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Underdogs No More: the 2019 Frogs O’ War Pick ‘Em Challenge – Week 12

Week 11 lived up to expectations. Can Week 12 deliver an encore?

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama
Joe Burrow & Coach O taking down the Crimson Tide highlighted a wild Week 11
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 Recap

The hype was massive for Week 11, and it absolutely delivered. The latest “Game of the Century” in Tuscaloosa actually produced one of the great games this season, as LSU took a huge step in securing a Playoff bid, defeating Alabama as 5.5-point underdogs. The other undefeated matchup also produced an upset, as the Golden Gophers proved the doubters wrong and rowed the boat over Penn State as 7-point underdogs. There were 18 total upsets for the week, and our entrants were great at spotting them: only two entries failed to correctly select an underdog victory. The biggest surprises were Tulsa over UCF, Illinois over Michigan State, and Nevada over San Diego State. Astrostock took home the top prize for the week, with App State knocking off South Carolina being the game pushing it over the top.

Week 11’s top performers

Our overall leader, Victory Cigars for Everyone had a modest week, scoring only 9.5 points on this hearty slate, allowing much of the pack to gain a bit of ground. CypressFrog and Kristin each jumped into the overall top 10. The biggest rise up the leaderboard this week came from I’m a little late, whose 20 point output sent it up 8 spots to #22 overall. You can still make your own leap up the leaderboard and earn weekly prizes, so join now.

The overall leaderboard after 11 weeks

Week 12 Picks

1. Louisiana Tech (+2.5) vs. Marshall – Weird stuff can certainly happen on a Friday night in West Virginia, so the home field advantage points make some sense here, but this line assumes these two teams are essentially equal. The Bulldogs have been dominant this season with its only loss being to the Longhorns in Austin, so perhaps the wrong team is favored here. However, I have been on the wrong side of Marshall all season, so I wouldn’t be surprised by anything from the Herd.

2. North Carolina (+4.5) vs. Pittsburgh – I guess I’m going all in on Friday night this week. Pitt has been a favorite target of mine, both for and against, so looking to keep it rolling again this week. The Tar Heels have been so close to a Cinderella season: their five losses have come by an average of 3.8 points, yet they still need two wins to reach bowl eligibility. Think they can get one step closer at Heinz.

3. Navy (+7) vs. Notre Dame – USA! U5A! USA! Navy enters a critical stretch of schedule (following this one with SMU, Houston & Army), where winning out could put the Midshipmen atop the G5 rankings headed to a NY6 game. The Irish meanwhile will be at least 2 TD favorites in each of its remaining games, so this is its last chance to make an impression and potentially earn an at-large NY6 bid. Frankly, it’s just fun to root against Notre Dame and Navy has a real shot to take this one. This line opened with Navy as 11-point underdogs, so obviously someone agrees.

4. Wyoming (+6) vs. Utah State – I’ve been on the Aggie bandwagon all season, and it finally paid off last week as they took down Fresno State, but here is where I exit that train. Wyoming has been a sneaky strong team this season – beating Mizzou to open the season and almost knocking off Boise in OT last week. I believe this game is closer to a toss-up, so give me the extra points.

5. Syracuse (+10.5) vs. Duke – The Orange have given no reason to think they’ll win another game this season, even in an especially lackluster ACC, with wins over only Liberty, WMU, and Holy Cross. So why put any faith behind one of the season’s most disappointing teams? It’s admittedly primarily the large number – I don’t think Duke should be laying double-digits against almost anyone. Also, Syracuse is coming off a Bye, while Duke just got beat up by Notre Dame; if the “Body Blow” theory holds, the Blue Devils could struggle. This is also a look-ahead spot for Duke, with Tobacco Road rivals Wake Forest up next. Also, think the line is suggesting a home-field advantage that simply is not present in Durham.

Your Picks

You might feel a bit of a letdown after last week, but there is plenty to excite in Week 12 too – several great top-25 match ups; some narrative builders; and of course you could jump all the way up the leaderboard if you think Rutgers can take down Ohio State as a 50+ point underdog. Fill out your selections in the form below or click HERE if your browser doesn’t show the form on this page. Remember to get your picks in before the start of games you select – Week 11 Schedule. Good luck!