Get a jump on the College Football Week 12 lines and odds. Check out the College Football Week 12 lines and predictions from our Lineups writing staff.
College Football Week 12 Lines
No. 19 Purdue Boilermakers At Northwestern Wildcats
The Purdue Boilermakers head to Chicago’s famed Wrigley Field to take on the Northwestern Wildcats in the “Wildcats Classic,” the weekend before Thanksgiving. Last week Purdue found themselves ranked in the CFP poll for the first time ever; ranked at #19. Last season, Northwestern beat Purdue in West Lafayette, 27-20. Purdue holds a 51-33-1 record in the matchup between the schools.
Purdue is scoring over 24 points per game this season and is in the top half of the Big Ten in total offense. The offense is triggered by senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who has thrown for over 2,000 yards and tossed eight touchdowns in a four-week span (vs. Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan State). David Bell is the Boilermakers main weapon on offense. Bell is one of the top receivers in the Big Ten and should be a candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, which recognizes college football’s most outstanding FBS receiver. Against the Michigan State Spartans (ranked third in the CFP poll at the time), Bell caught 11 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown. He’s a dominant player capable of changing the game on a single play.
The defense is led by George Karlaftis, one of the most dynamic defensive players in the country. The future first round pick, standing at 6-foot-4 inches, 275 pounds, was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2019 and 2020. He presents a challenge to offensive linemen who can’t match his special blend of speed and power. The West Lafayette native has over 80 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 23 games as a Boilermaker.
The defending Big Ten West champions have struggled on offense this season. Multiple players have started at quarterback for the Wildcats in 2021. It appears senior Andrew Marty will be behind center, but it’s possible to see South Carolina transfer Ryan Hilinski on the field as well. The Northwestern passing attack is averaging a little more than 190 yards per game this season. Evan Hull has been solid rushing the ball for the Wildcats; already going over 780 yards on the ground this season. He’s also the only player on the team with over five touchdowns.
The Northwestern defense has had a difficult time against the run in 2021. They’re in the bottom 10 in all the FBS in rushing yards allowed per game, giving up well over 220 yards per contest.
Best Bet: Purdue ML
Author: Scott Steinberg
No. 7 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State
I’m still not buying Michigan State this season. The team’s simply had far too many close wins to make me feel comfortable betting on them. The Spartans escaped with an overtime win against Nebraska in September, and narrowly beat the Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan Wolverines in consecutive weeks. Then it all came crashing down against the Purdue Boilermakers in a 40-29 letdown. Michigan State allowed Purdue to rack up 594 yards, and that’s not the type of defense that can hold back top-ranked teams. Considering they’re fielding a defense that doesn’t even rank in the top 100 in college football, it’s tough to have much faith in the team when they take on major competition. They might have one of the best running backs in college football with Kenneth Walker III, but a strong running game won’t cover up a leaky defense.
Plus, the Spartans will need to defend the top 5 offense of Ohio State. QB C.J. Stroud and his extremely talented receiving corps are clicking right now, as seen Stroud lit up the Indiana Hoosiers a few weeks ago, tossing four touchdowns in a 54-7 rout. Even if the Michigan State running game gets rolling, they’re going to have a heck of a time trying to match the Buckeyes blow for blow. Ohio State’s uncharacteristic loss to the Oregon Ducks is in the rearview mirror, and the Buckeyes are firing on all cylinders on their way to the College Football Playoff. Take the Buckeyes to win big this week.
Best Bet: Ohio State ATS
Author: Anthony Elio
SMU Mustangs at No. 2 Cincinnati Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats still have a lot to prove to fans and the College Football Playoff committee. After a narrow 28-20 victory in Week 10 at home against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-6), the committee likely was not filled with confidence in the Bearcats. The difficulty of getting into the College Football Playoff as a non-Power Five conference team has always been significant; however, this could be a year when it happens. The Bearcats will need to blow out the SMU Mustangs in their Week 12 matchup for that to happen. They may also need a few top teams to take another late-season loss to slip into the College Football Playoff.
The Bearcats are by no means a perfect team, but if they make the CFP, then they will be a tough out. They are 11th in points per game, fourth in average scoring margin, 13th in opponent yards per game, and fifth in opponent points per game. Cincinnati is a second-half team and has been all season, so it likely won’t change now.
The Mustangs had lost two straight games going into their Week 11 matchup against UCF, one of which was a one-touchdown loss to No. 17 Houston. SMU has been known for its high-octane offense this year, averaging just shy of 500 yards per game. SMU struggles a bit defensively, ranking 90th in opponent yards per game despite playing against lesser talented teams.
This will be an interesting matchup because Cincinnati’s defense will be truly tested. If the Bearcats can slow down the Mustangs’ offense, then perhaps they can compete against the best of the best in college football.
Best Bet: Cincinnati ATS
Author: Andrew Norton
Iowa State Cyclones at No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners
College football is obviously measured in wins and losses, which is why the Cyclones are 6-3 overall and unranked while the Sooners lead the Big 12 and are the fourth-ranked team in the country at 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the conference. However, Iowa State is a decent team that has gotten unlucky with losses to Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Baylor coming by an average of four points. They’ve proven they are on par talent-wise with the top teams in the Big 12, even if that hasn’t translated to their win-loss record.
Caleb Williams has transformed the Oklahoma offense into a high-flying, dynamic unit and the freshman quarterback is already on the 2022 Heisman shortlist if he isn’t a strong candidate this year. Iowa State’s Brock Purdy hasn’t been nearly as explosive as Williams, but he threw for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns against an Oklahoma State defense that is considered to be the best in the conference by a decent margin. Breece Hall is also following up his massive sophomore season with an even better junior year – he has 1,342 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns in nine games.
According to Football Outsiders’ DFEI metric which measures defensive efficiency, Oklahoma’s defense ranks outside the top 60 in the country and Iowa State’s ranks at 17 heading into Week 11. Oklahoma hasn’t held a team to less than 21 points since September and teams have averaged over 30 points per game against them during that five-game span. Oklahoma may have one of the best offenses in the country with Williams at the helm, but their underwhelming defense has allowed opponents to hang close with them in just about every game seemingly. It’s been difficult to trust Oklahoma all season, and while this game is played at OU Memorial Stadium, I’ll take the Cyclones to cover the points on the road.
Best Bet: Iowa State ATS
Author: Jacob Wayne