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College Football Week 12 Picks, DFS Plays & Podcast: Upsets-giving Week Kickoff

Ranked teams hit the road; Somebody has to lose

Utah v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Families are gathering together. Food is being prepared in multitudes. Drinks are being consumed aplenty.

Tis Thanksgiving season.

So allow me to be sentimental for a moment. For starters, thank you to the loyal readers, commenters and listeners for reading, commenting and listening. We couldn’t do this silly little article and podcast without you all.

Second, I want to thank this college football season because what a drunk mess it has been.

Michigan alone has had their head coach suspended two different times for two different cheating scandals and they remain firmly entrenched in the College Football Playoffs at this point.

Texas A&M once again opened the year with tons of expectations and are now once again searching to replace a disappointing head coach. Miami is bragging about closing a gap they haven’t closed since I was in the second grade. Dabo is fighting fans during radio shows before dominating rivals in the midst of a disappointing season. And for most of you, Florida State has had the fun year we were promised all offseason.

It’s truly been a blast of year. But there is one thing we are still missing... the massive upset.

So I present to you all what I’m calling Upsetsgiving. Do you like top-ten teams on the road? Because I’ve got 5 of them for you. And one of them is an underdog.

It’s time, college football gods. Give us the bow on the year we’ve had so far. Let’s deliver this Upsetsgiving to one and all.

I could certainly use it as I’ve now gone 3-7, 7-3 and 3-7 in the last three weeks. A truly miserable week for me as we had some big misses — Kentucky and Oklahoma State — and a couple close ones — Oregon and Washington. Regardless we lose all the progress of last week and are back at 5 under .500 at 56-61 on the season.

Nobody in the comment section called their shot as well as Ukedadnole last week. He said he would go 3-7 and he went 3-7. Should’ve tried for 10-0 to make the Hall of Fame, but this is cool too. It’s also funny to me that nobody, including me, picked UCF getting 2.5 points and they won by 400.

Our actual winner for the week if GolferNole456 who put together a 7-3. The picks were a little confusing because the spreads were listed incorrectly, but I went with the team name listed as the official pick in case anyone is that invested in it. GolferNole456 is another new winner for us this season. Congratulations and welcome to the Comment Section Hall of Fame!

Comment Section Hall of Fame

  • Week Zero: MexiNole and Topnole (5-2)
  • Week One: Yapo.SD and Topnole (7-3)
  • Week Two: Kylefsu02 (7-3)
  • Week Three: Kylefsu02 and Ukedadnole (7-3)
  • Week Four: trojan24man and Brian (7-3)
  • Week Five: NoleInAggieland (7-3)
  • Week Six: medav (8-2)
  • Week Seven: csfuu (9-1)
  • Week Eight: 85 Chief and JGsped (7-3)
  • Week Nine: mr_britt (8-2)
  • Week Ten: MexiNole and Brian (7-3)
  • Week Eleven: GolferNole456 (7-3)

Could you be the next Comment Section Champion of the season? Leave your picks to the 10 games below in the comment section at the bottom of the page. You have to pick the 10 games I provided to be eligible for the Hall as those are the only ones I grab. Most correct is our winner.

On the DFS side, my co-host on the Sharpen the Point podcast — Chris Tyndall — was up and down, largely because of Ollie Gordon’s no show in the Oklahoma State game.

Want to get more details on those picks? Listen to the Sharpen the Point podcast, where we talk in-depth on game picks as well as the Daily Fantasy Sports contests on DraftKings each weekend. New to DFS? We can help you through the thought process of building a team.

Reminder that we are just two guys with keyboards and microphones, not gambling professionals, so follow at your own risk and play responsibly.

Let’s get to the ATS and DFS picks. All lines and DFS pricing from our friends at DraftKings.

Brian’s College Football Week 12 Picks

No. 10 Louisville Cardinals (-1.5) at Miami Hurricanes (Noon ET, ABC)

Note: The Draftkings line is 1. We’re using 1.5 for our purposes.

Brian’s Pick: Miami +1.5

Appalachian State Mountaineers (+8.5) at James Madison Dukes (2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

James Madison has been unreal in their first season at the FBS level. They’re 10-0 and are rolling toward a College Football Playoff berth... except archaic rules don’t allow them to even be ranked. So they can’t even compete in a bowl game. All that’s left is to finish the regular season unbeaten and build toward next season. The team standing in the way this weekend is the original James Madison, the original underdog of college football, Appalachian State. It’s a down year for the Mountaineers who enter the game 6-4, but all of their losses have been close including one to UNC on the road. JMU has made it look too easy. Somebody has to topple them. Why not the Mountaineers? Sorry, Chris.

Brian’s Pick: App State +8.5

No. 22 Utah Utes (+1.5) at No. 17 Arizona Wildcats (2:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)

Not exactly major upset territorym but this is one of the few ranked matchups on the slate this week. Of course, good luck finding it because it’s on the Pac-12 network. Arizona has been playing really good football lately. Winners of four straight, the Wildcats have gone from an afterthought to a near top-15 team. Their counterpart Utes in this one have done a bit of the opposite losing two of their last three games. Those two losses are to the Pac-12 frontrunners — Washington and Oregon. Recent form says Arizona, but I’m going Utah. It’s time for another inexplicable Kyle Whittingham win.

Note: The Draftkings line is 1. We’re using 1.5 for our purposes.

Brian’s Pick: Utah +1.5

No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (-10.5) at No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Don’t look now, but there’s a new No. 1 team in town. Of course, that new No. 1 team is the same old No. 1 team from the last two seasons, but it’s new for the College Football Playoff this season at least. The Georgia Bulldogs winners of back-to-back national titles and fresh off a dominant win over top-ten Ole Miss return to the top spot in the sport. Now, they hit the road for a big one against Tennessee who enters fresh off a blowout loss at Missouri. Tennessee hasn’t been great this year, but I believe they’ve had revenge on their mind for this game for over a year. They won’t tear down the goalposts, but Vols cover.

Brian’s Pick: Tennessee +10.5

No. 20 North Carolina Tar Heels (+7.5) at Clemson Tigers (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I had to double check this line, but it’s right. North Carolina is a touchdown underdog to Clemson. For all the dunking on Clemson we’ve done this season, this team is still plenty well respected by the oddsmakers. That defensive front is elite and we saw a disruptive front give UNC issues a week ago. A Louisville loss earlier in the day would open the door for North Carolina to make the ACCCG so I expect the Tar Heels to play like this one matters.

Note: The Draftkings line is 7. We’re using 7.5 for our purposes.

Brian’s Pick: North Carolina +7.5

No. 6 Oregon Ducks (-23.5) at Arizona State Sun Devils (4:00 p.m. ET, FOX)

This is the spot I planned to have the Florida State game, but I can’t find a line for it on Draftkings. Just know that I picked the Noles to win by a lot. Instead, we get College Football Playoff contender Oregon with their Heisman hopeful QB Bo Nix — the award should go to former Arizona State and current LSU QB Jaydne Daniels by the way — on the road against Arizona State. The Sun Devils have nothing to play for. They sunk their own season before the year began with self-imposed sanctions. They were bad for a large portion of the season but have won two of their last three with a 50+ point loss to Utah in the middle. It’s likely a Ducks blowout, but this really is the only game that matters for Arizona State and Kenny Dillingham did just come from Oregon so why can’t they compete in this game like they did with Washington.

Brian’s Pick: Arizona State +23.5

No. 21 Kansas State Wildcats (-8.5) at No. 25 Kansas Jayhawks (7:00 p.m. ET, FS1)

Who wants to face Texas in the Big 12 title game? Anybody? Oklahoma State had the driver’s seat last week until UCF steamrolled them by what felt like 400 points. Now, the second spot in the Big 12 is a four-way tie with two weeks to go. Those four teams? Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Kansas State. There are three more teams — Kansas, West Virginia and Texas Tech — just a game behind that I guess could certainly be in play here, too. Yeah, it’s a mess. So who’s it going to be? Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State stand out as the best teams in that group, but who’s counting out the Jayhawks at home from pulling the upset and starting this chaotic carousel around again? Certainly, not I.

Note: The Draftkings line is 8. We’re using 8.5 for our purposes.

Brian’s Pick: Kansas +8.5

No. 5 Washington Huskies (+2.5) at No. 11 Oregon State Beavers (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

The road to the College Football Playoff (and possibly the Heisman Trophy) goes through Oregon State. Over the next two weeks, the Beavers — one of the two teams in the remaining Pac-2(!!) conference will have a chance to totally wreck what’s been a banner year for the Pac-12 as their opponents hit the road for the Big Ten. Washington, the aforementioned Oregon and each of their Heisman hopefuls play Oregon State before their expected Pac-12 title game rematch and the Beavers are right in the picture to be one of those two teams. They’ve lost just twice all year — once to Arizona and another time to Washington State — both on the road. Now, they get a Washington that has looked like the best team in the country at times and just another team at other times. I think the Beavers will beat one of the teams if not both and that, of course, will have major College Football Playoff and Heisman implications. It’s only right the Pac-12 goes out in a fiery chaotic mess.

Brian’s Pick: Oregon State -2.5

Florida Gators (+12.5) at No. 9 Missouri Tigers (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I’ve been picking Missouri all season and it’s gone great. But I’ve warmed up to Florida lately. Not personally. I still can’t stand them. But as a football team, I think they’re decent enough to keep up in a potential scoring fest. At worst, it should be a good preview of what Florida State will face next week.

Brian’s Pick: Florida +12.5

No. 7 Texas Longhorns (-7.5) at Iowa State Cyclones (8:00 p.m. ET, FOX)

You know what could really throw a wrench in the Big 12 picture? If Texas loses. Obviously, that would eliminate them from playoff contention, but it would make the conference title game an extreme mess of college football. It’s pick the underdog week for me and I’m doing it again. For the chaos.

Brian’s Pick: Iowa State +7.5

Chris’ College Football Daily Fantasy (DFS) Plays

Saturday DK Early Main Slate


  • Jordan McCloud, James Madison ($8,300) — McCloud has been nothing short of superb this season leading the Dukes to a 10-0 record in just their second season at the FBS level, but even with that success head coach Curt Cignetti has continued to state that the offense still isn’t producing at the level he wants. I do have concerns about college gameday being on campus as the previous two times they came out sluggish losing one in what I believe was due to the distractions. Cignetti I believe will keep the team more focused than previous coaches did in the past and they should have a chip on their shoulder having been denied postseason eligibility again by the NCAA. Over his past three games, the former Arizona and South Florida quarterback has accounted for more than 300 yards passing per game with four touchdowns in each.
  • Donovan Smith, Texas Tech ($7,900) — The Texas Tech transfer and I have had a love hate relationship in the past with some big wins and bad losses. He is a true tournament play that can carry you with a big game and bury a team the next week. The matchup with Oklahoma St is very good and with zero running game to rely on outside of his own legs at home with a 26 point team total I will buy into Smith one last time to show me the ceiling he has displayed in 5 of 10 games this season.


  • Will Shipley, Clemson ($5,900) — Shipley returned from the concussion he suffered last week and split touches with Phil Mafah $5700. Shipley was more effective with his and facing a North Carolina that struggles with opposing ground games sets up nicely for both this week. I expect Dabo to continue what he described as riding the hot hand and allowing Shipley to handle 60% of the touches this week thus expanding upon the role he returned to last week. This is a week where my running back pool will be large and a good bit of mixing and matching will occur as nobody truly stands out as a great value. Be sure to listen to the podcast where we will dive deeper into the options at running back given the variability this week.

Carson Steele, UCLA ($6,400) — I wasn’t certain who I wanted to use the second running back spot on but figured this is the place to highlight UCLA as a whole since they get the fantasy carnival of USC this week and have a 30 point team total. Someone has to score for them right? After the last two weeks, scoring 17 total points against Arizona and Arizona St, it is hard to see it but we have to believe in the situation and Vegas totals. The Ball St transfer has been the main running back for the better part of the year but struggled after getting benched with fumbling problems. I do not love the backfield split with TJ Harden $4900 as he could break some big plays at the price. The quarterback situation is a mess with Garbers hurt, Schlee stinking, and Moore having been put on the back burner after a slow start to the year. Pricing is nice on the QBs, but they are tough to buy into. At wide receiver, Logan Loya looks like a nice value at $4500 while Cal transfer JM Sturdivant is a decent punt at $3900. All of that is to say feel free to mix in UCLA pieces this weekend as someone is going to smash at their price.


  • Elijah Sarratt, James Madison ($5,500) — Stack partners are the theme at wideout this week. Starting off with Sarratt, who is the safest JMU wide receiver coming off a 13 catch 160 yard game last week. The highest ceiling still belongs to Reggie Brown $5600 who is the better tournament play, although they can be played together. Brown is the Donovan Smith of wide receiver where half the time he hits big and the other half he buries you evidenced by scoring under 10 points in five games and over 16 in his other five. Last week Brown showed off his ceiling with 9/202/2. Lastly, North Dakota St transfer Phoenix Sproles $3600 is the value play of the bunch with a high floor but limited ceiling compared to the other two. He is a good way to save if you need to get to the higher priced running backs.
  • Joseph Manjack, Houston ($5,600) — Let’s stack both quarterbacks this week. The USC transfer (side note: who hasn’t transferred at this point) has shown a great rapport with Smith this year as arguably Houston’s most consistent wide receiver. With Matthew Golden now out for the season, more of the load will fall on Sam Brown and Manjack to produce for a team that produces two thirds of its scores through the air. Having scored in each of his last four games, I like his odds to make it five.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.