NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 12 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
What athletic program has been a bigger disaster in the last year or so than at Louisville? The basketball team is scandal-ridden and probably looking at major sanctions still to come. It cost Rick Pitino his job and reputation - he'll never coach a major college team again and certainly not in the NBA even though he wants to - as well as costing well-respected AD Tom Jurich his job. Jurich built that overall program from a farm school into an excellent one, which is why the ACC took Louisville a few years back.
Just two years ago, the Louisville football team was one of the talking points of the season. It was ranked as high as third in the country and had one of the most electric talents in college football history in quarterback Lamar Jackson, who won the Heisman that year. Alas, Jackson couldn't play defense and the Cards lost their final three after starting 9-1.
That really is when the slippage began under Bobby Petrino. The next year, Jackson was still pretty good but the Cards slipped to 8-5, with three of the losses by double digits. Jackson then left for the NFL Draft, where he was scooped up at the end of the first round by the Baltimore Ravens.
Petrino is clearly a good offensive coach, but that dude has major baggage. Remember he quit on the Atlanta Falcons with three games left in the 2007 season to take the job at Arkansas? While there, he was involved in a scandal involving his mistress. Yet, Louisville couldn't wait to bring him back and hand him some ridiculous contract with an obscene buyout so Petrino couldn't go wandering again.
Now, the school owes Petrino some $14 million after firing him last Sunday following a 54-23 loss to Syracuse that dropped the Cardinals to 2-8 - their two wins are over FCS Indiana State and terrible Western Kentucky. Louisville enters Saturday's game vs. NC State on a seven-game losing streak, all but one of those by at least 18 points. This is not a 2-8 team in terms of talent, but clearly the players had quit.
New AD Vince Tyra did really well luring Chris Mack from Xavier to take over the basketball program and now is going to have to shell out even bigger bucks to fix football. MyBookie has a prop on the next Louisville coach, and this seems like a slam dunk: Jeff Brohm is the -200 favorite.
This job is 100 percent Brohm's if he wants it. He was a star quarterback in high school at Louisville and then at the university. After his unremarkable pro career ended, his first coaching job was with the Louisville Fire of the AFL2. His first NCAA stint was an assistant at Louisville. Brohm finally got his head coaching chance at Western Kentucky in 2014 and worked wonders there before landing at Purdue, where he has done a fantastic job (forget the overall record of 12-11, that's a minor miracle there). Brohm brings an exciting offense that the boosters and fans will love. The only question is if he wants to deal with that mess at Louisville or has his sights set on a better Power 5 job. I'm not going to even bother listing the other candidates on this prop. This seems like easy money. Here's hoping the Cards don't hire someone named Pipino or Pastrano, etc. Stay away from those Italian dudes whose name begins with P and end with O. Doesn't turn out well.
The Cards are 16.5-point underdogs (opened at 14.5) Saturday vs. NC State, which fell out of the rankings following a 27-23 upset home loss to Wake Forest on Nov. 8. Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
No. 22 Northwestern at Minnesota (-1, 47.5): Did you know that the Wildcats are the first team to win a Power 5 conference division with a winless nonconference record? They lost at home to Duke, Akron (that's not acceptable) and Notre Dame. Yeah, the Big Ten needs to realign its divisions because the West is a joke and the East is stacked with Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. This has the biggest line move on Saturday's board as the Gophers opened at +3. Frankly, Northwestern has squat to play for since it's already in the Big Ten title game. Ridiculous it could lose here and next week to Illinois and be 6-6 and play for a Power 5 conference title. The Gophers essentially have to have this to get bowl-eligible. They are 5-5 and aren't winning next week at Wisconsin. This one is all about motivation! The Cats also have three defensive starters out this week. Love Minnesota.
Pittsburgh at Wake Forest (+6.5, 61): Speaking Power 5 divisions that are crap this year, I give you the ACC Coastal. We thought Miami and Virginia Tech would be good, but both have flopped - especially the Hurricanes. Every team in the Coastal has at least three overall losses; if Syracuse, Boston College or NC State were in the Coastal this year, they'd all probably win it but are relegated behind Clemson in the Atlantic. Speaking of Clemson, the Tigers could find out the opponent they get to smash in the ACC title game here as Pitt clinches with a victory. Then again, the Panthers could lose and clinch next week at Miami (actually think Pitt loses there). Pittsburgh has nice wins over Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech this year but also lost to terrible North Carolina and was pole-axed by Penn State and Central Florida. Wake has been off since a Nov. 8 27-23 upset at NC State. Sophomore Jamie Newman made his first start of the year at QB for the Deacons with Sam Hartman done for the year, and Newman threw for 297 yards and three scores while rushing for 44 yards.
No. 12 Syracuse vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (-10.5, 65): Opened at Irish -9.5 and a total of 62.5. One of only a few good matchups this week and played at Yankee Stadium. I'll be curious the fan support here because obviously Syracuse is a New York team but the Irish are a national team and have a huge NYC alumni base. This is technically their home game. The College Football Playoff Top 10 didn't change this week, but the Irish can't afford a loss here or their playoff chances are about gone. Starting QB Ian Book will return after missing last week's easy win over Florida State. Orange coach Dino Babers has done an incredible job, and he might be on the short list of any major Power 5 openings this offseason. SU could easily be unbeaten as it blew a 23-13 fourth-quarter lead at Clemson and lost in the final seconds and lost in overtime at Pittsburgh. If the Orange win out, they are certainly headed to a New Year's Six bowl. They do have a handful of guys questionable here but not one of the primary offensive players. Looks to be a pretty nice day in the Bronx with temps in the high 40s and mostly sunny. I would definitely take those points now that it's over 10.
Doc's Sports is offering a great deal for new clients - you can get $60 worth of free college football picks with no obligation. No credit card is needed, and you will never have to deal with a salesman. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details . Get free weekly free college football picks at Doc's Sports free football picks page.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent College Football Handicapping
- 49th-Year Anniversary - Football Picks Special
- Potential College Football Start Options During Covid-19 Pandemic
- 2020 Heisman Trophy Predictions
- National Championship Game Picks for Clemson vs. LSU
- Strong Underdogs for Bowl Game Betting: Possible Moneyline Paydays
- Expert College Bowl Game Handicapping: Coaching Uncertainty
- NCAA Bowl Game Wagering: Toughest Games to Handicap
- College Bowl Game Betting Advice: Biggest Mismatches
- NCAA Football Betting Odds: Championship Week Line Movements & Last-Minute News
- Pac 12 Championship Game Picks: Oregon vs. Utah