2023 College Football Week 12 predictions, best bets by Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica

“Bear Bets” are real wagers that Chris “The Bear” Fallica is actually making.

Week 12 of the college football season is here, and I like several underdogs to bark this weekend.

I will share my best bets and gambling nuggets (Bear Bytes) with you throughout the season in this space. So, if you are looking to throw a few bucks down on the big games this week, I’ve got you covered.

On a side note, a new episode of my digital gambling show and podcast will be posted every Thursday. The college football-focused episodes — presented by Big Noon Kickoff — will be released on Thursdays, with the NFL-themed episodes dropping on Fridays.

We’re coming off a winning week, so let’s keep this thing rolling!

Here are my favorite wagers for Week 12.

Last week: 6-4 (36-44-1 season)

(All times ET Saturday)

Joel Klatt reacts to Week 12 CFP rankings

Joel Klatt reacts to Week 12 CFP rankings

No. 24 Tulane @ FAU, noon, ESPN+

The Green Wave have just the one loss (to Ole Miss, and that was without quarterback Michael Pratt), but Tulane finds itself in a close game nearly every week. Each of the last four games have been one-score games, and even their 31-21 win at Memphis required a comeback. 


Tulane Green Wave


Florida Atlantic Owls


Maybe it will ultimately catch up with them. Maybe it won’t. But this could be a tricky spot on the road against Tom Herman’s team as the Green Wave plays UTSA the following week, which will have AAC title game implications. 

FAU has been so bad the last two weeks that it would be perfectly understandable to see Tulane come in a little lethargic. 

PICK: FAU (+9.5) to lose by fewer than 9.5 points (or win outright)

No. 6 Oregon @ Arizona State, 4 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports App

There’s a long list of recent struggles in the state of Arizona for the Ducks. It’s likely too many points here, too, as Oregon has the Civil War next week and potentially a Pac-12 title game in a couple of weeks.


Oregon Ducks


Arizona State Sun Devils


Often, when teams are on the outside of the CFP top four looking in, they tend to press and try to put up a big number to impress the committee. 

Outside of getting drilled at Utah when the QB situation was a complete disaster, ASU has played really well since the final week of September. I’ll take the points. 

PICK: Arizona State (+24) to lose by fewer than 24 points (or win outright)

RELATED: College football Week 12 by the numbers

No. 5 Washington @ No. 11 Oregon State, 7:30 p.m., ABC

This line has moved too much for my liking, and I haven’t heard anyone like the Huskies this week. Sure, the Beavers have been close to unbeatable in Corvallis the last two years, but UW has been finding ways to win games all season. 


Washington Huskies



Oregon State Beavers


I think the Washington offense will give Oregon State problems here. It would surely be a Cinderella story for the Beavers to ruin UW’s undefeated season in its final Pac-12 home game, but all stories don’t always have a happy ending. 

PICK: Washington (+2.5) to lose by fewer than 2.5 points (or win outright)

Illinois @ No. 16 Iowa, 3:30 p.m., FS1 and FOX Sports App

What does offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz have in store for us in his final game at Kinnick? My guess is it will be glorious, given that the Hawkeyes put up more than 20 points only once in the last five games. 

Illinois Fighting Illini



Iowa Hawkeyes


Being that Iowa can’t score and Illinois’ last four games have been decided by three, four, one and three points, it feels like an autoplay on the ‘dog. The 30.5 total, well, there isn’t a chance in the world I’d go Over. 

PICK: Illinois (+3.5) to lose by fewer than 3.5 points (or win outright)

Temple at UAB, 3 p.m., ESPN+

I can’t imagine laying this many points with a team coming off a 31-6 loss to a bad Navy team.  

Temple Owls


UAB Blazers


Yes, the Blazers have a couple of high-scoring wins over USF and FAU, but their defense has been dreadful all season and Temple QB E.J. Warner should be able to put up enough points to hang around. 

PICK: Temple (+8) to lose by 8 points or fewer (or win outright)

Wake Forest @ No. 19 Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., NBC

Outside the loss to Ohio State, the Fighting Irish have blitzed people in South Bend, winning by 53, 24, 28 and 51 points. 

After an ugly performance at Clemson two weeks ago, this looks like a classic spot off the idle week when a team just lets out its frustration against an inferior squad in its final home game of the season. 

Wake Forest Demon Deacons



Notre Dame Fighting Irish


The Demon Deacons have so many problems on offense that I can’t see many points here at all. The most they’ve scored in ACC play is 21, and with the QB problems they have, I’d be stunned if they came close to that here. 

Sam Hartman should feast on his former team. 

PICK: Notre Dame (-24.5) to win by more than 24.5 points

Nebraska @ Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m., NBC

I really am wishing for the worst by betting on two Big Ten West games this week, but while the Badgers have been incredibly disappointing, this number feels like one where the ‘dog will be popular.

But this is Nebraska, who has turned it over a whopping 27 times this season, including four games with at least four.

Nebraska Cornhuskers


Wisconsin Badgers


Wisconsin may be boring and predictable, but at least I expect it to take care of the ball and capitalize on short fields when the Huskers inevitably turn it over. 

The Badgers haven’t lost four games in a row since 2008, so it’s hard for me to wrap my head around this program being this down. 

PICK: Wisconsin (-4.5) to win by more than 4.5 points


Virginia +155
Rutgers +895
Illinois +135
Washington +120
Stanford +215
Temple +230

Chris “The Bear” Fallica has covered sports for nearly three decades. While college football has been his focus, he also enjoys the NFL, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, MLB, NHL and Horse Racing, with an “occasional” wager on such events. Chris recently won the inaugural Circa Football Invitational and finished in the Top 10 of the Golden Nugget Football Contest. He’s a multiple-time qualifier for the NHC Handicapping Championship. Remember, “The less you bet, the more you lose when you win!” Follow him on Twitter @chrisfallica

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