College Football Week 13 Betting Guide: Odds, Picks and Value Bets

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesCollege Basketball National AnalystNovember 23, 2018

College Football Week 13 Betting Guide: Odds, Picks and Value Bets

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    Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
    Ohio State QB Dwayne HaskinsGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Michigan vs. Ohio State should be the biggest highlight in a college football week full of great rivalry games, but that contest is also arguably your best opportunity to turn money into...well...more money.

    Whether you prefer over/unders, spreads or moneyline multipliers, we've got you covered with tips on the best Week 13 bets. We're also noting a few games you don't want to touch with a 10-foot pole.

    Has the Notre Dame-USC line moved too far in favor of the Fighting Irish? Are Kansas State and Colorado going to become bowl-eligible by winning as double-digit underdogs? And is there any way the Apple Cup fails to produce at least 50 combined points?

    We cover all that and more in this week's college football betting guide.

Moneyline Picks and Picks Against the Spread for CFP Top 25 Games

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    Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond
    Texas A&M QB Kellen MondDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Auburn at No. 1 Alabama: Auburn (+24) and Alabama (-2500)

    South Carolina at No. 2 Clemson: Clemson (-26 and -5000)

    No. 3 Notre Dame at USC: USC (+11) and Notre Dame (-425)

    No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State: Michigan (-4.5 and -190)

    Georgia Tech at No. 5 Georgia: Georgia Tech (+17) and Georgia (-725)

    No. 6 Oklahoma at No. 13 West Virginia: Oklahoma (-3 and -155)

    No. 7 LSU at No. 22 Texas A&M: Texas A&M (-3 and -155)

    No. 16 Washington at No. 8 Washington State: Washington State (-2.5 and -135)

    No. 9 UCF at South Florida: UCF (-14 and -540)

    No. 11 Florida at Florida State: Florida State (+6.5) and Florida (-240)

    Maryland at No. 12 Penn State: Penn State (-13.5 and -525)

    No. 14 Texas at Kansas: Texas (-15.5 and -600)

    No. 15 Kentucky at Louisville: Kentucky (-17 and -710)

    BYU at No. 17 Utah: Utah (-11.5 and -425)

    Illinois at No. 19 Northwestern: Illinois (+17) and Northwestern (-800)

    No. 20 Syracuse at Boston College: Syracuse (+7 and +225)

    No. 21 Utah State at No. 23 Boise State: Boise State (-2.5 and -131)

    No. 24 Pittsburgh at Miami: Pittsburgh (+4.5 and +170)

    Kansas State at No. 25 Iowa State: Kansas State (+13 and +400)

    Last Week: 18-4 straight up, 11-11 against the spread

    Year to Date: 77-30 straight up, 53-53-1 against the spread


    No. 18 Mississippi State at Ole Miss not included because it was played prior to publish.

    On moneylines, a minus means you need to bet that much to win $100. A plus means a $100 bet would return that much profit.

Spreads to Bet

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    Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson
    Buffalo QB Tyree JacksonDustin Satloff/Getty Images

    Buffalo (-14.5) at Bowling Green

    Bowling Green has won two in a row against offensively anemic Central Michigan (15.2 PPG) and Akron (19.6 PPG), but things will go back to normal against Buffalo (34.5 PPG).

    The Falcons had allowed at least 35 points in each of their first nine games, and they were especially porous against quality offenses. Oregon, Georgia Tech, Toledo and Ohio rank in the top 30 in scoring average, and they each tallied at least 49 and won by at least 16 against Bowling Green.

    Look for Tyree Jackson and Co. to join that club in a 52-24 type rout.


    Pittsburgh (+4.5) at Miami

    Credit to Miami for getting back on track with a road win over Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes had been a nightmare on offense for more than a month prior to dropping 38 points on the Hokies. But Virginia Tech is 4-6 and up a creek without a paddle in its own right, so how much did that win tell us?

    Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has won back-to-back games by at least a three-touchdown margin and is on a four-game winning streak. It has been a night-and-day transformation for the Panthers since the end of September, and home or away doesn't much matter to them. They almost won at Notre Dame. They did win at Virginia. And they just blew out Wake Forest in Winston-Salem on Saturday.

    This line is based on names rather than anything we have witnessed on the field for the past six weeks. Pittsburgh should win.


    LSU at Texas A&M (-3)

    It feels weird to bet against the No. 7 team in the country when it is getting points against a four-loss opponent, but this line is all about location, location, location.

    LSU has not been great in road games. The Tigers needed a last-second field goal to win at Auburnwhich isn't anywhere near as impressive now as it seemed at the time. They lost at Florida. And they won at Arkansas by only a touchdown.

    Meanwhile, Texas A&M has been great in College Station. The Aggies almost upset Clemson back in Week 2. They did upset Kentucky in Week 6. And they won each of their other four home games by at least two touchdowns. They'll shut down the LSU offense and eliminate what minuscule hope the Tigers have of reaching the College Football Playoff.


    Last Week's Picks (1-2)

    NC State -16.5 at Louisville (actual: NC State by 42)
    Kentucky -16 vs. Middle Tennessee (Kentucky by 11)
    Boston College -1.5 at Florida State (Florida State by 1)

    Year to Date: 7-10-1

Stay-Away Games

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    Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor
    Wisconsin RB Jonathan TaylorMorry Gash/Associated Press

    Hawaii at San Diego State (-17.5)

    San Diego State is 3-8 against the spread and has failed to cover in five of its last six games. But Hawaii isn't any better, sitting 3-7-2 on the year with an 0-4-1 record over the past five games. Both teams consistently fail to live up to Vegas' expectations.

    Making this game even tougher to figure out is that Hawaii could have a bit of a quarterback controversy on its hands after Chevan Cordeiro came on in relief of Cole McDonald last week, completing four of five passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns in a fourth-quarter comeback.

    If you insist on betting on the final game of the night, maybe get frisky with a +725 moneyline play on Hawaii. I don't like it enough to put it in the "Best Moneyline Value Bets" section, but San Diego State has played in nine consecutive games decided by single digits. If that trend continues, you could be one fluky play from a big payday.


    Texas at Kansas (+15)

    Texas's injury report is about a mile long.

    Sam Ehlinger suffered another shoulder injury that knocked him out of last week's game against Iowa State. Running backs Keaontay Ingram and Tre Watson have minor hip injuries. Senior leaders on defense Kris Boyd (knee) and Breckyn Hager (elbow) got banged up in the last game and might be playing at less than full strength. (Who isn't at less than full strength after three months of football, though?)

    And Kansas isn't anywhere near the punching bag it was for so many years. The Jayhawks just stayed within 15 points of Oklahoma one week after nearly winning at Kansas State. Texas should win this game, but that's a lot of points to lay on the road.


    Minnesota at Wisconsin (-10.5)

    Minnesota has five wins and is desperate to get No. 6 after sputtering to a 5-7 record last year in P.J. Fleck's debut. But...

    Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor has averaged 238 rushing yards per game and 8.9 yards per carry over his last three games. He should have a field day against a Minnesota defense that allowed a combined 1,128 yards on the ground to Maryland, Nebraska and Illinois. But...

    Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook might not play for the third consecutive week because of a concussion. But...

    Minnesota is 0-4 on the road this season, losing each game by at least 16 points.

    Just don't even try to figure this one out.

Easy Over/Unders

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    Gardner Minshew II
    Gardner Minshew IIYoung Kwak/Associated Press

    Easy Over: Washington at Washington State (Over 48.5)

    The eight most recent Apple Cups each featured at least 44 points, and six of them reached 55 or more. And the Washington State offense is more prolific this year than it was during any of those contests. Heck, Gardner Minshew II accounted for seven touchdowns last week alone. This one should get to around 63 points in a 35-28 type thriller.


    Easy Over: BYU at Utah (Over 44)

    On the one hand, this makes sense. BYU doesn't score a ton, and each defense has held opponents to fewer than 21 points per game. A 28-14 win by Utah wouldn't surprise anyone.

    However, the Utes have scored at least 30 points in six of their last seven games, and the total has reached at least 51 in seven of Utah's last eight games. Even without quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss for the past two games, the Utes offense is still potent enough to get this game to the over.


    Easy Under: Kentucky at Louisville (Under 52)

    The strangest part of this total is that Kentucky is only favored by 17 points, so Vegas is expecting something like a 34-17 Wildcats victory. Benny Snell Jr. is going to run wild against this Louisville defense, but it's hard to believe the Cardinals are going to score three times against the Kentucky D. This feels like more of a 28-10 type of game.


    Easy Under: Syracuse at Boston College (Under 57.5)

    Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is questionable to play after leaving last week's game with a back injury. Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown suffered an internal injury two weeks ago and wasn't crisp in last week's loss to Florida State. BC has a solid defense, and Syracuse's isn't terrible. It's probably going to be freezing cold in Boston.

    How is this expected to be a shootout?


    Last Week's Picks (0-2)

    South Florida at Temple over 61 (Actual 44)
    Miami at Virginia Tech under 51.5* (Actual 52)

    *This line closed at 53, but it was 51.5 when I got it. I hope you waited until Friday night or Saturday morning and profited from the advice.

    Year to Date: 7-5

Best Moneyline Value Bets

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    Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder
    Kansas State head coach Bill SnyderOrlin Wagner/Associated Press

    This section was an utter disaster last week. Not only did Arizona and Illinois fail to pull off upsets, but they also each gave up more than 60 points in blowout losses.

    However, I did say I didn't like any of last week's options aside from Colgate over Army (didn't happen). As it turned out, there was not a single team that won outright as an underdog of more than a touchdownexcluding Ball State +10 over Western Michigan, since that game was played two days before we published.

    I see a lot of great options this week, though, so let's go hit some multipliers:


    Kansas State (+400) at Iowa State
    Colorado (+400) at California

    We're lumping these two games together because the logic behind each one is the same: The 5-6 road team is itching to become bowl-eligible against a 6-4 opponent that frankly doesn't have much reason to care about this game.

    Kansas State has won 10 consecutive games against Iowa State, and the Wildcats have held four of their last five opponents to 17 points or fewer, winning three of those contests. They even shut down Texas Tech's high-octane offense last week, limiting the Red Raiders to 181 yards. And Iowa State is coming off a rather anemic performance of its own in a loss to Texas. If I could bet only one of these four double-digit dogs to win outright, Kansas State would be the one.

    Colorado is looking to snap a six-game losing streak, and it has to do so against a Cal defense that has held four straight opponents to fewer than 20 points. But there's a decent chance the Buffaloes get the job done, because the Golden Bears offense has been held to 17 points or fewer in five of the team's last six games.


    Troy (+340) at Appalachian State

    Appalachian State has had a great season. Each of its eight wins was by double digits, and it held its opponent to 17 points or fewer in every one of those games.

    But Troy is the best opponent the Mountaineers have faced since their season opener against Penn State, and it's hard to fathom why this spread is as wide as it is. The Trojans have also suffered just one loss since Week 1, and they have limited their last 10 opponents to 17.7 points per game.

    Appalachian State should probably be favored by a field goal, and there's a much better than 1-in-4 chance Troy wins this road game.


    Georgia Tech (+650) at Georgia

    Georgia Tech has won its last two road games against Georgia, and four of the last five games in this series were decided by a touchdown or less. With the Bulldogs' colossal SEC Championship Game showdown against Alabama looming, this game has "Trap!" written all over it.

    I do expect Georgia to win the game, but this line is too nice to pass up.

Noteworthy Line Movement

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    Notre Dame RB Dexter Williams
    Notre Dame RB Dexter WilliamsJoe Robbins/Getty Images

    Akron at Ohio (-17.5 to -23.5)

    Usually for a line to move by an entire touchdown, it's the result of significant injury news. In this case, though, it was just a poorly placed line when it opened.

    Ohio has one of the most potent offenses in the country, and the Bobcats have held four of their last five opponents to 17 points or fewer, winning each of those games by at least a 35-point margin. Meanwhile, Akron is one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country. The Zips have scored just 13 points in the past two weeks combined, and they have averaged 14.5 points over their last eight games.

    This game has blowout written all over it. Akron's defense might be good enough to hold Ohio to 35 points, but its offense isn't good enough to score more than twice.


    Florida at Florida State (+4 to +6.5)

    This isn't much movement, but it is interesting that a team in position for a New Year's Six bowl is favored by fewer than seven against a team that needs this win to qualify for any bowl.

    Wouldn't this line be a lot higher if not for the six decades of history between these programs? As far as disparity in talent is concerned, this matchup is about on par with Penn State at Indiana, and the Nittany Lions were favored by two touchdowns in that Week 8 game.

    Then again, Penn State only won that game 33-28, so maybe this line is right where it should be.


    Notre Dame at USC (+8 to +11)

    It's surprising that this line has gotten this high.

    USC has struggled lately. There's no question about that. But the Trojans have battled well at home, beating Washington State and Colorado before losing to Arizona State and California by a combined margin of four points. And Notre Dame's worst defensive efforts this season have all come on the road.

    Granted, "worst" is a relative term there, as the Fighting Irish have yet to allow more than 27 points or 441 total yards in a game. But they did have some trouble slowing down Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, neither of which is any better than USC currently is.

    However, apparently a lot of people are confident that Notre Dame is going to get to 12-0 in convincing fashion.

Lock of the Week: Michigan (-4.5) at Ohio State

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    Michigan QB Shea Patterson
    Michigan QB Shea PattersonCorey Perrine/Getty Images

    Michigan (-4.5) at Ohio State

    I know the past history here. Ohio State has won six in a row in this series, and Michigan hasn't won at the Horseshoe since 2000.

    But I also know the present, and Michigan is better than Ohio State by a wide margin.

    Quick question: When was the last time you were impressed with Ohio State's play?

    It certainly wasn't last week in the 52-51 win over Maryland. Nor was it the week before that against Michigan State, when the Buckeyes only led 9-6 at the start of the fourth quarter. We can rule out the close call at home against Nebraska and the blowout loss to Purdue, too.

    Before the Boilermakers beatdown, they struggled early in home games against Indiana and Minnesota. Even in the crucial road win over Penn State, OSU looked downright awful in the first half. Had the Nittany Lions capitalized instead of settling for field goals, that game could have gotten out of hand.

    The only Big Ten opponent Ohio State looked good against was Rutgers, and that was 10 weeks ago.

    But aside from last week's less-than-impressive home win over Indianathe trap game specialMichigan has been just plain dominant since early October.

    In three consecutive games against then-ranked opponents, the Wolverines held Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State to a combined total of 27 points and 563 yards. (Ohio State allowed 51 points and 535 yards just last week.)

    While I do expect Ohio State's offense to do more damage to Michigan's defense than any other team has this season, the Buckeyes are still only going to score a max of 28 points in this game. That won't be enough to stay within a touchdown of what the Wolverines are going to do to this Buckeyes defense.

    Last week's lock: Baylor -2 vs. TCU (actual: Baylor did nothing right on offense and lost 16-9 to TCU and its fourth-string quarterback.)

    Year-to-Date Locks: 3-3 *Hangs head in shame*


    All moneylines, spreads and over/under totals are via OddsShark and accurate through Thursday evening.

    Kerry Miller covers college football and men's college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @kerrancejames.