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CFB Week 12 Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2023

No Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines, no problem for Michigan, who rank No. 1 in our CFB Week 12 Power Rankings. The Wolverines covered against Penn State, giving me a Best Bet winner and a 5-2 record on my Week 11 selections.

I’m not a fan of Miami coach Mario Cristobal, but I do like the talent the Hurricanes have. They are my lead Best Bet to defeat Louisville this week.

It’s tempting with another unbelievable low total, but I’m sticking to my word and not betting an Iowa Over. The Hawkeyes have played five straight Unders despite having totals of 27.5, 32, and 30.5 during their past three games.

Stephen Nover’s TGD Picks Record: 33-38-2

CFB odds used in these betting tips are current as of Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 2:30 a.m. ET

CFB Week 12 Best Bets

Louisville @ Miami

BEST BET: Miami +1 (-110)

bet365 Sportsbook WAGER: 2 Units

I get that Louisville is 9-1, but I’m going with Miami due to the Hurricanes’ home-field edge, tough run defense, and Louisville’s spotty road record.

The Cardinals haven’t covered an away game all season, going 0-3-1 against the spread. They also haven’t been away from home since Oct. 14 when they were upset by Pittsburgh, 38-21, as a seven-point road favorite. That was the Panthers’ only victory in nine games against FBS opponents this season.

Louisville also has never won at Miami in seven tries, although the last time the Cardinals played there was 2019.

Miami is averaging 35.2 points at home. The Hurricanes should be unbeaten in Miami. Their only home loss was to Georgia Tech, 23-20, on Oct. 7.

The Hurricanes would have won that game if they had gone in victory formation. But they didn’t, instead fumbling with 26 seconds left leading, 20-17.

The Yellow Jackets then scored the winning touchdown on a 44-yard touchdown pass with one second left. It was perhaps the most improbable victory of the entire college football season.

Louisville is a strong running team. Jawhar Jordan and Isaac Guerendo have combined to rush for 1,468 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. The Hurricanes, though, have the No. 7 run defense in the country and give up fewer than 21 points a game.

Wake Forest @ Notre Dame

BEST BET: Notre Dame -24.5 (-110)

BetMGM WAGER: 2 Units

It has been a good, but far from great season for 7-3 Notre Dame. The Irish have had two weeks to stew after losing to Clemson having been idle last week. Look for the Irish to take their frustrations out on Wake Forest, which is having a down season for the first time in eight seasons.

The game has special meaning for Sam Hartman, who quarterbacked Wake Forest for five years starting 48 games before transferring to Notre Dame this past season. The Demon Deacons’ offense has slipped noticeably without Hartman.

Wake Forest’s three quarterbacks have been sacked 43 times in 10 games. Wake Forest also has committed 20 turnovers, which ranks 117th in protecting the football.

The Demon Deacons are 1-6 in their last seven games and haven’t scored more than 21 points during any of those games. At 4-6 with two games left, it’s a realistic conclusion to say the Demon Deacons’ seven-year string of playing in a bowl game has ended.

Wake Forest would have to upset Notre Dame to keep its bowl game dream alive. The Irish have won 17 straight games against Atlantic Coast Conference foes at Notre Dame Stadium.

North Carolina State @ Virginia Tech

BEST BET: Under 44 (-110)

BetRivers WAGER: 2 Units

Slow tempo and improved defenses should make this Under work.

Not only are both North Carolina State and Virginia Tech run-inclined, but each ranks among the bottom-10 in terms of pace.

Only once in their last eight games have the Wolfpack gone Over a total. They are 20th in the nation in defensive total yards and fourth in the country in takeaways, and the Wolfpack’s last three foes, Wake Forest, Miami and Clemson, have managed to combine for only 29 points against them.

There hasn’t been more than 41 combined points scored during North Carolina State’s previous four games.

Virginia Tech has failed to break the 17-point barrier in five games this season. But if you discount their 34-3 road loss to Louisville, the Hokies have held their past three opponents to an average of 15 points a game.

The Hokies rank sixth in the nation in pass defense, limiting foes to an average of 161.2 yards through the air. Virginia Tech also ranks 22nd in fewest yards allowed per game.

CFB Week 12 Betting Prediction Leans

Texas @ Iowa State

BET LEAN: Iowa State +7.5 (-110)

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Texas owns an early-season victory against Alabama, but the Longhorns haven’t proven themselves anywhere close to being a top-four team lately.

Since October, the Longhorns lost to Oklahoma, beat Houston by seven points as a 23.5-point favorite, rolled past BYU, got by Kansas State in overtime and then last week nearly blew a 20-point lead in edging TCU, 29-26, failing to cover as a 12-point favorite.

Houston, BYU and TCU all have losing records.

Iowa State is 5-2 in the Big 12, trailing Texas by one game. The Cyclones have won and covered four of their last five games.

The Longhorns will be without their star running back, Jonathon Brooks, after he suffered a season-ending knee injury against TCU.

UCLA @ USC

BET LEAN: USC -6.5 (-110)

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The bottom line here is that I can’t trust UCLA’s offense – not after the Bruins scored just 10 points against Arizona two weeks ago on the road and then managed only seven points in a 17-7 home loss to Arizona State this past Saturday.

All three of UCLA’s quarterbacks are banged-up. Ethan Garbers probably gets the start, but none of them can compete against Caleb Williams and USC’s high-powered attack, which ranks No. 3 in the country in scoring at 43.8 points a game and is ninth in total yards.

USC showed some fight and spirit in covering on the road against powerful Oregon in a 36-27 loss last week. The Trojans can gain a measure of redemption for their disappointing season with a lopsided victory against their long-time city rival.

UNLV @ Air Force

BET LEAN: Air Force -3 (-109)

BetRivers • WAGER: 1 Unit

Kudos to Barry Odom for doing an outstanding job in his first season as head coach at UNLV. The Rebels and Air Force are part of a five-way tie for first place in the Mountain West Conference.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, they have to play at Air Force. It has been 10 years since the Rebels last won at Falcon Stadium.

The Falcons have won the last five games in the series. They also have won all four of their home games this season with the average victory margin being 24.7 points.

Sam Houston State @ Western Kentucky

BET LEAN: Sam Houston State +13 (-110)

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Western Kentucky is just going through the motions as its highly disappointing season winds down. Picked by many to win Conference USA, the Hilltoppers are eliminated after losing to New Mexico State, 38-29, as five-point home favorites last week to drop to 5-5.

The Hilltoppers are 1-3 in their last four games, 0-4 against the spread. Since Week 3, they’ve won only one game by more than eight points. Their defense is worse than Sam Houston State’s, ranking 127th in yards allowed and 131st in run defense.

Sam Houston State has won its last two games. The Bearkats have lost only one game by more than 14 points, and they rank 43rd in pass defense, which is important when facing Austin Reed.

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