Another Saturday college football is upon us, bringing plenty of interesting picks and markets to choose from. This should’ve been Week 12 of the 2020 season, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the conferences postponed the start of the season.
Anyway, the upcoming Saturday is full of exciting matchups, although some might be canceled because of outspreading the COVID-19 cases among the teams’ rosters. Here’s my best five betting picks, so let’s take a closer look.
Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes (-20.5)
Two undefeated Big Ten teams take on each other, as the No. 9 Indiana Hoosiers visit the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. The hosts are huge favorites for this conference showdown, but the Hoosiers hope to keep it close and make this clash interesting to watch.
The Buckeyes are racking up a whopping 511.3 total yards per game. Their ground game is posting 208.7 yards per contest, but the Hoosiers’ run D is one of the best in the country, allowing just 95.3 yards per game.
Slowing down Justin Fields and the Buckeyes’ receiving corps would be a problem, but I think the Hoosiers will have enough offensive firepower to cover the spread. Indiana is averaging 33.8 points per game, and the Hoosiers have already upset Penn State 36-35 and Michigan 38-21.
The Buckeyes have won 20 consecutive games against the Hoosiers since 1995. Still, they are only 2-7 ATS in the last nine encounters with Indiana.
Week 12 Best Bet: Indiana Hoosiers +20.5
LSU Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks (+2.0)
The LSU Tigers are only 2-3 after their first five games in 2020 (their matchups with Alabama and Missouri were postponed). The reigning champs lost too many important players last summer, but this 2-3 record is certainly a huge disappointment.
On the other side, the 3-4 Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off a heavy 63-35 defeat at the Florida Gators. Their defense has been a problem this term, surrendering 31.4 points per game, while the Razorbacks are scoring 26.0 in a return.
The bookies expect to see a tight clash at Razorback Stadium, and I cannot argue about it, but I think the Tigers will step up and earn the victory. The reigning champs had some time to gel the things. They will take the field for the first time since a 48-11 defeat at Auburn on the last day of October.
The Tigers are scoring 35.8 points per game, but they are allowing 33.6 in a return, showing a lot of flaws on the defensive end. However, their offense will be too much for the Razorbacks, so I’m betting on LSU to cover a 2-point spread.
LSU has won four straight encounters with Arkansas, going 2-2 ATS in the process. The Razorbacks are 6-3 ATS in their last nine outings at home, but they mostly covered as favorites or huge underdogs.
Week 12 Best Bet: LSU Tigers -2.0 (-110)
FIU Panthers at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-7.0)
The Panthers head to L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green on Saturday, searching for their first win in 2020. Florida International has dropped all four games thus far, covering the spread just once in the process.
They’ve struggled on both sides of the ball, allowing 31.0 points per game while scoring just 22.8 in a return. However, the Panthers have a decent chance to upset the odds here, as the Hilltoppers haven’t impressed either.
Western Kentucky is 3-6 on the season. The Hilltoppers have won one of their previous two contests, while these two games produced only 33 points in total. They are scoring only 14.7 points per game on 276.2 total yards, ranking among the bottom-six teams in the country in both categories.
Last year, the Hilltoppers beat the Panthers 20-14 as 8.5-point road dogs, but they are 1-3 ATS in their previous four meetings with Florida International. I expect to see a dramatic battle, backing the visitors to keep it within a touchdown.
The Hilltoppers are 0-5 ATS in their last five outings at home.
Week 12 Best Bet: FIU Panthers +7.5 (-120)
Boise State Broncos at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (-14.0)
The Broncos have owned the Rainbow Warriors lately. Boise State is 7-0 straight up and ATS in its last seven encounters with Hawaii, and I expect this trend to continue Saturday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
The Warriors have won their lone outing at home, barely outlasting New Mexico 39-33 as 14-point favorites. They are 0-3 ATS in the last three games overall and 5-9 ATS in their previous 14 showings as underdogs.
Furthermore, the Warriors are yielding 29.3 points per game while scoring just 22.5 in a return. On the other side, the Broncos are scoring 40.0 points per game while surrendering 28.8 to their rivals.
The Broncos are a much better team than the Warriors at the moment. They should have enough firepower to take full advantage of the Warriors’ defensive flaws, so I’m backing the visitors to cover a 14-point spread.
Week 12 Best Bet: Boise State Broncos -14.0 (-110)
Kentucky Wildcats at Alabama Crimson Tide (-30)
After a three-week break, the 6-0 Alabama Crimson Tide returns to the field, hosting the 3-4 Kentucky Wildcats. Alabama’s previous contest was postponed, so Nick Saban’s boys enter this weekend well-rested, while the Wildcats are coming off a 38-35 home victory over Vanderbilt this past weekend.
The Wildcats put an end to a two-game skid. They’ve lost to Missouri 20-10 and Georgia 14-3 in October, showing a lot of flaws in their offensive game. Therefore, I expect the Crimson Tide to shut down the Wildcats and easily grab a victory.
Last time out, Alabama blanked the Mississippi State Bulldogs 41-0 as 29-point home favorites. The Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last five outings, scoring 41 or more points each time in the process. With healthy RB Najee Harris and WR DeVonta Smith, the hosts shouldn’t have any problems dropping a 50-burger on Kentucky.
The Crimson Tide are 3-3 ATS in their last six encounters with the Wildcats.