Sharps are closely monitoring these Week 12 college football games


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Each week during the college football season, Covers Expert Steve Merril looks at the NCAAF odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now:

Illinois (+10) vs. Iowa

This line opened at +11.5 and was quickly bet down to the key number of +10.  This is a major flat spot for Iowa as they just won straight-up 14-13 as a +24 point home underdog versus Michigan, and now the Hawkeyes are laying points on the road.  Iowa has only won once by more than 7 points on the road this season.

Illinois is coming off a blowout loss at Wisconsin last week, but the Illini played well in their previous home game, winning outright 31-27 versus Michigan State as a +9.5 point home dog.  Illinois is averaging 27.3 points per game on 5.7 yards per play at home this year.  The Illini also have a solid rushing attack that averages 5.2 yards per carry in all games this season (versus opponents that allow just 4.7 ypr).

Spread to wait on:

Arizona State (+26.5) at Washington

This line opened at +25 and was quickly bet higher to +26.5.  The public will likely play the big favorite, so wait for the possibility of the key numbers of +27 or +28 appearing.  Many will expect Washington to bounce back after their first loss of the season, but historically teams that lose their first game this late in the season suffer a letdown.  The Huskies might have eliminated themselves from the national playoff picture with their 26-13 home loss versus USC last weekend.

Arizona State has dominated this series, going a perfect 10-0 SU/ATS versus Washington since 2002, and the Sun Devils are catching the Huskies at a good time this week.  Despite just a 2-5 SU conference record this season, Arizona State has not lost any game by more than 24 points.

Total to watch:

Oregon at Utah (70.5)

Oregon is just 3-7 SU this season and a terrible 1-8 ATS, but they are 7-3 to the Over.  The Ducks have a solid offense that is averaging 37.1 points per game on 6.6 yards per play (versus opponents that allow just 28.9 ppg and 5.9 yppl).  However, Oregon’s defense has been horrendous, allowing 43.5 points per game on 6.5 yards per play (versus opponents that average just 32.9 ppg and 5.8 yppl).

Utah enters this game on a 3-0 Over run, scoring 49 points or more in two of their past three games.  Overall, the Utes are averaging 31.2 points per game (versus opponents that allow just 30.8 ppg).  Utah should have continued offensive success against an Oregon defense that has allowed 45.7 points per game on the road this season.  The Over is a perfect 3-0 the past three years in this head-to-head series with an average of 75 total points scored per game.

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