1. #1
    Hman
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    Best Bets For Week 13 College Football Games 🏈

    Best bets for Week 13 college football games

    ESPN INSIDER ($ MATERIAL)



    Every Thursday during the season, Bill Connelly, Doug Kezirian, Preston Johnson and Phil Steele will provide their top plays across the college football landscape.Here are their best bets for the 13th full week of the college football season:


    Season ATS records:
    Connelly record: 25-12-2 (3-1 last week)
    Steele record: 29-34 (5-0 last week)
    Johnson record: 33-23-1 (2-0 last week)
    Kezirian record: 41-32-1 (4-3 last week)


    Note: Lines displayed are Caesars Sportsbook lines as of Wednesday night.
    Saturday's games


    No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (-18)

    Kezirian: I'm not concerned about laying this kind of lumber against a top-10 team (not a big rankings guy). This is about Ohio State being historically dominant and Penn State being a bit of a mirage. I'm surprised the Nittany Lions rank in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, but this is a straight play from the eye test. I think the Buckeyes will successfully throw deep, just as we saw Minnesota do against Penn State. With the return of Chase Young, I trust the defense can keep the Nittany Lions in check here. I expect a rout.


    Pick: Ohio State -18




    No. 7 Utah Utes (-23) at Arizona Wildcats

    Kezirian: Oregon is getting all the hype as a potential CFP participant, but Utah is also in the mix -- and I think the Utes are better. They have a smothering defense, and the offense is better than people realize. QB Tyler Huntley has battled some injuries, but he is reliable and has thrown only one interception all season. The Utes just dominated UCLA 49-3, and I think we are in store for a similar outcome Saturday. Arizona is lifeless right now and likely playing for only next week's rivalry game against Arizona State. The Wildcats mustered just two field goals last week in a blowout loss at Oregon, and I expect similar ineptitude against Utah. The Utes have covered six straight games, including two with a 21-point spread. I trust them to handle their business against such a finesse team as Zona.


    Pick: Utah -22.5



    No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers (-13.5) at Northwestern Wildcats

    Connelly: Let's lean on SP+ for some quick math. Since conference play began for the Gophers -- we're ignoring their early nonconference performances because they are clearly a different team now -- they have played the teams ranked 51st (Illinois), 55th (Nebraska), 61st (Purdue) and 80th (Maryland) in SP+. They won those games by an average of 24.8 points.


    Northwestern is 84th. The Wildcats averaged 6.3 yards per play against UMass last week, which sounds fine until you realize it was the second-lowest average UMass' wretched defense has allowed this season (ahead of only Akron). Northwestern needed a special-teams score to get to 45 points, the third-lowest total UMass has allowed. This is still a miserable offense, and Minnesota probably won't need to top 24 or 27 points to cover a two-score spread. Even counting the Gophers' sketchy early games, SP+ sees this as a three-touchdown Minnesota win.


    Pick: Minnesota -13.5



    No. 18 Memphis Tigers (-15) at South Florida Bulls

    Connelly: SP+ has been in love with Memphis this season, picking the Tigers to cover in all but one game and going a solid 6-2-1 ATS in Memphis games overall. I've included them multiple times in this column, and I'm going to keep doing so here.


    USF nearly upset Cincinnati last week -- should have, actually -- but my first inclination is to think that had more to do with the suddenly slumping Bearcats (who nearly lost to ECU in their previous game) than the Bulls. They've got a rock-solid defense, but only one team in the past nine games has held Memphis under 35 points. Meanwhile, the Bulls have averaged 9.6 points per game in five games against SP+ top-50 opponents. I smell blowout, and SP+ says Tigers by 22.9.


    Pick: Memphis -14.5



    No. 6 Oregon Ducks (-14.5) at Arizona State Sun Devils

    Connelly: This a huge test for Oregon. The Ducks were, per SP+, lucky to beat both Washington and Washington State back in October and remain ranked in the teens, but they certainly seem to have picked up the pace of late. They outscored USC and Arizona by a combined 90-30. Meanwhile, ASU has lost four games in a row (including one to USC).


    Why do I feel good about Arizona State in this one?


    1. ASU QB Jayden Daniels has looked fantastic in three of his past four games. Utah destroyed him, as tends to happen, but against Wazzu, USC and Oregon State, he completed 69% of his passes with nine TDs and no INTs. The Sun Devils averaged 35 PPG in those three contests.


    2. Oregon's defense has been trending downward. After peaking briefly at No. 1 in defensive SP+, the Ducks allowed 30 PPG to Washington, Wazzu and USC before rebounding last week against Arizona. ASU's defense has been trending downward, too, but if the Sun Devils can get to 28-31 points, covering +14.5 starts to look pretty good.


    3. SP+ says Oregon by about 10. Granted, it's only .500 ATS on Oregon and ASU games, but I like that 4.5-point cushion.


    Pick: ASU +14.5



    UCLA Bruins at No. 23 USC Trojans (-14, 66)

    Connelly: Once again, I'm listening to SP+ here. It's hard for me to trust the Trojans, if only because they're extremely young and occasionally flaky, but the metric loved USC's chances of whomping Cal last week, so I made it a best bet and won. It's telling me the line should be more like USC -17.5 here, so I'm listening to that as well. (Plus, only one of UCLA's losses to power conference teams this season has been even slightly close. The Bruins either win or get blown out.)


    Pick: USC -13.5


    Kezirian: I'm focusing on the total, and I don't expect many punts. UCLA's defense has posted decent numbers against shaky offenses but has been lit up by explosive offenses. Those all ranked among the top 25 in offensive efficiency, and so does USC's offense (18th). The Trojans should score at will, given their premier talent at wide receiver, but I don't like them necessarily to cover because I don't trust their defense, especially with some key injuries. UCLA will play hard, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson will make enough plays.


    Pick: Over 65.5 and USC team total over 39.5 (FanDuel)



    Texas Longhorns at No. 14 Baylor Bears (-5)

    Steele: Texas lost at Iowa State last week 23-21 on a field goal on the final play of the game. The Longhorns' defense has been getting a little healthier and has held the previous three opponents to 36 yards per game below their season average. Baylor led Oklahoma 28-3 last week but let it slip away at the end in a tough, all-out effort that ended in a home loss. The past three times Baylor has been favored, it needed overtime to get past Texas Tech and TCU and beat West Virginia by only three. Tom Herman is an outstanding 16-3 ATS as an underdog during his head-coaching career, including 11 outright upsets.


    ATS pick: Texas +5.5



    Tennessee Volunteers at Missouri Tigers (-4)

    Steele: Missouri had been two different teams this season, as the Tigers are 5-1 at home and 0-4 on the road. The past four weeks, Missouri is 0-4, losing by an average score of 25-7 with an offense that has produced just 259 yards per game. Tennessee has won three in a row and needs only one more win to wrap up a bowl bid. The Volunteers' defense has held its past four foes to 85 yards per game below their season average. My average game grades have Tennessee playing at a 99.6 level the past four weeks, with Missouri at an 85.4 grade in that span. Factor in the home field, and that would have Tennessee by 10.2, yet the Volunteers are catching four points.


    ATS pick: Tennessee +4



    Syracuse Orange at Louisville Cardinals (-9)

    Steele: A few weeks ago, I picked Boston College (+3) over Syracuse, and BC destroyed the Orange 58-27, dropping Syracuse to 3-6. That ugly loss was the fifth straight loss against the spread for Syracuse, and it figured to get extra line value the rest of the season. But Dino Babers is a master motivator, upsetting Clemson in 2017 and nearly doing so again the following year. He had a bye to convince his team that it could win the last three games and get to a bowl. Last week showed that the team bought in, as the Orange beat Duke on the road 49-6. One of their top defensive players, defensive tackle McKinley Williams had been out all season but returned in that game and was disruptive.


    Louisville was generally picked last in its division and last week was outgained by NC State 377-326 but took advantage of a Wolfpack team missing its top five defensive backs and won 34-20. That clinched a bowl bid for the Cardinals and sparked a celebration, and on deck, they have their in-state rival Kentucky. Three of the Cardinals' ACC wins have been by two, three and seven points, and they are laying nearly double digits here.


    ATS pick: Syracuse +9.5



    Boston College Eagles at No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-19)

    Steele: Boston College is fresh off a bye, and Notre Dame is playing for a fifth straight week. The Irish are just 1-5 ATS their past six home finales. Boston College has an explosive offense with an underrated offensive line opening holes for 282 rush yards per game and allowing just five sacks all season. Teams load the box to stop the run, but the Eagles are passing for 202 yards per game. Notre Dame has faced seven Power 5 teams this season and is plus-15 yards per game in those. Steve Addazio is 13-3-1 ATS as an away underdog the past six season, and I will side with the Eagles as nearly three-touchdown underdogs.


    ATS pick: Boston College +19



    Houston Cougars at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-3)

    Steele: Houston has been giving reasonable effort versus some solid teams in recent weeks but appeared to run out of gas in the second quarter versus Memphis last week. The Cougars were outgained 531-256 to fall to 3-7. Houston has a banged-up offensive line and has numerous players redshirting for next season. Tulsa is also 3-7 but could have a much better record. In its most recent game, Tulsa upset a strong UCF team at home 34-31. The Hurricane defense is holding foes to 44 yards per game below their season average, and Tulsa is fresh off a bye.


    ATS pick: Tulsa -3



    UCF Knights (-6) at Tulane Green Wave

    Kezirian: Professional bettor Paul Stone brought this game to my attention. The situation is ideal for Tulane, which has covered all five home games this season. It's also a fade on UCF, which is 1-6 ATS in its past seven games. The Knights are already bowl-eligible, and this game means nothing for them. I'll grab the points with the home 'dog.


    Pick: Tulane +6



    BYU Cougars (-40) at UMass Minutemen

    Kezirian: The horrible, one-win season for UMass comes to a merciful end Saturday. It has been a pitiful season, which is understandably taking its toll on the players. At the end of last week's 39-point loss to Northwestern, the Minutemen had an opportunity to find the end zone for the first time all game. Coach Walt Bell neglected to call timeouts, the players didn't increase their tempo, and they walked off the field with possession inside the 10-yard line. The beatdowns seem to have broken their spirits, and next they face a BYU team full of grown men. It should get ugly at McGuirk Stadium in the regular-season finale.


    Pick: BYU -40




    SMU Mustangs at Navy Midshipmen (-3.5, 66)

    Johnson: I remain astonished by the market love Navy -- a team whose best win is a three-point home victory over Tulane -- got last week against the Irish. A few sportsbooks reached +6.5 for a period of time on game day. I didn't get the Navy love, and we saw Notre Dame absolutely expose the pass defense to the tune of 13.9 yards per pass attempt and 52 points (the Irish went into prevent offense for the entirety of the fourth quarter, too). On the season, SMU ranks top 20 in passing efficiency behind Shane Buechele (which grades better than the Irish on the season). Navy will struggle on the defensive side of the ball again, and the Mustangs have had two weeks to prepare for the Midshipmen option attack.


    If SMU is unable to slow Navy's run game, then the scoring will be back and forth, and that lends to a bet on the over (think SMU-Memphis or ECU-SMU in their past two contests). The Mustangs can still cover 3.5 points either way in this instance, and I project taking the points and betting the over will go 2-0 more often than 0-2. My projections for the game are Navy -1.2 with a total of 70.0, and I'll be betting both.


    Pick: SMU +3.5 and over 66

  2. #2
    Hman
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    Season ATS records:
    Connelly record: 25-12-2 (3-1 last week)
    Steele record: 29-34 (5-0 last week)
    Johnson record: 33-23-1 (2-0 last week)
    Kezirian record: 41-32-1 (4-3 last week)


    Wow, what got into Steele last week

  3. #3
    jjgold
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    Always love these write ups

  4. #4
    2daBank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hman View Post
    Wow, what got into Steele last week
    I dunno but I sure was glad cause was a little worried a few my favorites were games he was on (Hokies was the one I recall most).

    Was thinking he might be back to a decent fade but I do agree with Texas and Tulane although prob not playing horns, def playing Tulane, that a good bet imo, think they win outright.

    Bc looks like the right side as well (think that one of his).

  5. #5
    Hman
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2daBank View Post
    I dunno but I sure was glad cause was a little worried a few my favorites were games he was on (Hokies was the one I recall most).

    Was thinking he might be back to a decent fade but I do agree with Texas and Tulane although prob not playing horns, def playing Tulane, that a good bet imo, think they win outright.

    Bc looks like the right side as well (think that one of his).

    LoL he's not on the right side often

    Congrats

  6. #6
    2daBank
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hman View Post
    LoL he's not on the right side often

    Congrats
    I was pretty nervous when I saw few my favs lined up w him, lol.

    Maybe it just took him to week 12 to figure it out! Lol. Donít think I would be against many of his this week. I donít like the Vols play at all and lots seem to agree w that one so could see mizzou def being the right side.

    Other than that I dunno, not sure I like the Tulsa pick either but I hate muschamp so donít see myself backing Houston.

    I think Tulane a really solid play.

    Bc seems like the right side to me.

    Horns as dogs prob right, canít trust Baylor to cover any kind of number as favs and looked like they totally ran out of gas last week.

  7. #7
    Hman
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2daBank View Post
    I was pretty nervous when I saw few my favs lined up w him, lol.

    Maybe it just took him to week 12 to figure it out! Lol. Don’t think I would be against many of his this week. I don’t like the Vols play at all and lots seem to agree w that one so could see mizzou def being the right side.

    Other than that I dunno, not sure I like the Tulsa pick either but I hate muschamp so don’t see myself backing Houston.

    I think Tulane a really solid play.

    Bc seems like the right side to me.

    Horns as dogs prob right, can’t trust Baylor to cover any kind of number as favs and looked like they totally ran out of gas last week.


    Well just don't make a habit of being on the same side

  8. #8
    jjgold
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    All these guys win and lose but when you add up the all their units they get destroyed lifetime

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