College football picks against the unfold: Stewart Mandel’s Week 12 picks

Well, shoot. My worst weekend of the yr despatched me to the improper facet of .500 for the first time since Week 4. Will I end sturdy and get myself an invitation to the Gasparilla Bowl, or am I going to lose these three weeks of apply?

Last week: 3-7-1 against the unfold

Season: 59-60-1 against the unfold

(All level spreads come from BetMGM, click on right here for dwell odds, all kickoff occasions Eastern.)

Illinois at No. 3 Michigan (-17.5), Noon, ABC

The Illinois Feel Good Story ended abruptly over the previous two weeks. The Illini went from operating away with the Big Ten West to now one in every of 4 groups tied at 4-3 — solely the different groups do not should face Michigan this week. Especially with star RB Chase Brown hobbled, the Illini are going to battle to attain factors.

Michigan 34, Illinois 7
Pick: Michigan -17.5

no 4 TCU (-2.5) at Baylor, Noon, Fox

Vegas continues to counsel TCU is barely higher than the remainder of its convention (if in any respect), however you have to be doing one thing proper to get to 10-0. My concern for the Frogs is that that is back-to-back street video games, and final week’s Texas recreation was a grinder. But I’m accomplished selecting against TCU for the time being.

TCU 24, Baylor 21
Pick: TCU -2.5

no 2 Ohio State (-27.5) at Maryland, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Remember the 2018 recreation in College Park when Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes survived a 52-51 OT shootout? … This is not going to be that. Maryland has not been the identical group since QB Taulia Tagovailoa reinjured his knee against Indiana; he was a non-factor against Wisconsin and Penn State. I’ll take the Terps to cowl, however barely.

Ohio State 35, Maryland 10
Pick: Maryland +27.5

Miami at No. 9 Clemson (-19.5), 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Miami’s offense lastly got here to life in final week’s 35-14 win at Georgia Tech, but it surely’s arduous to think about it persevering with that in Death Valley. Clemson additionally appeared to proper itself final week against Louisville, extending its house successful streak to 39 video games, and I do not see Dabo’s group taking its eyes off the prize now.

Clemson 34, Miami 12
Pick: Clemson -19.5

no 1 Georgia (-22.5) at Kentucky, 3:30 p.m., CBS

I hate to say it, however Wildcats QB Will Levis has been this yr’s Spencer Rattler. Hyped up as a possible No. 1 choose earlier than the season, he threw for 98 yards with three picks against Tennessee and was simply 11 of 23 for 109 yards in final week’s Vanderbilt loss. … And now he is acquired to face Georgia’s protection. Big wince.

Georgia 42, Kentucky 7
Pick: Georgia -22.5

Iowa at Minnesota (-2.5), 4 p.m., Fox

Minnesota is a extremely deceiving 7-3 group. None of these seven wins have come against an FBS group at the moment with a successful report. The three Golden Gophers performed, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State, all gained by two scores and held the Gophers to 17 factors or much less. Iowa is 6-4 and has a extra dominant protection than any of these groups.

Iowa 13, Minnesota 6
Pick: Iowa +2.5

no 5 Tennessee (-21.5) at South Carolina, 7 pm, ESPN

Tennessee bounced again from its blowout Georgia loss to place up 66 factors and 724 yards on Missouri. (Granted, the Vols stored throwing downfield proper to the finish.) They have a boom-or-bust offense, but it surely’s boomed much more ceaselessly than it is busted. South Carolina may put up an early combat however the storm will come.

Tennessee 49, South Carolina 24
Pick: Tennessee -21.5

It’s arduous to have a lot confidence in both group. Oklahoma is 5-5 and simply misplaced to a West Virginia group so mediocre its coach remains to be prone to get fired. But Oklahoma State’s offense has imploded since QB Spencer Sanders’ damage. He says he’ll begin, but it surely’s unclear how efficient he’ll be. When unsure, take the house group.

Oklahoma 44, Oklahoma State 35
Pick: Oklahoma -7.5

no 7 USC (-2.5) at No. 16 UCLA, 8 p.m., Fox

This has been the most enjoyable version of the Pac-12 in a few years, and but the league nonetheless won’t area a College Football Playoff group, as a result of it is arduous to go 12-1 with no protection. Neither of those groups appears able to stopping the different, and whereas I’m positive Caleb Williams can have an enormous recreation, DTR outduels him in the final house recreation of his five-year run.

UCLA 55, USC 52
Pick: UCLA +2.5

no 10 Utah at No. 12 Oregon (-3), 10:30 p.m., ESPN

Oregon has a fully brutal closing schedule, however not less than it has the luck of dealing with each Washington and Utah at Autzen Stadium. This has not been a typical Utah group, because it ranks simply 86th nationally in protection. Mind you, the Ducks are 112th. It’ll be one other shootout, however I do not see them dropping back-to-back house video games.

Oregon 45, Utah 41
Pick: Oregon -3

This week’s upset particular: Washington State (-4.5) at Arizona, 2 pm, Pac-12 Network

If not for Kalen DeBoer’s spectacular first yr at Washington, Jedd Fisch could be up for Pac-12 coach of the yr. He took over a rock-bottom program and has a shot to go bowling in Year 2. I like Arizona to proceed the momentum from its massive win at UCLA, particularly given QB Jayden de Laura might be going up against his previous group.

Arizona 35, Washington State 32
Pick: Arizona +4.5

(Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today)

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