Our free College Football Picks have sorted through the schedule to find you the five best games of Week Twelve action!
Our experts have analysed the form and found their best bets for each game, including three games having ranked opponents face off. This is headlined by the Big Ten East clash between Ohio State and Michigan State, with College Football Playoff ramifications for the side that losses.
Don’t miss out on our preview for each game along with our College Football Picks for the five best games of this week’s schedule!
#7 Michigan State @ #4 Ohio State – 12pm ET
Two top seven sides collide with the top spot in the Big Ten East and a spot in the College Football Playoffs on the line. Neither side can make it to the final four teams with two losses on their resume, meaning Ohio State and Michigan State will be bringing their A-games to Ohio Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Ohio State Buckeyes take the first step on their grueling three week stretch of the schedule that is basically a playoff eliminator every week. If the Ohio State Buckeyes want to represent the Big Ten in the college football playoff again it will have to start with beating a very tough Michigan State team that is led by a potential Heisman Trophy winner Kenneth Walker the third at running back. The Buckeyes have looked like one of the best teams in the country since their early week two loss to the Oregon Ducks as they currently sit at number four in the country going into week 11 of the season. If Ohio State wins out they will likely be included in the final four of the college football playoff but a loss anytime over the next three weeks would certainly mean they will not get a chance to make another run to the national title for the second straight year in a row.
Michigan State comes into this one also with college football playoff and Big Ten championship aspirations and they only have one loss on the season to a very scrappy Purdue team that Ohio State beat easily last week. Much like the Buckeyes if they want to find themselves in the college football playoff conversation they have to win out and possibly get some help for them to be included in the final four. Led by a possible Heisman Trophy winner at running back Michigan State will not be an easy test for the Buckeyes to deal with this week and I could easily see this game going either way but my gut is saying that Ohio State will come away with a huge win here and progress one step further to returning to the college football playoff this season.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Ohio State (-1400)
ESPN College GameDay will be in Columbus for Ohio State-Michigan State. pic.twitter.com/KgrCBGhWwL
— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) November 14, 2021
This is set to be an intriguing matchup, as Ohio State is arguably playing the best football in the country, apart from Georgia. Quarterback CJ Stroud has emerged as a serious Heisman candidate, and their coming off a monstrous win over a Purdue team that has played spoiler multiple times this season. The main question with this Buckeye team is the defense, and more specifically, the secondary. While that question is extremely valid, as they’ve played shaky at times this year, I don’t trust Michigan State’s passing attack to be able to take advantage of this weakness.
Sparty’s key to victory is simple: run the ball, control the line of scrimmage, and hold Ohio State to under 24. With my current Heisman favorite Kenneth Walker at running back, I think they will be somewhat successful running the ball, but it won’t be as much as is needed against a pretty good front-4 for the Buckeyes. Additionally, seeing as this is the same MSU defense that gave up over 30 to an iffy Michigan offense two weeks ago, I don’t like their chances of slowing down a much better Buckeye offense. I like OSU to take control of this one early, and never look back. The line at -19.5 for the Buckeyes is high, but I still think they manage to handle the points in this one.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Ohio State -19.5 (-110)
Georgia Tech @ #8 Notre Dame – 2:30pm ET
The Fighting Irish have a genuine chance at making the College Football Playoff, they simply need to win out. That starts by hosting Georgia Tech this Saturday, who have lost four straight and lost their only game against a ranked opponent by 31 points. Can Notre Dame continue on the path towards the greatest prize in College Football?
Georgia Tech is having a very disappointing season but they come into this game against the Fighting Irish looking to play spoiler and ruin Notre Dame potential College football playoffs or New Year’s six bowl hopes. Georgia Tech comes in this game with a record of 3-7 On the year and they’re already technically born in eligible so I don’t have anything to play for every last two weeks but they can still play a major role in the end of the college football season but the game is against Notre Dame and Georgia over the last two weeks of the season.
Notre Dame comes into this game with one loss which is perhaps the best loss in the country because it was to the number fifth ranked team in the nation the Cincinnati Bearcats. Since that loss Notre Dame has looked near unbeatable as they are on a mission to seemingly finish with another 10+ wins season and keep their hopes and a second Street college football playoff berth alive. Even if the Irish are left out of the college football playoff and 11 wins and one loss season would almost certainly get them into a very good New Year’s six bowl and even though it’s not a chance for the national championship it is still a bowl that if one could continue the excellent progress this program has made in the Brian Kelly era. As for the result of this game I expect Notre Dame to dominate it from start to finish as they continue their warpath to the playoffs.
This is a game that has the potential to go either way. Georgia Tech has looked pretty bad this season, if we’re going to be completely honest, but they have remained close in virtually all of their seven losses. Against a top-10 Notre Dame team, they’re going to need a near perfect performance, but I’m just not sure they’re capable of putting that forward. One key note is that with Georgia coming to Atlanta next week, they should be viewing this as a last chance to salvage a win this season, since it won’t be coming next week.
For Notre Dame, they come in ranked 8th in the latest poll, but personally I’m just not a believer. They’ve played a bit better as of late, but it’s hard to look past the rough start to the year, where while they only slipped up once, to Cincinnati, they struggled in nearly every game, and could’ve easily lost 2-3 games along the way. I do think the Irish eventually get the win, but the line is just too high to take them and the points. Look for the Ramblin’ Wreck to cover.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Georgia Tech +17.5 (-114)
#21 Arkansas @ #2 Alabama – 3:30pm ET
Will Alabama get caught napping, with the Iron Bowl against Auburn and then the SEC Championship game against Georgia looming? The Crimson Tide do need to continue to ensure they reach the latter of those two games, but they host an Arkansas side that has won three straight games and is only two games back in the SEC West, with two games remaining.
This one is surely a surprising top 25 matchup this late in the season as for The Alabama Crimson Tide every game is an eliminator game as they already have suffered one loss on the season although they already virtually have the SEC West locked up they are awaiting a date with the Georgia Bulldogs in a game that will determine not only the SEC champion but likely one or two of the college football playoff spots this season. Alabama just simply has not looked like the Alabama of old on the season as they have struggled through several games against weaker opponent including losing on the road to Texas A&M in a hostile environment however they have still manage to get the job done even when it looks like they won’t and they are still sitting pretty with one loss and a chance to make yet another college football playoff appearance and make yet another run at a national championship under Nick Saban.
Arkansas has worked a lot more improved than they have in past seasons and look like a program on the rise but this season they just couldn’t get the job done against elite teams like Georgia and I don’t look for them to get the job done against another elite team like Alabama despite the struggles in recent weeks against top teams this Arkansas program is heading in the right direction and there’s a good sign of things to come but as far as this game goes Alabama should dominate in this one.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Alabama (-2200)
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 18, 2021
I understand that Alabama hasn’t necessarily looked like the ‘Bama team that we’re used to, but they’ve still looked like the second or third best team in football. The offense, despite not having the star power we’ve seen in the past, have been scoring at will on virtually everyone, and now they’re playing an Arkansas defense that has shown glimpses of good play, but has also shown a tendency to self-destruct as well. That doesn’t bode well against an Alabama team that is getting better as the year progresses, and I expect for the Tide to roll.
Additionally, Arkansas’ offense has slowed down a bit lately after starting the season hot, and now they take on one of the nation’s best defenses in front of 105,000 screaming Alabama fans. The last time they played a defense comparable to what they will face this weekend was a 37-0 shutout they were handed by Georgia. I don’t think they get shutout in this one, but I do think points prove to be hard to come by, leading to an easy ‘Bama win. Look for the Tide to continue to roll.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Alabama-21.5 (-105)
#6 Michigan @ Maryland – 3:30pm ET
Could the Michigan Wolverines get a big win on the road and launch themselves into the College Football Playoff picture? With #3 Oregon being underdogs on the road, #4 Ohio State hosting #7 Michigan and #5 Cincinnati facing one of their toughest tests of the season, everything could fall perfectly for the Wolverines. However, they have to get on the road and take on the Maryland Terrapins, who were a top-10 team earlier in the season.
Much like both of their rivals that are facing off this week every single game will be an eliminator game for Michigan. As they look to clinch their first ever college football playoff berth however they will need some serious help if they want to play their way into the Big Ten championship. They will need the Buckeyes to beat the Spartans this week and then they will need to beat their rival Ohio State next week which is not something that has happened often in this century.
This is somewhat of a lost season for the Maryland Terrapins but much like several other schools this week and next week we have an opportunity to play spoiler and ruin some schools long-awaited successful seasons. Maryland is sitting even with a 500 record as they won five games and lost five games and they are one win away from bowl eligibility so there is still something to play for for the Terrapins this season. However I do not expect an upset this weekend as I look for Michigan to handle their business and keep the dream alive for a Big Ten title and the college football playoff berth as they look to win a national title for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Does Michigan take care of business this weekend, or are they too busy looking forward to next weekend? That’s the only question surrounding this matchup. From a talent and roster standpoint, this game is a Wolverines blowout. But with Ohio State coming up next week, this is the kind of game that, in the past, UM has found ways to lose, which would make next week’s game mean absolutely nothing from a conference championship standpoint.
For Mike Locksley and his Maryland Terrapins, a quick start appears to have been a bit of a facade, as they came back down to earth in a major way once the conference season started. With a defense that hasn’t been able to stop anyone, and an offense that has been average at best, all of this is a bad matchup against a Michigan team with a solid defense and an offense that is slowly getting better. I don’t think this one gets out of hand, as I expect the Wolverines to be looking forward a bit, but I do think they still manage to get the win, just not enough to warrant taking them and the points.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Maryland +14.5 (-108)
#3 Oregon @ #23 Utah – 7:30pm ET
The top of the Pac-12 North takes on the top of the Pac-12 South, with the Oregon Ducks getting on the road for a tough matchup with the Utah Utes. While the Utes need a win to stay on top of the Pac-12 South, the Ducks need to continue winning to ensure they stay in the hunt for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Alongside the Ohio State and Michigan State game this PAC 12 matchup is the most important contest of the week as these two teams will still likely rematch in the PAC 12 championship but I win for Utah and this one would virtually knock the PAC 12 out of the college football playoff conversation already. Utah as a team so far this season in certain spots if not for a few upset losses they could very well be undefeated and in the conversation for a playoff berth.
For the Oregon ducks they have one of the bigger wins of the college football season as they beat Ohio State in Columbus way back in week two which has pretty much cemented their place in the top for up to this point of the season.As for the result of this contest I expect Utah to come out with a huge victory and a lot of momentum going into their potential rematch just two weeks down the road for a Pac-12 conference championship and a potential new year six bowl berth.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Utah (-164)
Oregon is (-125) to win the Pac 12 Championship 🏆
The Ducks are 3-point dogs against Utah this Saturday 👀 pic.twitter.com/1jpSCdFZPf
— PFF Bet (@PFF_Bet) November 18, 2021
In one of the few ranked matchups we have this weekend, we have the Oregon Ducks traveling to Salt Lake City to take on the new and improved Utah Utes, who have been playing really good football as of late, after starting the season slow. A close loss on the road at Oregon State is the only thing that keeps them from being on a seven-game winning streak, and they’re playing with great confidence as they welcome in the Oregon Ducks.
Oregon enters this one looking for a berth in the College Football Playoff, and they’re three wins away from getting there. The problem: those three wins will have to come against Utah, Oregon State, and whoever comes out of the madness that is the Pac-12 South as champions. In years past, Oregon would slip up in one of these games, but for some reason to me this year feels different. Much like quite a few of their wins this year, I expect this one to be close, but I do expect the Ducks to quack their way into Utah and leave with a close victory. With Utah being a three-point favorite according to Fanduel, you could play it safe and just take Oregon to cover, but I believe in taking risks, so I encourage you all to take the better value and get the Ducks to win this one outright.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Oregon Ducks (+138)
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
Are you interested in finding out more on the latest season of college football? Then make sure you visit our college football page, we’ve got all the details you need!