During the college football season, the Stadium staff will provide weekly betting picks and advice in this roundtable. Here are our thoughts on the Week 12 slate.
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Alex Symonds, Stadium Senior Producer: Louisiana +24 over Florida State.
Florida State has been a wagon over the last three weeks, outscoring its three opponents 124-22 and covering the spread in each game. The vibes are immaculate in Tallahassee, and we all know Seminole fans are going to be super excited to see… the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for a noon kickoff on Saturday. Did I lay the sarcasm on thick enough or do you need some more?
In all seriousness, there isn’t much I like on the board this week, but there’s some situational value on Louisiana in this spot. The ‘Noles have a Black Friday game against Florida on deck and are probably already game-planning for the Gators with eyes on ending a three-game losing streak in that series.
Ben Wittenstein, Stadium Social Media Producer: Texas Tech-Iowa State under 47.5.
I’m a man of principle. And as a man of principle, I have to continue to bet Iowa State unders as long as they’re near 50. The Cyclones have gone under in six straight games, and their offense ranks 109th in points per game while their scoring defense ranks ninth in the country.
Although Texas Tech loves to pass the ball, Iowa State has the seventh-best passing defense. When Iowa State played Oklahoma State, they went under 48.5 — and the Cowboys have the 31st-best scoring offense in the nation (Texas Tech currently has the 41st-best scoring offense). When teams play the Cyclones, they get brought down in the mud and the game slows down and gets sloppy.
AS: Syracuse +10.5 over Wake Forest.
This game is simply a numbers play for me. My power ratings made this matchup Wake Forest -3 and with this big of a discrepancy I am compelled to make this bet. That’s it (I already told you I really don’t like the board this week)!
BW: UMass-Texas A&M under 47.5.
You want a gross bet? Well, it doesn’t get any more gross than this. This is a bet you make and then don’t even watch the game. It will more than likely be an A&M blowout, but how much can they really win by?
The Aggies were 35-point favorites in their first game this year against Sam Houston State, but instead of a huge 55-point win, they won 31-0 and didn’t even cover. I’m expecting a similar result here. That was the only time the Aggies have crossed the 30-point threshold this year — this team just can’t score enough to justify going over this total. There’s a chance UMass gets a touchdown, but even a 35-7 or 34-10 win gets the under here. This will be a dumb game with little scoring, so let’s take the under.
AS: UConn (+320) over Army.
The UConn Huskies, whose preseason win total was over/under 2.5, are already bowl eligible. Let that sink in: UConn is on the verge of its first bowl berth since 2015. Jim Mora Jr. might get a statue in Storrs if the Huskies beat Army on Saturday and he takes UConn to a bowl in his first season on the job.
Mora’s profile for coaching jobs will rise significantly if he wins seven games with this roster in year one. With so much on the line for the Huskies (since UConn is independent, it’s not guaranteed they’ll play in a bowl, so every win matters for their resume), I have to take a shot on the moneyline with UConn at this price.
BW: UCLA (+120) over USC.
This isn’t the boldest of my “Live ‘Dogs” picks, but it’s one of the more appealing selections for a plus-money team to win this week. UCLA is coming off a rough loss to Arizona in a game that saw them score under 30 points for the first time all season. They out-gained the Wildcats but were bad at third-down conversions. If there’s ever a bounce-back opportunity, it’s against the Pac-12’s now-premier team.
USC is likely the conference’s last chance for a College Football Playoff berth, and Chip Kelly would love nothing more than to spoil that. The Bruins’ offense is simply too good to have another off-game like last week, and one could argue UCLA is the better overall team despite USC having more talent. This game will remain close through its entirety, so I’ll sprinkle some money on the Bruins to pull off the upset.
AS: UCLA +2.5 over USC.
I always root for chaos. And there is no college football conference that has victimized itself with its own chaos in the Playoff era more than the Pac-12. Therefore, it feels like I have to bet on UCLA to knock off USC on Saturday and derail the Pac-12’s best shot at a CFP appearance. I haven’t made this bet yet but if the point spread crosses 3, I will be holding a Bruins ticket.
BW: Oregon -2 over Utah.
This is the “trappiest” line in the history of trap lines. Oregon under a field goal at home? Seems too good to be true. But after the outing the Ducks put up at home last week against Washington, I’m a bit more cautious. There’s also a chance we don’t see a healthy Bo Nix for Oregon after he got banged up last week. I’ve been high on the Ducks all season long — sometimes to my detriment — but right now, they’ve got too many lingering question marks for me to take the bait of a short home favorite.