Last week, my NCAAF handicapping tips on the highest and lowest spreads and totals went 2-2, and I now stand at 25-23 for the year. Here are my free picks for Week 13.
Indiana vs. Ohio State (-34.5 on NCAA football odds)
Technically, Georgia State at Clemson has the highest Week 13 line with the Tigers at -40, but Georgia State is barely an FBS program so I'll skip to No. 2 and this Big Ten matchup between the Hoosiers and Buckeyes. This could very easily be a trap game for the Buckeyes. They come off huge wins at Michigan State and Minnesota, both ranked teams. The Gophers were down 17 early in the fourth but got within a field goal with 1:19 left but couldn't recover the onside kick. OSU, up to No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings, could be excused a bit for being flat after those two wins and a matchup with hated rival Michigan next week. That's not to say Ohio State won't win. It will clinch a spot in the Big Ten title game with a victory and has beaten Indiana 18 straight times. About all the Hoosiers have going for them is college football's second-leading rusher in Tevin Coleman. He had 307 yards last week yet Indiana still lost 45-23 at Rutgers. IU is winless in the Big Ten and has allowed at least 34 points in five of those six losses. Last year, also in Columbus, Ohio State won 42-14.
Free College Football Pick: IU scores a garbage TD or two to cover even though it only has done so in three of its past 17 Big Ten games. Buckeyes will get their key starters out of there ASAP.
Washington State vs. Arizona State (total 70.5 at sportsbooks)
Wazzu leads the nation in passing and Connor Halliday has the most passing yards in the country with 3,873 even though he was lost for the season early in the Cougars' Nov. 1 loss against USC. Redshirt freshman Luke Falk made his first start in WSU's last game on Nov. 8 and led a 39-32 upset at Oregon State by throwing for 471 yards and five touchdowns. So clearly Coach Mike Leach can plug just about anyone in his offense. The problem is that Washington State ranks 118th in points against at 38.0. Arizona State lost control of its own destiny to return to the Pac-12 title game with last week's 35-27 loss at Oregon State, but ASU still can get back there as long as it wins out and UCLA loses once. Last season Arizona State beat Washington State 55-21.
Free College Football Pick: 'Under.' Arizona State may be a bit sloppy in looking ahead to next week's rival game at Arizona. The 'under' is 5-2 at sportsbooks in Washington State's past seven against teams with a winning record. The 'under' is 5-2 in the past seven meetings.
Northwestern vs. Purdue (pick'em at BookMaker)
This opened with Purdue as a 1.5-point underdog on NCAA football odds but clearly has been bet down and is the only pick'em on the board as of this writing. This game certainly means more to the Wildcats. They entered last week's game at ranked Notre Dame at 3-6 and a bowl game looked impossible. However, Northwestern staged a huge rally and won 43-40 in overtime. So keep in mind before placing your College Football pick that a win here as well as next week at home against Illinois, which should be a victory, would get the Cats to bowl eligibility. At 3-7, Purdue is playing out the string and head coach Darrell Hazell might be coaching his final home game. The Boilers have lost four straight games, three by at least 14 points. They did, however, have last week off.
Free College Football Pick: That bowl carrot should be enough for a Northwestern win. Purdue hasn't won a Big Ten home game since 2012. The Wildcats are 11-5 ATS on NCAA football odds in their past 16 after a win.
Virginia Tech vs. Wake Forest (total 40 at BetOnline)
This is the third time that offensively challenged Wake Forest has been involved in the lowest total game of the week and the 'under' worked out well the first two times. So, yes, that's foreshadowing. Wake is the worst Power 5 offense in the nation, ranking dead last in rushing yards (34.1 ypg), 126th in points (15.1) and 112th in passing (170.5 ypg). Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln? In a six-game ACC losing streak, Wake has a high of 20 points scored. In last week's blowout loss to NC State, seven of Wake's first eight drives ended with three-and-outs. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon ran for 67 more yards in three quarters last week than Wake has all season. Virginia Tech ended a three-game skid with a 17-16 upset at Duke last week and would get bowl eligible with a win here.
Free College Football Pick: 'Under' at sportsbooks. It has hit in seven of Tech's past seven ACC games and five of Wake's past six at home.