College Football Staff Picks Against the Spread, Best Bets for Week 13 Games

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The college football regular season is winding down, as we're already onto the Week 13 slate.

Below, our staff's writers and editors make their picks against the spread for Week 13, along with their best bet out of the key games.

Season-long standings:

Laken Litman: 78-62-4

Max Meyer: 72-68-4

Ross Dellenger: 72-68-3

Molly Geary: 69-71-4

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BEST BETS

Texas at No. 14 Baylor (-5.5)

After blowing a 21-point halftime lead and getting edged out 34-31 by No. 9 Oklahoma at home last week, what will No. 14 Baylor’s response be this Saturday when it faces a struggling Texas team? The Bears still have everything to play for, as a win will clinch them a spot in the Big 12 championship game (in a rematch against the Sooners).

The Longhorns are coming off a 23-21 road loss to Iowa State after the Cyclones nailed 36-yard field goal as time expired. Texas would have had one more possession with about two minutes remaining, but when the Cyclones lined up to kick a field goal on fourth down, the Horns jumped offsides. Iowa State got a new set of downs and ran out the clock before kicking a game-winning field goal.

There was so much preseason hype and optimism around Tom Herman’s program after winning 10 games last year, including a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia. Now, the team has four losses, including two straight road game vs. TCU and Iowa State, and doesn’t have much momentum. The Texas offense was held to 54 rushing yards and 16 first downs against the Cyclones, while the defense was stuck on the field for 79 plays.

Texas is 78-26-4 all-time against Baylor and its season has come down to this. If they beat the Bears—and if they also beat Texas Tech at home the following week and Baylor loses to Kansas—there’s a chance the Horns can make it to the conference title game.

I'm giving the edge to Baylor in this one, with the Bears desperate to regain control of their season. —Laken Litman

No. 6 Oregon at Arizona State (+14.5)

You're going to see inflated lines late in the season with games involving CFP contenders. It's easy to think that a team vying to make the CFP needs all the style points it can get, making blowouts more likely. However, in some instances, it could be rather advantageous to take the underdog.

Trips to the desert haven't always been easy for ranked Pac-12 teams, and I think Oregon will find itself in a battle here. Arizona State has struggled of late due to the regression of its defense, and it won't get any easier against Justin Herbert. I'm a big fan of what the Sun Devils have on offense, though, and that unit is the reason why this will be close.

Jayden Daniels hasn't played like a true freshman under center for a lot of the season, and he has a nice array of weapons in Eno Benjamin, Brandon Aiyuk and Kyle Williams. Daniels has performed much better at home this season, averaging 10.3 yards per attempt and posting a 65.1% completion rate in Tempe compared to 7.1 and 57.9% on the road. Oregon's defense hasn't been nearly as dominant the past few games as it was to start the season, and I think the Sun Devils will put up points in this one.

The Ducks will score here as well, and probably enough to win. But I expect the home underdog Sun Devils to keep it closer than two touchdowns. —Max Meyer

No. 13 Michigan at Indiana (-9.5)

This game is the Hoosiers' Super Bowl, a chance to knock off one of the Big Ten's name brands at home. Last week, Indiana hung around in Happy Valley with an angry Penn State team that was coming off its first loss, putting up 27 points on the Nittany Lions' staunch defense in a 34-27 loss. Now it returns home to Bloomington for its final home game of the season, and this time it's Indiana that will be angry. And while the Hoosiers' eyes are fixed firmly on Michigan, the Wolverines have to avoid getting caught looking ahead to their annual rivalry showdown with Ohio State next weekend. 

Michigan has been clicking of late and is coming off a rout of in-state foe Michigan State, and is rightfully the favorite on the road. Its defense has been stout and the offense, behind Shea Patterson, has scored at least 38 points in three straight games. But Peyton Ramsey and the Hoosiers offense can put up points in their own right, and this spread feels a bit too high for a tricky trap game sandwiched between two rivalry bouts for Michigan. —Molly Geary

Season record: 23-29-1