Week 12 College Football Futures: Betting Value Remains on Georgia & Oklahoma State
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Bowers.
Kody Malstrom: Two weeks. I can’t believe it. Only two weeks left until the conclusion of what was another magical college football season. Just the thought of it nearly brings a tear to my eye.
We have seen plenty of upsets, head-scratching results, and a dominant Georgia constantly showing why it will most likely win the whole thing behind a historic defense.
The playoff picture is still unclear as we near the end of the season. Potential groupings so far include Georgia getting in no matter what (barring a colossal collapse against the JV teams it has left). Alabama, Big Ten’s Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State, potentially Oregon, and Big 12’s Oklahoma or Oklahoma State.
Breaking it down even more, Alabama likely needs to win out, which includes an SEC showdown with Georgia.
The Big Ten East is in a round robin-type of gauntlet, with a showdown against improving Wisconsin likely coming in the championship.
The Pac-12 may once again miss out, as Oregon would need to go undefeated from here on out, a feat that I think ends this weekend against Utah.
The Big 12 potentially cannibalized itself, with Oklahoma dropping last week’s game to Baylor to really shake up the playoff picture. Because of Oklahoma’s blunder, the conference will need either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State to win out and win a back-to-back as they end the regular season as well.
Cincinnati has a shot, but it’s going to need a lot of outside help with some upsets to make it happen. I’m still not so sure it can pull it off, even with being slated at No. 5 in the College Playoff rankings. The Bearcats’ weak strength of schedule and poor level of play lately is hindering their playoff hopes.
Let’s dive into where the value lies in the national title and conference pictures ahead of Week 12.
National Championship Picture
Kody Malstrom: I’ve seen enough. Georgia is, and has been, the clear-cut favorite all season to win it all. Better yet, the number DraftKings has out there still has value, as Collin Wilson projects this up to -150.
It’s no secret that the defense is playing at a historic rate with next-level talent all over.
Going into last week’s showdown with Tennessee, Georgia ranked top-20 in all defensive metrics. The defense once again showed out, holding the Volunteers to only 17 points.
Georgia ranks No. 1 in PFF Tackling, No. 1 in Coverage, No. 1 in Def. Finishing Drives, and top-five in both Def. Pass and Rush Success. This is simply one of the most efficient units in football.
With that said, I have no idea how the remaining competition even competes with Georgia.
Georgia will be more than a touchdown favorite over the rest of the competition except for Ohio State and Alabama, which may not even make it to the playoff after the SEC Championship game.
Not only has the defense been impenetrable, but the offense has been one of the best units in the country as well.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett hasn’t been one of the best quarterbacks in football, but he’s playing well enough to lead the charge. Bennett has led Georgia to a top-25 passing ranking, at 24th in Pass Success. He has benefited from playing behind a monstrous offensive line, one that is 18th in pass blocking.
Bennett has been relatively limited, though. This is more of a dink-and-dunk offense, as Georgia wants the ball in its playmakers’ hands in the open field to make plays.
I can go on and on about how Georgia is the clear-cut No. 1 team this year, but the reason for this future bet simply comes down to grabbing the value now before it’s too late.
Mike McNamara: With only two weeks left to go in the regular season, a lot of the conference races are starting to become more clear.
Georgia taking on Alabama in the SEC Championship is pretty much a certainty at this point. It would take something crazy for it not to be Oregon vs. Utah in the Pac-12, which would be the teams’ second meeting in a three-week span. The Big Ten East will play itself out with Ohio State taking on both Michigan schools in the final two weeks.
The conference that I believe still holds some value is the Big 12, where I will once again be talking about the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The Pokes have looked like a different team in the last three weeks. The defense has been phenomenal all season, but the Cowboys have found something offensively.
Jaylen Warren is a bruiser on the ground, and Spencer Sanders has steadily improved as the year has gone on.
I believe this is the best team in the conference by a pretty significant margin. I project the Cowboys to be a favorite over either Oklahoma or Baylor (the two possible opponents) on a neutral field at Jerry World for the Big 12 Championship.
To get there, the Pokes would not even need to win out since they hold the tiebreaker over Baylor.
I believe they will, however, as I trust Mike Gundy to have his team ready for this week’s road test in Lubbock, and I think the Cowboys finally deliver in Bedlam in a game that will have Boone Pickens Stadium absolutely buzzing.
Ultimately, I feel very strongly about the Cowboys handling their business and winning the league this year.
At odds of +200 on DraftKings, this becomes an auto-play for me due to the value that price holds.
Two weeks ago, I talked about how adding an OK State national title ticket was worth a small dart, and now it’s time to double down on the Cowboys to win the conference.
What to Watch in Conference Races
Mike McNamara: One game I will be watching this week is in the ACC, where 9-1 Wake Forest heads to Clemson to take on the Tigers. If Wake can get it done on the road at Clemson, it will officially clinch the Atlantic Division and punch its ticket to Charlotte.
The Coastal representative will likely be Pittsburgh, as the Panthers just need to beat Virginia at home this week to wrap things up.
If the Demon Deacons win, there’s not much more to bet on in the ACC. It basically comes down to who you like head-to-head between the Panthers and Deacs.
What I’m keeping my eyes open for is what happens if Wake Forest loses. Most would think that means taking a shot on Clemson, as the Tigers would then finish conference play at 6-2 and hold the tiebreaker over Wake Forest.
The team I would actually look to target for a longshot in this scenario would be the NC State Wolfpack.
If NC State, Clemson, and Wake Forest all finish the year at 6-2, the Wolfpack hold the tiebreaker (Yes, it was a lot of fun spending this morning researching ACC three-way tiebreaker scenarios).
NC State would need to win its final two games at home over both Syracuse and North Carolina. The only other thing the Wolfpack would need to happen is a Boston College victory over Wake Forest in the season finale. With Phil Jurkovec back at the helm for the Eagles, that is certainly plausible.
NC State is currently 60-1 to win the ACC on FanDuel. I’m going to wait to see if Clemson gets it done this week against Wake, and if the Tigers do, I will look to add a ticket on the Wolfpack at a number I believe will still hold plenty of value.
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