (-135) vs No. 13 Auburn Tigers (+145)
Saturday, November 16th at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL | 3:30 PM ET
This is the biggest game going down in NCAA week 12, maybe even the nation. The Georgia Bulldogs still have a real shot at earning a playoff berth and a big win against a tough Auburn squad will go a long way toward that goal. This week marks the first that Georgia is ranked high enough to make the playoffs after shutting out Missouri 27-0 in their last game. But it was LSU’s win over Alabama that really helped Georgia climb into championship contention. It’s a very fortunate situation for them to be in, especially with one loss on their resume.
This week will be far from another blowout win as they come up against one of the more fearsome defenses in the nation.
Lucky for Georgia, they have Jake Fromm under center, who looks like a real NFL talent. Sure, the offense doesn’t look quite as electric as a season ago and their downfield game has regressed a bit. But with a top-10 defense of their own, they have managed to keep themselves in contention for a playoff spot. They have held all but three teams to under 100 yards rushing and rank 2nd in the nation behind Ohio State in scoring defense.
The Bulldogs are one of the only teams left who really control their fate when it comes to their National Championship aspirations. If they win out and take down LSU in the SEC Championship Game, they should find themselves in the CFB Playoffs come January.
Auburn will do their best to stop any hope that Georgia has this weekend, however. The Tigers will look for Bo Nix to continue his strong and consistent play in each important game they’ve played so far this season. While he has a few struggles, namely against Florida and LSU, the overall production is there. Besides, you can’t fault the kid for having a tough game against the number one team in the nation.
This will be another big test and a chance to prove himself to the world. Auburn has a defense good enough to keep them in this game, so long as Nix can put up some points. So does Nix have what it takes to ruin Georgia’s National Championship Hopes?
Georgia is all around a stronger team and has shown to be able to make the big plays when it really mattered. Both defenses are top shelf, Auburn has a slightly better front seven but Georgia ranks #2 in the nation in keeping points off the board.
So let’s say the defenses are pretty much even, this then comes down to which offense do you trust more. Perhaps more accurately, which quarterback do you trust? Both of them will have opportunities to win the game for their team and I believe that Fromm will do more with his chances. Neither has really blown the doors off an opposing defense, but Fromm has come through in big games on the road before. With their new position in the rankings and a chance to make a run in the playoffs, I think the Georgia Bulldogs come out of the gate hard and keep their championship hopes alive.
Best Bet: Georgia Bulldogs -2.5 (-104)
That’s it for our NCAAF picks and parlays for week 12, good luck everyone.