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    'Stanford Steve' and 'The Bear': Week 13 college football picks, bets, nuggets

    'Stanford Steve' and 'The Bear': Week 13 college football picks, bets, nuggets


    What's in store for this week in college football?

    "Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris "The Bear" Fallica break down Week 13 of the season as only they can, offering their top bets, nuggets, games to stay away from and a special money-line underdog parlay to jump on.

    With the season in full swing, the guys are ready to continue their prognostications. Here we go with Week 13 picks.

    The plays

    Stanford Steve (4-2 last week, 33-27-2 overall)

    The Bear (2-2 last week, 29-25-1 overall)

    Air Force Falcons (-22, 55.5) at New Mexico Lobos
    Stanford Steve: The Lobos have been decimated by injuries this season. They most recently lost running backs Bryson Carroll and Ahmari Davis and are down to 57 scholarship players after enduring 14 season-ending injuries. They don't have enough scout-team running backs to help prep for the vaunted Air Force rush attack. New Mexico started the season 2-1 and has since lost seven in a row. It seems like the Lobos don't have enough to keep it close.

    Pick: Air Force -22; Air Force 45, New Mexico 15

    Nebraska Cornhuskers (-5, 62.5) at Maryland Terrapins

    Stanford Steve: The Huskers come in losers of four in a row, but they have been competitive since they got quarterback Adrian Martinez back under center. Last week, Martinez and running back Dedrick Mills combined to rush for 277 yards against a very good Wisconsin defense. I also think it's important to point out that Nebraska still has a bowl berth to play for, as the Huskers sit at 4-6 with two games left. Maryland, on the other hand, has been eliminated from postseason play, and therefore, I think the Terps might not be putting their best effort forward. I'll take the road team on the money line and not have to give any points.

    Pick: Nebraska ML -180; Nebraska 38, Maryland 34

    California Golden Bears at Stanford Cardinal (-4, 41.5)
    Stanford Steve: This game basically depends on who has the better backups because both teams have suffered many, many injuries. The Bears come in losers of five of their past six after a 4-0 start, and Stanford comes in needing wins against Cal and against Notre Dame next week to qualify for a bowl game. Both teams will be starting backup quarterbacks, and the defenses should dominate the game, as the offenses also lack skill talent on both sidelines. Many will say the under is the play in the game, and it's hard to argue with that. But I will say the underdog keeps it close enough, due to motivation to avoid losing 10 in a row in the Big Game. I'll take the points.

    Pick: Cal +4; Stanford 21, Cal 20

    Colorado State Rams at Wyoming Cowboys (-6.5, 50.5)
    The Bear: CSU has played pretty well the second half of the season and certainly deserved a better fate last week vs. Air Force. Wyoming's defense -- especially at home -- will probably give the Rams' offense some problems, but the Cowboys' lack of a passing game should allow CSU to hang around. Six of Wyoming's 10 games this season have been one-possession games, and that's all we're looking for here.

    Pick: Colorado State +6.5

    Michigan Wolverines (-9.5, 52.5) at Indiana Hoosiers

    The Bear: The Hoosiers play hard, and one of these days, it's going to result in an upset win over a ranked opponent. I wish I had more info on the status of Whop Philyor, as his absence would hurt the Indiana offense, but getting close to double digits here is enough for me, as Michigan has had a run under Jim Harbaugh of not covering the week before playing Ohio State. I expect the Hoosiers to make things much tougher on the Wolverines than Michigan State did in the second half.

    Pick: Indiana +9.5

    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (-4, 51.5)
    The Bear: USM has been blowing people out in Hattiesburg this season and, thanks to suspensions at Louisiana Tech, has a shot to play for the conference title. The Hilltoppers have been a pleasant surprise this season and probably played their best game of the season last week in the win at Arkansas. But in their final home game, with a healthy backfield and playing their best ball of the season, I'll go with USM.

    Pick: Southern Miss -4

    UCF Knights (-6, 70) at Tulane Green Wave
    The Bear: Tulane was sloppy last week in a loss at Temple, but this offense could give the UCF defense fits. The Knights have been burning money at the windows most of the season, and I expect that run to continue here against a team hungry to make amends for a poor effort last week.

    Pick: Tulane +6

    Ball State Cardinals (-3.5, 67.5) at Kent State Golden Flashes
    The Bear: We saw Buffalo bounce back Wednesday after giving the game away to Kent State. How will the Golden Flashes handle getting a win they probably shouldn't have had? On the other side, Ball State blew a huge lead to Central Michigan, so I would expect the Cardinals to come out with a strong effort.

    Pick: Ball State -3.5

    Stanford Steve's worst Thursday game of the year, and you want to bet it because you know you'll be watching

    NC State Wolfpack at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-2, 49)
    Take the home team on the money line. NC State has been decimated by injuries, and the Wramblin' Wreck still has a chance to make its season with a win here and an opportunity to ruin No. 4 Georgia's season next week.

    Pick: Georgia Tech ML -140; Georgia Tech 17, NC State 16

    The Bear's money-line parlay of the week

    Six-team favorite ML parlay. Based on current Caesars odds, $100 returns $41.

    Virginia -900
    Wisconsin -4000
    Utah -2500
    Notre Dame -1600
    Ohio State -1200
    Air Force -2500

    The Bear's underdogs to play in parlays, round robins and/or on ML

    Colorado State +210
    Texas A&M +420
    West Virginia +200
    Oregon State +310
    Tulane +190

    Stay-away games

    Stanford Steve

    Georgia Southern Eagles (-1, 55) at Arkansas State Red Wolves
    Both these teams have plenty to play for, and both have been playing well lately. Therefore, I will sit back and watch and enjoy this one.

    The Bear

    Syracuse Orange at Louisville Cardinals (-9, 62)
    Where did that come from last week, Syracuse? It probably can't be replicated this week against Louisville. But now that UL is bowl-eligible and has Kentucky next week, is this a flat spot?

    Tennessee Volunteers at Missouri Tigers (-4, 45.5)
    Missouri's defense played well enough for the Tigers to win last week, but the offense again struggled. Now the Tigers get surging Tennessee and are 4-point favorites. It sure looks like the Vols might have square 'dog written all over them.

    Bear Bytes

    Zoned out

    Each of Oregon's past four trips to the state of Arizona to take on the Sun Devils and Wildcats have been eventful. The Ducks have lost three of the four games, including all three in which they were favored. Oregon's lone win in the stretch was a controversial 61-55 OT win at ASU in 2015 that they needed to rally from a double-digit second-half deficit.

    Oregon's past four Pac-12 games in Arizona:

    2018: Arizona -8, lost by 29
    2017: Arizona State -15, lost by 2
    2015: Arizona State +2, won by 6 (OT)
    2013: Arizona -20, lost by 26

    Sun Devils a live 'dog?

    As an underdog under Herm Edwards, Arizona State is 8-5 ATS, with six outright wins. In three games as a double-digit 'dog, ASU is 2-1 ATS, with one outright win. In those three games, ASU allowed a total of 55 points.

    Dating to 2014, Arizona State has been a double-digit underdog 11 times. The Sun Devils have won six of those games outright and are 9-2 ATS.

    Huge spread in top-10 matchup

    Penn State is currently an 18-point underdog to Ohio State. In the past 40 years, only seven top-10 matchups have seen a point spread this big. All seven favorites won, and they went 5-2 ATS.

    Largest point spreads in top-10 matchups (past 40 years):

    2016: Alabama (-18) vs. Texas A&M, won by 19
    2013: Florida State (-21.5) vs. Miami, won by 27
    2000: Florida State (-19.5) vs. Clemson, won by 47
    1999: Florida State (-18) vs. Georgia Tech, won by 6
    1996: Nebraska (-18) vs. Colorado, won by 5
    1995: Nebraska (-25) vs. Kansas, won by 38
    1995: Nebraska (-23.5) vs. Kansas State, won by 24

    Buckeyes, Wolverines caught looking ahead?

    Michigan and Ohio State have not fared well ATS the week prior to playing each other. Michigan hasn't covered any of the past three years, including two non-covers as a favorite vs. Indiana. The Buckeyes haven't covered any of the past six, despite being two-TD favorites in all six.

    Michigan the week prior to Ohio State (past three years):

    2018: vs. Indiana +28, won by 11
    2017: at Wisconsin -7, lost by 14
    2016: vs. Indiana +25, won by 10

    Ohio State the week prior to Michigan (past six years):

    2018: at Maryland +14, won by 1
    2017: vs. Illinois +41.5, won by 38
    2016: at Michigan State +21, won by 1
    2015: vs. Michigan State +14, lost by 3
    2014: vs. Indiana +35.5, won by 15
    2013: vs. Indiana +34.5, won by 28

    Who wants to lay 40-plus on the road with BYU?

    BYU is currently a 41-point favorite at UMass. It's the second straight week in which a road team is a 40-point favorite; Ohio State was -52 at Rutgers. Prior to that, one has to go back to 2015 to find the most recent 40-point road favorite: Baylor -45 at Kansas.

    Irish far from a cinch vs. BC?

    This marks the fifth straight meeting in which Notre Dame is at least a 14-point favorite over Boston College. The Irish have covered only one of the four; they won two of the games by two and three points.

    Struggling Spartans

    Since the start of last season, Michigan State has been a favorite of at least 14 points eight times. MSU is 1-7 ATS in those eight games, including outright losses to Arizona State and Illinois this year as 15.5-point favorites.

    Indiana, we're all for you ...

    In its past six games vs. ranked opponents, Indiana is 5-1 ATS. Indiana was 2-7-1 ATS in its previous 10 games vs. ranked teams. The Hoosiers have dropped 17 straight straight-up vs. ranked opponents and are 2-41 in their past 43 games vs. ranked opponents.

    Big game, small number

    In the past 40 years, there have been 10 meetings between Cal and Stanford in which the line was three points or fewer. The Cardinal are 8-2 ATS in those eight games and won seven of the 10 outright (7-2-1). Both times under David Shaw that the Cardinal were favored by a field goal or less over Cal, the Cardinal won by double digits.

    UCF burning money at the windows

    UCF has dropped six of seven ATS, with three of those losses coming outright as a favorite.

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    Great stuff. Thanks for posting Hman!