Preview and Top 25 Picks for College Football Week 13
College football's biggest rivalry week of the year kicked off on Thanksgiving Day when Mississippi State (+3) took down Ole Miss 24-22 in the Egg Bowl. We enjoyed that winner, along with our NFL underdog pick on the Detroit Lions (+9.5) close call in a 28-25 loss to the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. Now the Top 25 Week 13 report includes 3 Top 25 match-ups on Saturday, Nov. 26 along with some of the biggest rivalry games of the season.
That includes the battle of unbeatens in the Big Ten when No. 3 Michigan tackles No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus.
I provide a preview with Leans, Opinions and Picks on the Top 25 match-ups. Last week with no official Top 25 picks, we added a pair of Week 12 bonus picks that went 2-0 playing against both Michigan and Ohio State in never in doubt ATS covers on the big underdogs Illinois and Maryland.
For those keeping score, our Top 25 college football Picks are now 9-3 ATS since early October (Weeks 6-12), which followed an 0-4 start in Weeks 1-5 making the Top 25 matchup side selection Picks 9-7 ATS this season.
Plenty at stake on the final full weekend of college football ahead of next week's conference championship games and push towards conference titles, final four CFB Playoff spots and bowl berths. Of course, the biggest rivalry week makes Thanksgiving weekend football one of the best and biggest of the season for fans, bettors and the leading online sportsbooks.
Top 25 Match-ups and Picks
No. 19 Tulane at No. 24 Cincinnati | 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC
Line: Cincinnati -1.5 and Total 46.5
Friday game and I didn't post in time to include this contest. I leaned Cincinnati's way in this AAC first place showdown. The winner hosts the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Dec. 3 and is best positioned for a potential New Year's Six bowl berth. Update: The Bearcats had their 32-game home winning streak snapped and lost to Tulane, 27-24.
No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State | 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Line: Ohio State -8 and Total 55.5 at Bovada
Many top online sportsbooks have Ohio State -7.5. But Bovada and a few others including in the U.S. are showing Michigan +8 if you prefer the Wolverines like I do. I break down the Michigan-Ohio State game and the huge rivalry with major implications in the Big Ten and CFB Playoff picture. Bottom line is I take these points when I can support a team like Michigan (11-0) with both a strong, balanced offense (244 rush, 208 pass) and dominant defense (241 YPG at 4.0 yards per play). We bet Michigan at this same +7.5 / 8 price last year in their 42-27 win over Ohio State to snap Buckeyes dominant win streak in the series. Ohio State (11-0) also has an even stronger top, balanced offense this season led by a Heisman favorite QB CJ Stroud with a nation-best 46 points per game and 7.4 yards per play. The Buckeyes also combine a dominant defense allowing just 17 points per game.
Michigan star RB Blake Corum suffered a knee injury in last week's game vs Illinois. His status is not yet determined, although this report suggests he will play at less than 100%. Also, TE Luke Schoonmaker and Edge rusher Mike Morris return after missing last week's contest. In the most bet game of the day and huge rivalry that will add tons of additional live betting action, we bet Michigan.
Betting Action: My top online sportsbook contacts in the U.S. at BetMGM report that the Michigan-Ohio State game currently has 5x more money bet than any other CFB game this weekend.
No. 9 Oregon at No. 21 Oregon State | 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Line: Oregon -3 and Total 59 at BookMaker
The Beavers have held their last three opponents to season-low yards. Oregon State has won 5 of their last 6 games and reached 8 wins for the first time since 2012. The Beavers continue to run under the radar while also going 9-1 SU with 10-0 ATS at home since the start of last season. But the Ducks have dominated this series going 12-2 SU in their last 14 games vs Oregon State, and Oregon is 6-1 SU in their last 7 road games. The Beavers do have a top-tier defense and held powerful USC to 360 yards in a 17-14 home loss back in September. The interesting match-up is Oregon State's No. 1 Pac 12 pass efficiency defense against Oregon QB Bo Nix and the Ducks stronger and more balanced offense (222 rush, 288 pass) with a league-high 71% completions. Oregon State's three losses were to the other three top teams in the Pac 12 - USC, Utah and Washington. The Oregon Ducks may be the best of the bunch, and a win by Oregon qualifies the Ducks for a fourth straight appearance in the Pac-12 championship game. Lean to the series dominator.
Lean: Oregon and Under
No. 15 Notre Dame at No. 6 USC | 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Line: USC -4.5 and Total 63.5 at BetUS
The Trojans (10-1) desperately hung on to beat rival UCLA last week, and that sets up a potential letdown situation with the Pac 12 Championship Game on deck. However, with new Heisman favorite Caleb Williams at quarterback for USC leading HC Lincoln Riley's fine-tuned offense (513 YPG, 7.1 yards per play) and the Trojans scoring at least 41 points in five straight games, we'll bet on the player and the superior offense to win. Southern Cal has an outside shot at the CFB Playoff and should continue their strong play at home against Notre Dame (8-3). The Irish do boast a stronger defense than USC by nearly 90 yards per game and its offense has come to life during their 5-game winning streak. But only one of those wins was against a quality team, and we enjoyed that upgrade in our online betting account when the Irish crushed Clemson as a home 'Dog, 35-14. But this is still a mismatch at quarterback, and Irish QB Drew Pyne passed for just 85 yards vs Clemson and 116 yards vs Syracuse and won't be able to keep pace with the Trojans.
Betting Action: U.S. sportsbook BetMGM reports that "Given the time zone, two blue-chip schools and importance of the game, Notre Dame-USC will be the second-highest handle and could end up reasonably closer to Ohio State-Michigan."
One bonus pick in Top 25 action updated Friday night for Saturday kickoff. The number has been dropping and I bet earlier, but still like South Carolina at +14. It's still available at +14.5 at leading U.S. sportsbooks like Caesars and BetMGM.
South Carolina (+14) at Clemson
Inflation is never a good thing, and especially when betting on overvalued and overbet teams. Clemson has a slightly above average pass defense in the ACC, and the Tigers 412 yards per game offense ranks No. 6 in the weakest Power 5 conference. Clemson won last year's meeting 30-0. The Tigers are 16-1 SU in their last 17 home games. All this is factored into the price, and the Tigers are overrated. You should take advantage in this rivalry game.
All Week 13 Top 25 Games and Spreads
Spreads courtesy of BetOnline
Friday, Nov. 25
No. 16 Florida State (-10) vs. Florida | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 17 North Carolina (-6.5) vs. NC State | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 18 UCLA (-12) at Cal | 4:30 p.m. | FOX
No. 19 Tulane at No. 24 Cincinnati (-1.5) | 12 p.m. | ABC
No. 23 Texas (-9) vs. Baylor | 12 p.m. | ESPN
Saturday, Nov. 26
No. 1 Georgia (-36) vs. Georgia Tech | 12 p.m. | ESPN
No. 2 Ohio State (-7.5) vs. No. 3 Michigan | 12 p.m. | FOX
No. 4 TCU (-10) vs. Iowa State | 4 p.m. | FOX
No. 5 LSU (-10) at Texas A&M | 7 p.m. | ESPN
No. 6 USC (-4.5) vs. No. 15 Notre Dame | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 7 Alabama (-22) vs. Auburn | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 8 Clemson (-14) vs. South Carolina | 12 p.m. | ABC
No. 9 Oregon (-3) at No. 21 Oregon State | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 10 Tennessee (-14) at Vanderbilt | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 11 Penn State (-19) vs. Michigan State | 4 p.m. | FS1
No. 12 Kansas State (-12) vs. Kansas | 8 p.m. | FOX
No. 13 Washington (-1.5) at Washington State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN
No. 14 Utah (-30) at Colorado | 4 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
No. 22 UCF (-20) at South Florida | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 25 Louisville at Kentucky (-3) | 3 p.m. | SEC Network
Other rivalry games and spreads.
- Arizona State at Arizona (-4)
- Nebraska at Iowa (-10.5)
- NC State at North Carolina (
- Florida at Florida State (-10)
- Purdue (-10.5) at Indiana
- Minnesota at Wisconsin (-3)
- Illinois (-14.5) at Northwestern
- Wake Forest (-3.5) at Duke
- Nevada at UNLV (-12)
Disappointed I didn't get this posted sooner with a pick and bet on Nebraska as big 'Dog. I've been sick and pushing hard through commitments, but enjoy the big weekend of rivalry games and we'll be back for the conference championship games next week.
Fairway Jay is a proven sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.