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 15!
#20 Duke Blue Devils (10-2 SU, 10-2 ATS) vs. #1 Florida State Seminoles (12-0 SU, 10-2 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -29, Total: 62
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC – Saturday, December 7th, 8:00 ET
The ACC Championship Game is probably going to be the biggest blowout of all of the games on the Week 15 docket. The Seminoles have only had one game this season which was closer than a 28-point margin of victory, and though this is one of their biggest tests of the year, few really believe that Duke is one of the best 25 teams in the country in spite of that 10-2 record. The Blue Devils have fought hard to overcome the fact that they play lousy football at a basketball school, but now, with home field advantage essentially on their side, they have the chance to make a real statement and make it to a BCS bowl game for the first time in school history. Here’s the problem. FSU has never lost to Duke, and the average final score has been 50-15 in those games. The closest the Dookies have ever come against FSU is 19, a 25-6 loss in 2007 at home. The garnet and gold seem like mortal locks to go to Pasadena as the #1 team in the land for the BCS National Championship Game.
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. #10 Michigan State Spartans (11-1 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Ohio State -6, Total: 49.5
Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis, IN – Saturday, December 7th, 8:15 ET
Ohio State spent the whole afternoon on Saturday trying to fend off Michigan, and it spent the whole night on Saturday celebrating the Auburn upset of Alabama. That puts the Buckeyes in a position where, as long as they take care of business on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game, they should be playing for the National Championship. Style points very well could matter, especially if Auburn beats Missouri in the SEC Championship Game earlier in the day. However, winning 25 games in a row should be worth something. Michigan State isn’t a slouch, though. Its one loss came against a Notre Dame team which played for all of the marbles last season, and it has one of the best defenses in America. This should be a great matchup against QB Braxton Miller and the potent Ohio State offense. Neither of these teams have played against a team in the BCS Top 20 this year, so this will be an intriguing matchup. Last season, the Buckeyes only won by a point when these two played in East Lansing in a game in which there weren’t even a total of 700 yards of offense and were only 33 total points scored.
#5 Missouri Tigers (11-1 SU, 11-1 ATS) vs. #3 Auburn Tigers (11-1 SU, 10-2 ATS)
Spread: Auburn -1.5, Total: 59
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Saturday, December 7th, 4:00 ET
Missouri was picked sixth this year in the SEC East at the outset of the season. Auburn was picked fifth in the SEC West. Now, they’re #5 and #3 in the entire country respectively, and the winner is at least going to have a gripe to play in the BCS National Championship Game. In all likelihood, the winner is going to be watching the ACC and Big Ten Championship Games in the 8:00 ET hour hoping that either Florida State or Ohio State falls. Otherwise, it’ll be off to the Sugar Bowl. The loser of this game is going to be at the Capital One Bowl at best, though Auburn could also accept a spot in the Cotton Bowl as the top team from the SEC West as well. These two teams have survived the gauntlet of the SEC, especially Auburn, which has already beaten Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Georgia, and of course, Alabama after last week’s miracle of a victory. These Tigers seem touched, but the Tigers from Columbia seem like they have things going their way as well. Interestingly enough, these teams have never played against each other, and this first meeting couldn’t possibly mean any more than it does.
#17 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS) @ #6 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1 SU, 8-3 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma State -10.5, Total: Off
Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK – Saturday, December 7th, 12:00 ET
It’s Bedlam in Stillwater, and there aren’t many teams that hate each other as much as the Sooners and the Cowboys. This one is displaced from Rivalry Week because the Big XII doesn’t have a championship game at this point, but it has all of the makings of what could be a great one. The Pokes are still on the very fringes of the BCS National Championship discussion at this point, though they would have to blow out Oklahoma and get a ton of help to get past Alabama to have a shot to play for the title, something that seems incredibly unlikely. Still, the Big XII title is at stake. Win this game, and the Cowboys are going to the Fiesta Bowl. Lose it, and it is up to the voters to keep the Pokes in the Top 14 in the rankings, and then up to the Orange Bowl to take them as an at large team to take on most likely Alabama. The argument could be made at that point though, that Oklahoma is the team that deserves to be the at large squad from the BCS, and the Orange Bowl is the very likely landing spot for the Sooners if they win this one even though they are out of the Big XII title race. It won’t get any better than last year’s game between these two, one which was won in overtime by Okie State.
#7 Stanford Cardinal (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) @ #11 Arizona State Sun Devils (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Spread: Arizona State -3.5, Total: 56.5
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ – Saturday, December 7th, 8:00 ET
This is the first time that a Pac-12 South team has hosted the Pac-12 Championship Game, and it is the first time that a Pac-12 South team has been given a serious chance of winning the league title. The last team from the current compilation of South teams outside of USC to make it to the Rose Bowl was in 1999 when UCLA lost to Wisconsin. It has been a long time coming for Arizona State to arrive as one of the nation’s elite teams, but Head Coach Todd Graham has it on the precipice of something truly special. Stanford is perceived to be the better of these two teams, but it is really tough to argue with the resume which the Sun Devils have put together. They won the Pac-12 South by going on the road and beating a good UCLA team two weeks ago. They did lose to Stanford 42-28 back in September, but there has been a whole heck of a lot of football played since that point for both of these teams.
#25 Texas Longhorns (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS) @ #9 Baylor Bears (10-1 SU, 8-3 ATS)
Spread: Baylor -13.5, Total: Off
Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, TX – Saturday, December 7th, 3:30 ET
The last game ever played at Floyd Casey Stadium could become a big one for the Bears, as there is a real chance to get into the BCS for the first time in school history. If Okie State loses in Bedlam earlier in the day, this game is for the right to go to the Fiesta Bowl as the Big XII winners, something which might save the job of Head Coach Mack Brown at Texas. The Bears are in a rough spot when it comes to the BCS. Even going 11-1 might not make this a BCS bowl team, though it would be a travesty if that were to be the case, knowing that a much less deserving 10-2 Oregon team or a 10-2 Clemson team could steal the last bid to the BCS. These two played a wild one last year, a 56-50 game won by the Longhorns. Both teams have gotten to at least 500 yards of offense in each of the last two meetings. Baylor has covered three in a row against UT.
Bowling Green Falcons (9-3 SU, 9-3 ATS) vs. #14 Northern Illinois Huskies (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Spread: Northern Illinois -3, Total: Off
Ford Field, Detroit, MI – Friday, December 6th, 8:00 ET
Most think that Florida State or Ohio State had the best week last week, but the team that probably had the most accomplished was Northern Illinois. The Huskies stayed at #14 in the country, but most importantly, Fresno State lost, which essentially makes this a play in game for the BCS for the second straight season. NIU has been playing with some fire according to the oddsmakers of late, but when it was favored by less than a touchdown against both Ball State and Toledo, it passed with flying colors. Bowling Green is probably the second best team in the MAC though, and it has a fierce defense for sure. If there is a team that can shut down the Heisman candidacy of QB Jordan Lynch, this is it. These two teams haven’t played against each other since 2011, and this Bowling Green team is a whole heck of a lot better than that one was when it got blown up 45-14.
#16 UCF Knights (10-1 SU, 7-4 ATS) @ SMU Mustangs (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Spread: Off, Total: Off
Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX – Saturday, December 7th, 12:00 ET
If the chalk holds up, this game won’t mean a darn thing for the Knights, and there’s a chance that they won’t need this one regardless. They have already won a share of the AAC title, and they can win it outright with a win in Dallas, but the big key is going to be getting the automatic spot in the BCS. UCF will be going to its first BCS bowl game in school history with a win, a Louisville win over Cincinnati, or if it finishes in front of the Bearcats in the last BCS rankings of the year. This isn’t the easiest game in the world though, knowing that UCF has already been challenged on the road by both Temple and Memphis in games which both should have been lost. The Mustangs are playing for their right to go to a bowl game this year, which is the exact same scenario we saw play out for San Jose State last week at home against a significantly better Fresno State team. We could be in for another surprise in this one. The home team has gone 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings of these teams.
#19 Louisville Cardinals (10-1 SU, 4-7 ATS) @ Cincinnati Bearcats (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -3, Total: Off
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH – Thursday, December 5th, 7:30 ET
The Bearcats are going to have to make their case in this one if they want a shot at playing in the BCS. They’ll need to beat Louisville and get some help in the form of UCF losing on Saturday to SMU and getting the voters to believe that they are better than the Knights in the final BCS rankings released next week. The winner of this one will split the first ever AAC title only if UCF loses on Saturday. The Cardinals will be playing with QB Teddy Bridgewater in the regular season for the last time in all likelihood, and this year has been a tremendous disappointment for sure because it will end, at best, in a spot in the Champs Sports Bowl. Cincy has been hot of late, covering four out of five and winning six consecutive duels. The team hasn’t been outgained in a game since September 7th against Illinois, though there have been some suspect results in there as well. Last season, the Bearcats gave the Cardinals their best fight of the season before losing 34-31 in overtime. They have four covers in their last five over Louisville to go with a 4-1 SU record in those games.
Utah State Aggies (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS) @ #23 Fresno State Bulldogs (10-1 SU, 4-7 ATS)
Spread: Fresno State -3, Total: 61.5
Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA – Saturday, December 7th, 10:00 ET
There is a real question as to whether Fresno State is going to care about showing up in this game or not. Perhaps the team does give it a whack in the event that Northern Illinois loses on Thursday, as there would at least be a remote possibility to get into the BCS if all sorts of events happened. However, in the end, the Bulldogs are toast. Winning the MWC can’t mean the world to them under any circumstance, especially knowing that Boise State isn’t the foe. Utah State pulled off the upset in conference play this year, getting into the league title game, and it is being insinuated to be the better of these two teams by the oddsmakers. The Aggies have rebounded from two conference losses nicely, winning five games in a row and covering four of their last five. We saw Fresno State struggle mightily against QB David Fales and the Spartans last week. Could it do the same against Utah State? Fresno State has won and covered back to back in this series, and the last USU win came back in 2006. The Aggies have never won a game here at Bulldog Stadium.
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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