College Football Odds: Big Ten Flavor On Best ATS Picks For Week 13

Wilton Speight Michigan football

Thursday, November 24, 2016 8:57 PM GMT

A 2-1 mark last Saturday on my best ATS NCAA picks of Week 12, hitting on Oklahoma (-2.5) and Kansas State (-2), but missing on Florida (+13.5) at LSU. Here are three Week 13 games -- by fluke of nature all in the Big Ten -- that I feel good about at SBR's best sportsbooks.

No. 3 Michigan At No. 2 Ohio State (-6.5)

This is the most important regular-season game in the history of the College Football Playoff, and I don't think there can be any argument about it. Certainly no teams this high in the CFP rankings have met this late in the regular season before. Granted, this is only Year 3, but still. This game kicks off at noon (see Penn State) and that's important. If Michigan wins, it will play in the Big Ten Championship Game, most likely against Wisconsin. And if the Wolverines win that, they are in the College Football Playoff. OSU might get in the playoff with a win but wouldn't play in the Big Ten title game with one unless Penn State loses at home to Michigan State. The other big story line here is whether Michigan starting QB Wilton Speight will play. He reportedly broke the collarbone on his non-throwing shoulder two weeks ago, but the school has never confirmed that. Speight did sit out last week's win over Indiana, and the offense really struggled behind backup John O'Korn. Speight was in uniform last week and made a few throws before the game but didn't take any snaps. Jim Harbaugh is saying it's 50-50 that Speight will play, so he must not have broken that collarbone. Or Harbaugh is simply playing mind games with UM's blood rival. The Buckeyes have owned this rivalry for about 12 years. The talent level between them is shrinking, though. I don't think this is close if O'Korn starts and that OSU will still cover the number if it's Speight.

NCAAF Free Pick: OSU -6.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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 Michigan State At No. 7 Penn State (-12.5)

Barring overtime in the Michigan-Ohio State game, the Penn State players should know if they have a shot to play in the Big Ten Championship Game by the time this kicks off around 3:30 p.m. ET. I think Michigan State is good enough to pull the outright upset, frankly. True, Sparty is having a really disappointing season after losing a lot of talent off last year's Big Ten champions. But Coach Mark Dantonio will have his guys ready to play in what is their bowl game as MSU won't play postseason football. Sparty has played to its level of competition for the most part this year, winning at Notre Dame (back when that looked impressive), playing Michigan tough and nearly upsetting Ohio State in East Lansing next week.  So while I like this number for  MSU regardless, I absolutely love it if Michigan were to win the early game vs. OSU as that takes away a huge carrot for Penn State. The Nittany Lions are also really banged up on the offensive line.

NCAA Free Pick: MSU +12.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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 Rutgers At Maryland  (-14)

Think the Big Ten is still happy it invited these two programs to join a few years ago? At least Maryland has a really good basketball program and is decent at football. Rutgers is an absolute train wreck in football and men's basketball. The Terps are 5-6 overall and thus a victory here gets them bowl eligible under first-year coach D.J. Durkin, the former Michigan defensive coordinator. It appears that Maryland starting QB Perry Hills will play this week. He sat out last week's 28-7 loss to Nebraska with a shoulder injury. Hills leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency (150.1) and has completed 66.7 percent of his throws. Rutgers is winless in Big Ten play and has been embarrassing most Saturdays. A 58-0 loss to Ohio State, 78-0 to Michigan, 49-0 at Michigan State and then 39-0 last week against Penn State. First-year coach Chris Ash, the former Ohio State defensive coordinator, has a lot of work to do. Last year, Maryland rallied from a 21-point deficit to win 45-41 in Piscataway and ruin any shot for the Scarlet Knights to play in a bowl game. As long as Hills plays, give the points here. You might shop around for 13.5 on college football odds, however.

NCAAF Free Pick: Maryland -14Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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