Week 12 of the college football season features a full schedule — for now.
No. 5 Texas A&M’s game against Ole Miss has already been postponed, and there promises to be a few more before the weekend given the rising COVID-19 numbers across the United States.
There are three intriguing matchups between teams ranked in the AP Top 25 on the slate, including a Big Ten doubleheader. No. 10 Indiana travels to No. 3 Ohio State for a noon showdown, and No. 13 Wisconsin travels to No. 19 Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. That sets up Bedlam between No. 14 Oklahoma State and No. 18 Oklahoma.
The first College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled Nov. 24. Each week, SN picks every Top 25 game against the spread, and we’re coming off a rough week.
Now, a look at our picks against the spread for Week 12:
Week 12 picks against the spread
Thursday, Nov. 19
The Golden Hurricane is 4-1 ATS this season, but it’s a tough matchup against Tulane — which has a three-game winning streak and has covered in five straight games. It’s a tough pick here, but we’ll go with the home team.
Pick: Tulsa wins 29-26 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Friday, Nov. 20
The Ducks remain in the College Football Playoff conversation, and they have the Friday Night spotlight to show why. The Bruins are scoring 38 points per game under former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, and we anticipate some late-night Pac-12 fun. The teams have split the past two meetings.
Pick: Oregon wins 37-27 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Saturday, Nov. 21
That is a large spread between two top-10 Big Ten teams, and the Buckeyes have won the past 25 meetings. Ohio State has won the past three meetings by an average of 28.3 points. With the extra week off, Justin Fields delivers yet another blowout.
Pick: Ohio State wins 45-21 and COVERS the spread.
The line has already moved more than five points in favor of Clemson, and that’s rooted in the belief that the Tigers are going to engage in blowout mode for the rest of the ACC season. Clemson has won the past two meeting by an average of 39.5 points. It’s tough to call 40-point blowouts, but this one feels like it.
Pick: Clemson wins 56-17 and COVERS the spread.
The Gators rank sixth in the FBS with 45.8 points per game, and they poured it on Arkansas last week. Kyle Trask continues his Heisman campaign at Vanderbilt, which has lost by 30-plus points three times this season. The Gators won 56-0 last year.
Pick: Florida wins 48-14 and COVERS the spread.
The Chanticleers have been one of the best stories of the season, but this is the ultimate prove-it game against the Sun Belt’s biggest powerhouse. The Mountaineers have won five in a row and have four players who average 5.0 yards per carry or more. Watch out.
Pick: Appalachian State wins 31-28 in an UPSET.
The Thundering Herd is 5-2 ATS this season, but that comes with a 2-2 record when that spread is more than 20 points. Charlotte has not played in three weeks. The 49ers won this game last year, so it could be close for a half.
Pick: Marshall wins 35-17 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are up against an FCS opponent, and the Bears have scored 27 points or more in their four losses. Louisiana, however, maintains its ranking with a convincing out-of-conference victory.
Pick: Louisiana wins 45-21.
The Cougars are back in action against an FCS opponent that is winless in four games this season. It won’t prove much, other than keeping BYU in the headlines as one of the undefeated teams in the FBS.
Pick: BYU wins 48-10.
The line opened as a pick ’em, and this is a tricky spot for the playoff-minded Bearcats. Cincinnati won 27-24 last year. It’s a tough line, but the Bearcats are 5-2 ATS this season and we’re going to trust the better team.
Pick: Cincinnati wins 34-26 and COVERS the spread.
The Big Ten West lead is on the line here, and it’s an interesting spot for Northwestern. These teams have split the past six meetings, and the biggest margin of victory on either side is 14 points.
Pick: Wisconsin wins 33-27 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Texas won a 50-48 nail-biter with the Jayhawks last year, but Kansas is 0-7 ATS this year. That’s an impossible trend to ignore knowing that Texas can pour it on here.
Pick: Texas wins 49-17 and COVERS the spread.
Iowa State can take another step toward a possible Big 12 championship berth, and this game is key considering that both teams beat Oklahoma. The Wildcats make it interesting, but Brock Purdy delivers in the clutch.
Pick: Iowa State wins 31-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Alabama had an extra week to prepare for Kentucky. The Wildcats have four losses, but none of those losses are by more than 16 points. None of those teams is Alabama either. The Crimson Tide is 4-2 ATS this season.
Pick: Alabama wins 44-13 and COVERS the spread.
The Vols are 1-5 ATS this season and looking for something to cling to after four straight losses. Three straight blowout losses have us wondering when Tennessee will jump up. Auburn is inconsistent from week to week, but the Tigers remember last year’s 30-24 loss. The Tigers flip the script.
Pick: Auburn wins 34-21 and COVER the spread.
Two struggling offenses meet, and Georgia’s motivation in this game will be tested. Mississippi State has scored 24 points or fewer in five straight games since the season-opening stunner against LSU. Will the Bulldogs be able to launch a blowout?
Pick: Georgia wins 38-16 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
The Sooners have won the past five meetings by an average of 16.2 points per game, so the pressure is on the Cowboys to maintain their lead in the Big 12. Oklahoma has covered in four straight games since the loss to Iowa State, too. At home, the Sooners cover.
Pick: Oklahoma wins 44-34 and COVERS the spread.
Liberty’s magical season continues on the road at N.C. State, and the Flames have covered in their past five games. It adds up to another shootout against the Wolfpack, which averages 33.5 points per game but allows 33.9 points per game. That’s the line we’re playing on.
Pick: Liberty wins 34-31 in an UPSET.
Miami still has a chance to play for the ACC championship game after back-to-back close calls against N.C. State and Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have five losses of 17 points or more, but they have enough talent to hang around here. D’Eriq King will keep Georgia Tech at a double-digit distance for most of the game.
Pick: Miami wins 35-21 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Are the Trojans a true Pac-12 contender? We’ll find out Saturday on the road, where the Utes have won the past three home meetings in the series. Utah still hasn’t played, and that makes this game even more difficult to predict.
Pick: USC wins 28-24 and COVERS the spread.
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