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College Football Week 12 Spread Picks

Week 11 provided several games that lived up to the hype. Not only LSU vs. Alabama, but Penn State vs. Minnesota and Iowa State vs. Oklahoma exceeded expectations with intriguing suspense throughout. On our written plays, we broke even again at 4-4 after a tough start to our Thursday-Friday set of picks. In hindsight, we should have easily slipped in the Oklahoma vs. Iowa State over that was one of the favorite plays of Greenline. Overall, we sit at 34-29 (54%) on the season and are positive 3.7 units counting a Week 1 parlay win with all other bets at -110 odds. Among the 65 (one push, one parlay) picks against the spread or total, eight have closed with the exact same line as the printed pick while 30 have provided closing-line value. That means 58% of our posted pick prices have held or improved since they were printed, giving us a nice base of closing-line value.

Week 12 highlights another SEC matchup along with a Big-12 battle that could decide the conference title participants. On top of the quality matchups highlighted in our Game of the Week, Greenline favors a few teams we find undervalued in the betting market. Let's dive into our favorite plays in Week 12 as we look to cap off the regular-season schedule on an upswing. 


Game of the Week

Why Georgia covers: Auburn has a quality defense; this statement cannot be denied. They have had a quality defense since college football began but still haven’t found a worthy quarterback to complement it. Auburn is the only team in our Top-25 that doesn’t have at least a rushing or passing EPA per attempt mark that ranks in the top 50 of the FBS. Yes, the defense is impressive, ranking sixth nationally in EPA allowed per rush attempt, and they are 18th in passing EPA allowed per attempt, which combined has them sitting eighth nationally in our overall opponent-adjusted defensive ranking. The issue is that they now face off against an SEC opponent with an even better defense so far in 2019, and Georgia also has an offense that ranks fourth nationally. If priced according to Greenline, this would be a five-point spread for Georgia, so anything under the field goal number is incredible value in this game. Georgia secured a comfortable cover for in Week 11, and we are doubling down on the Bulldogs for the second straight week.

What could go wrong: It is another rivalry showdown in the SEC, but the expectation is that this is far removed from the offensive output we were provided in Week 11. Georgia plays at one of the slowest offensive paces in the nation, though Auburn isn’t far behind, and with both teams looking to ascertain themselves defensively, this could be a slow-moving game. Bo Nix has had his struggles throughout 2019 but has played considerably better at home than on the road. On a small sample size of four games at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Nix has posted an 84.7 passing grade markedly better than his 43.9 passing grade in all other weeks. The Tigers' defense has the talent to keep this game in reach, and then it will come down to Bo Nix, who has at least looked commendable at home. It is not a line of thought that I would use to commit money to Auburn, but it is at least a way that Auburn could potentially cover this one. My money and backing is fully on Georgia’s side, however. 

[Editor's Note: All ELITE subscribers can access PFF Greenline, a betting dashboard with projections for the spread, over/under and moneyline for every NFL and FBS game every week. Subscribe today to gain access!]

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