Only a few weeks left in the 2022 college football season as we enter Week 12. A lot of teams are playing cupcakes this week ahead of a rivalry game in the regular-season finale but here are two intriguing matchups Saturday on the NCAAF odds.
Illinois at No. 3 Michigan (-18)
Illinois is off to a 7-3 start through 10 games, tied for the Illini’s best start since the 2007 team started 7-3 on its way to the Rose Bowl. Illinois’ seven wins are tied for its most since 2007. The Illini finished 7-6 in 2010 and 2011. Illinois is 10-5 in its last 15 games dating back to Oct. 23, 2021.
The Illini are the only team in the nation with three wins over teams in the top 15 of total defense. The Illini have wins over top-15 defense in Iowa (No. 3), Minnesota (No. 8), and Wisconsin (No. 14). Michigan and Illinois enter the week ranked 1st and 2nd in the nation in total defense.
Illinois ranks in the top 10 in 20 defensive categories: 1st in interceptions (17), 1st in passing efficiency defense (90.37), 2nd in total defense (246.9), 2nd in touchdowns allowed (13), 2nd in passes defended (69), 2nd in yards per pass attempt (5.3), 3rd in scoring defense (12.5), 3rd in takeaways (23), 4th in third down defense (26.9%), the in rushing touchdowns allowed (5), 4th in passing touchdowns allowed (8), 4th in fewest red zone attempts allowed (21), 5th in passing defense (161.0), 5th in yards per rush (3.0), 5th in third down conversions against (36), 5th in fourth down conversions against (4), 6th in rushing defense (85.9), 6th in first downs allowed (138), 8th in red zone touchdown percentage (42.9%), 10th in tackle for loss yards (305).
Illinois has allowed only 17 points in fourth quarters, with 10 coming last week against Purdue. Illinois has allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing in six of 10 games this season.
Michigan is 10-0 for the first time under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan is one of three teams ranked in the top 10 in both scoring offense (fifth) and scoring defense (first), along with Ohio State (second, offense; seventh, defense) and Georgia (seventh, offense; second, defense). U-M is scoring 41.4 points per game and allowing 11.2 points against, on average.
Michigan (+30.2) and Ohio State (+31.2) are the only teams in the country beating their opponents by more than 30 points per game, on average. They are also the only two teams with cumulative scoring margins above 300 points (OSU, +312; U-M, +301).Jake Moody leads the NCAA in points (109) and field goals per game (2.1 avg). Blake Corum is the national leader in total TDs (18) and lists second in rushing TDs (17) and points (108) as well as third in rushing (1,349 yards). Pick: Illinois ATS
Michigan has won five straight in the series.
No. 10 Utah at No. 12 Oregon (-3)
This could be a Pac-12 title game preview with Oregon and Utah tied for second in the league at 6-1 behind USC – my guess is only the winner gets there opposite the Trojans.
Through 10 games, Utah leads the Pac-12 in third down conversion percentage defense (.319), fourth down conversion percentage defense (.316), first downs defense (159), passing yards allowed (206.5), time of possession (33:46) and total defense (327.9). Utah is one of six Power Five programs that currently rank in the top-25 nationally in scoring offense (12th, 39.3) and scoring defense (21st, 20.0).
Utah has scored 40+ points in four of the last six games. It has produced 261 total first downs, which ranks seventh in the FBS. Utah ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and 12th nationally in FBS scoring offense (39.3) while leading the league in time of possession (33:46) while ranking 8th nationally. The Utes are also ranked 6th in the FBS, third in the Pac-12 in sacks allowed (0.80 per game), and 17th nationally and fourth in the league in team passing efficiency (155.66).
The Utes have performed well against AP Top 25 teams in the Kyle Whittingham era, recording 20 wins against ranked opponents, including top-10 victories over No. 4 Oregon (2021 regular season), No. 4 Alabama (2009), No. 5 Stanford (2013), No. 7 USC (2022), No. 8 UCLA (2014) and No. 10 Oregon (2021 Pac-12 Championship game).
Oregon had been the only team without a league loss until being upset 37-34 last week by Washington, which ended the Ducks’ College Football Playoff hopes. Oregon is one of just three teams in the nation (Ohio State & USC) to score 40-plus points eight times this season.
QB Bo Nix is tied for the FBS lead with 39 total touchdowns, and his 14 rushing TDs lead the Pac-12 and all FBS quarterbacks. UO is No. 2 in the nation with 520.6 total yards per game, and No. 1 since week two with 551.6 yards per game. The Ducks are one of just four FBS teams in the top 20 of both rushing offense (10th) and rushing defense (17th). Pick: Oregon ML.