College football picks and predictions against the spread for Week 13

The last week of the college football season is here, but which rivalry games headline our picks and predictions in Week 13?

It’s rivalry week in college football. That also means it’s the last full week of action across all 130 college teams. The season flew by, so let’s make the most of it while we still can with our early college football picks and predictions for Week 13.

College football predictions, picks, and odds for Week 13

Here are the lines for all the action as of Monday, November 22 at 11 AM ET.

Tuesday

  • Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois (+3.5)
  • Buffalo @ Ball State (-6)

Thursday

  • The Battle for the Valley Trophy: Fresno State @ San Jose State (+7)
  • The Egg Bowl: Ole Miss @ Mississippi State (-1)

Friday

  • Eastern Michigan @ Central Michigan (-8.5)
  • Kansas State @ Texas (-2)
  • The Battle of I-75: Ohio @ Bowling Green (+5)
  • Boise State @ San Diego State (+2.5)
  • Utah State @ New Mexico (+15.5)
  • The Heroes Game: Iowa @ Nebraska (-3.5)
  • UTEP @ UAB (-13.5)
  • Cincinnati @ East Carolina (+14)
  • The Battle Line Rivalry: Missouri @ Arkansas (-14.5)
  • UNLV @ Air Force (-18)
  • Coastal Carolina @ South Alabama (+15)
  • The War on I-4: USF @ UCF (-18.5)
  • The Rumble in the Rockies: Colorado @ Utah (-24)
  • TCU @ Iowa State (-14)
  • Carolina-State Game: North Carolina @ NC State (-6.5)
  • The Apple Cup: Washington State @ Washington (+1)

Saturday

  • The Game: Ohio State @ Michigan (+8)
  • Texas Tech @ Baylor (-14)
  • Wake Forest @ Boston College (+4.5)
  • Wagon Wheel: Akron @ Toledo (-28)
  • Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate: Georgia @ Georgia Tech (+35)
  • Sunshine Showdown: Florida State @ Florida (-2)
  • Houston @ UConn (+32)
  • Navy @ Temple (+12.5)
  • Miami (OH) @ Kent State (-1)
  • Maryland @ Rutgers (+1.5)
  • Army @ Liberty (-3.5)
  • Miami (FL) @ Duke (+21)
  • Battle On the Bayou: Louisiana Tech @ Rice (+3.5)
  • UTSA @ North Texas (+12)
  • Troy @ Georgia State (-6)
  • Charlotte @ Old Dominion (-10)
  • Texas State @ Arkansas State (-2)
  • Deeper Than Hate: Georgia Southern @ Appalachian State (-24.5)
  • Paniolo Trophy: Hawaii @ Wyoming (-10)
  • FIU @ Southern Mississippi (-10)
  • UMass @ New Mexico State (-6)

Saturday, cont’d

  • Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket: Indiana @ Purdue (-15)
  • The Iron Bowl: Alabama @ Auburn (+19.5)
  • Oregon State @ Oregon (-7)
  • The Land Grant Trophy: Penn State @ Michigan State (-1)
  • The Land of Lincoln Trophy: Northwestern @ Illinois (-6.5)
  • Western Kentucky @ Marshall (-1)
  • Vanderbilt @ Tennessee (-31)
  • The Commonwealth Cup: Virginia Tech @ Virginia (-8)
  • Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe: Wisconsin @ Minnesota (+6.5)
  • Territorial Cup: Arizona @ Arizona State (-20)
  • UL-Monroe @ Louisiana (-22)
  • Tulsa @ SMU (-6.5)
  • Texas A&M @ LSU (+6.5)
  • West Virginia @ Kansas (+15.5)
  • Middle Tennessee @ FAU (-4)
  • Governor’s Cup: Kentucky @ Louisville (-2.5)
  • Pittsburgh @ Syracuse (+11)
  • Bedlam: Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (-3.5)
  • The Palmetto Bowl: Clemson @ South Carolina (+11.5)
  • Tulane @ Memphis (-6)
  • The Legends Trophy: Notre Dame @ Stanford (+18)
  • Nevada @ Colorado State (+5.5)
  • Cal @ UCLA (-7)
  • BYU @ USC (+7)

Early Week 13 college football picks and predictions

Let’s break down some of my favorite early lines for Week 13. Rivalry Week brings with it some interesting lines. But like all battle lines, you can find some weaknesses.

The Palmetto Bowl: Clemson (-11.5) @ South Carolina

Time: Saturday, November 27, 7:30 PM ET

No one really wants to play this Clemson team right now. No matter their record, as long as Dabo Swinney is their head coach, they’ll remain a tough team to beat, especially in a rivalry game of this magnitude.

The Tigers are led by QB DJ Uiagalelei (to some disdain of fans), but he’s still playing relatively mistake-free football, giving Clemson more than enough chances to win games. South Carolina, on the other hand, is led by Jason Brown. Fresh off of a 3-touchdown game against Auburn, the Gamecocks are riding a high.

But let it be known, these Tigers aren’t like those Tigers. Clemson’s defense is still one of the most talented in the nation, while Auburn has had holes all season long. Andrew Booth Jr. is fresh off his best performance in some time for Clemson, recording a PBU and interception against Wake Forest. It’s difficult to see an area where Brown can have the same success he had against Auburn.

Clemson has scored at least 44 points in their last two games and that shouldn’t stop here. Can South Carolina keep up?

The Game: Ohio State (-8) @ Michigan

Time: Saturday, November 27, 12 PM ET

The Wolverines haven’t beaten the Buckeyes in nearly 10 years. Let that soak in a minute.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, take into consideration the common opponent of recent memory for both: Michigan State. The Wolverines lost a close contest to the Spartans, throwing for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. But, their run defense wasn’t good enough to stop Sparty RB Kenneth Walker III.

Ohio State threw all over Michigan State, as C.J. Stroud nearly had 400 yards in the first half alone. The starters got to rest for the entire second half after building a 49-0 at the break. Notably, OSU held Walker to 25 yards on 6 carries, all but eliminating MSU’s best player.

Stroud now has 36 touchdowns and 3,468 passing yards, ranking in the top 10 in each. He’s also first in the country with a QB rating of 90.7 — talk about rounding into form during the toughest stretch of your season. The Wolverines are essentially welcoming a buzzsaw.

UTSA @ North Texas (+12)

Time: Saturday, November 27, 2 PM ET

The Mean Green have won four straight games. They’ve finally become the team that many thought they could be with Austin Aune running the show. And yet, it’s been the defense that’s done the heavy lifting over the past four games, limiting opponents to an average of just 15.5 points per game.

Still, Aune has reached 200 yards or more in each of his past three games and picked his shots with his legs better. But it does boil down to North Texas’ defensive success. They’re pushing pockets from the defensive line and are a skilled unit on the back end. This team is winning in ways you wouldn’t expect under head coach Seth Littrell.

But on the other side of the field, the Roadrunners have won 11 straight. This is largely another expected victory for UTSA, who should finish the season 12-0. They’re the 2021 season’s darling program, but as last week showcased, it’s incredibly hard to win every game in a season. Still, with Frank Harris leading the way at quarterback and Rashad Wisdom rolling the defense into town, they match up stylistically with North Texas.

There is a roadmap for a UTSA runaway victory, but it’s distracted by the looming Conference USA Championship Game next weekend. North Texas has the horses to keep it close or bring it back to a one-score game in garbage time.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of NFL News/Analysis for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor

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