Free NCAA Football Picks Week 12: Under-the-Radar Matchups Provide Great Betting Profits
When UCLA takes the field for their game against No. 11 USC tomorrow at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it will mark the first meeting between stud quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold, both of whom are projected to be one of the top picks in next year's NFL Draft should they enter. Both QBs are in their third collegiate season, and this rivalry has lost some luster due to injuries and quarterback logjams. This season, Darnold seems to have had the better go of it. His Trojans are nationally-ranked and are on the cusp of a spot in the Pac-12 title game while Rosen and his Bruins are mired in mediocrity at 5-5. For every step forward, they've taken two steps back; Rosen's stock is suffering as a result.
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However, on an individual level, these two stud quarterbacks boast remarkably similar numbers. Darnold has passed for 3,198 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while Rosen has 3,094 yards 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions (in one less game).
If I had the ability to give advice to one of these two future franchise QBs, I'd likely tell them to hold off on the draft this year. Go back to school, finish your senior year and enjoy playing meaningful football with your friends, because Cleveland is not only lurking with a top-two pick in the upcoming draft but will likely be in the same boat come 2019. The losing can wait.
With that said, let's put a hold on ripping the Browns and get down to business. As I'm sure you already know, the purpose of this weekly article to help bettors find those "diamond-in-the-rough" type games with soft lines and increase your edge over the book. The majority of new bettors make the same mistake every week - they get sucked into the media's propaganda and all the "hype up" commercials on television featuring ranked teams. If those commercials are the only thing a new bettor sees, that is likely the game they will bet on. What these square bettors don't know is that the line as very little value left in it and the books will typically win more often than not.
Tonight's card features just two games on the docket, but one of them has massive Bowl implications. Middle Tennessee (5-5) travels to Western Kentucky (5-5) for a "win-and-your-bowl eligible" game. The Blue Raiders are currently three-point road chalk and the total is set at 59. The Blue Raiders also have revenge on their minds after last year's heartbreaking 44-43 home loss. These two teams come into this game trending in opposite directions. The Hilltoppers have lost three straight, while Middle Tennessee has wins in consecutive games. The second game on the card goes in the Mountain West, when UNLV travels to New Mexico to take on the Lobos. The Lobos are currently 2.5-point favorites with the total set at 56.
From a Top-25 perspective, there is only one matchup that features two ranked teams, but that game could cause a massive shift in the Big Ten and CFP landscape. No.24 Michigan travels to No.5 Wisconsin in what should be an old-school, smash-mouth, run-the-football type game. The Badgers are currently seven-point favorites with the total set at 39. The top four teams in the country should have a much easier time this week than they did last week. No. 1 Alabama takes on Mercer (AKA they have a bye), No. 2 Clemson takes on Citadel (AKA they have a bye), No. 3 Miami (-19) takes on Virginia and No. 4 Oklahoma (-37) takes on Kansas (AKA they have a bye).
Last week proved to be a profitable week for myself and anyone who tailed my picks. I gave you two teams that not only covered but won their games outright. These two wins brought my record to 11-8-2 for +9.5 units.
This week I absolutely love these two "under-the-radar" games on Saturday. I will use $100 as my unit of wager and as always, all lines are courtesy of our friends at 5Dimes.
Fresno State @ Wyoming (+2.5) Saturday Nov. 18, 2 p.m. EST
For my second selection, I am heading back to the Mountain West Conference to find a winner. This matchup between Wyoming and Fresno State is a battle of 7-3 teams; the winner could take a giant step in securing a spot in the Mountain West title game.
Fresno comes into this game riding a two-game winning streak thanks to victories over Hawaii (31-21) and BYU (20-13). The Bulldogs have really impressed me with how balanced they are. In those two wins, they ran the ball for 311 yards while passing for just 400. They also won the turnover and time of possession battle, which is vital for any team to be successful.
Unfortunately for Fresno State fans, I think this spot is a terrible one for the team to be in, and I expect them to lay an egg on a cold night in Wyoming. They just flew however many miles to Hawaii last week and now must hit the road again. It's tough for NFL players to play back-to-back road games, let alone college kids.
Wyoming is currently flying high after reeling off three consecutive victories against New Mexico (42-3), Colorado State (16-13) and Air Force (28-14). They are currently one game back of Boise State for first in the East division with two games left to play. Last week against Air Force, Wyoming jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks to a rushing and passing touchdown from quarterback Josh Allen.
Because we are getting a spread less than the key football number of three, I would advise buying a half point in order to secure a full three-points with the home team.
If you need a little more convincing, the Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games and 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. Furthermore, they are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 conference games.
Pick: 3-Unit Play on #346 Wyoming (+3) (buy a half point) -130
Florida International @ Florida Atlantic (-14.5) Saturday Nov. 18, 7 p.m. EST
The Florida Atlantic Owls have been kind to me over the past four weeks. I've successfully picked them to cover the spread in three of their last four games, with the remaining game being a game I didn't even bet on. Some would call me crazy to go against a team that has made me a good chunk of change, but to them I say, "football is a week-to-week sport".
Sure, the Owls have pushed their winning streak to six straight games after destroying LA Tech last week. They are also bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 - something Lane Kiffin was actually brought in to do. They posses one of the top offenses in Conference USA and are neck-and-neck with North Texas for the outright conference title.
While I give FAU every chance to win this game (and they likely will), I have a hard time seeing them covering the two-touchdown spread.
Florida International is a decent team in their own right. They own a 6-3 record and are also bowl eligible, meaning they must do a few things well. They were tough-luck losers last week against Old Dominion, but prior to that won six of their last seven games. The Panthers are a team that won't "wow" you with a flashy offense, but they are consistent enough to make big plays when needed and get key stops when the time is right.
The Owls are also dealing with a few injuries on the defensive side of the ball with starters Andrew Soroh (DB) and Raekwon Williams (DB) both dealing with injuries suffered in last week's game.
It might seem crazy for me to go against FAU when they've been so kind to me the last month or so, but they can be kind to me in a different way this week - by not covering the spread.
Pick: 3-Unit Play on #407 Florida International (+14.5) -110 .
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