For some teams around the nation, Week 12 is the penultimate game on their regular-season schedule. There are also some potential trap games with national title contenders facing cupcakes ahead of big rivalry games in Week 13. Here are three games this Saturday I would recommend in college football betting. Rankings are from College Football Playoff Top 25, so they will change with new poll Tuesday.
This could be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game as the Cougars are the only Pac-12 team without a conference loss and are atop the North Division, while Colorado leads the South. Washington State, who started the year 0-2 with a home loss to FCS Eastern Washington and a road loss at Boise State, has won eight straight games, including a clean 7-0 mark in Pac-12 play. That has included blowout wins over Stanford and Oregon as well as victories over UCLA and Arizona State. The Buffs have won four straight games, including wins over Stanford and UCLA to get to this point, while USC and Utah have each lost twice in conference play. Both teams could lose this game and still make the Pac-12 title game depending on what happens next week. Wazzu easily beat Colorado last year in Pullman but both teams are much better this year. Colorado played the Cougars without starting quarterback Sefo Liufau, who was out with an injury. The Cougars suffered a huge loss in the game when Luke Falk was taken off the field on a backboard in the third quarter after taking a huge hit from Samson Kafovalu. Both QBs are back this year and playing well. Liufau threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth in Colorado’s win against Arizona last week. Take Colorado here.
No. 5 Ohio State at Michigan State (+21.5)
This is a payback game for the Buckeyes. Last year in Columbus, the unbeaten and No. 3 Buckeyes were upset by Sparty 17-14 to end OSU’s 23-game winning streak and also end its chances of repeating as national champion as Michigan State went on to win the Big Ten East Division and conference title game to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. The last time Michigan State beat Ohio State was the 2013 Big Ten championship game and that broke a 24-game winning streak by the Buckeyes and kept them out of the BCS title game. But this year’s MSU team is far, far worse than that one and has just one Big Ten win as it won’t be bowling this year. Following a shocking weekend— Michigan losing to Iowa, Clemson losing to Pittsburgh, Washington losing to Southern California — Ohio State is up to No. 2 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls. The Buckeyes trashed Maryland 62-3 in Week 11. The Buckeyes’ 45-3 lead at the half — their largest halftime lead of the year — and the final point total moved them back to No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring (46.5 average) ahead of Michigan (44.3). Sparty has not shot of winning but take all those points.
Florida at No. 24 LSU (-14)
The Gators win the SEC East Division and will play an SEC Championship Game rematch vs. Alabama with a victory in Baton Rouge. A UF loss opens the door for Tennessee to potentially win the East. This game was originally to be played in early October on Gainesville but was postponed by Hurricane Matthew. The two schools bickered how to make it up and LSU didn’t want to give up a home game on Nov. 19 to replay this in Florida. So the Gators agreed to move the game to Louisiana but now LSU must go to Florida the next two years. This is Florida’s first postponed game since 2001, when a delayed game between Florida and Tennessee ended up deciding the SEC East was moved to the date of the SEC Championship due to the Sept. 11 attacks. That season, the SEC Championship game was pushed back one week. LSU has defeated Florida for three-straight years, which is its longest winning streak against the Gators since the Tigers won four straight from 1977-1980. I think LSU wins this one but I’d take the points in college football betting.