Are you all revved up and ready to go for the 2013 college football season? Week 12 is here, and that means it’s time to break down all of the NCAA football odds that you have in front of you to sink your teeth into!
Just four weeks are left in college football’s regular season, and the games are really starting to get intense at this point. Less and less often are we seeing these massive favorites on the board, and a lot more of the games, even the ones with big spreads, are starting to feature some massive upsets. Don’t believe us? Just look at what happened last week when the Stanford Cardinal knocked off the Oregon Ducks or when the Vanderbilt Commodores took down the Florida Gators.
As far as this week is concerned, there aren’t all that many favorites of more than 21.5 points. The Ole Miss Rebels are giving 29 to the Troy Trojans at home, while the Ohio State Buckeyes are -32 on the road against the Illinois Fighting Illini. The Buckeyes have gotten a little bit of help, but they are going to need a lot more of it in the form of a loss by either the Florida State Seminoles or the Alabama Crimson Tide if they are going to get into the National Championship Game picture.
This certainly isn’t the week there are going to be issues for the top two teams in the land. Florida State is the biggest favorite of the weekend at -39 at home against the Syracuse Orange, while the Crimson Tide are going on the road and are favored by 25 against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
That said, there are certainly some more competitive games this weekend to analyze as well. We’ll start with some great MACtion early in the week. We’ve already seen the Toledo Rockets put the Buffalo Bulls’ hopes at the MAC crown in a bind on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, we have what might be one of the most important games of the entire season regardless of conference. The Ball State Cardinals and the Northern Illinois Huskies are both undefeated teams in conference play, and the winner of this one is going to have a real shot of getting to the BCS this year. It’s not a guarantee for either, and it would be a lot easier for the perfect Huskies to do the job instead of the one-loss Cardinals, but anything is possible. The winner of this game will win the MAC West, and Northern Illinois is giving a touchdown in the duel.
On Thursday, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are hoping to get into the clubhouse at 6-2 in ACC play this year. They have a date with the Clemson Tigers on the road in a game that they absolutely have to win if they are going to end up with a shot of getting to Charlotte for the second straight season. The Tigers have been rolling, and they still have faint chances of playing for the BCS National Championship as well. This could be a close one though, as Clemson is -10.5 at home against Georgia Tech.
Friday night’s duel in the Pac-12 pits the UCLA Bruins up against the Washington Huskies. Both of these teams have proportionately underachieved this year, and this is an important one for each. UCLA is -2.5 at home, but the bookmakers are insinuating that there is a real shot for the Huskies to pull off the upset.
Saturday’s card features some big games in conference play, not all of which feature Top 25 teams. Both the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Cincinnati Bearcats still have hopes of winning the AAC this year and getting to the BCS, but neither has control of their own destiny. Rutgers is at home in this one, but this game is a pick ‘em. This is one of the three games on the docket that features a pick ‘em spread, and it is one of the two in the AAC. The Memphis Tigers and South Florida Bulls are lined at a pick as well at the bottom of the conference.
The Arizona Wildcats are still trying to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive, and they are running out of games they can lose if they are going to get the job done. They have the Washington State Cougars this week, who are still trying to get into a bowl game this year. Wazzu is going to need this one if it stands a chance, but it is +13 in this game.
The biggest game of the day in the Pac-12 though, is a potential preview of the conference title game. The USC Trojans are still fighting for their right to challenge for the Rose Bowl, and they have a test the likes of which they badly need to pass. The Stanford Cardinal are coming off of the high of beating Oregon last week, and they might be there for the taking when they travel to LA to take on the Men of Troy. Stanford is only -3.5, and it is clearly poised to be upset by USC. A team that has been challenging Pac-12 big boys all year long, the Utah Utes, are getting 25 against the aforementioned Ducks.
But of course, the biggest games of the day are all in the SEC, and they all could be huge. The South Carolina Gamecocks are favored by two touchdowns against the Florida Gators in the game that Head Coach Steve Spurrier badly wants to win against his old mates. UF might not have either of its quarterbacks for this one, as Jeff Driskel is already out for the season, and QB Tyler Murphy was banged up last week. The Georgia Bulldogs are going to have a chance to stay in the SEC East race as well when they take on the Auburn Tigers. Auburn is two wins away from playing for the SEC Championship, but these two games against Georgia and Alabama are going to be insanely tough, though they are at home. The Tigers are -4 in a game in which they probably would have been +14 at the start of the season.
In the Big XII, the Texas Longhorns are +3 at home against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Both of these teams, as well as the Baylor Bears, each control their own destiny to win the conference and make it to the Fiesta Bowl. The Miami Hurricanes are also -3 on the road against the Duke Blue Devils in what will amount to be an elimination game for one of these teams in the ACC Coastal Division race. The Michigan State Spartans can win the Legends Division of the Big Ten if they can go on the road and beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday. The Children of the Corn stayed alive last week by beating the Michigan Wolverines, but they are +6.5 in this one. The Louisville Cardinals and Houston Cougars are playing an elimination game in the AAC race as well at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The Cards are -15.5 at home, but as we have seen all season long, the Cougs are one of the best ATS teams in the land and won’t go down without a fight.
The game that is easily featuring the highest ‘total’ we have ever seen is the one between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Baylor Bears. The number to beat is a whopping 86, but with the way that these two offenses (and the T-Tech defense) play, we aren’t doubting it getting there. Amazingly, the Spartans and the Cornhuskers have a ‘total’ of less than half of that, as these two teams only have a projected 41.5, the lowest ‘total’ on the board in Week 12.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.