DirecTV ESPN GamePlan Free Picks: Week 12

DirecTV has some games on their agenda these days, or at least on their plethora of channels – here they are. I’ve picked everyone, leaning one way or another and maybe even giving a reason or two why. Let the Week 12 begin!

Rutgers (+8) @ South Florida: What has Rutgers done for me lately? A lot more than what the South Florida Bulls have done, that’s for sure. as a touchdown underdog, I see the Scarlet Knights playing good enough football against a tough opponent to cover this game. The Knights had a disappointing start to the season, but things can change, and they certainly have with 3 straight wins including a win over Connecticut and a win over Pittsburgh.

Duke (+11.5) @ Clemson: Duke has been the better team all year long. I know that’s surprising, especially for me, a guy who can’t stand Duke doing anything good – but it’s true. They make far fewer mistakes, they play decent defense, and despite a 1-4 stretch of late, they will give Clemson trouble. The Tigers definitely have the talent over the Devils, but Duke is turning the corner and it will be those lack of mistakes that keeps them close.

Georgia (-8.5) @ Auburn: This may seem like a gimmie, but it’s not necessarily that way. The Bulldogs barely slipped by the Wildcats last week, and they were outscored by 39 at home against Florida two weeks ago. Close wins over LSU, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee are starting to lose a lot of their luster, no doubt about that. HOwever, Auburn’s inability to play well against anybody doesn’t excite me, and despite their knack for close games, I have a feeling this one will be a beatdown of Knowshon proportions.

Middle Tennessee State (-2) @ Western Kentucky: MTSU has played tougher against better teams – they can score points, have a solid passing attack, and good leadership. Neither of these teams are good, don’t get it twisted, and between the two there is only one road win on the season. But the better team is MTSU, they are good enough to be favored on the road as a 3 win team, and that tells me a lot about Western Kentucky. I’m taking the Blue Raiders (that’s MTSU for those that don’t know their Mascot).

Toledo (+16) @ Western Michigan: Toledo has one good game against a decent team, and no I’m not talking about their win over Michigan – the Wolverines suck. I’m talking about a close loss at home against Central Michigan. Other than that, they’ve played terribly – especially on the road. Take away their win at Michgan and they’ve lost two straight on the road, to Norther Illinois and Akron, but 31 and 17 respectively. Western Michigan is better than that. But there’s this little thing called a let down game, and that’s what has me riding the Toledo Rockets in this one. Western Michigan sure can score the pigskin, but they allow a good amount of points as well. After upsetting Illinois (though it wasn’t much of an upset, but still a big win over a big name school) this game should be one in which they come out a little flat. I still like them to win, but Toledo at +16 will be my pick here.

California @ Oregon State (-3): I really want to go with the Bears here, because they have played decent teams lately where Oregon State has been subject to a four game stretch that started with the Washington schools (which are basically like playing your incoming freshmen in a scrimmage) and then Arizona State and UCLA (neither are worth much, though ASU gave the Beavers fits). They are 4-0 in their last 4, but haven’t played a good team since they lost to Utah on the 2nd of October. Cal beat Oregon two weeks ago, lost to USC last week – so they should be ready. Except that they haven’t beaten anybody on the road besides Washington State on September 9th. So, like I said, they haven’t beaten anybody on the road yet this season. The Beavers are undefeated at home, and that includes a game in which they dominated USC and barely won – and dominated Hawaii and destroyed them by 38. The Beave is a tough place to play and that’s what has me rocking the rude orange and black colors in this one.

North Carolina @ Maryland (+3): The Tar Heels have taken 5 of their last 6, and played well doing so. They stomped Georgia Tech last week, and basically doubled up Boston College three weeks ago. In their 5 recent wins, they took out Miami, Connecticut, and Notre Dame as well. But this should be a bit of a let down week for the Heels, a win gets them a tie for first place in their division, but they are walking into Maryland. The Terps are undefeated at home and as good as NC is, they aren’t far and above better than Maryland. The Terps have crushed some dreams this season, and are trying to find the way to the top of their own half of the ACC. In College football, the home field advantage can be the answer to your betting questions – this is one of those times.

New Mexico State (+17) @ Fresno State: This seems like a good bet. Despite Fresno killing their bettors, the public still seems to love them, just waiting for them to finally win their second game against the spread. Interesting. The Aggies have played close to teams all year long, sans a couple games against Nebraska and Boise State. The Aggies have played well on the road (despite losing to horrible Idaho) – they did beat Nevada – and UTEP. They’ve played tight with Hawaii, San Jose State, and New Mexico – and they have a short history of playing tight with better Fresno State clubs, winning 3 of their last 4 Bulldog games against the spread. What has Fresno done to be a 17 point favorite this season? Nothing is the answer. Take the Aggies.

Boise State @ Idaho (+36.5): Tough game for me, I don’t like it. This is on the road for Boise, but not really – you’d think most of that little forgotten state is rooting for the Broncos to go undefeated, and they definitely have all the firepower needed to beat the Vandals by 7 touchdowns or more. But they are undefeated, and Idaho would like nothing more than to crush their in-state rivals hearts. That won’t happen, don’t worry Bronco fans, and the fact that Boise State has covered 3 times in the last 4 years against the Vandals has me steering the way of the Bronco. Those spreads were all big, 34, 31, and 30 – all covers. But there there’s Idaho covering each of the last two games at Idaho – and never has the spread been as high as it is for this weekend’s tilt. That alone has me finding value with the stinking Vandals, a team I really can’t stand but have to pick here. There it is.

Oklahoma Stae @ Colorado (+18): Texas was only a 12 point favorite at Colorado this season. So can you see the inflation of this spread? I know the Buffs haven’t played well of late, losing to basicaly all the solid teams they’ve played – but they are at home, their only loss at home came to Texas, and while it was a 26 point loss, I have a feeling this one will be closer. The Buffaloes are always good at home, and this spread is about a touchdown bigger than it should be. Value has me taking Colorado.

Troy State (+16.5) @ LSU: I feel like punching myself for going this route – but that’s what my value chart has me picking. I would say DON’T BET ON THIS GAME!!! SO there you go. Troy has played solid football on the road, and LSU has too many close games against mediocre teams. On the other hand, you have to see that LSU’s 3 losses haven’t come to donkeys – Alabama, Florida, and Georgia are pretty legit folks – so they could come out and really run this score up. I have to pick this, so Troy is my pick, but I don’t recommend much of a play here.

Boston College @ Florida State (-6): The Eagles shut out Notre Dame last week, but that doesn’t tell me much. What tells me more is their road games this year, and how they haven’t looked that good. Throw out a 21-0 win over Kent State – thanks. They barely snuck by the Wolfpack of NC State and got hammered by the Tar Heels in Carolina. I’d say FSU is close to North Carolina’s level of talent, so I expect a two touchdown win by the Seminoles in this one.

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