College Football Predictions & Best Bets for Week 13 (Rivalry Week)

min read
Mississippi safety Trey Washington (25) tackles Louisiana Monroe running back Hunter Smith (21) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.
(AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Nov 22, 2023, 2:03 PM
  • College Football Week 13 is approaching, providing a new slate of good bets.
  • Best bets for Ohio State-Michigan, Alabama-Auburn, and more.

The final week of the college football regular season has arrived. As always, Week 13 features many of the passionate, intense rivalries that elevate college football into a fan-favorite sport. 

Today – as I do every Wednesday throughout the college football regular season – I’ve put together a handful of my favorite college football betting predictions for you to consider this weekend. 

College Football Best Bets: Week 13 Predictions (Rivalry Week)

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

I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each college football 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. 

Ohio State at Michigan Prediction

Some bettors might prefer the Wolverines’ and their elite defense. Some bettors might prefer Ohio State, its more battle-tested schedule, and its transcendent offensive talent at wide receiver.

Both sides can make good cases headed into this game, and I’m not here to tear down either party.

As a handicapper that focuses on markets and numbers, though, I’m fixated on the fact that this number is Michigan -3.5. Not Michigan by three, but Michigan by three and the hook.

This is projected to be a competitive, low-scoring game. A spread of -3 would make a lot of sense. So why is BetMGM offering such a juicy number for Ohio State bettors?

Unsurprisingly, a whopping 80% of marketwide bettors are biting down on the Ohio State side, per Action Network. I expect to see similar numbers from BetMGM’s internal reporting. This number is incredibly friendly for Buckeye bettors.

As a contrarian-style bettor, this number makes me want to run in the opposite direction. I already leaned toward Michigan anyway, so this could just be confirmation bias, but the number is telling me to stay away from Ohio State.

Lean: Michigan -3.5

UL Monroe at Louisiana Spread Prediction

Let’s transition from a highly visible and nationally impactful rivalry to one that will be rarely talked about outside of Sun Belt circles.

These two teams are at the bottom of the standings in the Sun Belt West. Five of the last six meetings have been one-score games.

UL Monroe can be a hard dog to back, but I’m going to roll with the Warhawks. This game is almost always close, which makes 12.5 points a valuable position to hold.

Best Bet: UL Monroe +12.5

Alabama at Auburn Spread Prediction

Alabama is locked into the SEC Championship Game next week, while Auburn just lost at home to New Mexico State. It’s fair to say this is a contest of two teams going in very different directions.

Yet the Iron Bowl is another one of those rivalry games where you just kind of have to throw out the records. If anything, the disparate results only create more value on the Auburn side. It’s possible this is the only game this team has cared about for months.

And here’s a little historical context: Every Iron Bowl played at Auburn has been a one-score or two-score game dating back to 2011. That includes the most recent 2021 game, when a deeply average Auburn team that finished in sixth place in the SEC West pushed the Tide to a fourth overtime. 

Alabama has rolled through the second half of this schedule, but blowouts at Auburn just don’t happen very often.

Best Bet: Auburn +14.5

Georgia Southern at Appalachian State Spread Prediction

Here’s a fun one for the old-school FCS football fans. App State and Georgia Southern play a fun rivalry that’s called Deeper Than Hate, and it has roots back to the days of the old Southern Conference. As you can imagine, points are valuable.

Now, let’s add in the local context to this year. App State has been playing well through the stretch run, and I suspect the Mountaineers will be playing Troy in the Sun Belt Championship Game. But coming off the heels of a monstrous upset in Harrisonburg last week, when College GameDay was in town for JMU, App State has to be emotionally spent.

Can they win this game? Sure. But my guess is that Georgia Southern has more in the tank right now, and this number is already pretty fat for a competitive rivalry game. 

Best Bet: Georgia Southern +8.5

Miami (OH) at Ball State Spread Prediction

I really don’t understand this number at all. The Redhawks have been one of the best cover teams in all of FBS this year, yet they’re only laying this relatively modest number against a mediocre-to-bad Ball State team. 

Every conference win has been by two scores or more. What gives? 

Best Bet: Miami (OH) -6.5

Iowa at Nebraska Total Prediction

I know these Iowa totals keep getting lower and lower … but the unders also keep cashing. And as regular readers know, I’ve never been afraid to bet a low-total under.

Best Bet: Iowa-Nebraska Under 26.5

Best College Football Parlay This Week

One college football parlay to consider for Week 13 is:

  • West Virginia -350
  • Arizona -400
  • Louisville -275

That’s a three-leg parlay for +119. Make sure to check out my 2Kparlay, too!

College Football Picks Against the Spread

If you like this sort of content, I’d recommend checking out my podcast, The Lion’s Edge, which I host on behalf of our content team here at BetMGM.

Every week, I highlight college football predictions, odds, and betting opportunities that I think are ripe for advantage bettors, like me. 

I also bring on expert guests from both inside and outside of the sportsbook, so you can learn a little bit more about key topics in online sports betting.

Check it out and subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. You can also listen to some of the most recent episodes in the podcast player below.

College Football Parlays

BetMGM is the King of Sportsbooks and the King of Parlays. And college football season is a perfect chance to build parlays.

With hundreds of games and thousands of odds combinations each year, you can build a parlay with heavy moneyline favorites, short underdogs, or prop bets. It’s a thrilling way to get closer to the action and make every play count.

Visit the online sportsbook today to view all football betting opportunities!

If you don’t have an account, register today with BetMGM’s welcome bonus. And check back for the best sportsbook promotions each day of the year.

BetMGM First Bet Offer $1,500
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.