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By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Week 12 has arrived and chaos is very much in play.
UP FOR DEBATE
Last Saturday showed us that the chaos scenarios for this year’s playoff are in play, which personally has me salivating. Everyone in the CFP top 10 held serve with the exception of Oregon, who was handed their second loss and were all but eliminated from playoff contention. Look out for USC sneaking in the side door as well! TCU was tested but held on in Austin, and they are officially so underqualified that we are all waiting on to lose…but will they? LSU could get its shot at Georgia and the playoff in Atlanta, but can they take care of business in front of them? Is Tennessee completely screwed here if TCU wins out? It’s time to draft up your crazy equation of potential playoff scenarios. The tilting game that will fracture the top 4 undoubtedly is OSU/Michigan which could yield one playoff spot, while the rest are reserved for Georgia, TCU, and…who else? Let the debate run wild.
On my card, it was clear that dogs were the way to go. Could this be a foreshadowing of some more underdogs outperforming themselves on big stages, especially with the CFP chaos factor looming? I love a good spoiler narrative if we can get one. The carnage possibilities are out there on the week 12 schedule, let’s figure out where our money is going.
TUNE-IN GAME OF THE WEEK
This week’s headlining act is out west to a familiar rivalry in college football that seems to be rejuvenated – USC vs UCLA. The Crosstown Cup and Victory Bell are on the line as these two Los Angeles area schools collide. UCLA (+2.5) is at home at the Rose Bowl and has an opportunity to play spoiler to the 9-1 Trojans, who still have a reasonable path to the college football playoff.
THE NIGHTCAP GET-IT-BACK GAME
It’s mid-November and we’re up late trying to find late-night plays…there’s nothing better. This week it’s out west where we have a 10:30 pm ET clash of a couple of ranked PAC 12 teams in Oregon (-3) hosting Utah. Admittedly both of these teams probably have one more loss than they would like on their schedule, but there’s still a lot to play for in the conference, and you just never know what might happen at the top of the rankings. This should be a high-flying nightcap by all accounts.
WEIRD VIBE FADE OF THE WEEK
The TCU train rolls on to the next stop. I seem to be testing fate each week with this vibe fade, but now we’re invested to the point where we can’t look back. Another trap game comes their way as the Horned Frogs are -3 on the road at Baylor. I’m already anticipating a tidal wave of public money on Baylor, so you know we continue to zig on TCU and fade the public sentiment while they zag.
WEEK 11 RECAP – MORE OF THE SAME…
Well…yet another 2-3 week against the spread. Both underdogs covered (Arkansas and TCU), but the Georgia Under did let us down and dropped to 7-3 individually. Bama didn’t heat up like I thought they would, and Oregon blew their chance yet again. Sigh.
Week Eleven: 2-3 ATS, Season Overall: 29-31 ATS
EARLY WEEK 12 PLAYS FOR ALEX
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I’ve been leaning so hard into betting on TCU while the public desperately awaits their downfall. I’m staying at the table with the Horned Frogs for one more week – Give me TCU -2.5.
Kansas State and West Virginia both have the offenses to go back and forth, and I think this is a classic “7 on 7” Big 12 duel that goes over 55 points.
Here’s a weird line to say in mid-November – “Give me Rutgers”. Penn State likely wins but not by 3 touchdowns are more. The play is Rutgers +20.
I think USC plays tight to start out in their rivalry game at the Rose Bowl, knowing what’s at stake. Regardless of the spread, this game goes Under 75 points.
We got Arkansas’s best effort when they covered vs LSU but came up short. It’s a natural letdown spot so I like Ole Miss -2.5 to roll through Fayetteville.
Here are some other diamonds I’m leaning on early this week:
South Carolina +21.5, Texas/Kansas Under 64.5
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EATS AND DEETS
The teleport game: If it’s not to the Rose Bowl you’re crazy. Give me that SoCal sunshine and LA vibes for a renewed rivalry.
Goofiest line: Washington -31 vs Colorado. Yikes!
Simultaneous screen count: It’s time to bust out every screen you have – these next 3 Saturdays determine EVERYTHING.
Tailgate pick of the week: Since it’s all Turkey next week, let’s go red meat with some BBQ Ribs.