Week 12 College Football Picks Against the Spread takes a look at games you should target this week. With season coming to a close the slate may look underwhelming especially with huge match-ups and conference titles in the coming weeks.
However (*Extreme Stephen A. Smith voice), this weekend features compelling match-ups, teams in good spots and defacto Super Bowls!
Last week was a very whatever 3-2-1 but I warned you I didn’t love the slate. That brings my record to 42-22-2 on the season. I’m also 33-11-2 since Week 5.
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Now that it is Week 12, who should you back?
Indiana Hoosiers +28.5 at Michigan Wolverines
Michigan has been very impressive this season since losing their opener to Notre Dame. They are currently in the College Football Playoff and should be a lock if they win out.
This week they welcome the Indiana Hoosiers who have only won two games in conference and those wins came against Maryland and Rutgers. Not exactly Big 10 powers. They have however been relatively competitive in most of their games and have covered in 3 of their last 5 games.
While Michigan will almost assuredly win this game and likely very comfortably, I expect the Hoosiers to cover the 4 TD spread. The Wolverines play Ohio State next week in their biggest game in what feels like forever. They haven’t won against their rival since 2011. In fact they have only won 3 times since 2000. The win in 2000 was the last time when Michigan won in Columbus where the game will be played next week.
Expect a very vanilla game plan from Jim Harbaugh and company. He will pull the starters early to make sure they are healthy and ready for next week. Take Indiana and all those points. I also don’t have an over play at 53.5 as Michigan home games have been very good for overs.
Picks: Indiana +28.5
Wake Forest Demon Deacons +6.5 vs Pittsburgh Panthers
This has been a wild season for the Pitt Panthers. They started the season 2-3 including a loss to North Carolina who has won only one game all season. It looked like it was going to be another disappointing season. Now they have caught fire, established the run and are first place in the ACC Coastal. If they win out they will be in the ACC title game.
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With the pressure on Pitt, I am backing the Deacs. They come into this game after beating North Carolina State outright as 19.5 point underdogs and are home for this contest against Pitt. I can’t back any team as a road favorite of almost a TD who lost to North Carolina.
I expect a close game that is decided by around a field goal. The Panthers probably win but Wake Forest will be a legit shot to win this game on the field. I don’t hate a few shekels on the moneyline if you’re feeling feisty.
Pick: Wake Forest +6.5
Wisconsin Badgers +4 at Purdue Boilermakers
This game opened at the Badgers +6 and has dropped to +4 but I still am willing to back Wisconsin.
For Purdue there is a lot of rumor and speculation around coach Jeff Brohm who looks to be heading back the Louisville to replace the recently fired Bobby Petrino. They lost a week ago at Minnesota as a double-digit favorite. I expect another let down here.
The Boilermakers have struggled against the run all season allowing 144.8 ypg. The games where they have struggled have come against teams like Minnesota and Michigan State who run the ball well. The Badgers like those teams have a terrific run game led by Jonathan Taylor. I expect him to run wild in this game even if Alex Hornibrook doesn’t play.
Like with Wake Forest, I think Wisconsin can win this game on the field. Sprinkling that moneyline is not a terrible idea here.
Pick: Wisconsin +4
Bonus Picks: Miami/Virginia Tech Under 51.5, Nebraska/Michigan State Under 48, Virginia +5