Week 12 College Football Tips

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks will look to win the Pac-12 North Division title this weekend, setting up a potential rematch with the USC Trojans, who can claim the South Division on Saturday.

The thing with Week 12 on the college football schedule this year is that there are a lot of bump games that are of very little interest to anybody. That is to say that there are plenty of high-profile teams taking on schools so far down the pecking order, they’re practically starving. Of course, much of this has to do with the incoming Rivalry Week which will see fierce games galore next week.

Regardless, CasinoReview has taken a look through the schedule and picked out some choice cuts for you to take a look at, starting with both Pac-12 divisions, which could be decided by the end of play on Saturday. After that, we’ve thrown in a few of the less high-profile but very relevant games to give you a jumpstart over the bookies this weekend.

 

#13 Stanford @ #2 Oregon

With a win on Saturday, Oregon (10-0, 7-0 Pac-12) will take the Pac-12 North Division. Were the Ducks to unsuspectingly lose to Stanford (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) however, they would need to beat Oregon State in the Civil War game next weekend, or allow Stanford to possibly sneak the title.

So, there’s plenty on the line before you even take into consideration Oregon’s National Championship aspirations.

Oregon will enter the game confident knowing that the team has won the previous two outings against Stanford, as well as nine from the last 10 and 10 from the last 11. In short, over the past decade, Oregon has had Stanford’s number.

But complacency had better not slip into Chip Kelly’s side or they’re sure to face a rude awakening.

Odds: Oregon is the favorite to take this one by a big margin, opening with a 21½-point edge. The over/under is 66.

Take: Oregon – Nothing that has happened on the field this season suggests that either Stanford or Oregon State can stop Oregon on its march to the National Championship Game. Of course, college football was made for upsets, but this doesn’t look like one of them. Stanford simply isn’t accomplished enough offensively or defensively to handle the Ducks. However, 21½-points is a huge margin this late in the season, so take Stanford to cover the spread. Take the total to go over; this is the number one scoring team in the league.

 

#18 USC @ #17 UCLA

Whilst it’s likely the Pac-12 North Division will be decided this weekend, the South Division will definitely be decided, as the two teams in contention take to the field against one another.

USC (7-5, 5-3 Pac-12) would take the title with a win over UCLA (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) and vice versa. It’s that simple.

USC’s off-color season has been well-documented, while the Bruins have either side of the BCS rankings most of the season. A showdown at the Coliseum is a just way for the title to be decided.

Odds: The line opened with USC as favorites (-3) to win a close game. The over/under is 63½.

Take: USC – There’s no denying that seeing the Trojans fall to the Bruins would be a rewarding end to a season that has seen far too many ridiculous and underhand tactics coming out of Los Angeles this season. Alas, the Trojans will take this one though as they have the last five and 12 of the last 13 (dating back to 1999), setting up a rematch with the Ducks for the conference championship. Take USC to cover the spread and the total to go over with these two high-scoring offenses.

 

Quick Takes…

#10 Florida State (9-1, 6-1 ACC) can win the ACC Atlantic Division with a win over Maryland (4-6, 6-1) this weekend. A loss opens the door for Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC) who plays North Carolina State (6-4, 3-3 ACC). Both the Seminoles (-31) and Tigers (-17) are favorites in their respective games. Take: Florida State and Clemson, giving the Seminoles the division crown.

#20 Louisiana Tech (9-1, 4-0 WAC) hosts Utah State (8-2, 4-0 WAC) in a game that will in all likelihood decide the winner of the WAC, although San Jose State still has a shot. The Bulldogs open as three-point favorites with the over/under at 68. Take: Louisiana Tech.

Despite not being postseason eligible, Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) can win (even though it won’t feel like a win) the Leaders Division with a win over Wisconsin (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten). Wisconsin is favored (-2½) at home. Take: Ohio State to play spoiler and to finish the year unbeaten.

In theory, both Tulsa (8-2, 6-0 CUSA) and Central Florida (8-2, 6-0 CUSA) could win their respective divisions in Conference USA this weekend, but for the Golden Hurricane it’s a little simpler; win on Saturday and win the division. UCF will still need to rely on help from elsewhere. Tulsa is a narrow favorite (-2½). Take: Tulsa, thanks to home-field advantage.

A win for Kent State (9-1, 6-0 MAC) over Bowling Green (7-3, 5-1 MAC) is enough to secure the MAC’s Eastern Division. Bowling Green is favored (-2) at home. Take: Kent State for the upset.

 

 

BCS Top 25 Schedule (Week 12)

#1 Kansas State @ Baylor

#13 Stanford @ #2 Oregon

Wake Forest @ #3 Notre Dame

Western Carolina @ #4 Alabama

Georgia Southern @ #5 Georgia

Jacksonville State @ #6 Florida

Ole Miss @ #7 LSU

Sam Houston State @ #8 Texas A&M

Wofford @ #9 South Carolina

#10 Florida State @ Maryland

North Carolina State @ #11 Clemson

#12 Oklahoma @ West Virginia

Minnesota @ #14 Nebraska

California @ #16 Oregon State

#18 USC @ #17 UCLA

Utah State @ #20 Louisiana Tech

Iowa @ #21 Michigan

#22 Rutgers @ Cincinnati

#23 Texas Tech @ #24 Oklahoma State

#25 Washington @ Colorado

#15 Texas – Bye

#19 Louisville – Bye

Week 11 College Football Tips

The Johnny Manziel-led Texas A&M Aggies will be looking to keep their SEC West title hopes alive with an upset win over #1 Alabama.

It feels like just yesterday we were preparing for Alabama’s showdown with Michigan at Cowboys Stadium, but believe it or not, it’s only a few short weeks until we reach championship and Bowl season.

A number of big games take place this week that could decide, or at least go a long way to deciding, who represents the various conferences at their respective championship games. There’re also a few games that might have some influence on the National Championship picture.

While Oregon heads to California, Notre Dame challenges Boston College and Kansas State takes on TCU – all games that should go with the formbook – let’s take a look at this weekend’s ranked matchups and see how they might impact the final standings.

 

#15 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s set a scenario. If Alabama was to close out the season with losses to both A&M and Auburn, and the Aggies knocked off Mizzou in the last week of the regular season, Texas A&M would head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. How would that be for an SEC debut?

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, nobody believes that Alabama is going to lose one game, let alone two, but, whilst there’s a possibility, maybe it’s worth a gamble?

The clash on Saturday will mark only the fourth encounter between the two sides, the last one coming in 1988. Alabama won that game and is 3-1 overall. Alabama had a tough outing against LSU last week, and showed for the first time that it may well be beatable. It’s up to Johnny Manziel and the Aggies to try and prove that the Tide is beatable.

Odds: Alabama opened as 15½-point favorites but that number has fallen to 14 ahead of kickoff. The over/under is 56.

Take: Alabama – Aside from slipups to Florida and LSU, Texas A&M has looked good this season, just not good enough to head Alabama off at the pass. The best the Aggies can hope for is to cover the spread, which is a good bet. Take the under on 56 points; both teams will be relying on defense on Saturday.

 

#11 Oregon State @ #17 Stanford

Oregon has all but been awarded the Pac-12 North title, and a place in the BCS Championship game, but in reality, were the Ducks to slip up, it’s possible that either the Cardinal or the Beavers could leapfrog the team from Eugene.

The team that stands a chance of doing just that will be decided this weekend at the Farm. Neither team will be mathematically eliminated this weekend, but the winner looks likely to have the best advantage heading into the final two weeks of the season.

Stanford convincingly leads the all-time head-to-head 50-25-3 and has won two on the bounce. However, Oregon State has won seven of the last 11.

Odds: Stanford is favored at home but an opening 5½ spread has fallen to four. The over/under is 45.

Take: Oregon State – This is a perfect opportunity to take the underdog. The Beavers have looked solid all season, while Stanford has had a few questionable moments. A win for Oregon State sets up a Civil War game for the North title. Take the over.

 

Arizona State @ #19 USC

Remember in the preseason when pundits and bookies had USC to win it all? Things haven’t exactly panned out that way, have they?

This weekend, Arizona State travels to Los Angeles knowing that a win will leapfrog the Sun Devils over the Trojans into second place in the Pac-12 South or, even better, first if UCLA loses to WASU later in the day.

USC meanwhile will be looking to right an unsteady ship and begin a charge to the title, thus making amends for a disappointing season. A win on Saturday, coupled with a UCLA loss would put the Trojans at the top of the table. Even if UCLA defeats the Cougars, a showdown with USC lies in wait next weekend.

USC is 18-10 all-time against Arizona State. However, the Trojans has an 11-game win streak shattered last season when the Sun Devils took a 43-22 victory in the desert. Arizona State has not won at the Coliseum since 1999.

Odds: USC opened as 10-point favorites, but action has seen the spread drop to nine. The over/under is 65.

Take: USC – The Trojans have not lost three straight since 2001 and look to have an offense strong enough to handle the Sun Devils, who have lost three straight themselves. Take USC to cover the spread and the total to go over.

 

BCS Top 25 Schedule (Week 11)

Ball State 34-27 #25 Toledo (Tuesday)

#10 Florida State 28-22 Virginia Tech (Thursday)

#15 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama

#2 Kansas State @ TCU

#3 Oregon @ California

#4 Notre Dame @ Boston College

#5 Georgia @ Auburn

Louisiana-Lafayette @ #6 Florida

#21 Mississippi State @ #7 LSU

Arkansas @ #8 South Carolina

#9 Louisville @ Syracuse

#11 Oregon State @ #14 Stanford

Baylor @ #12 Oklahoma

Maryland @ #13 Clemson

Penn State @ #16 Nebraska

Iowa State @ #17 Texas

#18 UCLA @ Washington State

Arizona State @ #19 USC

#20 Louisiana Tech @ Texas State

Kansas @ #22 Texas Tech

Army @ #23 Rutgers

#24 Northwestern @ Michigan

Week 10 College Football Tips

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks travel to USC, a precursor to the big BCS Championship rematch between Alabama and LSU this weekend.

After a killer slate of college football last weekend, the activity and excitement at the top of the BCS standings does anything but let up this weekend.

There may not be as many high-profile games this week, but there just happens to be two that are about as high-profile as you can get.

First, #4 Oregon travels to Los Angeles to take on #17 USC in what many predicted in the preseason to be a dress rehearsal for this year’s Pac-12 Championship Game. Whilst that remains to be seen, there’s still a huge importance placed on this clash.

Then, #1 Alabama hits the road to take on #5 LSU in a rematch of January’s BCS National Championship Game. Simply put, this one needs no introduction.

 

#1 Alabama @ #5 LSU

If you were passing on through CasinoReview yesterday, you might have read our preview of this weekend’s massive Alabama-LSU showdown. If not, be sure to read it now. There’s a bunch of stuff in there that might change your mind (back and forth) before you click your picks this weekend.

Of course, there was one thing our preview didn’t tell you: who’s going to win. How about we do that now?

It might not be another ‘Game of the Century’ but this weekend’s fixture is big news in the SEC West. A loss for No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) would put the side on level pegging with No. 5 LSU (7-1, 3-1 SEC). With just three weeks left to play after this weekend, that would a serious question mark next to who will be the SEC West champ.

We know what to expect of the game: lots of running the football and plenty of defensive stops. But who will win out?

Odds: Alabama is currently 10-point favorites to take the victory in Death Valley, despite the Tigers’ 22-game home winning streak. The over/under is 42.

Take: Alabama – There are a lot of factors that point to LSU taking this one (that home-field advantage, the Tigers’ record after a bye week, LSU’s recent regular season dominance) but ultimately Alabama has done nothing this season to suggest that it will do anything other than win another game. Granted, this is the toughest test the Crimson Tide has faced this season, but LSU’s weaknesses, particularly the lack of an aerial game, don’t stack up well against this Alabama side. It will be close though so take LSU to cover the spread. Take the total to go under: if you want a shootout, you’ll do better to wager on our next fixture.

 

#4 Oregon @ #17 USC

This weekend’s other big encounter will go a long way to demonstrating how good Oregon (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) is or isn’t.

The Ducks have been heavily criticized for a soft schedule and for sending out second tier players when the game gets out of hand – which it does on a weekly basis. This week’s clash should start answering such criticisms. With Stanford and Oregon State still on the schedule, we’ll know for sure come the end of the season.

USC (6-2, 4-2 Pac-12) has lost twice this season, to Stanford in Week 3 and last week in Arizona. Both losses were considered upsets. It has been over a year since the Trojans lost to Stanford at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the last time the side lost a home game.

The last time Oregon lost a game was last November when the Trojans traveled to Eugene. That loss broke the Ducks’ two-game winning streak over USC. Oregon has won three of the last five against its Pac-12 rival.

Odds: Betting opened with Oregon favored by six points. That number has increased to 8½ as we’ve closed in on kickoff. The over/under is 70.

Take: Oregon – In many ways it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see USC topple Oregon, but those performances against Stanford and Arizona are fresh in the memory, and if the Trojans can’t beat those teams, they can’t beat the Ducks. That being said, this is unlikely to be the bulldozer job we’ve seen from Oregon all season. Still, take the Ducks to cover the spread. Going over 70 points might be a tall ask, but the last two times these teams have played, they’ve done just that. Oregon leads the nation in points and USC doesn’t exactly have a defense to write home about. Take the over then if you’re looking for a few extra bucks.

 

BCS Top 25 Schedule (Week 10)

#1 Alabama at #5 LSU

#24 Oklahoma State @ #2 Kansas State

Pittsburgh @ #3 Notre Dame

#4 Oregon @ #17 USC

Ole Miss @ #6 Georgia

Missouri @ #7 Florida

Temple @ #10 Louisville

Arizona State #11 Oregon State

#12 Oklahoma @ Iowa State

#13 Clemson @ Duke

#14 Stanford @ Colorado

#16 Texas A&M @ #15 Mississippi State

San Diego State @ #19 Boise State

#20 Nebraska @ Michigan State

TCU @ #21 West Virginia

#22 Arizona @ UCLA

#23 Texas @ #18 Texas Tech

UTSA @ #25 Louisiana Tech

#8 South Carolina (Bye)

#9 Florida State (Bye)

Pac-12 Not Doing Itself Any Favors

The Huskies' win over Stanford has cast some serious shadows over the Pac-12's National Championship hopes.

Thursday night’s 17-13 loss to Washington has cast a cloud over not only #8 Stanford and its chances of being selected to play in the BCS National Championship Game, but also the Pac-12’s chances as a conference.

For a conference that was considered the only viable competition to the dominant SEC ahead of the season, things are looking less than clear now.

Decoding the Pac-12

Just two weeks ago, the Cardinal upset USC, denting the Trojans’ own chances of going to the Championship Game. In the process, Stanford staked a claim to be the team that would head to Miami Gardens in January. Admittedly, it was a loose claim. Stanford after all struggled to beat San Jose State in Week 1.

Ahead of Week 4, UCLA looked to be putting their names forward for consideration, but a loss to Oregon State suggested that it’s a little too early to consider the Bruins as serious contenders.

Oregon State meanwhile has gone 2-0 with two wins over ranked opposition. Not a bad start. But can the Beavers keep that pace up? Probably not, although oddsmakers have slashed odds of a BCS championship from 500/1 in the preseason to 75/1 this week.

So that leaves Oregon. Having been considered second fiddle to USC during all of the preseason, the Ducks are now considered the Pac-12’s best chance for a national title. Preseason odds of 10/1 have steadily shortened to 13/2 heading into this week’s action.

The Ducks have looked solid so far this season, averaging close to 53 points per game. But critics could argue that Oregon has yet to play anybody of merit. Sure, they defeated Arizona 49-0 last week, but Arizona’s inclusion on the AP poll was less than solidified. Had the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska played better this season, it’s hard to imagine the Wildcats appearing on that list.

For Oregon, the big challenge comes on November 3, with a visit to USC. That is of course if the Ducks can get by Washington next week. A loss to the Cougars would effectively write off National Championship hopes this year.

Week 5 Pac-12 Schedule

After Washington’s upset win over Stanford, here’s what else is on tap this Saturday. Both USC and Utah are on a bye week.

Arizona State (3-1, 0-1 road, 1-0 Pac-12) @ California (1-3, 1-1 home, 0-1 Pac-12)

4:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM PT

The Sun Devils will be looking to continue their strong start to the season with a win over a struggling Golden Bears team. Arizona State currently leads the South division by way of USC’s loss to Stanford and Arizona’s loss to Oregon. Still, the team opened as underdogs in this one, before odds flipped in their favor. The Sun Devils are currently narrow favorites (-1) with the over/under set at 58. There’s certainly money to be made on this game.

UCLA (3-1, 1-0 road, 0-1 Pac-12) @ Colorado (1-3, 0-2 home, 1-0 Pac-12)

6:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM PT

A loss to Oregon State last week saw UCLA’s two week tenure in the AP Polls come to an end. A win against Colorado this week could, but probably won’t, see the Bruins return to the rankings. UCLA enters the game as favorites (-21) and are expected to make easy work of a Colorado team that has looked poor this season. Only a 35-34 win over Washington State last week prevented the Buffaloes from starting the season 0-4. The over/under is 60, with UCLA expecting to accumulate most of those points.

#18 Oregon State (2-0, 1-0 road, 1-0 Pac-12) @ Arizona (3-1, 3-0 home, 0-1 Pac-12)

10:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM PT

Arizona enjoyed two weeks in the AP Poll before losing big to Oregon last week. Oregon State may have only played two, but the Beavers have knocked off two ranked teams (Wisconsin, UCLA) and is sitting pretty heading into this game.

Oddsmakers have the Wildcats as favorites (-3) heading into this one, so they’ve yet to be bowled over by the Beavers’ performances. This games figures to be a close one. The over/under is 61. A win for Arizona will see the Wildcats flirting with the AP poll once again. A win for Oregon State will cement the team’s AP approved credentials.

#2 Oregon (4-0, 0-0 road, 1-0 Pac-12) @ Washington State (2-2, 1-1 home, 0-1 Pac-12)

10:30 PM ET / 7:30 PM PT

Whether Oregon remains the Pac-12’s last remaining hope against the dominance of the SEC remains to be seen. This week the Ducks head out on the road for the first time. Despite the travel north, Oregon are big favorites (-32) over the Cougars. The over/under is 74. Oddsmakers are expecting this to be a high-scoring one-sided affair, just like Oregon’s previous four.