College Football Odds & Best Bets: 4 Saturday Night Picks, Featuring Oregon vs. Utah, Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Oregon’s Bo Nix (left) and Noah Sewell (right).
- The Week 12 college football slate continues with the evening games games coming up.
- Our staff came through with four best bets for this kickoff window, including Oregon vs. Utah and Arkansas vs. Ole Miss.
- Read on for all four picks below.
The college football Week 12 Saturday evening slate is intriguing — to say the least — so there's no time to turn your attention to Sunday's NFL games.
Our staff is diving into three of the four games mentioned above to provide three best bets for the Saturday evening college football window.
Dive in below!
Saturday Evening Week 12 College Football Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Tennessee vs. South Carolina
I will cut right to the chase here and address the elephant in the column of 22 points.
Look, it’s a ton of chalk. But with the way things stand right now in the College Football Playoff rankings, Tennessee isn’t in control of its own destiny.
The Volunteers, the former No .1 team in the country and America’s darling just a few short weeks ago, need help to crack back into the top four teams in the country.
This help will likely come very soon with TCU getting another massive road test and Michigan visiting Ohio State the following week. Until then, it’s all on the Vols to show the CFP what they’re made of.
In the meantime, Tennessee has to continue to build its resume and seek validation from the CFP committee in the form of mangling its opponents. Right now, said validation is going to come in the form of running up the score.
Like last week, when Tennessee punched Missouri in the throat and easily covered the 19-point spread, the Volunteers will again have to show that middle-of-the-road SEC opponents are not an issue for them.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on how statistically strong the Volunteers are on offense. The Hendon Hooker-led offense ranks first in the nation in scoring, putting up an average of 47.4 points per game.
The weather looks perfect for a Saturday evening horse race with a high of 60 degrees and no precipitation in the forecast.
I am projecting Tennessee as 19-point favorites on the road against the Gamecocks, but I am comfortable laying the 22 given what Tennessee has to accomplish to wind back up in the good graces of the CFP committee.
Lay the heavy chalk in Columbia, as the Volunteers are a team that’s very well situated to run the tally up and work themselves back into the National Championship picture.
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Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma
In Spencer Sanders’ health we trust.
This spread only makes sense if Sanders was 100% going to miss this game, and that just isn’t the case. Sanders was supposed to miss all of last week against Iowa State with a shoulder injury, until Mike Gundy decided late in the third quarter that he needed a jolt of life in the offense for his trailing Cowboys.
Sanders promptly went in and threw a touchdown to give the Cowboys a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
That series of events indicates to me that Gundy was likely just resting Sanders as a precautionary measure for Bedlam, and he’ll be more than good to go Saturday night.
And with Sanders in action, I think the Cowboys' offense has the edge in what will be a matchup of two of the worst defenses in the Big 12.
Sanders means everything to the Cowboys.
In the five games this season against Power Five competition that Sanders wasn’t injured, the Cowboys averaged 38.4 points and 439.8 yards per game.
In the three games he either completely missed or was partially sidelined with injury, the Cowboys averaged 12 points and 291.7 yards per game.
Oklahoma has just one win over a team with a winning record, and that came against a Kansas team fielding its backup quarterback. With Sanders playing — which I strongly believe he will — the Cowboys could very well come away with a straight-up win, let alone catching a touchdown.
Ole Miss vs. Arkansas
By Cody Goggin
Jaxson Dart’s yardage totals have been all over the year this season, as he’s capable of throwing for over 400 yards or barely cracking 100. I’m leaning toward the former being the most likely scenario against a poor Arkansas secondary this week.
Ole Miss primarily leans into its running game, and for good reason. It runs at the seventh-highest rate in the country and ranks 14th in Success Rate on the ground.
However, when the Rebels have had to turn to Dart, he has proven to be effective through the air as well.
Arkansas has what is likely the worst secondary in the SEC. It has the 115th highest-graded secondary in FBS, according to PFF, which is the worst in the conference.
Surprisingly, Arkansas ranks 49th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, but it’s still prone to allowing big plays. This team ranks 123rd in passing explosiveness allowed and sits 87th in Passing PPA Against.
Unfortunately for Arkansas, its run defense is also bad. That may allow Ole Miss to run the ball as well.
The Rebels are only 2.5-point favorites in this game at the time of writing, so this will likely be a tight contest. I think Ole Miss will need to have a strong offensive day to win this weekend, and it will likely have to utilize Dart’s passing ability to make it happen.
Pick: Jaxson Dart Over 207.5 Passing Yards (Play to 214.5)
Utah vs. Oregon
The Pac-12 cannibalized itself out of the College Football Playoff, but that doesn’t mean we should stop paying attention to the conference out west.
This game should be highly entertaining, with two top-15 teams set to play for a shot in the Pac-12 title game and Rose Bowl.
I’ll get right into it. We have Oregon projected as small favorites in this game, and I will happily take it as a slight underdog.
While Oregon’s defense leaves a lot to be desired, I believe its offense will be enough to propel it to victory.
In particular, the Ducks have a chance to absolutely gash the Utes on the ground with their running game. Oregon ranks first and second in rushing play EPA/Play and Success Rate, respectively, while Utah ranks 96th and 66th defensively in those categories.
A large part of this is due to Bo Nix’s effectiveness with his legs.
The big question for Oregon is: will it be able to contain Utah when it throws the ball.
The Ducks’ passing defense has been atrocious so far this year, but their saving grace may be that the Utes are just average at scoring touchdowns when crossing opponent’s 40-yard lines, whereas the Ducks have been elite.
If Oregon can hold Utah to a few field goals, it should be able to slip away with a win.