Notre Dame is laying more than 10 points against a strong Navy rush offense that can exploit the Irish’s weakness on defense. That and more takeaways from the opening Week 12 college football lines released on Sunday afternoon at Circa Sports.
The No. 16 Irish opened as 11-point favorites for Week 12’s matchup with the Midshipmen, who are ranked No. 21 in the coaches and AP top 25 poll with a 7-1 straight up record (6-2 against the spread). The Midshipmen are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall and have earned the respect from the advanced metrics with the 22nd-best SP+ offense.
A triple-option attack should worry the Irish considering their defensive line ranked 106th in power success rate and 87th in opportunity rate against the run entering Saturday’s game against Duke. SP+ makes the spread just 4.2 in favor of the Irish, even after factoring in 2.5 points for homefield.
Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. CT kickoff is one of several top-25 matchups in college football for Week 12, including one few expected to begin the season in Indiana-Penn State.
Big Ten football Week 12 opening lines
Opening lines provided by Circa Sports; Rankings from Coaches Poll
No. 25 Indiana at No. 11 Penn State
Opening spread and total: Penn State -14, 51
The Hoosiers (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS) are ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 1994 and face a favorable passing matchup against the Nittany Lions (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS), who allowed over 300 passing yards to Tanner Morgan and the Golden Gophers in Saturday’s upset. Peyton Ramsey and Whop Philyor are just as capable of explosive passing plays as Morgan and WR Rashod Bateman (203 yards) are. Remember, this is a Penn State team that has now been outgained on the season by Buffalo, Pitt, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.
No. 7 Minnesota at No. 22 Iowa
Opening spread and total: Iowa -2, 44.5
Controlling its own destiny in the Big Ten, Minnesota (9-0 SU, 6-2 ATS) moves to the top 10 after upsetting then-No. 4 Penn State 31-26 as a 6.5-point home dog. One has to question if a let-down spot is in the cards against a Hawkeyes team that still boasts a top-10 SP+ defense despite being 6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS.
Michigan State at No. 14 Michigan
Opening spread and total: Michigan -12, 43.5
Once -30.5 in-game against Illinois on Saturday, Michigan State uncharacteristically allowed 27 fourth-quarter points to the Illini, culminating with a last second TD pass from Brandon Peters to drop to 0-5 ATS in their last five conference games. The Spartans are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings with Michigan, but you can expect the public will be hot and heavy on the home favorites after cashing with the public dog of the week in Illinois at +15.5.
No. 15 Wisconsin at Nebraska
Opening spread and total: Wisconsin -13, 50.5
“What the f— happened to Nebraska this year, such a disappointment?” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk management Ed Salmons said this past week. The Huskers were a trendy national championship bet this summer, but are now 4-5 SU and 1-8 ATS as injuries and poor play have derailed their season. Nebraska is coming off a bye and catching points at home to a Wisconsin team that has tailed off this season and is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games following a straight up win.
No. 2 Ohio State at Rutgers
Opening spread and total: Ohio State -50.5, 55
After Ohio State (9-0 SU, 8-1 ATS) covered 42.5 points against Maryland on Saturday, we pondered just how big the spread would be against one of the worst Power-5 teams in the country. The answer? 50.5 points, which is remarkably in-line with the Buckeyes’ 54.2-5.4 average score against Rutgers the past five games. The Scarlet Knights are just 2-7 SU and ATS and are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall. Can you stomach betting Rutgers? SP+ projects the margin of victory to be less than 50.
UMass at Northwestern
Opening spread and total: Northwestern -40, 58
Maybe a home game against arguably the worst FBS team will bring the Wildcat offense out of the dark ages. Northwestern finally showed some life against Purdue after going 13 straight quarters without a touchdown, but a late field goal gave the Boilers a 24-22 win as a 1-point underdog. The Wildcats are just 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS this season and are 125th with 130.9 passing yards per game. The good news? Massachusetts is even worse at 1-9 SU and 1-9 ATS.
Week 12 college football top 25 opening lines
No. 5 Georgia (-3, 45.5) at No. 13 Auburn
UCLA at No. 9 Utah (-20, 54)
No. 4 Alabama (-21, 61) at Mississippi State
No. 12 Florida (-5, 48) at Missouri
Wake Forest at No. 3 Clemson (-32.5, 63.5)
No. 18 Memphis (-10, 65.5) at Houston
No. 23 Texas at Iowa State (-7, 65)
No. 1 LSU (-21, 63) at Ole Miss
No. 17 Cincinnati (-9.5, 49) at South Florida
No. 8 Oklahoma (-9.5, 67) at No. 10 Baylor
No. 24 Appalachian State (-13, 63.5) at Georgia State
New Mexico at No. 19 Boise State (-29, 59.5)
Arizona at No. 6 Oregon (-24.5, 68.5)