NCAA Football Predictions: Week 12 Opening Line Report and Picks
We have reached the penultimate week of the college football season, and we’ve witnessed more twists, turns, and uncertainty than I can remember seeing in any season over the last handful of years. These final two weeks offer teams that are either 4-6 or 5-5 two final chances to win out and become bowl eligible. There are plenty of spots where motivation will be a deciding factor in the outcome, and it’s imperative that you find the edge and be on the right side. The final two weeks are also crucial for the teams ranked first through sixth in the AP Poll as they can play themselves into a spot in the College Football Playoff, or they can play themselves out by dropping a game they should win. As our friends across the pond would say about two teams in a soccer match – “it’s all to play for,” and I’m excited to see what’s in store.
As far as last week’s results go, it was not a very good week. We pushed on Nevada +2 and then lost our selections on South Carolina, Texas A&M and the over in the UTEP/North Texas game. As we move into the last couple of games of the season, the lines are starting to get tougher to read, and the motivation of each team is also hard to decipher. I’ve put in some extra research in the lead-up to Week 12, so here’s hoping we have a 3-1 or 4-0 week.
Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Tigers -4.5, 55.5
After making headlines for all the wrong reasons two weeks ago, the Demon Deacons bounced back with a 45-32 win over NC State last to improve their record to 9-1 and hold the No. 12 position in the rankings. The Demon Deacons have one of the best and most explosive offenses in the entirety of college football, but it’s their defense that has caused them to work harder than they should. As far as this game goes, I’m a little shocked to see Clemson as such a big favorite. The Tigers are 7-3 on the season thanks to three straight wins, the latest coming against a bad Connecticut team. Offensively, the Tigers are one of the least dynamic offenses in college football, so it’ll be interesting to see if the defense, which sits inside the top 75 in total yards, passing yards and rushing yards allowed, can hold Wake Forest off the board enough for the offense to just slip by. I’ve seen far too many Clemson games this season to trust their offense. And even with the porous defense that Wake possesses, I think the Demon Deacons’ offense will do enough to get the cover or possibly win outright.
Pick: Wake Forest +4.5
Oregon Ducks at Utah Utes -3, 58.5
This is perhaps one of the biggest games of the week as No. 3 Oregon travels to Salt Lake City, to take on No. 24 Utah. This game has major division implications in terms of which team will reach the Pac-12 Championship Game. Also, with Oregon sitting third in the country, they are fighting for their spot in the CFP. Both teams come into this game on extended winning streaks, with the Ducks winning five straight and the Utes winning three in a row. If you look at the numbers, these two teams stack up well against each other. Both teams sit around the same ranking on offense in terms of yards, passing yards, rushing yards and points per game. Defensively, the Utes are better against the pass, while the Ducks are better against the run. So, who am I taking? Well, I saw the Ducks barely beat a bad Washington State team on the road. Therefore, with the way the Utes protect home field, I’m taking the Utes.
Pick: Utah -3
Iowa State Cyclones at Oklahoma Cowboys -4, 61
Another year, another disappointing loss that costs Oklahoma a potential undefeated season and a likely shot at a spot in the CFP. Look, Oklahoma has seen its fair share of talent come through Norman. However, this season’s team, despite the 9-1 record, has been doing winning with smoke and mirrors. The offense looks good at times and then goes missing. The defense is not very good at stopping anyone and the schedule has been favorable to date. They were beaten by a good Baylor team, and I’m not sure they have it in them to respond and get back in the win column against a team like Iowa State that is good but has underperformed so far this season. Iowa State has a tremendous defense, and I expect their offense to find the going easier than it’s been over the last five games. This line opened at Oklahoma -8 but has since been bet down to -4, and I can’t help but see Oklahoma mailing it in in a letdown game.
Pick: Iowa State +4
Colorado State Rams at Hawaii Warriors +2.5, 54.5
Two bad squads square off on the Island. However, the last time these two teams hocked up, there were 77 points scored in a win by Hawaii. Both have good enough offenses to put a scare into the other team, but it’s Colorado State’s defense that is the superior of the two units. The Rams have lost four straight, but they haven’t played a defense as bad as the Warriors. Similarly, the Warriors have lost three straight and have been done in by their lack of offense, including scoring 13 against a 1-7 UNLV team. I’ll take the Rams in what should be an ugly but profitable game for us.
Pick: Colorado State -2.5
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