Scully’s NCAAF 12 picks: Indiana will cover against Ohio State
Let’s carry our momentum forward, as the 2020 college football regular season winds down.
After a slow start, I’ve posted a winning record the last seven weeks.
I will try to make it eight straight with the following selections in Week 12.
#10 Wisconsin vs. #19 Northwestern
Sat, November 21 2020, 8:30 PM
Northwestern is good and has opened the season with a 4-0 record straight up and against the spread, but this is the toughest game of the 2020 campaign for the Wildcats. I am excited to wager on them at home, with more than a touchdown spread.
Purdue surprised me in Week 11, with a touchdown in the second half. Those are the only points Northwestern has surrendered after halftime, and its formidable defense is being underrated in Week 12.
Don’t sleep on the offense, either. Northwestern is averaging 28 points per contest.
Northwestern has featured good defenses in the past, but the offense is often subpar.
The Wildcats have improved with transfer Peyton Ramsey. He is not an elite quarterback, but he is effective enough to give them a viable passing offense.
Wisconsin may win, but the Badgers haven’t been tested in lopsided wins against Illinois and Michigan. Those teams put up no resistance whatsoever to the Wisconsin running attack, and everything has been easy for new quarterback Graham Mertz.
Northwestern hits rivals in the mouth. The Wildcats will be set for a top performance against a well-known opponent, and the matchup will be decided by less than a touchdown.
Pick: Northwestern +7.5
#7 Cincinnati vs. Central Florida
Sat, November 21 2020, 8:30 PM
Central Florida Knights
Cincinnati, which will play the first of three road games to conclude the regular season, will put a hurting on Central Florida.
The Bearcats won a lot of games in head coach Luke Fickell’s first three seasons, and have been known as a defensive, run-oriented program. The Bearcats are still stout defensively, and the run game has improved since the start of the season.
However, quarterback Desmond Ridder has taken the offense to a new level . The 6-foot-4 junior has developed into an NFL prospect.
Desmond Ridder now has 4 straight games with a passing and rushing touchdown, tied for the longest streak by a FBS player this season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 14, 2020
It is also tied for the longest streak by a Cincinnati player over the last 20 years. pic.twitter.com/Dptso3cFfE
Ridder, who often doesn’t play in the fourth quarter, because Cincinnati is routing its opponent, had 327 passing yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, in Week 11. He is a dynamic dual threat, with 398 rushing yards in the last four games, and will have a field day against Central Florida’s putrid defense.
This marks the third difficult conference test for UCF, which lost by eight points to Tulsa and gave up 50 in a setback to Memphis. The Knights are down this season, and they will prove no match for Cincinnati.
Pick: Cincinnati -5.5
#9 Indiana vs. #3 Ohio State
Sat, November 21 2020, 5:00 PM
Ohio State Buckeyes
Unbeaten Indiana has been one of the biggest surprises of the season, and the Hoosiers have had success covering bulky numbers in Columbus, with a 5-0 ATS record in the last five games at Ohio State.
I will grab the points with the improving Hoosiers. Indiana’s top-notch defense carried it to an upset win over Penn State in the opener, when the offense gained only 113 total yards until its final drive of the fourth quarter, and the Hoosiers continue to be outstanding defensively.
I’ve been impressed by the development of the Indiana offense. I moved the ball at-will in a resounding, shutout victory at Michigan State in Week 11. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. completed 25 of his 38 passes for 320 yards, and running back Ty Fryfogle exits his first 200-yard rushing performance.
Ohio State replaced a number of players in their secondary, and Indiana will put up points. The Buckeyes will still win because of their superior talent, but they won’t cover the spread.