College football Week 12 picks against the spread for every top-25 matchup
Week 12 of the college football season features the most matchups between ranked teams in the AP Top 25 this season.
No. 9 Penn State faces No. 24 Indiana (Noon, ABC) in a Big Ten East matchup before No. 21 Navy meets No. 16 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m., NBC) in what should be an excellent game in South Bend, Ind.
No. 5 Georgia travels to No. 13 Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS) in the biggest SEC game of the week, and No. 7 Minnesota is an underdog at No. 23 Iowa (4 p.m., FOX). No. 12 Baylor puts its unbeaten record on the line against No. 10 Oklahoma (7:30 p.m., ABC) in the primetime slot.
Here is a look at our record so far this season:
Straight up: 163-44 .787 (11-5 last week)
Against the spread: 115-92, .556 (7-9 last week)
Upset picks: 2-12, .143 (0-1 last week)
WIth that, Sporting News’ Week 12 picks against the spread (lines provided courtesy of Sportsbook Review as of 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11):
No. 24 Indiana at No. 9 Penn State (-14)
The Hoosiers are ranked for the first time in 25 years, and three of the last five games with the Nittany Lions have been decided by 14 points or fewer. Those three games were in Bloomington. The Nittany Lions get back on track after a loss at Minnesota.
Penn State wins 33-16 and COVERS the spread.
Michigan State at No. 14 Michigan (-13.5)
The Spartans have a one-week season now, and they have won the last two meetings at The Big House. Michigan had a bye week to prepare for this one, but there hasn’t been a true blowout in the series between Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio. Michigan State hangs around long enough to make it interesting.
Michigan wins 27-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 15 Wisconsin (-14.5) at Nebraska
The Huskers had a week off to try to fix a defense that 31 points per game in losses to Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue. This is a chance to show progress against another physical opponents, but the Badgers hang on to their Big Ten West championship hopes here.
Wisconsin wins 37-21 and COVERS the spread.
No. 4 Alabama (-21) at Mississippi State
The Crimson Tide might be on the outside looking in as far as the College Football Playoff picture is concerned, and they will need to put up some big numbers to stay in the hunt. The Bulldogs are 0-3 against the spread as underdogs this season.
Alabama wins 48-17 and COVERS the spread.
Kansas at No. 25 Oklahoma State (-18)
It doesn’t get much better than Les Miles vs. Mike Gundy, and the Jayhawks had two weeks to prepare after a blowout loss to Kansas State. Kansas has been hit or miss with each week, but perhaps they hang around this time against a Cowboys team that has not won a Big 12 game by more than 13 points this season.
Oklahoma State wins 38-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 11 Florida (-7) at Missouri
That Gators might not be able to win the SEC East, but they can keep their New Year’s Day 6 hopes alive with a road win at Missouri. The Tigers are stuck in a three-game losing skid where they have managed just seven points per game.
Florida wins 31-14 and COVERS the spread.
No. 21 Navy at No. 16 Notre Dame (-9.5)
The Irish won by 22 points last season, but the Midshipmen have found their groove around quarterback Malcolm Perry. Navy is 2-1 against the spread as an underdog, and they will make it interesting against the Irish.
Notre Dame wins 26-20 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 2 Ohio State (-51) at Rutgers
We have no idea what to do with a 51-point spread, but the Buckeyes have been in search-and-destroy mode for a while now. Ohio State is 8-1 against the spread this season. Yeah, we can’t believe we’re doing this either:
Ohio State wins 62-7 and COVERS the spread.
Wake Forest at No. 3 Clemson (-33)
The Tigers are in a similar mode as the Buckeyes. Clemson has covered 30-plus point spreads in three consecutive games, and the Tigers won the last meeting with the Demon Deacons by 60 points. Clemson has given up more than 14 points in one game this season. It comes to whether that happens again,
Clemson wins 51-17 and COVERS the spread.
No. 5 Georgia (-3) at No. 13 Auburn
Georgia needs this one to stay in the College Football Playoff mix, and this is the same place where the Bulldogs lost 40-17 on their last visit. We think Jake Fromm stays hot, and Georgia’s defense comes up with a few turnovers against Bo Nix.
Georgia wins 30-23 and COVERS the spread.
No. 18 Memphis (-10) at Houston
Memphis remains on the New Year’s Day 6 trek, and they can keep that rolling with a victory against Houston. The Tigers are 4-2 against the spread when favored by 10 points or fewer.
Memphis wins 43-31 and COVERS the spread.
No. 22 Texas at Iowa State (-7.5)
Texas got back on track with a victory against Kansas State, and the Longhorns have a chance to keep that moving in the right direction against Iowa State. The Longhorns have won the last three meetings, and perhaps we are stepping into one here.
Texas wins 31-24 in an UPSET.
No. 7 Minnesota at No. 23 Iowa (-3)
This works into P.J. Fleck’s favor. The Gophers are underdogs on the road against a team that has held the prestigious Floyd of Rosedale trophy for the last four meetings. The Hawkeyes’ only home loss this season was a 17-12 nailbiter against Penn State. Minnesota will have to do the same.
Minnesota wins 24-23 in an UPSET.
No. 1 LSU (-21) at Ole Miss
Alabama is the only team that has beat the Rebels by more than 11 points. This will be a test to see how focused LSU is as a team after the victory against the Crimson Tide, and Ole Miss might just hang around at home for a half.
LSU wins 45-27 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 17 Cincinnati (-14) at South Florida
The Bearcats are 5-2 against the spread as a favorite this season, and the offense is clicking with 47 points per game the last two weeks. South Florida has scored 21 points or fewer in its five losses.
Cincinnati wins 38-17 and COVERS the spread.
No. 10 Oklahoma (-10) at No. 12 Baylor
The Big 12 gets the primetime spotlight and will be counting on the winner here to make the run to the College Football Playoff. Baylor is 5-0 in one-score games. The Sooners’ defense has allowed 44.5 points per game in its last two Big 12 games. They need to get the committee’s attention on both sides of the ball. It will be a compromise of sorts.
Oklahoma wins 42-31 and COVERS the spread.
UCLA at No. 8 Utah (-21)
Utah’s defense has been salty this loss to USC. The Utes have allowed 10.2 points per game and covered in five straight victories, but UCLA has scored 31 points or more in four straight games. This will be a fun matchup.
Utah wins 38-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
New Mexico at No. 19 Boise State (-28)
The Broncos have failed to cover as favorites in five of their last six games, and New Mexico hasn’t lost a game by more than 14 points in its six-game losing streak. We’ll stick with the recent trend.
Boise State wins 38-13 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Arizona at No. 6 Oregon (-27)
Arizona has allowed 47.2 points per game in its four-game losing streak, and that likely won’t change against an Oregon team that has the committee’s attention. The only question is whether the Wildcats can get the back-door cover. Oregon is 2-2 ATS when favored by more than 20 points.
Oregon wins 47-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.