College Football Best Bets: My 6 Top Plays For Week 13

min read
Penn State has continued to look good in the NCAAF odds market despite being out of contention in the Big Ten standings.
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Nov 23, 2022, 10:21 AM
  • Week 13 of NCAAF is here, providing great spots to fade last week’s results.
  • Some contrarian favorites from last week are still great options this week.
  • Outright underdogs can be profitable during rivalry week.

Week 13 of the college football calendar has arrived, and with it comes a new table of NCAAF odds

Accordingly, I’ve got a fresh set of picks to hand out.

College Football Best Bets: Week 13 Predictions

After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my five best plays from the wider canon of college football odds.

I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.

If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. 

This week, I’m leaning into several contrarian favorite spots, in addition to the usual ugly dogs I favor in the back half of the college football betting season.

The column picks were 6-1 last week and are now 32-25-2 on the year.

South Carolina at Clemson (-14.5)

What do you think this line would have been a week ago, before South Carolina upset Tennessee?

Clemson hasn’t been perfect this year, and it’s clearly a step below the juggernaut teams from five years ago, but it’s evolved this season into a team that can clearly cover numbers in this range against mid-level teams.

The perception of the Tigers, however, is an offensively inept team that can’t be trusted to cover big numbers. That’s why a majority of bettors liked Miami last week, and it’s part of the reason why a majority are on South Carolina this week.

I’m backing Clemson once again.

Play: Clemson -14.5

Coastal Carolina at James Madison (-13.5)

My alma mater JMU is involved in one of the most fascinating handicaps of the week.

On paper, this game is the de facto Sun Belt East divisional title game. The winner will have the best record in the division and would head to the Sun Belt championship game in virtually any other year. 

Because this is JMU’s first year in FBS, though, it is ineligible for both bowl games and conference championships. That means Coastal Carolina already has its berth in the championship game sealed up, regardless of how this game plays out.

That’s good news for the Chants since Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Grayson McCall won’t be available for this game. Head coach Jamie Chadwell has also hinted that the locker room is dealing with a serious flu bug. 

Coastal’s game against UVA, which was scheduled for last Saturday, was canceled because of the horrific shooting in Charlottesville; however, it appears that Coastal might not have been able to play that game anyway because so many of its players were unavailable. 

I was shocked to see how big the number was for JMU in this spot, and it looks like most other public bettors are, too. A majority of the tickets are taking Coastal Carolina and the points.

However, it appears that this number is so wacky because of all the underlying details for Coastal: The quarterback problems, the flu issues and the fact that this game has no impact on its season whatsoever. 

James Madison will want to win to make its claim that it was the best team in the conference and was denied the right to play for a title; Coastal just wants to get healthy and move on to next week’s title game. Only one team is playing to win this weekend, which means this is a sneaky spot for a contrarian favorite with a visibly strange number.

Play: James Madison -13.5

Louisville at Kentucky (-3)

Have you watched these teams play recently? There is absolutely no explanation for why Kentucky is priced the way it is here outside of conference affiliation.

Louisville has been playing like a top team in the ACC. Kentucky has lost four of its last six games, including a home loss to Vanderbilt just last week. I like the Cardinals outright.

Play: Louisville +3

Michigan State at Penn State (-18)

Clemson isn’t the only team I’m heading back to the well with this week. 

I explained in last week’s picks column how Penn State is consistently covering numbers in this range against the rest of the mediocre Big Ten despite being totally dead in the water in the conference standings.

Michigan State is yet another unimpressive team coming to Happy Valley, and I expect Penn State to continue to handle business as it has over the last month of football.

Play: Penn State -18

Southern Mississippi at Louisiana-Monroe (+3)

Southern Miss has been undervalued for most of this season. The Golden Eagles are 8-3 ATS, including 4-1 ATS in road games. 

Now, USM just needs a win at Louisiana-Monroe to get to bowl eligibility. I think they get there, and I’m willing to lay the short number on the road against Monroe.

UL-Monroe has been a pretty decent bet this year as a home dog, but that’s because they’re usually catching 10 or more. The three points in this spot just isn’t enough.

Play: Southern Miss -3

Oklahoma at Texas Tech (+2)

This number is a test of who is actually paying attention to Big 12 football this year. 

Oklahoma is the big, bad brand name, and the Sooners are coming off a Bedlam win against injury-marred Oklahoma State.

However, Texas Tech has clearly been the better and more consistent team in the conference this year, which makes this a no-brainer play to end Rivalry Week. 

I like Texas Tech outright.

Play: Texas Tech +2

College Football Parlay

Let’s line up some more outright underdog winners for rivalry week! This three-teamer pays out nearly 16-to-1. 

  • NC State +200
  • Oregon State +140
  • Missouri +135

College Football Predictions

Want to check out the full Week 13 podcast on how to bet college football? Don’t forget to subscribe to The Lion’s Edge for intelligent, weekly insights into trends and betting tips across the online sports betting world. 

The Lion’s Edge is available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You can also listen to it in the web player below.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.