College football picks and predictions against the spread for Week 12

It's never too early for college football picks and predictions -- As Week 12 starts with midweek MACtion, who should you have your eyes on?

The college football season trudges on with another full week of midweek MACtion. We take a look at our early college football picks and predictions against the spread ahead of the Week 12 slate.

College football predictions, picks, and odds for Week 12

Here are the current lines for all the pre-Saturday NCAAF games as of Tuesday, November 16 at 2:15 PM ET.


  • Toledo @ Ohio (+7)
  • Western Michigan @ Eastern Michigan (+5.5)
  • Bowling Green @ Miami OH (-17)


  • Central Michigan @ Ball State (-2.5)
  • Northern Illinois @ Buffalo (+1.5)


  • Louisville @ Duke (+19.5)


  • Southern Miss @ Louisiana Tech (-16.5)
  • Arizona @ Washington State (-14.5)

Early Week 12 college football picks and predictions

Let’s break down some of my favorite early lines for Week 12. Early-week MACtion leads the way for our college football picks and predictions.

Toledo @ Ohio (+7)

Time: Tuesday, November 16, 7 PM ET

The Bobcats have been a different team in November. They’ve won two straight, and QB Kurtis Rourke looks more like his brother (Nathan Rourke) with how he’s started carving up MAC teams in midweek MACtion.

Rourke has thrown for 519 yards and 6 touchdowns on Tuesday games in November. Ohio won both contests by a combined margin of just 10 points, but we’re looking for them to cover +7 here.

Toledo has their own intriguing quarterback in Dequan Finn, who has the second-best TD-INT ratio in the conference this season. Finn has thrown 11 TDs to just 1 INT, and he’s come on strong since taking over the starting job.

Ohio is a different team playing at home in the month of November, though. This line could be much closer, and the advice would stay the same. The Rockets couldn’t stop Eastern Michigan from scoring 52 points, whereas the Bobcats just limited EMU to 26 a week ago. Take the hot team with the quarterback who’s on fire.

Northern Illinois (-1.5) @ Buffalo

Time: Wednesday, November 17, 7 PM ET

This is a surprising line of just 1.5 points for the road favorites. Buffalo is a tough place to play, but it’s not that tough. Northern Illinois is 7-3 and in first place in the MAC West while possessing one of the conference’s most potent offenses.

What makes this game even more interesting is the fact that Buffalo may officially move on from QB Kyle Vantrease in favor of Matt Myers.

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Myers isn’t a slouch by any means, but the Bulls are on a two-game losing streak and haven’t had solid quarterback play in what feels like a month. NIU can clinch the MAC West with a victory and is clearly the better team overall this season.

Rocky Lombardi ranks fifth in the MAC with 2,117 passing yards and is tied for sixth with 13 touchdown passes. Northern Illinois holds onto its victories on the ground, as Jay Ducker and Harrison Waylee have rushed for over 570 yards each. NIU has a star-studded cast of players on offense, and Buffalo can’t match up with them defensively.

Arizona @ Washington State (-14.5)

Time: Friday, November 19, 9 PM ET

Be warned: the close defeat for the Wildcats a week ago came on flukey special-teams play. In other words, don’t expect Arizona to fare as well as they did against Washington State on Friday night. Arizona’s passing attack depends on short-area passing strikes and allowing receivers to do damage after the catch.

Washington State LB Jahad Woods is a safety in a linebacker’s body who can cover incredibly well. He can line up against any type of receiver, and he’s third in the Pac-12 with 84 tackles this season. Washington State should be able to limit anything Arizona attempts to throw at them with relative ease as their defense is vastly underrated.

Then, of course, you have a Wildcats secondary that’s been beaten up all season long. Utah isn’t quite there in terms of throwing the ball, hence their close game against Arizona last week. But Washington State has two receivers inside the Pac-12’s top three in yardage this year. Calvin Jackson Jr. and Travell Harris should have field days against Arizona.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor


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