College Capper: Week 12 Best Bets

College Capper: Week 12 Best Bets

This article is part of our College Capper series.

Chris' Picks

While I'd been hot, I'd been flirting with disaster simply by the actual games I was choosing. That finally bit me last week as I trusted some less than stellar teams as underdogs and ended with my first losing week since Week 7. Let's see if we can get back on track and coast to a winning season-long record with so few weeks remaining.

I try hard to not swing too far on one team one week to the next. Louisiana is that team this week. They bit me at Troy, covering with a big second half. I like them, a lot, at Liberty this weekend as underdogs, but won't officially list them due to last week's result.

Louisville (-20.5) at Duke (Thursday)

Line shop please, as this seems to be moving against my favor but is still available at some books at -19 or -19.5 But frankly, I feel okay at any number under three touchdowns. Duke is just awful. They are 0-6 in-conference, being outscored a combined 264-87, allowing at least 45 points in four straight. Nothing they've done of late suggests they'll be competitive over the final two weeks. Louisville's defense allows 25.0 ppg, so if they hit their average and Duke allows their current trend, we're right at it. Duke is also heavily run-oriented offensively, and the Cards allow just 3.9 ypc. In need of a win for bowl eligibility and Kentucky looming next week, we'll get their best effort and a route.

Georgia

Chris' Picks

While I'd been hot, I'd been flirting with disaster simply by the actual games I was choosing. That finally bit me last week as I trusted some less than stellar teams as underdogs and ended with my first losing week since Week 7. Let's see if we can get back on track and coast to a winning season-long record with so few weeks remaining.

I try hard to not swing too far on one team one week to the next. Louisiana is that team this week. They bit me at Troy, covering with a big second half. I like them, a lot, at Liberty this weekend as underdogs, but won't officially list them due to last week's result.

Louisville (-20.5) at Duke (Thursday)

Line shop please, as this seems to be moving against my favor but is still available at some books at -19 or -19.5 But frankly, I feel okay at any number under three touchdowns. Duke is just awful. They are 0-6 in-conference, being outscored a combined 264-87, allowing at least 45 points in four straight. Nothing they've done of late suggests they'll be competitive over the final two weeks. Louisville's defense allows 25.0 ppg, so if they hit their average and Duke allows their current trend, we're right at it. Duke is also heavily run-oriented offensively, and the Cards allow just 3.9 ypc. In need of a win for bowl eligibility and Kentucky looming next week, we'll get their best effort and a route.

Georgia State (-16.5)  vs. Arkansas State

The Panthers did me a solid last week, and I'm happy to go right back to the well as they are a covering machine. GSU is 7-3 ATS overall, covering in six straight and seven of eight after starting the season slow. They rank 18th in rushing offense and should feast against the porous Red Wolves defense which ranks dead last in the country against the run and 128th in points allowed at 41.1 ppg. Further, Arkansas State earned their first FBS win last week. That's their peak and good enough to call it a year; they roll over here.

Notre Dame (-17 ) vs. Georgia Tech

The Irish are 7-3 ATS and have also covered in five straight and in seven of eight, so why not ride another hot streak? What's really impressed me with them is their defense, allowing just nine points across their last two games and have held five opponents to 16 points or less. Notre Dame allows 3.79 yards per carry, and have an 8:14 TD:INT ratio on the back end, which I think plays up against Georgia Tech and inaccurate QB Jeff Sims. The Jackets also rank 98th against the run. Notre Dame struggled to run for the first half of the year, but they've cranked it up of late, going for three scores in three of four after just six total in their first five. They'll control both lines, dominate possession and the scoreboard to boot.

East Carolina (-4) at Navy

I didn't do this on purpose, but man are my picks white-hot ATS; hopefully, that doesn't regress to the mean. ECU has won three straight while covering in seven straight. I'm always a little scared of a favorite against a service academy, just because of the potential for a negative time of possession, and Navy is a respectable 5-4 ATS despite being 2-7 SU. This number is small enough that I assume if ECU wins, which I think they will, they'll also cover. Give me QB Holton Ahlers and RB Keaton Mitchell to gash the Midshipmen.

UAB (+4.5) at UTSA

This may just be my hunch play for the week. UAB wants to run, UTSA is adept at stopping it. UTSA wants to throw, UAB isn't great at stopping it. I just think if you saw this line in Week 1, you'd be pouncing all over the Blazers. I don't know what to make of their loss to Rice, but otherwise, UAB has only lost to Georgia and Liberty. UTSA is undefeated, and they did beat Rice; which likely shouldn't be a comparison barometer. Maybe we can be impressed by early-season wins over Illinois and/or Memphis? I just don't find the Roadrunners' body of work to be impressive. This game decides CUSA's West division, and with defenses that allow 19.2 ppg and 17.0 ppg in conference play, I'll happily take more than a field goal.

Last week: 2-3; Season 31-28

GREG'S PICKS

Have you ever had a week where nothing went right? How about a season? Okay, so some things have gone right, but this season, on the whole, has not been good. It just feels like every time something good is about to happen, the rug gets pulled out. It really could just be one of those seasons. The good news is, the season's results to date have no bearing on the games this weekend, so a 5-0 or 4-1 slate could be right around the corner.  

The recap this past week went like this: North Carolina again goes under the total, I should have known. Iowa is ahead of the number for most of the game, but gives up a late score and fails to cover. Purdue made a ton of mistakes, no, I checked, the number was 2000 and the Boilermakers failed to cover. Texas, hah! Well, Texas not only didn't cover, but lost as a 30-point favorite. The lone win was on Michigan State and even that didn't come easy.     

All lines courtesy of draftkings.com

Michigan State (+19) at Ohio State

I faded Ohio State this past week and that did not end well, but the game against Purdue was a strange one in that Ohio State got so many breaks early on that there was just no way that Purdue could keep it close. Using the law of "Even Steven", I'm going to assume that OSU will not get quite as many breaks this week and that this game will actually be close, for at least a while. Michigan State has enough on both sides of the ball to stay within this number and who knows, maybe pull out a win.               

Wake Forest (+4.5) at Clemson 

This line is interesting. Wake Forest is ranked 10th in the country and it's a 4.5-point underdog to a team that virtually accomplished nothing the entire season. I think this line represents two things. One, not many people believe that Wake should be 10th in the country and two, the Clemson name still carries some weight. My issue with Clemson this week is that you beat Wake by running the ball and Clemson just doesn't run the ball. The Tigers don't have the passing game to keep up with Wake either, so unless its defense does what it did against Georgia in week one, the Tigers aren't going to win this game.        

Indiana (+7) vs Minnesota

I'm going back to the well again because I still don't believe in this Gopher team, not without their top-3 running backs. This is exactly the type of game they've lost in the P.J. Fleck era – games they should win. They've already done it twice this year, against Bowling Green and Illinois. Though they are favored by a touchdown, this is actually the toughest of the three games. Indiana has been one of the biggest letdowns in college football this season, but the Hoosiers have enough to make this a game and maybe pull out the win this week.        

Nebraska (+9) at Wisconsin

Wisconsin has found a spark in its offense over the past few weeks, thanks in part to Braelon Allen, but Nebraska has played everyone tough this season and I don't see why that trend stops here. There's no doubting that Wisconsin has been on a roll lately, but I still don't trust Graham Mertz and if they really need a play from him in the 4th quarter this week, I don't think the Badgers will get it. Nebraska muddies this one up just enough to again stay within the number.    

Baylor (-1) at Kansas State

I am concerned about the hangover for Baylor after a big win against Oklahoma this past week, but it's not like the Bears were lucky to win; they dominated that game, they should be able to recover in time for this one. Kansas State has won four in a row, all in conference, but the Wildcats have beaten up on the bottom of the Big 12. They've yet to beat a good team within the conference yet and I don't think that changes this week.     


Last Week: 1-4-0, Last Season: 22-34-0

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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