Another great week for Lucas’ Surefire CFB Picks ATS! In total, I went 6-1 – bringing the season’s total record to 26-23. The wins: Baylor (-2.5), LSU (+6), Iowa (+9), Clemson (-32.5), Notre Dame (-8), Over 53.5 Clemson/NC State. The lone loss: Penn State (-7) vs. Minnesota. Baylor vs. TCU was just a crazy game that went into overtime, but Baylor did cover so I’ll certainly take the win there. The other wins were all fairly easy and even the Penn State loss wasn’t really a sweat either – with Minnesota winning outright by 5. And with that, let’s dig into my favorite picks for Week 12 of the college football season.

Spread: Georgia (-3) at Auburn

One of the more underrated units in the country this season, in my opinion, is this Georgia defense. I know this game is on the plains, but in a matchup with two great defenses, I trust the older, experienced quarterback with more skill talent around him. Bo Nix hasn’t gotten a lot of help either from the ground game or the receiving corps and I think the Bulldogs can get pressure on him and force him into making a couple of bad decisions, which will ultimately change this game. This game will almost undoubtedly be close and will come down to a big play in fourth quarter and I think it’s Georgia who makes the big play to win the game and cover the spread. Give me Georgia (-3) all day long.

The Pick: Georgia (-3)

Spread: Notre Dame (-7) vs. Navy

Still riding the Fighting Irish wave a little bit, I think Vegas is still underrating them. Navy has an elite-level defense, but they also haven’t played anybody with even close to the amount of skill that Notre Dame has. Chase Claypool is a matchup nightmare for opposing secondaries and –with the Irish offensive line matched up against that undersized Navy defensive front – I think Notre Dame can have a balanced attack that will prove to be too much for this Navy defense to keep in check for four quarters.

The Pick: Notre Dame (-7)

Spread: Wisconsin (-14.5) at Nebraska

I understand the spread here because Wisconsin has been licking their wounds a bit ever since that loss to Illinois, but Nebraska’s run defense is just straight up horrendous. They give up about 175 yards per game, good for 83rd in the country. And what does Wisconsin love to do? Run the football. I am predicting that Johnathan Taylor will have a bigger day than usual and Wisconsin’s elite defense will be able to clamp down on a Nebraska offense that has struggled pretty much all year. 

The Pick: Wisconsin (-14.5)

Spread: Arizona State (-2.5) at Oregon State

Oregon State is headed in the right direction as a whole, but I think the Sun Devils got a chance here to have a ‘get right’ game. Coming off three straight losses, Herm and his squad are in need of a win this week to get back on schedule. They got blown out by Utah and have two close losses over the past two games against UCLA and USC. I like the fight Arizona State showed last week after being down big early and making it into a game late, and I think that positive momentum will continue against this Beaver team that has already surpassed expectations for this season.

The Pick: Arizona State (-2.5)

Spread: Florida (-7) at Missouri

The big news for this game is that Kelly Bryant will be back for the Missouri offense, which has looked much better when he is under center. Normally, I would expect this to be a bit of a letdown spot for the Gators, with it being on the road and with the predicted game-time temperature sitting between the high 30s and the low 40s. So, while I do see it being a good game, I think Florida should be motivated enough to avoid a tough loss in this spot. Florida will likely look lethargic for the first half, but I expect them to come out ready to play in the second half and do enough to cover this spread – which I think it just a little too low.  

The Pick: Florida (-7)

Spread: Over/Under 44.5 Iowa and Minnesota

I don’t have a real good gut feeling of who will win this game, but what I do know is that both teams like to control the ball and play great defense. Minnesota is 8th in the country in time of possession while Iowa is 14th, respectively. Meanwhile, Iowa has the 4th ranked scoring defense while Minnesota has the 26th best scoring defense. There’s an off-chance Minnesota’s offense gets hot and kills this under, but coming off a big, explosive win last week, I think this is a huge potential letdown spot here having to go play at Kinnick in a cold weather game. This is a classic mid-November Big Ten game, as both teams want to control the ball and not take too many chances – which is ultimately a big deal when it comes to suppressing scoring.

The Pick: Under 44.5

Spread: Over/Under 48 Cal and USC

Here is the simple breakdown of the matchups in this game, in my opinion: The Trojans have the 60th best scoring offense in the country vs. the 26th best scoring defense for Cal. On the other side, Cal has the 117th best scoring offense vs. the 72nd best scoring defense for the Trojans. I don’t like the matchups for either offense In this game, especially with Cal just beating and upsetting Washington State – who runs the air raid (just as USC does) – last week. Cal can hardly score at all and, even with all of their skill talent, I’m not confident USC can move the ball consistently against this tough Bears defense which has now prepared for this offense for two consecutive weeks. I envision this game with about a 24-7 score in favor of the Trojans, which is comfortably under the 48 points here. Give me the Under 48.

The Pick: Under 48 Cal and USC

Spread: Over/Under 68.5 Oregon and Arizona

Not a ton of logic or data needed here; I just think this total is way too high. Oregon plays good defense and I don’t think Arizona can muster up much more than 20 points in this game. Oregon’s offense is good, but I’m not sold on Justin Herbert on being a great quarterback and, if Arizona only scores about 20 points, I don’t think there is any chance Oregon can get to 50 here like it would have to in order to hit this over. Maybe I’m just a sucker taking what I think is a line way too high, even though something smells fishy to me with this 68.5 total and I just can’t resist taking the under.

The Pick: Under 68.5 Oregon and Arizona

Summary:

  1. Georgia (-3)
  2. Notre Dame (-7)
  3. Wisconsin (-14.5)
  4. Arizona State (-2.5)
  5. Florida (-7)
  6. Under 44.5 Iowa and Minnesota
  7. Under 48 Cal and USC
  8. Under 68.5 Oregon and Arizona