College football Week 12 betting nuggets

Sunil Kumar

After no ranked-vs.-ranked matchups in Week 11, there are three in Week 12. Favorites are a solid 14-5-1 ATS in games between top-25 teams. Those laying points in Week 12 are No. 3 Ohio State (-20.5), No. 10 Wisconsin (-7.5) and No. 18 Oklahoma (-7).

AP top-5 teams are 7-17 ATS against unranked opponents this season. One such matchup on tap Saturday: No. 4 Clemson (-35) at Florida State.

Currently, Clemson-Florida State is one of four games this week with a 30-point spread. You only have to go back to last season to find the last time a 30-point underdog won outright; Illinois (+30.5) took down No. 6 Wisconsin 24-23 after the Badgers’ in-game win probability was as high 98.1%.

There are a couple of interesting total trends as well. The over is 17-5 in ACC matchups with single-digit spreads this season (currently two this week). The under is 13-4 in games involving at least one Sun Belt team with single-digit spreads (currently four this week).

Here are some more tidbits to help you through the weekend of games.

Odds listed are from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill and subject to change.

Saturday’s games

No. 9 Indiana Hoosiers at No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-20.5, 66.5), Noon ET

• Indiana has lost 25 straight games outright to Ohio State, the longest active losing streak to a single opponent in all of FBS. The Hoosiers have been underdogs in every game during the streak with a 10-13-2 ATS mark, although they are 7-2 ATS over the last nine meetings.

• The Hoosiers have lost 26 straight versus AP top-5 teams dating to 1981 (12-14 ATS).

• This would be the fifth instance of a 20-point favorite in a top-10 matchup since the FBS/FCS split in 1978. The previous four went 3-1 ATS (4-0 SU), although the lone ATS loss was No. 2 Ohio State against No. 9 Penn State last season.

• This will be the 19th straight regular-season game in which Ryan Day has been a favorite to begin his head-coaching career (13-5 ATS, 18-0 SU in previous 18). Since the FBS/FCS split in 1978, only four head coaches have longer streaks to start their careers: Bear Bryant (Alabama), Josh Heupel (UCF; active, but could end this week against Cincinnati), Mark Helfrich (Oregon) and Barry Switzer (Oklahoma).

• Since 2004, the under is 7-1 when the spread is 20 points or larger in a matchup between undefeated teams with at least three wins each.

No. 4 Clemson Tigers (-35, 64) at Florida State Seminoles, Noon ET

• AP top-15 teams favored by double digits following a loss are 17-42-1 ATS since 2015, including 3-10 ATS away from home. Clemson is coming off a 47-40 loss to Notre Dame two weeks ago.

• Over the last 10 seasons, AP top-5 teams are 26-46-2 ATS following an outright loss.

• Florida State has never been more than a 26.5-point underdog since the 1978 FCS/FBS split (+26.5 at Clemson last year). The Seminoles have also never been more than an 18.5-point home underdog in that span (2018 vs. Clemson).

• The Seminoles are 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games as an underdog.

• The over is 13-4 when Mike Norvell is an underdog (4-2 at Florida State, 9-2 at Memphis).

No. 6 Florida Gators (-31.5, 68) at Vanderbilt Commodores, Noon ET

• Florida is 16-8 ATS as a favorite since Dan Mullen took over in 2018, including 11-3 ATS (.786) as a double-digit favorite. No other FBS team has a better cover percentage as a double-digit favorite over that span (min. 10 games).

• The Gators are 7-2-1 ATS in road games under Mullen.

• The last time the Gators were favored by at least 30 points against an SEC opponent was Nov. 7, 2009, also against Vanderbilt (won 27-3 as 35-point favorites). Overall, Florida is 1-4 ATS in five meetings as a favorite of 30 points or more.

• The Commodores are 2-11 ATS as a home underdog since 2017, the worst such cover percentage over that span (min. six such games).

• Vanderbilt has lost 19 straight games outright to top-10 teams dating to 2008. Only Tennessee (35) and Wake Forest (22) have longer active streaks. The Commodores are 8-11 ATS during streak.

• This will be the 35th game Vanderbilt has been a double-digit underdog since Derek Mason took over in 2014, the most such instances among SEC teams over that span (19-15 ATS in previous 34).

Appalachian State Mountaineers at No. 15 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-5.5, 48), Noon ET

• This is the first time since becoming an FBS member that Appalachian State has played a ranked team that resides outside the Power 5. The five previous instances came against the ACC, Big Ten and SEC (2-3 ATS, 0-5 SU).

• The Mountaineers are 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) vs. Coastal Carolina since the Chanticleers became an FBS member in 2017 ad have been favored by an average of 16 points.

• Coastal Carolina has won eight straight games outright and is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games dating to last season (5-0-1 ATS versus FBS teams in 2020).

• Since 2007, top-15 teams outside the Power 5 are 4-16 ATS when favored by six points or fewer against an unranked opponent that is also outside the Power 5.

• The under is 6-0 in Appalachian State games versus FBS opponents this season, the longest active streak in FBS.

LSU Tigers (-2, 64) at Arkansas Razorbacks, Noon ET

If the Razorbacks are favored, this would be the eighth time since 2000 LSU has been an underdog versus an unranked opponent. Only Oklahoma (3), Georgia (6) and Ohio State (6) have fewer such instances over that span. LSU is 6-1 ATS (3-4 SU) in those games.

• LSU is 3-10 ATS (.231) against the Razorbacks since 2007. That’s the Tigers’ worst cover percentage against any opponent over that span (min. three games).

If the Razorbacks are favored, they will be the first team since the FBS/FCS split in 1978 to be favored the year after being a 40-point underdog against the same opponent (the Razorbacks were 41-point underdogs last season against LSU).

• The last time Arkansas was favored over an SEC opponent was Oct. 27, 2018, against Vanderbilt (lost 45-31 as 1-point favorites). If the Razorbacks are favored, it would snap a streak of 18 straight games in conference play as an underdog, currently the fourth-longest streak in FBS.

• The last time the Razorbacks were favored against LSU was Nov. 15, 2014 (won 17-0 as 1.5-point home favorite). Dating to 1994, Arkansas is the only team besides Alabama (five times) to shut out the Tigers.

• Arkansas has covered eight of its past nine games (all as an underdog), including six of seven this season.

North Alabama Lions at No. 8 BYU Cougars (-47.5, 58), 3 p.m. ET

• Non-FBS teams are 77-45-4 ATS (.631) as underdogs of at least 40 points over the last five seasons, including 10-2 ATS in those spots versus top-10 teams since 2018. With no spread minimum, Non-FBS teams are 38-22-1 ATS versus AP top-10 teams over the last 10 seasons, including 11-3 ATS since 2018.

• There are 32 previous instances in our database of a spread over 45 points and a total under 60. Underdogs are 23-8-1 ATS in those games.

• Only two instances in our database of North Alabama are both this season. The Lions covered as 16.5-point underdogs vs. Southern Miss (lost 24-13) and as 32.5-point underdogs against Liberty (lost 28-7).

• BYU has been favored by 40 points or more six times in the FBS era. The Cougars are 4-1-1 ATS in those games. They have been more than 46-point chalk twice since 1978 (won 64-0 as 61.5-point favorite vs. FCS Savannah State in 2014 and won 59-13 as 46-point favorite vs FCS Idaho State in 2013).

• BYU is 6-1-1 ATS this season, trailing only 2006 (7-0-1 ATS) for its best cover percentage through eight games since at least 1985.

No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats (-6, 63.5) at UCF Knights, 3:30 p.m. ET

• The Bearcats are 14-6 ATS against FBS opponents since last season, including ATS wins in eight of their last nine and four straight overall.

• This would snap a streak of 39 straight regular-season games in which UCF has been favored dating to 2017. Also 30 consecutive for Josh Heupel to begin his FBS head coaching career, trailing only Bear Bryant in the FBS era.

• UCF is 3-11 ATS in conference play since 2019. Only Akron, Stanford, and Florida International have a worse cover percentage over that span.

• The under is 29-17 in Cincinnati games under Luke Fickell, including 15-6 since last season. The under is also 15-5 in road games since Fickell took over in 2017.

No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (-7.5, 44) at No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats, 3:30 p.m. ET

• Since 2018, top-15 teams favored by more than 7 points against ranked opponents outside the top-15 are 16-5 ATS (.762), including 5-0 ATS on the road.

• Wisconsin is 16-4 ATS as a road favorite under Paul Chryst.

• Northwestern is 54-40-1 ATS as an underdog under Pat Fitzgerald, including 17-9-1 ATS over the last five seasons.

• The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS against Wisconsin under Chryst, including three straight ATS wins since 2017.

• All four Northwestern games have gone under the total this season.

UCLA Bruins at No. 11 Oregon Ducks (-13.5, 66.5), 3:30 p.m. ET

• UCLA is 1-4 ATS over its last five games (three straight ATS losses on the road) following a 5-1 ATS stretch last season.

• The Bruins are 8-4 ATS over their last 12 games as an underdog.

• UCLA is 54-36-1 ATS (.600) in the FBS era in unranked vs. ranked matchups. Only Clemson (42-21-1 ATS) and Virginia Tech (36-23 ATS) have been better in those spots.

• Oregon is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games, including four straight ATS wins dating to last season’s Pac-12 conference championship game.

Kentucky Wildcats at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-30, 58), 4 p.m. ET

• Kentucky is 15-8 ATS against ranked opponents under Mark Stoops, including 12-3 ATS since 2015.

• The Wildcats have covered four straight as a double-digit underdog since 2018

• This would extend Alabama’s active streak of games as a favorite to 74, the longest active in FBS. It is also Alabama’s longest in the FBS era.

• The Crimson Tide have covered four of their last five games as a favorite, including three straight ATS wins.

• Since 2012, top-ranked teams are 8-20 ATS when favored by at least 30 points against FBS opponents. Alabama is 5-12 ATS in those spots over span.

Kansas State Wildcats at No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones (-11, 46.5), 4 p.m. ET

• Kansas State is 11-4 ATS versus Big 12 opponents since Chris Klieman took over in 2019.

• The Wildcats are 33-14-1 ATS as a road underdog since 2007, the best such cover percentage in FBS over that span (min. 10 such games). They’re also 9-3 ATS overall as an underdog under Klieman.

• Iowa State is 4-10 ATS as a home favorite since its second season under Matt Campbell in 2018, including ATS losses in five of its last six such games.

• The Cyclones are 5-15 ATS as a ranked favorite since the FBS/FCS split in 1978, the worst such cover percentage in FBS over that span (min. 10 such games).

Tennessee Volunteers at No. 23 Auburn Tigers (-10.5, 50.5), 7 p.m. ET

• The Volunteers are 4-11 ATS as a double-digit underdog since 2016, including 1-4 ATS since 2019.

• Tennessee is 1-5 ATS this season, tied for its worst ATS record through six games in the last 30 years.

• Auburn is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games against unranked opponents since 2018.

• Ranked teams outside the top 20 are 10-4 ATS when favored by double-digits this season, in stark contrast to an 8-20 ATS record last season.

Mississippi State Bulldogs at No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs (-25, 44.5), 7:30 p.m. ET

• This would mark the first time in the FBS era that Mississippi State has been an underdog of 25 points or more multiple times in the same season (lost 41-0 as 30-point underdogs at No. 2 Alabama on Oct. 31).

• Mike Leach is 0-9 SU but 8-1 ATS in his career as an underdog of 23 points or more.

• Mississippi State has failed to cover five of its last six games against ranked teams since 2019. Also 1-8 ATS as a road underdog dating to 2017.

• AP top-15 teams favored by double digits following a loss are 17-42-1 ATS since 2015, including 3-10 ATS away from home. Georgia is coming off a 44-28 loss to Florida two weeks ago after last week’s postponement at Missouri.

• Georgia is 14-5 ATS in its last 19 games in November or later.

• Georgia is 5-10 ATS under Kirby Smart when favored by at least 24 points, including 2-5 ATS against SEC opponents.

No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys at No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners (-7, 59.5), 7:30 p.m. ET

• Oklahoma is 11-4 ATS against Mike Gundy led Oklahoma State.

• The Sooners have lost once in 15 previous ranked meetings. Oklahoma is 9-6 ATS in those games, including five straight covers.

• The Cowboys are 10-1-1 ATS in games off more than six days rest since 2017.

• Oklahoma State is 11-3 ATS as an underdog dating to 2016, the best cover percentage in FBS over that span. The under is 10-4 in those games.

• Since 2004, ranked teams outside the top 15 are 7-2 ATS when favored by six points or more over top-15 teams.

No. 21 Liberty Flames at NC State Wolfpack (-3.5, 67), 7:30 p.m. ET

• Liberty has won 10 straight games outright (8-2 ATS) dating to last season, trailing only Notre Dame for the longest active win streak in FBS.

• The Flames are 14-5-1 ATS since Hugh Freeze took over last season.

• Since the AP Poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989, NC State (6-5) is the only team above .500 as an underdog versus ranked non-Power 5 teams (min. two such games over that span).

• The last time unranked NC State was favored over a ranked opponent was 2004 vs. No. 9 Ohio State (L, 22-14). Overall, the Wolfpack are 1-3 ATS/2-2 SU in those spots since 1978.

• NC State has covered four straight games at home. The last time the Wolfpack covered five straight on their home turf spanned the 1992-93 seasons.

No. 20 USC Trojans (-3, 58) at Utah Utes, 10:30 p.m. ET

• FBS teams that have played at least one game this season are 9-20 ATS when facing an FBS opponent playing its first game, including 3-12 ATS as a favorite. The Trojans find themselves in that spot for the second week in a row, as Utah has yet to play a game this season.

• USC is 10-16-1 ATS in road games under Clay Helton.

• The Trojans are 0-4 ATS when line is between -3 and +3 since Helton’s first full season in 2016.

• Utah is 13-5-1 ATS as an underdog since 2014.

• Utah has won 12 straight season openers since 2008, trailing only Alabama (13) and Air Force (14) for the longest active streaks in FBS.

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