College football betting picks: NCAAF week 12 rundown and odds

College football betting picks: NCAAF week 12 rundown and odds

Nov 18, 2023

The final playoff push is in full swing and the competition committee has a careful eye on the results of each team.

There was already a notable change as Georgia passed Ohio State this week for the top spot in the College Football Playoff Rankings. Georgia put forth an impressive performance last week taking down Ole Miss 52-17, with this being enough of a statement to put them over Ohio State in the voters’ eyes.

The Buckeyes still control their own destiny and handled their business by defeating Michigan State 38-3 last week. The committee seems to be putting a priority on the margin of victory and strength of schedule although the case could be made that Georgia has deserved the top spot from the start. Michigan State and Florida State remain in the 3rd and 4th slots and each is coming off victories of their own.

Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Alabama also remain ranked 5-8 as each team secured a victory last week as well. One bad performance could end the playoff hunt for each of these teams and they will look to further strengthen their resume in the Week 12 slate. Here is a look at the most notable matchups of the week and where there could be value on the college football betting slate. 

🏅 Win odds overview for this week’s matchups

  • #3 Michigan (-19) vs Maryland (+650) | DraftKings
  • #16 Iowa (-3.5) vs Illinois (+135) | BetMGM
  • #10 Louisville (-1) vs Miami (-108) |BetRivers
  • #17 Arizona (-1) vs #22 Utah (-105) | DraftKings
  • #1 Georgia (-10.5) vs Tennessee (+310) | BetMGM
  • USC (-6.5) vs UCLA (+210) | BetMGM
  • Clemson (-7) vs #20 North Carolina (+220) | DraftKings
  • #21 Kansas State (-8.5) vs #25 Kansas (+250) | BetMGM
  • #11 Oregon State (-2.5) vs #5 Washington (+112) | BetRivers
  • #7 Texas (-7.5) vs Iowa State (+235) | DraftKings

NCAAF weekly predictions

While the top teams still have plenty of hope for the home stretch of the season, last week also closed the door for some notable programs. Penn State was unable to pull off the upset against 3rd-ranked Michigan with the Wolverines securing the 24-15 victory despite the off-field distractions regarding Jim Harbaugh. Tennessee also saw their season officially pronounced dead as they were blown out 36-7 by Missouri. They now face the unfortunate task of facing off against top-ranked Georgia before wrapping up the season against Vanderbilt.

There are three matchups between ranked teams this week. #17 Arizona will face off with #22 Utah with Arizona being favored by just one point. #21 Kansas State will face off against their cross-state rival #25 Kansas and are favored by 8.5 points. The most notable game as it pertains to the playoffs is #5 Washington against #11 Oregon State as Michael Penix Jr and company are +120 underdogs on the moneyline. With Washington just outside the top four projected playoff seeds, this is a matchup they cannot afford to let slip away. 

Despite sitting in third place in the rankings, Michigan remains the National Championship favorite at +215 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook. Georgia is next at +255 odds. Surprisingly, Alabama has the next-best odds at +650 with Oregon behind them at +800. Ohio State is tied with Oregon at +800 odds while Florida State is listed at +950 and Washington rounds out the top seven at +1400.

The Heisman Trophy race has also taken a massive swing with Oregon QB Bo Nix climbing into the favorite at +110 odds. LSU QB Jayden Daniels holds +320 odds with Washington standout Michael Penix Jr right behind him at +380 odds. Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr is seeking to become the first non-quarterback winner since Devonta Smith in 2021 at +475 odds. No other player holds odds below +4000. Even still, the Heisman and National Championship race feels more open than most years and these final weeks will be telling. 

Week 12 picks for the NCCAF


Week 12 picks for the NCCAF

Week 12 college football betting picks

With plenty on the line this week, here is a look at the best value on the betting slate and a breakdown of each matchup.

✔️ Texas vs. Iowa State: Texas -7.5 outcome (-110) with DraftKings

  • Date and time: Saturday, November 18th, 8:00 PM EST
  • Location: Ames, Iowa
  • TV/Stream: FOX

The 9-1 Texas Longhorns will travel to Ames, Iowa to take on the 6-4 Iowa State Cyclones. Texas has been impressive this season and notched victories over Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, and most recently TCU. The Longhorns looked on the path to a blowout against TCU last week, leaping out to a 20-point lead, but saw their offense sputter in the second half and ultimately won 29-26. On the season, Texas averages 33.8 points per game which ranks 27th in the country while holding opponents to 18.4 points per game which is the 21st-best rate.

The door has not been closed on Texas making a playoff appearance, but they have zero room for error from here on out. It should be noted that star running back Jonathan Brooks suffered a torn ACL in the 4th quarter of the victory over TCU. This is a big hit to the offense as Brooks has rushed for 1139 yards, 10 touchdowns, and is tied for the best PFF run grade in the Big 12 on the season. Expect freshman CJ Baxter to get additional carries in his absence as he has 390 yards and three touchdowns already this season. 

Iowa State enters this matchup with six wins which have come against Northern Iowa, Oklahoma State, TCU, Cincinnati, Baylor, and BYU. This will be their most difficult matchup of the season even considering the injury issues. Quinn Ewers made his return to the field last week after a shoulder injury and will be suiting up once again for this matchup. Ewers has at least three NFL-caliber weapons surrounding him in Xavier Worthy, Adonau Mitchell, and Ja’Tavion Sanders who should be able to capitalize on a porous Iowa State secondary.

The Texas offensive line is also considered to be the best offensive line in the Big 12 while Iowa State ranks 12th out of the 14 teams in pass rush so expect Ewers to have plenty of time. On the season, the Cyclones rank 77th in the country in scoring at 25.7 points per game but allow just 19.9 points per game which is the 28th best rate. 

While the season should still be viewed in a positive light after their 4-8 record last year, this is not a matchup that Iowa State will be able to capitalize on. Expect the talent gap to be evident between these two teams and for this to approach blowout territory. While Iowa State’s 5-2 conference record looks impressive, four of these wins came against teams that are bottom five in the Big 12.

Take the Longhorns to get the victory and climb to 10 wins on the season by cruising past this -7.5 line. They are the more talented team on both sides of the ball, can win in a variety of ways, and will have no problem securing a victory by a two-score margin in this one. You can capitalize on this by wagering on the 7.5-point spread at -110 odds on DraftKings.

🏈 Bet on Texas to cover the 7.5 spread at -110 with DraftKings🏈

✔️ #20 North Carolina vs. Clemson: North Carolina +7 outcome (-110) at BetRivers

  • Date and time: Saturday, November 18th, 3:30 PM EST
  • Location: Clemson, North Carolina
  • TV/Stream: ESPN

Clemson has been one of the biggest disappointments in college football this season, sitting at 6-4 and completely out of the Top 25 rankings. However, they enter this game as 7.5-point favorites making it the first time in the 2023 season that the North Carolina Tar Heels are underdogs.

While this is unfamiliar territory for the team, they were 4-1 against the spread as underdogs in 2022 and have the pieces in place for a strong performance here. They are led by QB Drake Maye who has not received the proper buzz amid all the strong quarterback play this year.

The future NFL first-round pick has completed 65.8% of his pass attempts for 3145 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions. Maye has also been the driving force behind why the UNC offense ranks 8th in scoring, 3rd in yards per game, and has a 92.2% red zone success rate. 

On the other side, Clemson has played their best football of late which leaves some room for optimism for them. The Tigers most recently defeated Georgia Tech 42-21 and took down Notre Dame 31-23 the week prior.

Cade Klubnik is coming off an impressive performance in which he threw for 205 yards and four touchdowns during the victory. Clemson also has an impressive backfield duo of Will Shipley and Phil Mafah who have collectively run for 1313 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns this season.

As a team, Clemson ranks 46th in the country in scoring at 30.3 points per game and is allowing 21.2 points per game which is the 41st-best rate. They have struggled to keep the ball this season with their 18 total turnovers ranking 107th in the country. Clemson also has been known for their red zone defense in years past but sits at 67th in the rankings for this area of the field this season. 

While Clemson is playing their best football of late, North Carolina is still the better team and the 7-point spread feels far too large. The Tar Heels have the 3rd best turnover margin among FBS teams and have only turned the ball over 8 times in 10 games.

It would take North Carolina opening the door for Clemson to capitalize if they have not proven to make these types of mistakes this season. Expect Drake Maye to lead the way and for UNC to have a real chance at the outright victory. The 7-point spread is far too large of a margin so jump on North Carolina to cover this figure and don’t be surprised if there is an outright upset. You can take this 7-point spread at -110 odds on BetRivers. 

🏈 Bet on Nort Carolina at -110 with BetRivers 🏈

✔️ #1 Georgia vs. Tennessee: Georgia -10.5 outcome (-105) at BetMGM

  • Date and time: Saturday, November 18th, 3:30 PM EST
  • Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • TV/Stream: CBS

The Georgia Bulldogs are looking to make history in this matchup as a victory would make it the first time a team runs the SEC table for three consecutive seasons. They have not lost a game since the SEC Championship in 2021 when they lost to Alabama. Despite this impressive streak, it took until this week for Georgia to be ranked in the top spot for the College Football Playoff rankings on the year.

They enter with a perfect 10-0 record on the season ranking 6th in the country in scoring at 40.6 points per game and holding opponents to just 15.6 points per game which is the 7th best rate. The Bulldogs are one of three teams ranking in the top 10 in each of these categories and also lead the country with a 56% success rate on third downs. Georgia is also coming off a statement 52-17 victory over Ole Miss and looks to have momentum on their side as the season winds down. 

Tennessee is coming from the opposite side of the spectrum in this matchup. While they hold a 7-3 record on the year, all hopes for the season took a serious reality check last week when Missouri blew out the Volunteers 36-7. While Tennessee has won 14 consecutive home games leading up to this matchup, Georgia is a different beast. As a team, the Volunteers rank 37th in the country in scoring at 32.0 points per game and 29th in points allowed at 20.2 points per game.

They have the 8th-ranked rushing offense in the country averaging 213.3 yards on the ground per game but it will not be as easy to come by against the NFL-ready Georgia front. Joe Milton has been an adventure at quarterback this season with his inaccuracies limiting the ceiling of the offense as a whole. He is completing just 37% of his passes beyond 10 yards on the season. If this becomes a shootout, which Georgia is well-equipped to make happen, Tennessee is in trouble. 

Count on the hungry Georgia Bulldogs to travel down to Knoxville and snap the home winning streak for Tennessee. The Volunteers are simply not the team they were hoped to be this season and have little optimism for the remainder of the season. Georgia is better in just about every matchup and has been the most reliable team in college football these past few years.

Expect Tennessee to put up a fight early and the game to remain close before Georgia blows things open by the 3rd quarter. Count on the Bulldogs to cruise to a victory of at least two touchdowns and cover the 10.5-point spread. You can bet on this line at -105 odds on BetMGM.

🏈 Bet on Georgia -10.5 at -105 with BetMGM 🏈

College football betting weekly highlights

  • Utah’s QB Cam Rising is out for the season as he recovers from a torn ACL
  • Iowa QB Cade McNamara is out for the season with a torn ACL
  • Texas RB Jonathan Brooks is out for the season with a torn ACL
  • Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended from being on the field by the Big 10 for the final three games
    • He served first game last week against Penn State
    • Will miss this week against Maryland
  • Arizona State QB Jaden Rashada is out for Week 12 vs Oregon with a leg injury
  • Kansas QB Jason Bean is questionable vs Kansas State with a head injury
  • Home teams are 473-256 this year straight up (64.9%)
  • Away teams are 256-473 this year straight up (35.1%)
  • Home teams are 347-363-19 against the spread this season (48.9%)
  • Away teams are 363-347-19 against the spread this season (51.1%)
  • Favorites are 347-363-19 against the spread this season (48.9%)
  • Underdogs are 363-347-19 against the spread this season (51.1%)
  • Home favorites are 235-251-13 against the spread this season (48.4%)
  • Away favorites are 112-112-6 against the spread this season (50.0%)
  • Home underdogs are 112-112-6 against the spread this season (50.0%)
  • Overs are 364-351 on the season (50.9%)

🏈 Best college football betting sites

  • bet365 (Available in: CO, OH, IA, VA)
  • BetMGM (Available in: AZ, CO, FL, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, TN, VA, WA, WV, and WY)
  • DraftKings (Available in: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, and WV)
  • BetRivers (Available in: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV, and WY)
  • Desert Diamond (Available in: AZ)
  • Betway (Available in: IA)

Big football fan? Check out the best NFL betting sites for the season!

About the author

Sean Barnard

Sean Barnard has worked in sports media for the past five years. He has spent time as the 76ers Lead Writer for Philly Sports Network, Associate Editor at CluchPoints, Eagles Beat Reporter for YardBarker, and more. He also owns and operates his own Podcast Network called Pick Swap Media and is a radio host on Fox 102.5 The Gambler presented by iHeartMedia. Sean has written over 1500 articles and recorded over 500 podcasts and is just getting started. Based out of the Philadelphia region in the United States, Sean is a lifelong passionate sports fan who can be reached on Twitter at @Sean_Barnard1 where he rattles off basketball breakdowns and other news.

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