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CQ Best Bets: Week 12

After two bad weeks, Best Bets is on the mend.

NCAA Football: Temple at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


Say what you will, but the record and ROI for our Favorite of the Week is pretty dang good.

LAST WEEK: 7-4 (+11 units)

YTD: 69-67-1 (+19 units), 4.83% ROI

Onto the picks!


HOOSIER SPECIAL: 10-9-1 (+6 units) /// Indiana (+28) at Michigan (53.5)

KYLE’S BET: Indiana +28 (3 units)

Michigan’s season will be defined by the game they’re playing next week and Indiana has played the role of live dog in Ann Arbor enough times for me to be comfortable betting that they’ll lose by less than four touchdowns. Michigan 24, Indiana 6

ALEX’S BET: Indiana +28 (3 units)

It’s hard to imagine that Michigan’s focus is on Indiana. The Wolverines can sleepwalk through this weekend and be exactly where they want to be: squarely in the playoff hunt on the last weekend of the regular season. Given that the Buckeyes are looming, I like Indiana to keep it somewhat competitive for a while. Michigan 34, Indiana 14

GAME OF THE WEEK: 10-8 (+5 units) /// Syracuse (+10.5) vs. Notre Dame (65)

KYLE’S BET: u65 (2 units)

Syracuse has a great offense but they haven’t seen a defense like this since they narrowly lost to Clemson back in September. Getting over 65 will require the Orange to chip in some serious points that I just don’t see them getting against the nation’s third-best defense. Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 17

ALEX’S BET: Notre Dame -10.5 (5 units)

Notre Dame is really good. Syracuse? Well, they ain’t played nobody, Pawwwwl. The best win on the Orange’s resume is over NC State in the Carrier Dome. After that? Florida State or Wake Forest. Woof. The Irish are a huge step up in class for Syracuse and it won’t be close. Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 14

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: 16-8 (+34 units)

KYLE’S BET: CENTRAL FLORIDA (-7) at Cincinnati (5 units)

UCF is the class of the AAC and among one of the best teams in the country. The Bearcats are having a great season but they haven’t seen anything quite like they’ll see on Saturday. I’ll take the Knights with a max bet. Central Florida 42, Cincinnati 27

ALEX’S BET: OHIO STATE (-14.5) at Maryland (3 units)

Maryland sucks. Exhibit A? They lost to Indiana last week. Ohio State 38, Maryland 14

UNDERDOG OF THE WEEK: 8-14 (-16 units)

KYLE’S BET: UAB (+17) at Texas A&M (4 units)

I’ve made a lot of money on the Blazers this year (8-2 ATS, 7-3 under) and I expect that trend to continue on Saturday. AJ Erdely is questionable to play but, frankly, the QB is not part of my equation for this pick. The Blazers will get us over the line with their defense and running game. Sprinkle a unit on the moneyline if you really want to get rowdy. Texas A&M 27, UAB 21

ALEX’S BET: NORTHWESTERN (+1) at Minnesota (3 units)

This game may be meaningless for Northwestern now that they’ve clinched the Big Ten West, but I’m still not convinced Minnesota is good. The value Vegas is placing on the Gophers is from wins over Indiana and Purdue and not their entire body of work. It’s close, but the Wildcats win outright. Northwestern 24, Minnesota 20

OVER OF THE WEEK: 11-11 (+1 units)

KYLE’S BET: Utah State at Colorado State (o68) (2 units)

The Aggies have been one of the most consistent overs in college football this year (9-1) while the Rams have been better hitting the over in conference play (4-2). Utah State’s offense (16th in S&P+) is going to do most of the heavy lifting here, we just need a handful from the hosts to hit. Utah State 59, Colorado State 17

ALEX’S BET: West Virginia at Oklahoma State (o73) (3 units)

This one is going to be a track meet. These teams are combining to average more than 80 points per game and neither has even the slightest interest in playing defense. This one could be closer to 90 than 73. West Virginia 47, Oklahoma State 38

UNDER OF THE WEEK: 10-11 (-10 units)

KYLE’S BET: Michigan State at Nebraska (u49) (3 units)

High winds, Michigan State’s defense, and Michigan State’s “offense”. Let’s ride. Michigan State 19, Nebraska 14

ALEX’S BET: Iowa at Illinois (u58.5) (4 units)

When I read this number, I thought it was a mistake. Typically, that’s how Vegas gets you. See everyone on the planet complaining about Buffalo getting waxed by Ohio on Wednesday night. But this one isn’t too good to be true. It’s just good. Iowa 31, Illinois 13


Oregon State (+33.5) at Washington

Last week, Michigan failed to cover against rutger, a result that should put Jim Harbaugh on the hot seat in my opinion. This week, I think I’ve learned my lesson. Washington is a 33.5-point home favorite over Oregon State, who is struggling through a rough first year for new head coach Jonathan Smith. But here’s the thing: the Beavers have been able to score some points this year, and Smith was formerly OC at Washington, so he’s familiar with their offense and QB Jake Browning. Add in the fact that Washington has only scored above 33.5 twice this year, and they’re probably playing it safe to prep for the Apple Cup next week, and you’ve got the recipe for a backdoor cover here. Take the points. Washington 38, Oregon State 17


Please do not wager large amounts on these. Or if you do and they hit, paypal in bio.


Four teams, 6.5 points (+220)

  • Nebraska +7.5
  • Ohio State -8
  • Wake Forest +13.5
  • Arkansas +28



  • FIU -6
  • Southern Miss +1.5
  • Iowa State/Texas o47
  • UCF -7

Good luck, cash tickets.