After one of the chalkiest weeks in recent memory, we still have College Football Playoff and none of them are sure things. That will add a lot of spice to an already spicy rivalry week. Every team in contention for a spot in the CFP is playing an in-state rival who would love nothing more than to ruin their shot at the playoff. (OK, technically Michigan and Ohio State are not in the same state, but it is arguably the biggest rivalry in the sport.)in the
Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright.
I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Any major conference team that hasn't lost twice yet is technically still a CFP candidate, meaning I'm only going as far down as No. 10 Louisville.
I am back to my winning ways just in time for the season to come to a close. I was 2-1 last week and now 19-14 overall. The upset special is also finishing strong. After an 0-7 start, I have now hit on four of the last five. Upset specials are now 4-7 straight up and 6-5 ATS for the season. This will be the final installment of this column for the season, so I am looking to go out in a blaze of glory.
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Week 13 picks
No. 2 Ohio State at No. 3 Michigan (-3.5)
It is winner-take-all for the Buckeyes and Wolverines. It would take more than a little chaos to open the door to the College Football Playoff for the loser of this game. The two most dynamic players on the field belong to the Buckeyes in wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. and running back TreVeyon Henderson. Michigan has the better quarterback, though, in J.J. McCarthy. This is the game where I think Michigan misses having Jim Harbaugh making the big calls on the sideline. In last year's game at Ohio State, he seemed to be coaching to win while Buckeyes coach Ryan Day was coaching not to lose. I do not trust offensive coordinator/interim Michigan coach Sherron Moore to be so bold when the situation demands it. Pick: Ohio State +3.5
No. 16 Oregon State at No. 6 Oregon (-13.5)
Oregon is one of six teams that controls its own fate for the College Football Playoff, but it will not be easy. If the Ducks win here, they get a rematch with No. 5 Washington for the Pac-12 title. The Beavers play a lot of close games. Of their eight conference games so far, six were decided by fewer points than this line, and their win over Utah was by 14. I like the Ducks to win, but not by much. Pick: Oregon State +13.5
Oddsmakers have finally come up with a total on an Iowa game that has tempted me to go with the over. Psych! I am not deterred, even though the Iowa-Illinois game went over this number last week. Never underestimate the Hawkeyes' ability to get an under. They are college football's limbo champions. Nebraska needs this for bowl eligibility and is actually the favorite. Pick: Under 26
Upset of the Week
James Madison (-9) at Coastal Carolina
The Chanticleers have a lot to play for here. A win would mean a share of the division title and a spot in the Sun Belt Championship Game. It would also deny the Dukes' claim of division superiority despite not being eligible for the postseason. The NCAA rejected James Madison's request for a waiver to allow them to play in the postseason last week. The Dukes followed that up with their first loss of the season. Now that they have a loss, there is not as much at stake. Their path to a bowl game depends on the misfortune of others. Pick: Coastal Carolina +9
Other CFP candidates
- No. 1 Georgia (O/U 60) at Georgia Tech Pick: Over
- Washington State at No. 4 Washington (-16.5) Pick: Washington
- No. 5 Florida State (O/U 50) at Florida Pick: Over
- Texas Tech at No. 7 Texas (-12.5) Pick: Texas Tech
- No. 8 Alabama (-14.5) at Auburn Pick: Alabama
- Kentucky at No. 10 Louisville (-7) Pick: Louisville
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.