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College Football Picks: Best Bets for Week 13 of the NCAA Football Season
The final week of the College Football Season is always the most exciting--there are rivalries around every corner, and almost every game has serious conference championship or national championship implications. We already saw the Eggbowl kick-off last night where Ole Miss beat little brother Mississippi State 31-21 behind an incredible performance from Rebel’s Quarterback Will Rogers, who completed 38 passes for 336 yards and a touchdown.
But a Thanksgiving night Eggbowl is just the start of the party, seeing as in just the next 48 hours we’ll be getting the Iron Bowl, The Game, Bedlam, The Apple Cup, and the Battle for the Axe. With all these great rivalries set to kick-off this weekend, it’s sometimes easy to forget about all the other games going on at the same time--so I’m going to give you some of my rivalry game and non-rivalry game best bets for this weeks College Football slate.
Boise State @ #22 San Diego State (+2.5)
Friday, November 26th at 12:00 PM EST
Boise State comes into this game looking to extend a four-game win streak, which saw key wins such as a 40-14 victory in Fresno against the #23 rank Bulldogs. San Diego State finds itself on a winning streak of its own (albeit against lesser competition) beating Hawaii, Nevada, and UNLV following a 30-20 loss to Fresno in week 9. This game has huge implications for the Mountain West Conference, as both teams really need a win in order to ensure a spot in the conference championship.
It’s rare you see an at-home, ranked opponent as the underdog--but that should just show how well this Boise State team has been playing recently. The Broncos have been a brick wall on defense, allowing only an average of 13.3 points to their last 6 opponents. Ignoring a lackluster performance last week, Broncos Quarterback Hank Bachmeier has seen lots of success recently, averaging a passer rating of 142.9 during this four-game win streak. Ultimately, I expect the Bronco’s defense to be too much for the slumping Aztecs offense to handle (they have been held to 28 or fewer points in the last 6 weeks) and a hot Boise passing game is just the cherry on top.
Pick: Boise State -2.5 (-130)
#17 Iowa @ Nebraska (-1.5)
Friday, November 26th at 1:27 PM EST
The Nebraska Cornhuskers may just be the greatest 3-8 team of all time. Having not lost a game by more than 9 points all season, Nebraska is a threat every time they step on the field--but just have trouble pulling the trigger. Most of that competitiveness is due to Quarterback Adrian Martinez, who will unfortunately miss this game with a shoulder injury. Regardless, the bookmakers still love the Cornhuskers in this game, favoring the 3 win team by one and a half points.
On the other hand, Iowa will look to keep their 6-year rivalry win streak rolling with a win this weekend in Nebraska. Not only does a win keep the tradition alive, but a win in Nebraska combined with a Minnesota upset over Wisoncon would find the Hawkeyes as the sole leaders of their division, and would cement themselves a spot in the conference championship.
While I feel Nebraska has all the tools to force an upset here, an old gambling adage keeps repeating itself in the back of my head:
“Hungry dogs run faster.”
And who’s hungrier than a dog one win away from a Conference Championship?
Pick: Iowa Moneyline (-104)
Akron @ Toledo (-28.5)
Saturday, November 27th at 12 PM EST
Name one thing better than some Saturday morning MAc-tion? Here we’ll find the 2 win Akron Zips take on the 6-5 Rockets in what should be a blowout of epic proportions. The only question is: will it be ENOUGH of a blowout to comfortably lay the 28.5 points? Looking at Akron’s last game, you should feel comfortable saying yes. The Zips were absolutely trounced in their last outing, being held to a goose egg while giving up 38 points to the Kent State offense. The loss kept the Zips in their five-game losing streak, and with a tough matchup against Toledo in their final week, it looks like it’ll comfortably extend to six.
Toledo Quarterback De’Quann Finn has proven his ability to torch weaker defenses, posting up 881 yards in just his last three games. The Rockets offense has also scored more than 30 points in each of their last four games, so that 28.5 spread is looking more and more realistic.
Pick: Toledo -28.5 (-114)
Florida State @ Florida (-2.5)
Saturday, November 27th at 12 PM EST
The University of Florida is having a season to forget--sitting at 5-6 and having fired their coach midseason, the Gators are ready for this one to be over. In order to do that though, they’ll have to get through the Florida State Seminoles who--if we’re being honest--also stink. FSU also currently stands at 5-6 on the season, but find themselves on a two-game win streak coming into this final game. Actually, FSU has won 5 of their last 7 after having lost the first four games of the season; so while the 5-6 record stands true, it doesn’t tell the full story. The FSU defense has really started to click--while it may not be the best, they have been excellent at committing timely stops and big plays when needed. Their offense has been following suit, scoring over 30 points in four of their last seven games.
This is a classic matchup between the technically worse yet hot team, against the technically better yet cold team--and when it comes down to this I always take the hotter team.
Pick: FSU Moneyline (+124)