College Football Odds Week 12: Picks Against the Spread and Score Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 18, 2021

College Football Odds Week 12: Picks Against the Spread and Score Predictions

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Two of the biggest games on the college football Week 12 slate carry the most baffling point spreads.

    The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans are separated by three spots in the College Football Playoff rankings, but the oddsmakers believe there is a 19-point gap between the Big Ten East rivals. Ohio State is almost a three-touchdown favorite for the first of its two straight games against playoff rivals from the state of Michigan.

    The Oregon Ducks, who are one spot ahead of Ohio State in the rankings, are an underdog against the Utah Utes on Saturday night. Utah is a formidable foe standing in the way of Oregon's playoff dreams, but the Utes' status as a three-point favorite is puzzling given the season they have had compared to the No. 3 team in the country.

Week 12 Schedule and Odds

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Friday, November 19

    Memphis at No. 24 Houston (-8.5) (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

    No. 19 San Diego State (-10.5) at UNLV (11:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)


    Saturday, November 20

    Charleston Southern at No. 1 Georgia (n/a) (noon ET, SEC Network/ESPN+)

    No. 7 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State (-19) (noon ET, ABC)

    No. 10 Wake Forest at Clemson (-4.5) (noon ET, ESPN)

    Iowa State at No. 13 Oklahoma (-3.5) (noon ET, Fox)

    Prairie View A&M at No. 16 Texas A&M (n/a) (noon ET, ESPN+)

    Tennessee State at No. 25 Mississippi State (n/a) (noon ET, ESPN+)

    Illinois at No. 17 Iowa (-13) (2 p.m. ET, FS1)

    Georgia Tech at No. 8 Notre Dame (-17) (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

    No. 21 Arkansas at No. 2 Alabama (-21) (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

    SMU at No. 5 Cincinnati (-10.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

    No. 6 Michigan (-14.5) at Maryland (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN)

    Nebraska at No. 15 Wisconsin (-9) (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

    Virginia at No. 18 Pittsburgh (-14.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

    UAB at No. 22 UTSA (-4.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

    No. 14 BYU (-20) at Georgia Southern (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

    Syracuse at No. 20 NC State (-11.5) (4 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

    No. 11 Baylor at Kansas State (-1) (5:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

    No. 3 Oregon at No. 23 Utah (-3) (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

    Vanderbilt at No. 12 Ole Miss (-36.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

    No. 9 Oklahoma State (-10) at Texas Tech (8 p.m. ET, FS1)


    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; predictions against the spread in bold.

No. 7 Michigan State (+19) at No. 4 Ohio State

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    Al Goldis/Associated Press

    The oddsmakers have given Michigan State no shot to win in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

    The 19-point line tells us a few things about the state of the Spartans program right now. Mel Tucker's team has plenty of talent, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Kenneth Walker III, but its overall units on both sides of the ball need to get better.

    Michigan State's defense is the biggest concern heading into Week 12. The Spartans allowed 77 points against the Michigan Wolverines and Purdue Boilermakers in two of the past three weeks.

    The Spartans held the Maryland Terrapins to 21 points last time out, but they still conceded 447 total yards at home to an average-at-best Big Ten team.

    That type of defensive performance will not fly at Ohio Stadium if the Spartans want to stay alive in the playoff hunt.

    Ohio State leads the FBS in total yards and points per game, and it looked fantastic in its win over Purdue on Saturday.

    The Buckeyes have a Heisman contender in quarterback C.J. Stroud, a star freshman running back in TreVeyon Henderson and three No. 1 wide receivers in Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. 

    Ohio State is expected to win the game, but it may not cover because its defense has not been the best unit in the FBS.

    The Buckeyes let Purdue score 31 points in Week 11, and they only beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Penn State Nittany Lions by nine points each.

    Covering a 19-point spread is a massive ask for the Buckeyes in a top-10 matchup with a Heisman contender on the other sideline.

    Ohio State should win the game and keep its playoff hopes alive, but the victory will likely be by less than three touchdowns.

No. 3 Oregon (+3) at No. 23 Utah

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    Andy Nelson/Associated Press

    Oregon has not looked like the sharpest team in the FBS since it beat Ohio State on September 11, but it should still feel disrespected that it is a road underdog against Utah.

    The Ducks enter on a five-game winning streak in Pac-12 play, and they have won four of those contests by at least a touchdown.

    Mario Cristobal's team may not have looked impressive over four quarters in certain games, but it has found a way to win regardless of what it looks like in the first half.

    Utah is 6-1 in its last seven games, but it only has one Top 25 victory in that stretch over the inconsistent Arizona State Sun Devils.

    The Utes' only loss in that stretch came to the Oregon State Beavers, who sit second behind Oregon in the Pac-12 North.

    Oregon State ran all over the Utah defense in that matchup. The Beavers finished with 260 rushing yards and three ground touchdowns in the 42-34 victory.

    Oregon is averaging 227.4 rushing yards per game, and it just put up 306 yards on the ground versus the Washington State Cougars.

    Utah does not have a significant advantage in any stat column. The Utes average 0.4 more points per game, but their defense allows more than a point worse than Oregon's defense.

    Oregon carries the edge in total yards per game by 22 and has the more dynamic playmakers, led by dual-threat quarterback Anthony Brown.

    Utah could stay competitive in the contest, especially with it being at home, but Oregon has the potential to overwhelm the Utes front seven.

    If Oregon's rushing attack looks strong again Saturday, it should clear another hurdle in its chase to represent the Pac-12 in the playoff.


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