College Football Odds Week 13: Latest Top 25 Picks and Final Score Predictions

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

Dwayne Haskins will try to keep Ohio State's winning streak intact.
Dwayne Haskins will try to keep Ohio State's winning streak intact.Associated Press

Rivalry week marks a series of highlight games in college football's regular season.

Huge games precede the conference championship games and the bowl assignments. While several of this year's rivalry matchups appear to be one-sided routs, upsets have a way of happening all the time. It seems quite clear that Alabama will roll over Auburn, Clemson will pound South Carolina and Notre Dame will punish USC, however, upsets are the lifeblood of college football.

Two rivalry games do not appear to be blowouts. Michigan has lost six games in a row and 13-of-14 to Ohio State, yet the Wolverines are 4.5-point favorites at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. The winner of that game will take the Big Ten East Division and meet Northwestern in the conference championship game.

Washington State is coming off a 69-28 victory over Arizona, and Gardner Minshew has thrown himself squarely into the Heisman Trophy race. The Cougars host a strong Washington team, as those two battle for the Apple Cup.

Here's a look at this week's Top 25 schedule and predictions, along with a detailed and historical look at Michigan-Ohio State game and the Notre Dame-USC battle.


Week 13 Schedule and Predictions (Point spreads courtesy of OddsShark)

Thursday, November 22

No. 22 Mississippi State (-13) at Ole Miss (7:30 p.m., ESPN). Mississippi State 30, Ole Miss 20


Friday, November 23

No. 11 Texas (-15.5) at Kansas (Noon, FS1). Texas 37, Kansas 10 

No. 8 UCF (-14) at South Florida (4:15 p.m., ESPN). UCF 35, South Florida 13

No. 6 Oklahoma (-3) at No. 12 West Virginia (8 p.m., ESPN). West Virginia 34, Oklahoma 26 

No. 16 Washington at No. 7 Washington State (-2.5) (8:30 p.m., Fox). Washington State 40, Washington 27 


Saturday, November 24

No. 4 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 10 Ohio State (Noon, Fox). Ohio State 28, Michigan 27

Georgia Tech at No. 5 Georgia (-17) (Noon, SEC Network). Georgia 44, Georgia Tech 21 

No. 13 Florida (-6.5) at Florida State (Noon, ABC). Florida State 33, Florida 28 

No. 19 Syracuse at Boston College (-7) (Noon, ESPN). Boston College 33, Syracuse 30

Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-24) (3:30 p.m., CBS). Alabama 31, Auburn 0

Maryland at No. 15 Penn State (-13.5) (3:30 p.m., ABC). Penn State 27, Maryland 10

Illinois at No. 20 Northwestern (-17) (3:30 p.m., BTN). Northwestern 33, Illinois 14

No. 24 Pittsburgh at Miami (-4.5) (3:30 p.m., ESPN). Miami 33, Pittsburgh 14 

South Carolina at No. 2 Clemson (-26) (7 p.m., ESPN). Clemson 38, South Carolina 14 

No. 17 Kentucky (-17) at Louisville (7 p.m., ESPN2). Kentucky 42, Louisville 20

Kansas State at No. 25 Iowa State (-13.5) (7 p.m., FS1). Iowa State 34, Kansas State 13

No. 8 LSU at Texas A&M (-3) (7:30 p.m., SEC Network). Texas A&M 27, LSU 26 

No. 3 Notre Dame (-11) at USC (8 p.m., ABC). Notre Dame 28, USC 21

BYU at No. 18 Utah (-11.5) (10 p.m., FS1). Utah 33, BYU 20 

No. 14 Utah State at No. 21 Boise State (-2.5) (10:15 p.m., ESPN). Boise State 33, Utah State 27 


Michigan at Ohio State

The Wolverines have been perfect since losing Game 1 of the season to Notre Dame. The Wolverines have reeled off 10 straight wins and have a powerful defense.

Ohio State has not had the same kind of season as the Wolverines. While the Buckeyes are also 10-1, they were routed by Purdue, pushed hard by an ordinary Nebraska team and gave up 51 points to Maryland in winning the game in overtime.

It would seem that Michigan is a much stronger team that Urban Meyer's Buckeyes and finally have a chance to beat Ohio State. But it is still going to be a challenging task for Michigan because of the pressure the Wolverines will be facing.

In addition to trying to beat Meyer for the first time, the Wolverines are playing for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The Wolverines are the No. 4 team in the latest rankings, putting them inside the playoff structure. They have dominated most Saturdays since losing the opener to the Fighting Irish, and all they have to do to get there is beat their ancient rivals at Ohio Stadium.

Jim Harbaugh has never beaten Ohio State as a head coach, but he knows what it feels like to beat the Buckeyes. He recorded a 3-1 record as a player when he was a quarterback for the Maize and Blue.

Michigan will depend on Shea Patterson to get the attack in gear. Patterson has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,177 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions. His accurate passing has opened things up for running back Karan Higdon, who has rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

Ohio State will try to counter with quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who is one of the most accurate and prolific passers in the nation. Haskins has completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 3,685 yards with 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Haskins has two big-time receivers in K.J. Hill and Parris Campbell. Hill has caught 62 passes for 772 yards and five touchdowns, while Campbell has added 66 receptions for 711 yards and nine touchdowns. Running back J.K. Dobbins has given the Buckeyes balance with 915 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs.

The Buckeyes have more than enough offense to keep up with nearly every team, but the defense is their issue. Still, Meyer's team has fine personnel on defense and they are capable of playing a strong game.

If they play their best game, the Buckeyes should be able to play competitively with the Wolverines.

That's what they need if they are going to make it seven wins in a row over Michigan and 14 in the last 15 games.


Notre Dame at USC

The Fighting Irish have played flawless football in winning every game. They defeated a strong Syracuse team last Saturday at Yankee Stadium, pounding the Orange 36-3.

Notre Dame needs one more win to complete an undefeated regular season and earn a spot in the College Football Playoffs for the first time.

All the 11-0 Fighting Irish have to do to get there is beat the USC Trojans. The Trojan are an ordinary team this year, and are coming off a painful loss to crosstown rival UCLA that dropped their record to 5-6.

It should be a simple task for head coach Brian Kelly and his players. The Irish have beaten Michigan, Stanford, Northwestern and Syracuse, so it seems unlikely that the struggling Trojans can stop them.

However, these are two teams that have battled each other for decades, and going out to Los Angeles has been a troublesome issue for Notre Dame through the years.

Perhaps the most famous game in the series took place in 1974, when the Irish went to Los Angeles and jumped out to a 24-0 lead. The game was indeed a rout, but when the final gun went off, it was USC and its superb running back Anthony Davis who had rolled to a 55-24 victory.

The 1996 USC team was 5-6 and had endured 11 straight losses to Notre Dame, while the Fighting Irish were 8-2. The Trojans, coming off a loss to UCLA, pulled out a 27-20 triumph.

USC has been victorious in Notre Dame's last two trips to the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Despite those troublesome defeats, Notre Dame leads the all-time series 47-37-5.

It would be difficult to see USC pulling off another upset in the series, but the possibility exists, and that's part of the great appeal of college football.