NCAAF Week 12 Picks – OSU-Maryland, Wisconsin-Purdue

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Jay Ginsbach

November 14th, 2018

A few Big Ten battles are the focus in my NCAAF Week 12 picks, with Ohio State needing a victory at Maryland to set up a Big Ten East first place showdown with rival Michigan next week, and Purdue hosting Wisconsin with the winner finishing 2nd in the Big Ten West. Both Maryland and Purdue need one more victory to become bowl eligible so there's a lot on the line in these two matchups.

Saturday, Nov. 17

No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (-14) at Maryland Terrapins

Ohio State (9-1) plays back-to-back road games after beating Michigan State 26-6 in a misleading final last week as the Buckeyes led just 9-6 into the fourth quarter before a fumble recover in the end zone changed the game. The Buckeyes are 6-1 in the Big Ten East and have their huge showdown with Michigan (9-1/7-0) next week in Columbus. First things first, as the Buckeyes must beat Maryland (5-5) as a heavy preference in NCAAF Week 12 picks to keep their hopes alive for a Big Ten championship. Ohio State averages 527 yards per game offense to rank No. 5 in the country. Even against Michigan State’s elite run defense, the Buckeyes pounded the ball 45 times for 120 yards but accumulated just 347 total yards offense.

They will run it often again even with quarterback Dwayne Haskins and his 33 touchdown passes, as Maryland’s defense is showing signs of fatigue being on the field more often than needed, having allowed an average of 220 rushing yards per game over its last three contests. Maryland’s solid defense allows 343.2 yards per game and 4.9 yards per play. The Terps have lost two straight and the offense has struggled to move the ball and score against stronger defenses with QB Kasim Hill directing the offense, as Maryland was shutout at Iowa and held to just a field goal at Michigan State; both in the past month. However, QB Hill tore his ACL in the second quarter last week in a loss at Indiana and Tyrrell Pigrome will make his third career start.

Pigrome is a running quarterback, and playing from behind could pose problems if Maryland has to pass the ball more often. Compounding the problems is senior RB Ty Johnson's status as a game time decision following an injury against Indiana, and guard Terrance Davis missing his second straight game with injury. More struggles to move the ball and score for Maryland, and Ohio State is taking nearly two-thirds of the action in early week betting. The Buckeyes are more interested in running the ball, working the clock and moving on to their big game against Michigan next week. Not a good spot on the road to lay two touchdowns even against a Maryland team that is injured and struggling on offense.

NCAAF Week 12 Picks – UNDER 58.5

Wisconsin Badgers at Purdue Boilermakers (-4.5)

The West division matchup worth watching this week is Wisconsin (6-4) at Purdue (5-5), with the Boilermakers a 4.5-point favorite. Purdue was awful last week in a 41-10 loss at Minnesota as a 12-point favorite. The Boilermakers produced a season low 233 yards of offense. In his previous seven games this season, QB David Blough had passed for at least 277 yards, but had just 143 at Minnesota. Now Blough and the Boilers need a sixth win to become bowl eligible with their last home game against Wisconsin followed by a rivalry road game next week at Indiana.

Purdue showed they can beat the best with a 42-20 wipeout of then-No. 2 Ohio State a month ago on this field. But to beat the Badgers, the Boilermakers will need to slow star RB Jonathan Taylor (1,343 rushing yards). The Badgers running game ranks No. 4 in the country rushing for 266.6 yards per game. Backup QB Jack Coan was terrible for Wisconsin last week passing for just 60 yards with 2 interceptions in a 22-10 loss at Penn State.  Contrast in styles as Purdue will pass the ball more often, and while Wisconsin has the better running game and defense as underdog, we can’t back the Badgers with QB Coan showing no signs of success in last week’s loss, on the road again against a Purdue team that should be focused and ready for a big bounce back effort.

NCAAF Week 12 Picks – Purdue -4.5

Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.