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College Football Picks Week 13
Who's Going To The Playoffs?
Being able to boast that you beat your arch rival is one thing. Being able to boast that you beat your arch rival to earn your way into the NCAA championship playoff - or perhaps to put them out of the playoff picture - well, that's just icing on the cake. There are several games this week that carry playoff implications as teams battle to fight their way into what is the the football version of the final four, the College Football Playoff.
No. 6 Auburn, despite two losses on the ledger, can still be a playoff team if the Tigers upset the top-ranked, unbeaten Alabama Crimson Tide. No. 8 Notre Dame, like Auburn sitting with a 9-2 slate, aren't out of it either, though the Fighting Irish will need plenty of things to fall their way, including a victory over 8-3 Stanford. As they faced hated Michigan, ninth-ranked Ohio State, another 9-2 squad, would need a win over the Wolverines and losses by Wisconsin and Oklahoma to maintain any hope of a top-four finish.
The 11-0 Badgers, who face Minnesota, sit No. 5 in the overall picture and must wonder what they need to in order to leapfrog either No. 4 Oklahoma or No. 3 Clemson, both with 10-1 marks on the season. The picks for this week's top NCAA football games, both straight up and against the spread, with odds provided by Bovada.lv.
*Week 12 Record: 9-1 straight up, 5-5 against the spread
Can Tide Hold Those Tigers?
Alabama (-200) at Auburn (+270) - This game has trouble written all over it for the 11-0, No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide. Rushing for 172 yards and three touchdowns two weeks ago, Mississippi State revealed that Alabama is vulnerable to the run, and that plays right into Auburn's hands. But Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is a double threat, with 14 TD passes and only one interception, and 686 yards on the ground. Plus, he gets to throw to future NFL star Calvin Ridley. Auburn keeps it close, but not close enough.
BABB Pick: Auburn (+5), over (48)
Love Conquers Irish
Notre Dame (-135) at Stanford (+115) - Whether it was Georgia (close) or Miami (not close), when tested by top teams this season, the Irish have failed. Stanford has won five straight home games against top ten opponents and have won four in a row at home from Notre Dame. It will be a showdown of two Heisman hopeful running backs in Bryce Love of the No. 21 Cardinal and Josh Adams of the eighth-ranked Irish. Love may not conquer all, but he's averaged 135 yards a game against ranked teams and will conquer Notre Dame.
BABB Pick: Stanford (+2.5), under (57)
Must Win For Cougars
Washington State (+300) at Washington (-400) - A year ago, the Huskies traveled to Pullman and beat the Cougars to capture the Pac 12 North Division title. This year, the cleats are on the other feet. Washington State must win at Washington in order to stake a claim to the North Division crown. If the Cougars lose and Stanford beats Notre Dame, the Cardinal are division champs. Washington needs to win to post its first back-to-back double-digit victory seasons since 1990-91. The Huskies are 4-1 in the last five against the Cougars.
BABB Pick: Washington (-10), over (48)
Wolverines Won't Buck Trend
Ohio State (-500) at Michigan (+350) - Simply known as The Game to Buckeyes and Wolverines fans, the truth is it hasn't been much of a game in many years - well unless you like watching Ohio State roll, that is. The Buckeyes have won five straight, 12 of 13 and 14 of the last 16 meetings. The Buckeyes are 5-1 in their last six visits to Michigan's Big House. Things don't figure to change. Win big here and blow out Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game and the Buckeyes can make their case for a playoff spot.
BABB Pick: Ohio State (-12.5), over (50)
Bulldogs Still In The Hunt
Georgia (-500) at Georgia Tech (+350) - Despite their lopsided loss to Auburn, the 10-1, seventh-ranked Bulldogs are far from out of the playoff picture. But they'll need to take a wrecking ball to the Rambling Wreck, and that won't be easy. Other than a 24-10 loss to No. 3 Clemson, Georgia Tech has played ranked teams tough, losing 25-24 at No. 2 Miami and whipping No. 24 Virginia Tech 28-22 at home. The Yellow Jackets (5-5) are unbeaten at home this season, but have lost eight in a row at home to Georgia.
BABB Pick: Georgia Tech (+11.5), under (52)
Mayfield Won't Sit For Long
West Virginia at Oklahoma (no line) - After his crotch-grabbing taunt of Kansas during last week's win, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield will start seniors' day on the bench, the punishment meted out by Sooners coach Lincoln Riley. But don't think he'll sit for long. The No. 4 Sooners need to win big to maintain their top four ranking and playoff spot, and you can bet Mayfield wants to put on a display in order to not let his childish antics impact his Heisman chances. West Virgina QB Will Grier (broken finger) is out.
BABB Pick: Oklahoma (-23), over (68)
Blazers Seek Program Best
UTEP at UAB (no line) - One of those under-the-radar games that is nonetheless intriguing. A win here and 7-4 UAB sets a school single-season record for victories. True, they are coming off a loss to woeful Florida, but the Blazers have yet to drop back-to-back games this season, while the Miners are a dismal 0-11. Watch for UAB senior cornerback Darious Williams, a future NFLer who is fourth in the nation with 18 passes defended.
BABB Pick: UTEP (+20.5), over (47)
Gamecocks Keep It Close
Clemson (-600) South Carolina (+400) - Lit up last season by Deshaun Watson in a 56-7 rout, the Gamecocks will be in revenge mode, seeking to spoil the Tigers' attempt to defend their national crown. Clemson might be caught looking ahead to next week's ACC title game against unbeaten Miami. South Carolina has not allowed more than 24 points in a loss this season and have covered in seven straight games. But they can't run the ball, and that's fatal against Clemson's pass rush.
BABB Pick: South Carolina (+14), over (47)
Badgers Own Gophers
Wisconsin (-1000) at Minnesota (+600) - As if the fifth-ranked, 11-0 Badgers didn't have enough to play for, there's also the school's 13-game winnng streak against the Golden Gophers to maintain. If there ever was a year they don't want that run to end, this is it. That last loss to Minnesota was in 1993, the only blemish on Wisconsin's 10-1-1 season. Minnesota lost 39-0 last week to Northwestern, so the only danger facing the Badgers would be to foolishly look beyond this game.
BABB Pick: Wisconsin (+17.5), over (43)
Sumlin On Way Out
Texas A&M (+300) at LSU (-400) - There could be a mix of emotions at work for the Aggies players in this contest. Speculation is that Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin will be fired at game's end, so will his team be fired up to win his finale, or dismayed that they are committed to a program that will no longer be run by the coach who recruited them? Amazingly, Sumlin could post his first winning SEC season with a victory over LSU, but he's 0-5 against the Tigers.
BABB Pick: LSU (-10), over (51)
NCAA Football Top 10 Teams This Week
Current odds (Bovada) to win the college football championship listed after team record.
- (1) Alabama (11-0) +120 - Tide are 5-9 in last 14 at Jordan-Hare Stadium
- (3) Miami (10-0) +800 - Notre Dame was third time Hurricanes had put up 41 points
- (2) Clemson (10-1) +500 - Tigers have won three straight from South Carolina
- (4) Oklahoma (10-1) +500 - QB Baker Mayfield leads nation in yards per pass attempt (11.6)
- (5) Wisconsin (11-0) +1200 - Badgers are 11-0 for first time in history
- (6) Auburn (9-2) +800 - Win their next two games and the Tigers are in the playoffs
- (7) Georgia (10-1) +1200 - Stopping Georgia Tech's option could prove challenging
- (8) Notre Dame (9-2) +15000 - Stanford has toppled four bowl-bound teams this season
- (9) Ohio State (9-2) +1400 - Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is 5-0 vs. Michigan
- (10) Penn State (9-2) n/a- Nittany Lions rushed for 263 yards against Nebraska
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