Week 12 of the college football season is upon us, and we have some big-time games, and some gross picks out there as well. With key conference games all over the country, I want to hit on the biggest games and the best teams in the country here.
LSU at Ole Miss (+21.5)
This is not a fun line to bet, but I just feel like it is the right side with an LSU team coming off of its biggest win in eight years. Now, they travel again to face a team that was a pesky out for Auburn recently, and the LSU defense has still shown a lot of flaws throughout their success. If we see the offense start slow, this could get interesting for the Tigers.
Ohio State (-52.5) at Rutgers
This line seems like a stay-away at first, as it is one of the biggest Power 5 lines in the history of the sport. However, I just think this number is not even close to a realistic projection if you do some homework.
Last week, Ohio State scored on every single possession in the first half against Maryland, went for an onside kick up 14-0 and called three timeouts with a minute left in the half up 42-0 to force a punt and then sent the house at the punter and was inches away from blocking it for a safety.
This team has been aggressive through the first half, and the Buckeyes’ second- and third-team players have been great at moving the ball. The wide receivers in garbage time are three former top 100 recruits that still make bad teams look bad, and they have had no trouble moving the ball with the backups.
Last week against Maryland, OSU played 40 defenders and still won by 59. Now the Buckeyes cannot take that many players because this is a road game, and they are facing a team that was beaten by Maryland by 41 points.
Minnesota (+2) at Iowa
I think that this line is a bit too cute in this spot. Maybe I am overreacting to the Minnesota win last week, but this game comes down to the fact that I know that Minnesota has playmakers that can score the ball, while Iowa does not.
Against good teams, Iowa has not been able to move the ball at all, and I just think this line is assuming that Minnesota is the same lackluster offense we have seen from them in recent history. Tanner Morgan has proven that he is a real threat in the pocket, and Minnesota has three skill players that could make an argument for being the best three playmakers in this game.
Oklahoma at Baylor (+10.5)
This is a very scary choice, but fading Oklahoma in recent weeks has worked out well for me, and I think we are seeing this defense regress back to old form. This defense has been gashed in its last two games, and I think that Baylor will be able to take advantage of some clear holes that have popped up on film.
While Baylor does not have the elite recruits that Oklahoma has, Matt Rhule has focused on recruiting hard workers and athletes to the program. When we see teams having a good year that aren’t the top dogs, we often assume that when they play elite competition, they will struggle with the athleticism gap.
I’m not saying that there is no gap, but Baylor has focused on turning great athletes that may not have started out as great football players and turned them into athletic football players over time. I love this philosophy, and I think it allows Baylor to perform well in this environment.