Stanford Steve and The Bear: Week 12 college football picks, bets, nuggets

Wagerallsports

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"Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris "The Bear" Fallica cover the college football season as only they can, offering their top picks, betting nuggets and totals worth wagering on.

Records:
The Bear (Last week: 1-4-1. Season: 20-35-1)
Stanford Steve (Last week: 2-1. Season: 33-24)

Note: All lines are from Caesars Sportsbook.


The Plays​

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No. 3 Oregon Ducks at No. 23 Utah Utes (-3, 59)

Fallica:
I love the Ducks here. Thought about doing the old Swami trick and making this a 16-star game to get me over .500! This is a matchup in the trenches, and I love the Oregon OL and DL. Expect a lot of QB run from Anthony Brown, and the Oregon defense to slow down a Utah offense that won't have an easy time moving the ball.

Pick: Oregon +3

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UCLA Bruins (-3, 65.5) at USC Trojans

Fallica:
I'm really surprised this line is as low as it is. Unless SC has found some defensive players up front that can stop the run, it's a bad matchup. I see this a lot like the Notre Dame game where they just couldn't stop the Irish. And there's no Drake London for SC here. Have to think the way UCLA lost last year to USC has been gnawing at Chip Kelly and the Bruins ever since and they are eager to beat the Trojans, like they should have last year.

Pick: UCLA -3

Stanford Steve: The best uniform game in all the land. The belief is UCLA comes in with a more buttoned up approach and gets things going early and often in The Coliseum. The Trojans are now without their two best offensive players in Kedon Slovis and London. UCLA will want payback for last year when the Trojans pulled off an unreal win late and covered the number in the Rose Bowl. We'll lay the points with the Bruins on the road.

Pick: UCLA -3 (UCLA 34, USC 20)

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No. 21 Arkansas Razorbacks at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-21, 58.5)

Stanford Steve:
I understand Arkansas runs for over 230 yards per game, but I don't see them running the football on this improving Alabama defense. The expectation is Nick Saban will want to come out and try and run the football since they only rushed for 6 yards versus LSU in their last conference game. I also see Arkansas' "drop 8 defense" slowing down the Tide passing game early, as it will be the first time Bryce Young has seen it, and it was pretty effective last year against that great Tide offense led by Mack Jones, who only threw for just over 200 yards. We'll take under the total.

Pick: Under 58.5 (Alabama 31, Arkansas 17)

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Auburn Tigers (-7.5, 44.5) at South Carolina Gamecocks

Fallica:
Even without Bo Nix, I think Auburn should do enough good offensively with TJ Finley at QB and outside the flukish offensive output versus Florida. The Gamecocks aren't the strongest offensive unit out there. I think this number too has come down because of the iron Bowl next week. But I'll lay it here.

Pick: Auburn -7.5

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No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-10, 56.5) at Texas Tech Red Raiders

Fallica:
Potential lookahead spot for the Cowboys with Bedlam on deck? Yes. But at the same time, Mike Gundy can get his team's full attention by showing it last week's final score. I also have total trust in the Cowboys' defense, which hasn't allowed more than 24 points all season.

Pick: Oklahoma State -10
 

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Arizona State Sun Devils (-3, 59) at Oregon State Beavers

Fallica:
The only reason ASU escaped Seattle with a win last week was because of the complete ineptness of the Washington offense. While Oregon State is nowhere near as good defensively as UW, offensively the Beavers are light-years ahead of it. Arizona State has not been a good road favorite under Herm Edwards, and I expect the sloppy play and penalties to continue in what could be bad weather.

Pick: Oregon State +3

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Virginia Cavaliers at No. 18 Pittsburgh Panthers (-14.5, 66)

Stanford Steve:
Virginia signal-caller Brennan Armstrong might be back, and that's all I need to hear. If he's back, I'll take the points with the road team.

Pick: Virginia +14.5 (Pitt 34, Virginia 31)

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Washington Huskies (-6.5, 43) at Colorado Buffaloes

Fallica:
CU has shown some life over the past few weeks, notably beating Oregon State in Boulder. Now, the Buffaloes get a Washington team that, well ... I don't know where it goes from here. The Huskies' coach was just fired, they just lost to one of their biggest rivals at home and they gave away a game to Arizona State. Now, they have to go to Boulder and play a team that will be very hard to get motivated for.

Pick: Colorado +6.5

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South Alabama Jaguars at Tennessee Volunteers (-28, 62)

Fallica:
Tough spot, I think, for Tennessee after taking an early lead on Georgia last week before being slowly and steadily beaten convincingly by the Bulldogs. South Alabama has pretty much been in every game this year and while it's a step up in competition for the Jaguars, I can see the Vols starting sluggishly with a little hangover from last week. They'll win, but a 30-point victory is asking a lot.

Pick: South Alabama +28

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Penn State Nittany Lions (-17.5, 46.5)

Fallica:
The Nittany Lions have to feel a little angry and empty after letting one get away last week. However, facing Rutgers here will be a good spot for them. Rutgers likely won't be lighting up the scoreboard up, and it's a game James Franklin and his Penn State staff will want given (A) who the opposing coach is and (B) the recruiting battles that the two might find themselves in.

Pick: Penn State -17.5

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Kansas Jayhawks at TCU Horned Frogs (-21, 64.5)

Fallica:
I feel dirty playing against Kansas after such an awesome win last week, but there's a reason they lost 56 -- or whatever it was -- conference road games in a row. And after being blown out in Stillwater, Oklahoma, last week, TCU should bounce back here.

Pick: TCU -21

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California Golden Bears (-1.5, 45.5) at Stanford Cardinal

Stanford Steve:
Big Game! And has there been less hoopla around this matchup? These hated rivals have had interesting seasons in the worst way possible. We haven't seen a full Cal roster on the field since the Bears beat Oregon State the day before Halloween. Word is Stanford will get back QB Tanner McKee, but I'm not sure that's enough. Gotta think the Bears come out with a spirited effort knowing it's been a while to show what they are capable of. Plus, they will have revenge on their mind seeing how they lost last year on a blocked extra point. We'll take the road team and lay the points.

Pick: Cal -1.5 (Cal 19, Stanford 10)
 

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The Bear's money-line parlay​

Last Week: -100
Season: -1009


$100 returns $248

Washington State Cougars -650
Ohio State Buckeyes -1200
Purdue Boilermakers -450
Penn State Nittany Lions -1000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -800
Tulsa Golden Hurricane -1600
Alabama Crimson Tide -1400
TCU Horned Frogs -1450
Oklahoma State Cowboys -400
Georgia State Panthers -800
BYU Cougars -1300

The Bear's underdogs to play on the money line​

Last Week: 0-5, -5 units
Season: 23-45, -2.4 units


Oregon State Beavers +130
Colorado Buffaloes +210
Oregon Ducks +140
Texas Longhorns +140
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors +115


Bear bytes​

No. 7 Michigan State Spartans at No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes

There has been just one AP top 7 matchup with a higher point-spread than the 19 points the Buckeyes are currently favored by. That came in 2013, when Florida State was a 21.5-point favorite over Miami and won 41-14.

Michigan State is 7-3 against the spread this season, including outright wins in all three instances it was an underdog.

No. 3 Oregon Ducks at No. 23 Utah Utes

The Ducks are the second AP top 3 team to be an underdog in November versus a team with two losses. The only other instance was in 2010, when No. 2 Auburn was a four-point 'dog at 9-2 Alabama and won 28-27.

Under Mario Cristobal, Oregon is 6-1 outright in games for which the line is between -3 and +3. The only defeat was the Stanford tilt in 2018, when somehow Oregon lost a game it had won.

Virginia Tech Hokies at Miami Hurricanes

Miami has failed to cover in six straight games and eight of nine as a favorite versus FBS teams. The Canes have lost four of those games outright, including three of the five instances this season.

Iowa State Cyclones at No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners

The Cyclones have covered five of six meetings with the Sooners under Matt Campbell, winning twice outright. The only game ISU didn't cover was last year's Big 12 championship game, during which the Cyclones lost by six as a 5.5-point underdog.

SMU Mustangs at No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats have failed to cover in each of their past four games. On average, UC was a 26-point favorite and won by 17, 8, 19 and 7 points, missing the cover on average by 14 points per game.

Texas Longhorns at West Virginia Mountaineers

Since leading 28-7 versus Oklahoma, Texas has been outscored 198-131, including 124-69 in the second half and overtime. A loss would give Texas its first six-game losing streak since 1956, when the Longhorns went 1-9.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has won each of its past 38 games as a favorite. Its last outright loss as a favorite came in 2017 versus Stanford. The Irish also have won 27 straight home games as a favorite, last losing to Georgia in 2017. Yes, Notre Dame was a 5.5-point home favorite versus the team that should have won the national championship! The Irish also have won 34 straight games as a double-digit favorite dating back to a 2016 loss to Duke.

California Golden Bears at Stanford Cardinal

This is the 10th time in the past 12 games Stanford has been an underdog. The Cardinal were an underdog just 10 times in the previous 30 games. Stanford has failed to cover in five straight games and dating back to 2019 is 8-19 ATS.

Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon State Beavers

Under Herm Edwards, Arizona State is 2-6 ATS with four outright losses as a road favorite. Two of the Sun Devils' four wins came at Arizona.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers

This is the 30th straight game Wisconsin has been favored versus teams not named Ohio State. The Badgers have covered four straight, allowing 30 points in those games.


Dating back to last year, Nebraska has covered five of its past six games as an underdog. Each of the games was decided by single digits.

Vanderbilt Commodores at No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels

This is the 24th straight SEC game in which Vanderbilt is an underdog and the 17th straight in which the Commodores have been at least a 14-point 'dog.

No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Cowboys have covered eight straight games since a five-point win over Tulsa. Oklahoma State has not allowed more than 24 points this year and has allowed 23 points in the past three games combined.

No. 6 Michigan Wolverines at Maryland Terrapins

Maryland is 2-10 ATS versus ranked teams under Mike Locksley and has failed to cover in nine straight Big Ten contests.
 
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