Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2013 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 13!
Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs (8-3 SU, 1-0 ATS) @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -49, Total: 52
Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL – Saturday, November 23rd, 2:00 ET
The Mocs might be an 8-3 team, and they might ultimately get into the FCS playoffs this year, but they are just here to get their butts kicked and collect a paycheck. They have some decent wins this year, including beating Georgia State, one of the FBS transitional teams, but this is a far different matchup. This is nothing but a tune up game for the Crimson Tide, who have their biggest game of the year in the Iron Bowl next week against Auburn. We would love to give any justification whatsoever for this game being watchable for any fans outside of the two teams in this game, but about the only level of intrigue is whether the Mocs are going to score a single point in this one or not. We have to believe that it’s about 50/50 whether they do.
Idaho Vandals (1-9 SU, 3-7 ATS) @ #2 Florida State Seminoles (10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -57.5, Total: 69
Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL – Saturday, November 23rd, 3:30 ET
In the lead up to Rivalry Week, the Seminoles essentially scheduled themselves an FCS school, as Idaho probably wouldn’t even make the FCS playoffs if it was playing at the lower level. The team only has one win this season, and this isn’t going to be an even remotely close game either. The Seminoles have one of the best teams in the nation, and though there might be a point that they slow things down in this one, there has been no letting the foot up off the gas pedal in consecutive 59-3 wins in successive weeks. The Vandals haven’t been beaten by this many points all season long, nor have they been even close to it, but they are up against a much, much tougher team now than before. Don’t be shocked if the Noles are up the eight TDs by halftime in this game.
Indiana Hoosiers (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) @ #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0 SU, 6-3-1 ATS)
Spread: Ohio State -34, Total: 81
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH – Saturday, November 23rd, 3:30 ET
Part of us feels bad for the Buckeyes, knowing that they are going to probably end up going 35-0 over the course of their last two seasons, only to be shut out of having a chance to play for the National Championship this year. They have dropped 60, 56, and 63 points over the course of the last three games, and even though they are murdering teams, it isn’t even moving the needle in the slightest. Indiana is playing for its bowl game dreams, as it needs to win its last two games to continue playing in December. It’s not going to happen, though. The Hoosiers can flat out score, but they have allowed 51, 35, 42, 63, and 42 in their last five games, and that last 42 came against Michigan State, a team with no offense whatsoever. This game was close last season though, as the Bucks only walked away from Bloomington with a 52-49 escape.
#4 Baylor Bears (9-0 SU, 8-1 ATS) @ #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS)
Spread: Baylor -9.5, Total: 78
Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK – Saturday, November 23rd, 8:00 ET
The Bears are in for their toughest test of the season this year when they head on the road to Stillwater to take on the #10 ranked, once beaten Cowboys. Okie State is quietly at least in the remote discussion to play for the National Championship Game, and winning this one would likely see it move up to eighth in the BCS. It’s going to take at least six more teams losing to get the Cowboys up into the Top 2 slots, but we know that at least two of them are going to be losing for sure in the SEC. Anything is possible. A Baylor win will jump it up to third in the BCS almost certainly. More importantly for the Bears, they will then be just one more win against Texas away from going to a BCS bowl game, which would be a massive accomplishment in the Head Coach Art Briles era. QB Robert Griffin III, largely looked upon as the best Baylor player ever, never got his team this close to the Big XII title. There have been at least 1,175 yards in each of the last three meetings between these two teams, so expect this one to be high flying.
#5 Oregon Ducks (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) @ Arizona Wildcats (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -20.5, Total: 67.5
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ – Saturday, November 23rd, 3:30 ET
There have been some awfully important games in the history of the Arizona/Oregon rivalry in the Pac-12, and there have been some close ones for sure. Of course, for the most part, all we have seen are Oregon victories, as the Ducks have won five straight and covered three of those five outings. The Wildcats have been outrushed in this series by some serious yardage totals these last few years, getting outdone 228-89 last year, 415-82 the year before, and 406-58 in 2010. Arizona is pretty much playing out the string of the season after suffering back to back losses at home in the last two weeks. Oregon is now in the catbird seat in the Pac-12 North, and winning out would see it host the Pac-12 title game. A couple teams need to lose in front of the Ducks for them to get back into the National Championship discussion, but it is certainly plausible.
Citadel Bulldogs (5-6 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #7 Clemson Tigers (9-1 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Spread: Clemson -40.5, Total: 69
Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC – Saturday, November 23rd, 12:00 ET
The Tigers are out to tame another lousy foe, and this one shouldn’t be even the remotest of a challenge whatsoever. The trick is to not be looking too far ahead to the annual Palmetto State showdown against South Carolina next week. Even so, just the raw talent of QB Tajh Boyd and the gang playing C-grade football should put away a very average Citadel outfit. The Bulldogs have won three games in a row, and they did challenge a very good Tennessee Chattanooga team on the road as well as lose to two of the FBS transitional teams, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion by a total of just eight points. However, if you’re losing by 11 to Wofford and getting outgained by 159 yards in the duel, you’re asking to get absolutely smoked by Clemson, especially knowing that the Tigers have scored 154 points in three games since losing to Florida State.
#8 Missouri Tigers (9-1 SU, 8-1-1 ATS) @ #24 Ole Miss Rebels (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: Missouri -2.5, Total: 57
Vaught Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS – Saturday, November 23rd, 7:45 ET
Ole Miss is going to start next season ranked in the Top 15 in the land in all likelihood because of all of these great young freshmen who are coming back. When you go back and look at the losses that the Rebs sustained this year, they were all early games, and they came against Alabama, Texas A&M, and Auburn. Oh by the way, this is the same team that beat LSU and Texas earlier this year to boot. The Rebels are not just good enough to win this game. They might be the better team. The Tigers are ranked in the Top 10 in the land, but most believe that to be fool’s gold. Still, with this schedule, the argument could be made that Missouri is a loss by either Baylor or Florida State away from controlling its own destiny to get into the BCS Championship Game. The Tigers will get back QB James Franklin in this game for the first time in a month, and he should really help matters out for this offense. These two met as non-conference foes in 2006 and 2007, a series which the Tigers swept both SU and ATS.
California Golden Bears (1-10 SU, 2-9 ATS) @ #9 Stanford Cardinal (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -31.5, Total: 56
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA – Saturday, November 23rd, 4:00 ET
The first year of the Head Coach Sonny Dykes era at Cal is about to be said and done with, and it is going to almost certainly end with just one disappointing victory against Presbyterian. Give him credit for implementing his offensive scheme, and we’ll have to see what happens as QB Jared Goff gets older, but at least for the time being, this inexperienced team just couldn’t stack up against anyone in the Pac-12. Stanford knows that it has to win the “Big Game” this year if it wants to keep any chances of going to the Rose Bowl or any BCS bowl game for the matter alive. If the Cardinal don’t get into the BCS though, they have no one to blame but themselves for losing to a pair of unranked teams on the road, one of which won’t qualify for a bowl game in all likelihood. These two are split 4-4 SU and ATS in the last eight in this rivalry series.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (10-1 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ #11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -34.5, Total: 70
Williams Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC – Saturday, November 23rd, 1:00 ET
The Gamecocks are just warming up for next week’s clash against Clemson, but this one might not be as easy of a game as some of those other FBS vs. FCS situations. Granted, the Chanticleers haven’t exactly been playing a formidable schedule this year, but they have won 10 games, and that didn’t happen on accident. The club puts up yards and points in bunches, and the one thing we know for sure is that Coastal Carolina is going to get into the end zone a couple times in this one. South Carolina has a good defense, but its offense is going to have a reprieve in this one against a badly undermanned and overmatched defense. There is no reason for this to be anything less than the best offensive day of the year for the Gamecocks, which comes just in time for the game that might make them a BCS team at 10-2. South Carolina will be scoreboard watching as well, hoping that Mizzou loses a game somewhere along the way to send it to the SEC Championship Game.
#12 Texas A&M Aggies (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ #22 LSU Tigers (7-3 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)
Spread: LSU -4.5, Total: 71
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA – Saturday, November 23rd, 3:30 ET
LSU has a chance to become the first and the only team to beat QB Johnny Manziel twice in his career this week. Assuming that Manziel leaves school after this season to go to the NFL as is expected, his only losses to date have come against LSU and Florida last season and Alabama and Auburn this season. Interestingly enough, all of those losses came in College Station. Manziel is undefeated on the road and in neutral site games. If the Aggies win this game and then beat Missouri next week, that should be good enough to put them in the BCS as long as Alabama doesn’t lose a game somewhere along the way. We have to think that the Fiesta Bowl would rather have Johnny Football than Auburn, though it would be an interesting debate for sure. LSU is still dealing with an outside chance of making it to the BCS as well, but in all likelihood, this game is the difference between the playing a game either on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day or playing in a bowl game significantly before New Year’s.
#13 Michigan State Spartans (9-1 SU, 6-3-1 ATS) @ Northwestern Wildcats (4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS)
Spread: Michigan State -7.5, Total: 41.5
Kyle Field, Evanston, IN – Saturday, November 23rd, 12:00 ET
It’s not all that often you see a team go from ranked to not even qualifying for a bowl game, but Northwestern is one of the rare teams that is going to be able to say that this year if it doesn’t pull off an upset here. Michigan State is playing to wrap up the Legends Division title, but a Minnesota loss would do the same thing. The trick for the Spartans though, is to get to the Big Ten Championship Game with one loss so in the event that they do get beaten by Ohio State as it is assumed that they will, they might still get a bid to the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl as an at large. Last season, the Wildcats came on the road and absolutely stunned Sparty, and the road team has actually won seven of the last eight games in this series, including covering six in a row.
#17 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ #14 UCLA Bruins (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS)
Spread: Arizona State -2.5, Total: 61.5
Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA – Saturday, November 24th, 7:00 ET
It’s not all that often that you see a team that is ranked worse than another team favored when it is on the road, but in this case, we have to believe that the oddsmakers have it right and the pollsters have it wrong. The Bruins haven’t had the better of the two seasons of these teams, but the bottom line is that at the start of the season, the boys from Tinseltown were ranked as high as the Top 10 in the land, and they are getting the benefit of the doubt. Arizona State has sort of swayed into and out of the Top 25 all year long. The Sun Devils though, have a more impressive resume, and that resume will include the Pac-12 South title with a win in this one. The Bruins control their own destiny to win the Pac-12 South with their final two games though, which makes this game one of the biggest of the day across the whole country.
New Mexico Lobos (3-7 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ #15 Fresno State Bulldogs (9-0 SU, 3-6 ATS)
Spread: Fresno State -31.5, Total: 65.5
Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA – Saturday, November 23rd, 4:00 ET
There is a good chance that Northern Illinois could catch Fresno State and put the latter into a position where it might not make it to the BCS even if it wins the Mountain West. The Bulldogs are fighting an uphill battle thanks to the fact that Boise State and so many of the other power teams in this conference stunk up the joint this year, relatively speaking. The Lobos are actually having a respectable season by their own standards, as they have wins against UTEP on the road and Air Force and New Mexico State at home. Those aren’t fantastic wins, but when you’re routinely one of the worst teams in America, you take whatever wins you can get. Back in 1991, the Bulldogs dropped 94 points in a game in this series. Last year was a significantly more modest 49-32 win for the Dogs on the road.
#16 Northern Illinois Huskies (10-0 SU, 7-3 ATS) @ Toledo Rockets (7-3 SU, 7-2-1 ATS)
Spread: Northern Illinois -1, Total: 73.5
Glass Bowl, Toledo, OH – Wednesday, November 20th, 8:00 ET
Most thought that the really tough game for the Huskies was last week against Ball State, but for those that haven’t watched the Rockets all year, you’ll learn quickly that this is the much, much more difficult of the two games. The winner of this one is almost certainly going to win the MAC West this year, which means not only are the BCS dreams of the Huskies on the line, but their spot in their own conference title game is up in the air here at the Glass Bowl as well. Toledo has yet to lose a game at home on the season, and its only losses came against Ball State (certainly one of the three best teams in the MAC), Missouri, and Florida. Don’t let the Rockets fool you. They’re legitimately very good. They covered this game last year and darn near beat the Huskies outright, losing 31-24 on the road in DeKalb. A similar effort this year at home could see the MAC’s chances at the BCS for a second straight year busted. If NIU wins this one handily though, it could overtake Fresno State this week in the BCS rankings and be in a position where winning out could put it in the BCS.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS) @ #18 UCF Knights (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS)
Spread: UCF -17.5, Total: 57.5
Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL – Thursday, November 21st, 7:30 ET
What a courtly battle this one is! The Scarlet Knights actually di play against UCF once in their time before these two joined the AAC together this year, as these two schools met in the St. Petersburg Bowl in 2009, an easy win for Rutgers. Now though, it is UCF which is the dominating of the two schools, as it two wins in its last three games away from winning the conference and heading either to the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl. Rutgers isn’t even guaranteed a spot in a bowl game yet this year, knowing that it only has five wins so far on the season, but with games left against UConn and South Florida, that shouldn’t be an issue. This is the first road game Rutgers has played in over a month, as the team last went to visit Louisville on October 10th and has only played three home games with a couple bye weeks thrown in there.
#19 Wisconsin Badgers (8-2 SU, 9-0-1 ATS) @ #25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS)
Spread: Wisconsin -16.5, Total: 50
TCF Stadium, Minneapolis, MN – Saturday, November 23rd, 3:30 ET
It has been a decade since the Golden Gophers have held Paul Bunyan’s Axe, and they are going to want to do everything they can to get it back. Most of these games have been blowouts too, as the last three meetings have all been decided by at least 18 points. That said, Minnesota has covered two of the last three in spite of those SU defeats, so there is definitely some hope. The Golden Gophers cracked into the BCS this week, and unlike Wisconsin, they actually have a somewhat reasonable shot to get into the Big Ten Championship Game. If Michigan State loses this week to Northwestern. The Badgers are still hoping to stay in the BCS at large discussion at this point, as the at large spots are literally wide open to the biggest bowl games of the year. No one really has a spot on lockdown at this point, though there are teams that control their own destiny for sure. Wisconsin, if it finishes at 10-2, could legitimately make a gripe to hold one of those slots.
#20 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ Kansas State Wildcats (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: Kansas State -4.5, Total: 54
Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS – Saturday, November 23rd, 12:00 ET
It looked really easy to take Oklahoma and lay the 15.5 points last season when these two teams met last year in Norman. After all, the Sooners were the hip Top 10 ranked team in the land, while Kansas State was a team that you had never thought much of until they went on to start off at 10-0 and were on the verge of playing for the National Championship with a Heisman Trophy finalist in QB Collin Klein leading the team. The Wildcats proved that one wrong, and they are going to try to prove this one wrong as well. They are 4.5-point favorites in this game over the 20th ranked team in America, and once again, it just looks too easy to take Oklahoma. The Sooners though, are without QB Blake Bell, and they clearly had nothing going offensively with QB Trevor Knight when he started the first two games of the season. This will go down as an upset if the Wildcats win this game, but we bettors know better.
Memphis Tigers (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS) @ #21 Louisville Cardinals (9-1 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -24.5, Total: 43
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY – Saturday, November 23rd, 12:00 ET
In basketball, this would be one of the best games of the year. In football… not so much. It’s the final home game almost certainly for QB Teddy Bridgewater, who will likely become a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars or one of the other really bad teams in the NFL with one of the Top 5 picks in the NFL Draft in the Spring. It will surely be an emotional Senior Day, even though the man being celebrated the most isn’t a senior. The Cards still have to think they could get the nod to the BCS as an at large, but games like this one aren’t going to help them any. The human voters refuse to recognize that this is one of the best teams in America, and truth be told, Louisville hasn’t been anywhere near as cerebral as it was before losing to UCF at the outset of the season. The Cards have covered back to back games in this series, though the previous meetings came as out of conference foes.
#23 USC Trojans (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS) @ Colorado Buffaloes (4-6 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Spread: USC -22.5, Total: 54
Folsom Field, Boulder, CO – Saturday, November 23rd, 9:30 ET
The Trojans have really played well down the stretch of the season, and the pressure is going to be on to keep Interim Coach Ed Orgeron as the permanent man to replace the fired Lane Kiffin. USC has won and covered four straight games, and there is no reason not to win this one as well. The team could finish 10-3 this year, and with some help, it could still win the Pac-12 South. Last week’s win against Stanford and next week’s game against UCLA make this a vintage sandwich game though, and against a Colorado team that is awfully bad and generally isn’t worth putting much thought into makes this a bit dangerous. Eleven years ago when these two teams played, the Buffs only put up a total of 61 yards. They’ll do at least a little better than that on Saturday night at home.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.
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