We’re just two weeks away from conference championship weekend, but there’s still value to be had. Let’s dive into my Week 12 college football best bets, including No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Michigan State and No. 13 Oklahoma vs. unranked Iowa State.
You’ll also find the betting perspective of Motoi Pearson, WynnBET Sportsbook’s senior trader. You can click on the spreads mentioned below to bet now.
Week 12 College Football Best Bets
- More from Eli: College Basketball National Title Futures
No. 7 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State
As of Friday at PointsBet Sportsbook, 72.0% of the spread tickets and 63.3% of the spread handle are on Michigan State.
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This matchup is critical for the Heisman Trophy race, as Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud () and Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III () are both in the mix. But the line boils down to Michigan State’s back-seven.
Mel Tucker’s bunch is allowing a top-50 passing success rate (SR) across college football, and Stroud leads the top-ranked unit in that department. Ohio State can inch closer to a Big Ten East championship and a spot in the conference title game with a win. Don’t consider any sort of look-ahead spot with its rival Michigan on-deck.
- SR showcases whether a play is successful if a team gains:
- 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
- 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
- 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down
Meanwhile, Walker represents the most explosive tailback in the country, ranking first at his position in yards after contact (1,280) and and missed tackles forced (98). Ryan Day’s defense can be exposed in that metric, but it won’t matter if the Spartans face a negative game script throughout.
There’s no value in the current spread — unless the live betting market presents OSU under two possessions.
Behind The Counter
“We had this game pretty much locked in at Ohio State as an 18-point favorite when we opened,” Pearson said. “We’re currently at -18.5 now and haven’t taken too much action on the game. Most of it looks like it’s from the Buckeye variety.
“We knew the public may be keen on taking the points in a game like this. We have yet to move the total (O/U ), but we think there should be some money on the over before kick.”
Iowa State at No. 13 Oklahoma
Over at PointsBet, 55.2% of the spread tickets are on Oklahoma while 91.3% of the spread handle is on Iowa State.
Similar to the Spartans, Sooners defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has yet to figure out a fix for his secondary. Oklahoma is surrendering the 18th-highest passing SR in Division I, and Cyclones QB Brock Purdy leads the sixth-ranked attack in that category. The home favorite ranks No. 79 in points allowed per drive too.
While Iowa State’s defense is below-average, Purdy is more so in position to take advantage of the Sooners’ smaller defensive backs. This contest also represents a look-ahead spot for Lincoln Riley’s team with Oklahoma State up next.
Behind The Counter
“Our number was bit higher on Oklahoma — around -7 or -8,” Pearson said. “We figured that might be a little high, so we opened at -6.5. We were OK with taking a few bets down. While we’ve seen two-way action on the side, we’re sitting at -4 on OU through a few respected bets.”
Eli’s Week 12 College Football Best Bets: Iowa State +3.5 (PointsBet — placed at 4pm ET on Thursday, Nov. 18)
Best Available Line: Iowa State
Pearson’s Week 12 College Football Best Bet:
“South Florida is a team that has been competitive throughout the year and has some playmakers lead by QB Timmy McClain, who has been very solid in his outings with the Bulls,” Pearson said. “Tulane isn’t a train wreck, but laying points doesn’t seem to be in its wheelhouse this year. I’ll be all over the Bulls, which could possibly win this game outright.”
Mo’s Week 12 College Football Best Bets: South Florida +5.5
Best Available Line: South Florida