College Football Betting Primer: What to Know Before Placing Week 12 Bets (Saturday, Nov. 18)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: A Washington Huskies football helmet.
There are only two full Saturday slates of college football left. That is why I won’t complain about a slate that is rather thin on quality matchups.
But we have a few headlining showdowns and plenty to shake out in the College Football Playoff and Heisman Trophy races.
This week feels like a set-up week — mostly moving teams around before the epic matchups start coming. A top-heavy docket shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the weekend, as there are plenty of intriguing games at every level of the sport.
And a 30-point blowout can become the sweat of your life when that +28 backdoor cover gets kicked open.
Let’s run down some things to know about this week’s slate.
Enjoy the games, and let's all get to the window.
This is a head-scratcher.
Louisville has a gaudy record at 9-1, but everyone understands it's overachieving according to their power rating.
Miami can look like a mess one week, then hang with Florida State the next. The Hurricanes have no real home-field advantage and a bizarre situation at quarterback as Tyler Van Dyke is now back in the lead chair.
The Cardinals opened as a three-point road favorite, but the line has moved to a Pick ‘Em in a game that is admittedly tough to get your hands around.
Our Group of Five Deep Dive podcast is always a treat, and this week’s episode has a trio of “hold your nose” bets.
Hosts Mike Calabrese and Mike Ianello favor taking the points in these non-conference SEC cupcake battles, advocating for bettors with a tough stomach to back New Mexico State against Auburn, Georgia State against LSU, and Southern Miss against Mississippi State.
The last one makes the most sense: the Golden Eagles have been playing their best ball since their bye week, and who knows where Mississippi State’s motivation will be after a turbulent year in Starkville culminating in the firing of head coach Zach Arnett this week.
Is this a trap game for Michigan?
It is a quintessential sandwich spot after dispatching Penn State and with the all-important Ohio State game looming. Stuckey thinks the Wolverines might be in danger of giving up the cover. His always excellent “Stuckey’s Spots” column highlighted an incredible trend this week:
Since 2005, Michigan and Ohio State are just 12-21-1 (36.4%) the week before The Game, failing to cover by approximately 3.5 points per game on average. That includes a 5-13 ATS (27.8%) record when favored by double digits.
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The American will stage a fun little round-robin tournament to determine who gets to play in the conference championship, and this is the first leg before next week’s UTSA-Tulane showdown.
This one promises to be point-sy, with a pair of big-play offenses, talented quarterbacks, and a total sitting at 65.
Last year, these two teams played an instant classic: The ‘Neers ran out to a 28-3 lead, but James Madison’s excellent run defense prevented App from salting the game away, and the Dukes stormed back to win 32-28 in Boone.
This year, College Gameday comes to town, even though the NCAA ruled against JMU’s request for immediate bowl eligibility.
This game should be entertaining, and JMU has a few matchup advantages that could help them as they try to cover the nine-point spread at home.
Do you know what else should be entertaining? The three-hour tongue-lashing that Gameday should give the NCAA.
Well, this one lost a lot of juice.
For months, this matchup was looming at the end of the season like a potential SEC semifinal or maybe even a playoff elimination game. But a few dud losses by the Volunteers at Florida and Missouri have removed all of the postseason stakes.
Georgia flexed their muscle against this Tennessee offense last year, but the Neyland home crowd has shown it can still will their team to create magic.
Y’all ain't buying it. 87% of the bets tracked in our Action App have the 'Dawgs covering the 10-point spread.
Last season, New Mexico State quarterback Diego Pavia accounted for six touchdowns as his Aggies extinguished Hugh Freeze’s Liberty Flames.
He can repeat that feat this season against a different Freeze outfit.
Hugh must secretly be happy that Pavia is questionable this week with a hamstring injury.
This Sun Belt East showdown promises to be fast and point-sy.
Both teams play at a high tempo, Old Dominion exceptionally so. And both teams play an extreme scheme that puts pressure on defenses.
92% of bets tracked in the Action App have this one going Over, which is why the total has increased to 62.5.
But buyer beware: both teams need to contribute to a total that high, and the Monarchs' boom-or-bust offense has had as many busts as it has had booms this year.
Georgia Southern’s defense is top five nationally at creating Havoc, and Old Dominion’s offense is bottom ten in avoiding it.
Collin Wilson’s weekly Playoff Futures column is chock-full of exciting nuggets and ideas. At this point in the season, you might be better off backing your playoff picks with a rolling parlay system than a futures bet.
He expertly breaks down the projected bracket and possible permutations while making a compelling case for an Oregon national championship ticket at +850.
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The Sunflower Showdown has been a romp for the Wildcats, as they have won 14 in a row in this in-state rivalry.
The Jayhawks will be without starting quarterback Jalon Daniels and might be without backup Jason Bean. Bean has practiced some this week, but we'll know more later.
This game will be fun because both teams have diabolic run games. Kansas runs a maddening misdirection and option-esque scheme, while Kansas State loves to maul opponents with its powerful offensive line.
The Huskies have been playing late-season dodgeball, escaping in recent weeks against conference peers to keep their perfect record intact.
Your Washington futures tickets may be on the line against a live Oregon State team that's now a favorite.
Washington is second-to-last nationally in Rush Success Rate allowed, and Oregon State is second nationally in Rush Success Rate.
Damien Martinez and the Beavers are ready to gnaw right through these Huskies.
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Not many games this week feature two SEC teams, as much of the league enjoys its traditional late-season siesta before rivalry week.
Missouri is coming off a massive win over Tennessee and suddenly has a realistic shot at a New Year’s Six bowl.
With Florida catching 12 points on the road, which warring trend will come true: Billy Napier’s 8-3 career ATS record as a double-digit underdog or the 2023 Gators 1-3 against the number on the road?
This matchup features the highest total on the board as the sacrificial Panthers head to Death Valley to get steamrolled by LSU.
The Bayou Bengals will look to pad Jayden Daniels’ Heisman resume, and at +330, he has passed Michael Penix Jr on the betting board.
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