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2012 College Football Week 12 Predictions: Virginia, South Florida, Kansas, Notre Dame and More

Had a really strong week 11, going 10-4 and erasing 75% of my deficit on the year.  Four weeks ago I was down over 35 units on the season, and have been able to sting together a few solid weeks of handicapping.  I’m excited to try and do it again and get back on the  positive side of the ledger. 46-47 -5.71 units

Once again I played all of these games on open over at BetOnline.  I have developed a power ranking spreadsheet which seems to do really well at predicting line movements (beat the closing number on every play but 1 last week).  Some of these prices may not be available now, but I can assure you they were available for at least 15  minutes.  If you want to see what I play as soon as I play it, I suggest you follow me on twitter.

Week 12 Card:

**** Virginia Cavaliers +6 -110

**** South Florida Bulls +6.5/7 -110

**** Utah St Aggies +3 -110

*** Notre Dame Fighting Irish -22 -110

*** Virginia Tech Hokies -8.5 -110

*** Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -11.5 -110

*** Texas-San Antonio Road Runners -5 -110

** North Carolina St Wolfpack +17.5 -110 (see note below)

** Kansas Jayhawks +8 -110

** Marshall Thundering Herd -2 -110

** Cincinnati Bearcats -6.5 -110

** Northern Illinois Huskies -10.5 -110

note:  I originally played Clemson -17 for 3 units.  I decided to come back with NCSU +17.5 for 5 units, thereby making it a 2-unit play on the Wolfpack.  If by chance Clemson wins by exactly 17, it will be a 5-unit bet on NCSU.  Otherwise it’s only worth 2 units either  way.

Some of these plays are merely positions that I just grabbed due to line value.  I may buy them back and attempt to shoot some middles/cancel some plays

Week 12 Write-ups

short on time this week, so keeping the write-ups a bit shorter than normal.  Willing to elaborate if anyone has specific questions.

**** Virginia Cavaliers +6 -110

6 was just too many points to give away, but I like UVA for a 3-unit  play down to 3.  What we have here is a really sweet situational spot for UVA, with UNC having to travel on a short week after getting demolished defensively by that GT option attack.  It’s pretty difficult to turn it around in these 4 days between games on the road spots  under the best of circumstances, but now your asking Carolina to head up north after just facing a GT option attack that is very physically taxing on your front 7.  For a UNC team whose defensive strength is against the run, I think it makes an impact going against a VA side finally finding showing some ability to run the ball.  This is one of those games where I think we continue to see the impact of the sanctions against UNC, what reason do they have to get off the mat this week?  UVA is on the upswing and playing for bowl eligibility still, I think the Thursday Night home doggie  wins SU.

**** Utah State +3 -110

They made the wrong team favored on open here, Utah State and San Jose St are the class of the WAC even though Louisiana Tech get’s all the love.  In hindsight, who has LT really beaten that is all that impressive?  UVA and  Illinois looked like good wins at the time but those were two of the poorest ATS teams in the country in the first half of the season.  Utah State is my top rated WAC team, and we have here a huge discrepency between defenses (Utah State is my #7 statistical defense, while LT ranks #119).  While I’m not expecting Utah St to pitch a shutout, I do like getting points when I have such a large discrepancy in defensive rankings.  The Aggies are more than competent on the offensive side, scoring at least 31 in each WAC game this season and en route to an undefeated record.  Aggies win here, and I’d take them as a 2-unit play at the current -3.

**** South Florida Bulls +6.5/+7 -110

Taking another shot at fading what I feel is an extremely overvalued Miami team in a tough spot.  Canes are coming off a heartbreaking last second loss that knocked  them out of the ACC title race and now come home to face one of the little brother schools.  Miami is a young team and you have to wonder about how they’ll react now that their main goal is off the table.  I also like to take a look at the ‘lesser’ in-state schools when playing the big boys because their rosters are often  filled with players who felt passed over and have something to prove.   For a mercurial USF squad, I think it’s potentially a powerful motivator.  USF has struggled offensively but Miami’s struggles defending the run (over 5 ypc) should allow them to take the pressure off their rookie QB making his first start and use the run to set up the pass.  Bringing in a new QB at  this point in the year can be really tough, but they are coming off a bye and replacing a QB in BJ Daniels who wasn’t very good in the first place.  An interesting note is that Miami has been outgained in each of the past 6 games, but gotten hidden yards through special teams (2nd nationally in  30+ yard KO returns) that really improve their field position.  USF ranks 4th nationally in kickoff touchback % so they should be able to make Miami work longer fields than their ACC opponents have.  31-28 Bulls.

** Northern Illinois Huskies -10.5 -110

Taking a small shot with what I feel is the best team in the MAC trying to firm up their hold on the drivers seat for the divisional crown.  NIU has covered this number in every league game they’ve played this year.  Toledo is coming off a tough loss to Ball State but still controls their own destiny in the MAC.  What separates NIU for me here is the defense, their averaging allowing over a yard less per play with a much better turnover margin (haven’t thrown any INT’s in MAC play this year).  By my numbers I’ve got  the better offense, defense, QB and home field advantage.    This is one of the few games where the market has moved against me, but I still like this play. I’ve got the Huskies by 19 here.

*** Notre Dame Fighting Irish -22 -110

It’s intimidating to lay this many points with an offense that lumbers as badly as Notre Dame’s does, but I feel like the situation and match-up are a pretty good fit.  Wake Forest has one of the worst offenses in the nation (117th nationally in yards per play) and going up against a really good defense (4.55 ypp allowed, good for 12th nationally).  I just don’t see how Wake moves the ball as the Irish can double Campanaro and overwhelm everyone else man-to man.  Notre Dame is growing more confident in Golson and are likely to let him off the leash a little bit against an average Wake secondary.  What we have here is a big favorite (albeit in a lookahead spot) with a good match-up in need of style-points in an attempt to impress the voters.  Kelly took some heat after last Saturday for sitting on the ball in the 2nd half, so look for ND to try to score even with a big 2nd half lead.  ND 35, Wake 6.

*** Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -11.5 -110

Say what you will about Duke, but when they go down they go down hard (all 3 ACC losses by 21+).  We’ve got a rejuvenated GT who suddenly finds themselves with an excellent shot to play for the ACC title after being left for dead 3 weeks ago.  The key here for me is new QB Vad Lee, he is much more explosive running the option attack and showed some impressive passing chops against the Heels last week.  Duke will move the ball some against a bad Jacket defense  but they aren’t a big play offense and will struggle to get this Jacket option attack off the field.  Even with Duke coming off a bye week, this is just a really tough match-up for them.  The Devils are allowing 5.7 ypc in ACC play, by far worst in the league and they should get beaten badly at the point of attack.  I’m comfortable laying DD here with the Jackets team that has a great match-up for their offense.  Duke throws the ball alot, but it’s actually a ball control offense as they don’t really stretch the field vertically.  I think GT can dominate TOP here and just wear down this Duke defense.  Jackets 45 Duke 24

*** Virginia Tech Hokies -8.5 -110

Backing VT here in what’s a really good match-up for their struggling offense.  The Hokies offensive line has really struggled in run blocking this season but is facing a BC defense that is 11th in ypc  and ypg allowed on the ground in the league.  I’ve seen a few teams call BC “soft”  on the defensive front in interviews after games this year, and I look for VT to have success at the point of attack getting the ruuning game going.  This should alleviate the pressure on the enigmatic Logan Thomas which should allow the offense to function much more smoothly.  What we have here is a BC team playing out the string for a lame duck coach in front of a half-empty crowd against a proud Hokie team fighting to continue a long streak of bowl eligibility.  This is one of the few teams against which VT can look like a smash-mouth football team, and I expect them to win convincingly.  I like the over here as well, Air Rettig will have some chances for success against a disappointing VT secondary.  41-21 VT.

*** UTSA Roadrunners -5 -110

Just continuing to fade the worst team in the country who appears to be in complete disarray on a short number.  Idaho is getting destroyed every week and is struggling to find any kind of offensive or defensive rhythm or consistency.  UTSA has played impressively considering their transitory FBS status, and though they can’t go bowling this year they are looking to continue some positive momentum heading into 2013.   In WAC play Idaho has the dubious distinction in being last in both total offense AND total defense, and all signs point to a team thats quitting.  I’ll take the team still playing hard at less than a TD against the dark, rudderless Vandals squad this looks like their quitting.

** NC State Wolfpack +17.5 -110

Taking a shot here with my Wolfpack traveling to play a red-hot Clemson team that finds themselves in a bit of a look ahead here.  The Clemson-South Carolina game in the Super Bowl in the Palmetto state, and Clemson finds themselves on the wrong end of a 3-year losing streak.  Though this NC State game is a revenge spot for them I feel they will care a lot more about winning and winning big next week as opposed to this week.  Clemson should also know their fate in the Atlantic by kickoff here, with FSU-Maryland likely being out of reach decided well before their afternoon kickoff.   Match-up wise, I look for NCSU to be able to throw the ball against an “improved” Tiger defense that hasn’t seen a dynamic passing game in over a month.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Clemson rest their starters late if up big here, and leave the backdoor open if we need it.  This one has the makings of a shoot-out to me and should go over the total.

** Kansas Jayhawks +8 -110

A value grab for me at more than a score, I feel some value this week playing on a Kansas team at home who is still playing hard and going against a Cyclone team that is not very dynamic offensively.  Jayhawks have been a pretty tough out at home, losing by just 14 to Texas Christian, 6 to Oklahoma St an only 4 to Texas. Kansas seems  to be improving as the season wears on, averaging 5.6 ypc over their last 3 games and going against an Iowa State defense allowing 511 yards per game in Big 12 play. Only a small play for  me because depending on Charlie Weis for big bets is bad for both your bankroll and your health, but  I see Kansas in this game down the stretch.  Jayhawks 28 Cyclones 27.

** Marshall Thundering Herd -2 -110

Marshall is the better football team in better form at home laying a short number against a Houston team going the wrong way.  The incomprable SabertStxVii has a really good write-up on this game so I will leave it to him.

** Cincinati Bearcats -6.5 -110

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