College Football Week 12 Games to Bet Before the Lines Move: Trust Tulane, UCLA, Temple at Home

Nov 12, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA;  UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) hands
Nov 12, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) hands / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There are two weeks left in the college football regular season and the games continue to build in meaning.

In some cases, Week 11 results are driving the discussion in Week 12; a misnomer now that we have a full data set and can accurately rate these teams based on their season-long profile, not just one loss the week prior. In the case of UCLA and Tulane, they each suffered crushing conference losses in Week 11, but are in great shape to bounce back.

Temple has also been on a roll over the last few weeks as they build towards the future, covering in their last four games. I'll explain below why they are in good shape to make it five in a row on Saturday against Cincinnati.

For more Week 12 analysis, check out The Early Reed for Week 12's college football slate:

College Football Week 12 Games to Bet Right Now

  • Tulane -3 (-110) vs. SMU
  • UCLA +2.5 (-110) vs. USC
  • Temple +17 (-110) vs. Cincinnati

SMU vs. Tulane Odds, Prediction and Pick

Tulane came up short against UCF, but I think that this matchup should suit the Green Wave much better as SMU's defense is far inferior. Tulane's offense is above average, capable both through the air and on the ground, inside the top 50 in success rate and averaging nearly three points pre drive including a top 40 red zone touchdown percentage.

The Green Wave fell behind early, 24-7, but had the game within one score in a near-pick 'em game. The SMU defense is a far cry from the UCF unit, 107th in yards per play allowed, 112th in rush yards allowed, outside the top 100 in explosive run and pass rate and are allowing touchdowns on 75% of red zone drives (119th nationally).

This is a putrid SMU defense that hasn't been able to stop any team and Tulane's offense should find success at all times. Meanwhile, the Green Wave defense will have the tough task of slowing down a rolling Mustangs offense, however I think they are more likely to do so than the other way around.

While I faded Tulane last week because I trusted the UCF defense more, this is a different matchup and the line is undervaluing the Green Wave defense that is still elite for AAC defense. The unit is elite at slowing down big plays, top 25 against both explosive run and pass and is top 20 in points allowed per drive. The secondary is the strong point of the group, which will be key against an SMU offense that is pass heavy, top 20 in pass rate, but SMU is 56th in success rate against the pass.

Also, I mentioned SMU's offense figuring it out, but what if that is also fortutious scheduling? The team has faced three defenses outside of the top 100 in Bill Connely's SP+ rankings while Tulane ranks 30th.

The Green Wave match up nicely here and I think they get back on track and push towards a AAC Championship berth with a convincing win at home on Thursday.

USC vs. UCLA Odds, Prediction and Pick

I make UCLA a small favorite in this game, so even though this number crashed through the key number of three, there's still value on the Bruins. The loss to loss Arizona last week as 20-point favorites created a valuable bet this week as the Bruins have edges on the ground to expose this USC defense.

The Trojans are outside the top 100 in explosive rush rate and will go against the best rush offense in the country in terms of yards per carry (6.24). The blend of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet should make life difficult for a USC defense outside the top 100 in success rate on the year.

While the Bruins defense is also prone to being gashed, the Trojans enter this game banged up with running back Travis Dye set to miss the remainder of the season. USC is an offense that doesn't rely on chunk plays to score, rather Dye and the ground game to put them in third and managable, but without their trusty running back, Caleb Williams will have to shoulder more of the burden for this Trojans offense.

This total is in the mid-70's for good reason, there won't be many stops in this one, but I think UCLA is more likely to slow down this methodical USC offense that is down a key contributor just enough to win this game outright. However, with a small moneyline and a high total, I'll take the two points in a game that could be decided in the final seconds with a two-point conversion, a la USC vs. Utah earlier this season.

Temple vs. Cincinnati Odds, Prediction and Pick

About a month ago, Temple got blasted by UCF 70-13, but since then have covered four straight as underdogs, including three as double digit dogs. The Owls freshman quarterback E.J. Warner (Kurt's son) has showcased a big arm and has rejuvenated the offense, which is averaging over 33 points per game in that span.

The Owls host a Cincinnati team that has little incentive to run up the score in this one as they have a date with Tulane next week in likely an AAC Championship Game elimination showdown. Not to mention, the Bearcats are 2-6 this season as favorites against the number. This team continues to be overvalued due to their College Football Playoff appearance last season and we have been able to profit against it.

I make this game closer to 14 so I see plenty of reason to back the Owls at +17. It also helps that Temple has a top 10 defensive line in terms of tackles for loss and are fantastic against explosive passes (24th nationally); both will be crucial against a Cincinnati offense that can't run the ball effectively and is reliant on passing, they have the 23rd highest pass rate in the country.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.