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Week 12 NCAA College Football Upset Alert: Can Illinois Repeat Last Year’s Feat Against Iowa?

Each week throughout the college football season, OddsTrader scours the college odds board and highlights three of the biggest potential upsets for that week’s NCAAF slate. These are underdogs that will not only cover the spread but are poised to pull the outright victory.

Last week two of our underdogs, UCF, and New Mexico State, not only covered the number but won their games outright! Let’s check out the college odds board in Week 12 and keep cashing our tickets!

Picks Summary

  • Illinois ML (+150)
  • Memphis ML (+235)
  • Michigan State ML (+165)

*Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)


Illinois Illini vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Saturday, November 18, 2023 – 03:30 PM ET at Kinnick Stadium


Stat Trifecta

  • Illinois is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games on the road.
  • Iowa ranks 130th in passing, averaging only 122 yards per game.
  • Iowa ranks 123rd in scoring, averaging just 18.8 points per game.

Illinois posted its highest scoring total of the season in last week’s 48-45 overtime win against Indiana. The defense failed to show up, but that won’t be an issue this week as they will be facing Iowa, the team with one of the most anemic offenses in college football, averaging just 18.8 points per game and one that ranks 130th in passing and 104th in rushing.

But what Iowa does better than almost any other team in the nation is keeping the other side from scoring, surrendering just 12.3 points per game, placing them 3rd in the nation. Although Illinois doesn’t enjoy the luxury of a premier defense, the Illini owns a better offense and defeated the Hawkeyes, 9-6, last season in what will likely be a very similar score this time around.

NCAAF Pick: Illinois +3½ (-107) at BetRivers (check our BetRivers Review)

NCAAF Pick: Illinois ML (+150) at Caesars Sportsbook


SMU Mustangs vs. Memphis Tigers

Saturday, November 18, 2023 – 12:00 PM ET at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium


Stat Trifecta

  • Memphis is 8-1 ATS versus SMU over their last 9 meetings.
  • Memphis is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home.
  • Southern Methodist is 2-7 SU in their last 9 games against Memphis.

The Memphis Tigers welcome the SMU Mustangs after a gritty 44-38 road win over Charlotte last week. Meanwhile, SMU caught a slow-moving target in North Texas and covered the number as 21-point home favorites in a 45-21 victory.

Both teams are 8-2 overall and hail from the AAC, but one team has owned the other over the past several years, and that just happens to be Memphis. The Tigers have covered in 8 of the last 9 meetings against the Mustangs and have won seven of those meetings.

Both teams boast prolific passing attacks with SMU ranked 21st, averaging nearly 285 yards per game, while Memphis checks in at No. 14, averaging 296.5 yards per contest. And both are in the top 10 in scoring, averaging 39 points per game.

SMU has a better defense than Memphis, which is why they are being harnessed as 7-point road favorites. But doesn’t that seem a bit steep to you? It sure seems it to me because I can easily envision Memphis winning this outright and continuing their pattern of domination over the Mustangs.

NCAAF Pick: Memphis +7 (-109) at BetRivers

NCAAF Pick: Memphis ML (+235) at Caesars Sportsbook


Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers

Saturday, November 18, 2023 – 12:00 PM ET at Memorial Stadium


Stat Trifecta

  • Michigan State is 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games against Indiana.
  • Michigan State is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games when playing on the road against Indiana.
  • Indiana is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games.

This may be a clash of Big Ten foes, but it has all the appeal of a Sun Belt Conference game. Neither Michigan State nor Indiana will be doing anything in the postseason except watching teams that are better than them compete in a bowl game.

Nevertheless, there’s money to be made here as the public is down on the Spartans, as they should be, after a 38-3 loss to powerhouse Ohio State as 32-point road underdogs. But what we should point out is that they were never expected to do much more than they did, and one could argue the result would have been roughly the same had Indiana traveled to the Shoe last week and got their heads handed to them by the Buckeyes.

The Hoosiers did meet the Buckeyes in Week 1 in Indiana and lost 23-3 but that was by no means a typical offensive performance by Ohio State. Therefore, if all things are relatively equal, why not grab the points with a team that has dominated this series in recent memory by winning and covering 3 of the last 4 meetings in Indiana? Go Spartans!

NCAAF Pick: Michigan State +4½ (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

NCAAF Pick: Michigan State ML (+165) at Caesars Sportsbook

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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