NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 12 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
I praised Joe Burrow early this week for ultimately winning the Heisman Trophy with his performance against Alabama last Saturday. Now I'm going to (finally) praise the CFP Committee for getting this week's rankings spot on. LSU deserves to be the top-ranked team in the nation, followed by Ohio State. It's not that Ohio State hasn't done anything impressive themselves or is the inferior team, it's just that LSU has the better resume to date. From there, we can agree that a 10-0 Clemson is the third-best team in the country, with an 8-1 Georgia team right behind them at No. 4.
If your Alabama sitting at No. 5, you have plenty of reason to be optimistic, but only if you get help from outside sources and one of the Top 4 teams falter down the stretch. If you are a neutral fan and don't want to see Alabama in the postseason, you'd be happy to know that they have no real chance to improve their resume as they have games against Mississippi State, Western Carolina, and No. 12 Auburn. Unless LSU loses two of its final three games, the Crimson Tide will be on the outside of the SEC Title game looking in, and as such on the outside of the CFP bubble for the first time ever.
With just three weeks left in the season, there are still plenty of things to be decided, and we can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+53, 61.5): I had to include this game in this article as this spread is flat out ridiculous. The Buckeyes are one of the largest road favorites in the recent memory, and part of me thinks it's not enough points to entice people to take Rutgers. The other half of me thinks if Rutgers can lose by 53 points on their home soil and in front of friends and family, well then, they are the worst program in all of the NCAA. The more I look at this game, the more I see a potential trap for Ohio State as they have two huge games on deck: at home to Penn State and then on the road at Michigan. We know Chase Young is still out due to suspension. However, even without him, Ohio State should have no trouble stopping Rutgers. Remember, this spread opened up at 50.5 and was bet up to 53. The total has also risen to 61.5 from the opening of 55. It would shock me to see the Buckeyes cover this spread and the total stay under the number. Rutgers should be able to score 10 or 14 points on an Ohio State team who will be looking ahead to next week.
No. 17 Cincinnati Bearcats @ South Florida Bulls (+14, 47): Don't look now, but the Cincinnati Bearcats are 8-1 on the season and are quietly having themselves a great season. They now look for an eighth straight victory over a hapless South Florida team that comes into this game after putting up just seven points against Temple. If the Bulls think they faced a tough defense in Temple, they must be ready for an even bigger battle vs a Bearcats defense that is among the better units in the country. This spread opened up as Bearcats -9.5 but has been quickly bet up to Bearcats -14 , and with good reason. We saw very little out of South Florida last week to justify them being able to score any amount of points on the Bearcats, while the Bearcats put up 48 points last against UConn. The total has dropped a tick from 49 to 47, and once again that's because this figures to be a one-sided affair.
No. 23 Navy Midshipmen @ No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7, 54): To make a long story short, this game is going to be one of the better games of the weekend, and I'm here for it. Navy is among the top teams in the country in rushing the ball, and they take their No. 23 ranking and 7-1 record to South Bend to tangle with the just as impressive 7-2 Fighting Irish. This game opened up with the Irish laying 11 points on their home field, but more than 66 percent of the spread money has come in on the Midshipmen, which has pushed them down to only a seven-point favorite. That number may still be too high as Navy plays a time of possession game that is second to none, and it's extremely difficult to stop the triple option. For Notre Dame, this game means a lot to them as well as they hope to improve on their ranking with a quality win over a ranked opponent and work themselves into a bigger and better bowl game come mid to late December. As for the total, it's been steady at 54 all week. And, if we had to choose a side, we'd go under the number based on the uncertainty of some guys at the skilled positions.
No. 11 Florida Gators @ Missouri Tigers (+7, 51): When you look at this Missouri Tigers team, it's tough to find anything to like about them. They come into this home game against Florida losers of three straight games, and their offense has been putrid during that run. They've scored 14, seven and zero points against Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Georgia, respectively, all of which have defensive units that are not as good as the one they will face on Saturday. With that said, it should come as no surprise to see the Gators open up as five-point favorites and then quickly be bet up to seven-point road favorites. The Gators are coming into this game thinking they can catch Georgia for the top spot in the SEC East and that highly coveted SEC Championship Game. Florida is coming off a 56-0 drubbing of Vanderbilt and has the defense required to finish the season off with two straight wins. The only thing that would concern me if I was a Gators fan is that the game time for this kick-off is 11 a.m. local time in Missouri, and the forecast is calling for cold weathers and possibly snow. Despite that, the total has moved up three points from 48 to 51. Injury wise, the Tigers are still unsure of the status of QB Kelly Bryant, WR Johnathon Johnson and RB, Larry Rountree.
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