Spread Options: Dr. Saturday's Week 12 picks against the spread

Spread Options: Dr. Saturday’s Week 12 picks against the spread

We’re on a run! Two-straight winning weeks brings the record to 49-59-2.

TCU (-6.5) at Texas Tech, Noon ET: This line is depressed because TCU leading running back Darius Anderson is out for the season because of a right foot injury and quarterback Kenny Hill is questionable. Tech is playing for its bowl hopes — the Red Raiders have to beat either TCU or Texas — but we think the TCU defense is good enough to slow Tech down enough to sneak away with a two-possession win and possession of the saddle trophy.

Minnesota at Northwestern (OVER 40.5), Noon ET: Nebraska made Minnesota look like an offensive juggernaut last weekend. Apparently the tackling drills aren’t going too well in Lincoln. Northwestern only scored 23 points against Purdue last week, breaking a streak of two-straight games with 30+ points. OK, one of those was also against Nebraska, but we’re trying to be optimistic. Week 12 is lining up badly enough and a some Nooner Big Ten entertainment would be a good idea.

Texas at West Virginia (-3.5), Noon ET: Did you know West Virginia is still mathematically alive for the Big 12 title? The Mountaineers are a sneaky 5-2 in the conference and have winnable games each of the next two weeks. As long as Will Grier doesn’t give the ball to Texas’ defense, anyway. And we’re wondering just how much motivation — or pride — the Mountaineers will get from this quote.


Fresno State at Wyoming (+2.5), 2 p.m. ET: We’re banking on Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen being healthy enough to play. Allen is a potential gametime decision thanks to a shoulder injury he suffered last week. If Allen was healthy, the Cowboys are favored. We’d also like to give Fresno State a shoutout. The Bulldogs are going to a bowl after a 1-11 season in 2016. Jeff Tedford magic.

Iowa State at Baylor (UNDER 54), 2:30 p.m. ET: Iowa State is favored by 9.5 and this should be a good bounceback game for the Cyclones. The Oklahoma State loss last week was the first time since Week 2 that the Cyclones had given up more than 20 points. With Baylor’s offense not near the caliber of the Cowboys, another streak should begin on Saturday.

Syracuse (+13) at Louisville, 3:30 p.m. ET: Is this Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson’s last home game? Given that Syracuse’s defense was lit up last week by Wake Forest, Jackson could go out with one of his best performances of the season. But we like the Orange to cover because Louisville’s defense is pretty pitiful too. Jackson hasn’t gotten much help from the Cardinals’ other unit this season.

Navy (+18) at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. ET: The Midshipmen are, well, middling against the run. Navy gives up 166 rushing yards a game at 4.7 yards a carry. That’s not good news against a Notre Dame team that’s very good at running the ball. Or at least was until last week’s loss to Miami. Notre Dame should find offensive success, but expecting a blowout of an option team after a 33-point loss on the road seems like a tough ask.

Texas A&M (+2.5) at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. ET: A win by Ole Miss gets the Rebels bowl eligible. But it doesn’t matter because of a self-imposed bowl ban. Texas A&M, meanwhile, has a shot for a decent bowl berth if the SEC can get three teams into the New Year’s Six bowl games. And besides, a win against Ole Miss, a loss to LSU and a win in a bowl game means another 8-5 season for the Aggies.

Missouri (-8.5) at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m. ET: Missouri’s offense is one of the best in the country. Seriously. The Tigers are just one of eight offenses averaging over seven yards a play in 2017 and have won four-straight games after a 1-5 start to the season. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is cratering. The Commodores are 1-6 after a 3-0 start and 0-6 in the SEC. Oh, and Vandy has given up an average of 46 points in those six SEC games.

UCLA (+16) at USC, 8 p.m. ET: This is probably the last and only time UCLA QB Josh Rosen and USC QB Sam Darnold will face each other. Rosen was sidelined by a shoulder injury when the teams met in 2016. With a healthy Rosen, UCLA should be able to cover in the fourth quarter. Though the Bruins will then need a win in the final week of the season to get to a bowl.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!