College football best bets for Week 12: Can Drake Maye deliver at Clemson?

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Well, another week comes and goes and we just cannot right the ship. This season was not going to be profitable for my college football projection model long ago, but we can’t even manage a winning week at this point.

I’ll remain transparent. I’m not going to falsify my records or reset the counter to make things look better. It is what it is. We will keep churning away, but at this point, the offseason is what I’m looking forward to because I need to check under the hood to make improvements for next year. On the bright side, my season long futures are looking pretty good — go figure — so hopefully you were able to find some winners there.

Last week’s record: 3-5, -3.55 units

Season record: 38-52-2, -18.27, -18.8% ROI

It’s a smaller card this week, but there are a few games that I’m willing to jump on if we get some buyback after some early week movement so stay tuned. Let’s do the unthinkable and find ourselves a winning week. As always, best of luck!

Week 12 college football best bets

Please make sure to shop around at various sportsbooks for the best possible number. Over the course of the season, a half point here or five cents there will add up.

Worst line to bet is the final number that I would make a bet at. For example, if I bet under 49.5 and the “worst line to bet” is 49 -110, I would not make that bet at 48.5 -110 or 49 -115.

All bets are to win one unit on favorites and risk one unit on underdogs unless otherwise noted. All odds are from BetMGM and are locked when the pick was made. Click here for live odds.

West Virginia -6.5 (-115) vs. Cincinnati

My model is hopping on the train of the newcomers to the Big 12 struggling against already established Power 5 rosters and backing West Virginia here. This has ticked below a full touchdown and extra point here so it’s nice to be on the right side of the key number here. I think both offenses should find success on the ground, but I think West Virginia has the edge when it comes to these teams having to air it out.

Worst line to bet: West Virginia -7 (-110)

Model projection: West Virginia 33.8, Cincinnati 23.8

Michigan State +4.5 (-110) at Indiana

Fading Indiana here again after Illinois let the Hoosiers walk down the field late to blow the cover last week. Indiana has played well over the last few weeks, but this team shouldn’t be trusted to be laying more than a field goal against a conference opponent. Is there a matchup advantage here? Not really. But Indiana shouldn’t be able to run the ball at all here and I’m willing to bet on Michigan State keeping it close if Indiana has to air it out.

Worst line to bet: Michigan State +3.5 (-110)

Model projection: Indiana 23.5, Michigan State 21.5

Navy -2.5 (-110) vs. East Carolina

East Carolina has a pretty good rush defense so that does give me a bit of pause, but the Pirates are abysmal on offense this year and Navy should have no problem from keeping their offense off the field. Maybe that allows Navy to wear down the East Carolina defense and the Midshipmen find some success as the game goes on. Either way, my model doesn’t think these teams are equal and that’s what this line implies.

Worst line to bet: Navy -2.5 (-115)

Model projection: Navy 19.5, East Carolina 14.5

Georgia Southern -6 (-110) vs. Old Dominion

Georgia Southern throws the ball more than anyone else in the country. Old Dominion has a bottom-10 pass defense when it comes to success rate and EPA. This should be a big matchup advantage for Georgia Southern and will put a lot of pressure on the Old Dominion offense to keep up. If Georgia Southern can’t figure it out through the air, the Eagles probably lose outright, but this is a matchup that allows Georgia Southern to feast.

Worst line to bet: Georgia Southern -6.5 (-110)

Model projection: Georgia Southern 34, Old Dominion 25

North Carolina +7 (-115) at Clemson

Our pals at BetMGM are one of the few shops still hanging a full touchdown here so I’m not going to pass. Clemson has had some momentum over the last few weeks, but I still think this team is nowhere near what they used to be. Sure, North Carolina has its own problems, but this is a big number to lay for a Clemson team that has struggled to move the ball at times this year. North Carolina has a weak rush defense, but Clemson is not an efficient rushing offense. That should bode well for North Carolina getting us to the window. Maybe this is the game where Drake Maye cements himself as QB1 for April’s NFL Draft.

Worst line to bet: North Carolina +7 (-115)

Model projection: Clemson 30, North Carolina 26

(Photo of Drake Maye: Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

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