Free NCAA Football Mid-Major Week 12 Pick from Expert Handicapper
I am having a very good season with my free Mid-Major picks for Doc's Sports, especially in conferences such as Conference-USA and the Sun Belt with a pair of winners over the past two weeks. I went with Middle Tennessee over Western Kentucky two weeks ago and Troy over Georgia Southern last week, and both teams won with ease.
Along with finding value in the betting lines for Mid-Major games that are not on the betting public's radar screen, I also look for hot teams against the spread. Once a team covers in three-straight games, it does appear on my screen regardless of the conference it plays in. If everything falls in its favor for that fourth matchup, it qualifies as a solid play.
NCAAF Week 12 Mid-Major Top 25 Betting Overview
The latest College Football Playoff rankings did bump up the 9-0 Central Florida Knights one spot to No. 11 this week heading into their toughest test of the season against the 9-1 Cincinnati Bearcats, who are also on the list at No. 24. UCF has been set as a seven-point home favorite for the 8 p.m. start on ABC. Even with a win on Saturday night, the Knights will still be hard-pressed move up much higher next week unless there are some unexpected losses by a few teams ahead of them on the list.
The CFP voting committee is beginning to give some love to the Mid Majors with the Mountain West's Utah State Aggies (No. 23) and the Boise State Broncos (No. 25) earning a spot in the latest rankings. A third MWC team, Fresno State, dropped from the list at No. 23 with last week's 24-17 road loss to the Broncos as a 2.5-point favorite.
NCAAF Mid-Major Free Pick of the Week
Middle Tennessee covered for the third week in a row with last Saturday's 48-32 rout of Texas El Paso as a 13.5-point road favorite. The Blue Raiders will step up in class this Saturday as 16.5-point road underdogs against the SEC's No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats. Game time on the SEC Network is set for Noon EST.
As the top team in C-USA's East Division at 6-1 SU, Middle Tennessee is 7-3 SU overall with a 6-4 record ATS. It has covered in five of its last seven games and it has outscored its opponents a combined 128-59 in the last three contests. The Blue Raiders have now posted a 6-2 record ATS in their last eight November games.
The key keeping things close against Kentucky on the road will be the Blue Raiders' ability to get a few big individual performances to produce a few big plays. Chaton Mobley rushed for 198 yards in that win against Western Kentucky, and last Saturday Brent Stockstill completed 31-of-40 passing attempts for 352 yards and four touchdowns.
Kentucky is having one of its best seasons in recent memory at 7-3 SU with a 5-3 record in the SEC, but there has to be some concern with last week's 24-7 loss to Tennessee as a five-point road favorite after losing to Georgia 34-17 the week before as a 9.5-point underdog at home. This late-season fade could set the stage for a much closer battle than expected this Saturday at Kroger Field in Lexington.
The Wildcats are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games and 2-4 ATS in six previous home games. This matchup is a classic case of a slightly inflated spread between a solid Mid-Major program facing another overrated team from the SEC. I would feel comfortable taking Middle Tennessee and two touchdowns in this one.
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