This is the week of “The Game”, the longtime rivalry between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines. One of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, this year’s edition of The Game stands out in particular with these two teams being ranked 2nd and 3rd nationally. Let’s continue our college football odds series with a look at the best bets for the Week 13 slate.
This is a game that should be full of action, and we have two bets on this game as we look to make some money while enjoying what is shaping up to be an incredible college football game. Let’s get into it!
All college football odds courtesy of FanDuel.
Ohio State – Michigan
Ohio State -7.5 (-110)
It is finally the week of “The Game“, the historic rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan. With the exception of last season, the Buckeyes have dominated this matchup as of late. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that domination continue this season. At the very least, expect Ohio State to make a statement win against their longtime rivals who are currently ranked third in the country. And this is the kind of résumé booster that can offset almost anything else to secure a team a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Look for the Buckeyes’ passing game to do the bulk of the work on Saturday afternoon against Michigan putting pressure on their defense through the air. The more pressure CJ Stroud and company are able to put on Michigan’s defense, the more likely they will eventually break and give up multiple big plays.
The Buckeyes specialize in breaking the soul of an opponent through quick strikes down the field that pick up chunk yardage, put points on the board in a hurry, and are the equivalent of a devastating uppercut punch to the jaw in a boxing match. Ohio State will likely take this approach and be successful on Saturday. However, even if Michigan stands tall against their passing game, the Buckeyes are very multifaceted.
TreVeyon Henderson is an elite running back who can break games open all by himself by taking a handoff, slicing through a defense, and taking it to the house.
Michigan is talented on both sides of the ball, no doubt. However, Ohio State is just a little more talented overall, and their offense specifically is head and shoulders above any other offense in the country at this point in time. This might not quite be a 25 or 30-point blowout, but expect this Buckeye offense to take over and at least win the game by double digits.
Ohio State – Michigan
Over 56 (-105)
We have already talked at length about Ohio State’s offense, and CJ Stroud‘s unit certainly plays a key role in why we are taking the over in this game. However, this is one game where we cannot count on the Buckeyes covering the total by themselves. Luckily for over bettors, Michigan’s offense is no slouch of their own. My model has Ohio State scoring 41 points in this game. That leaves us needing 16 more to cash the over. I believe Michigan’s offense is extremely capable, and I envision them scoring at least three touchdowns in this game, potentially adding in some field goals as well.
Notre Dame – USC
USC -4.5 (-104)
Caleb Williams is a supremely talented young quarterback, and he has at his disposal a bevy of talented, athletic receivers, several of whom have game-breaking speed. Williams, potentially a dark horse Heisman candidate, has incredible mobility and the arm talent to fit the ball into any window. He has an elite knack for making extremely difficult off-platform throws that he just shouldn’t have the physical ability to make. As Patrick Mahomes has shown in the NFL, a QB who can consistently make off-platform throws is very similar to a 3-point shooter in the NBA with elite range in terms of how they both can put so much pressure on a defense that they bend that defense passed its breaking point.
Just as basketball defenses are not made to fully cover the court 40 feet out toward half-court, football defenses are not made to cover the entire field when a QB is under pressure and rolling out the opposite way. Williams’ ability to make seemingly impossible throws forces defenses to cover so much more territory that it creates more space for pass catchers to get open. Oh yeah, and did I mention that Williams can also carry the ball himself? Between Williams’ mobility, ability to make off-platform throws, running ability, and the talent of his receivers to gain yards after the catch, USC’s offense is just too explosive for Notre Dame to contain. The Fighting Irish, while a great team, won’t quite be able to keep up with USC’s offense.
Kentucky – Louisville
Kentucky moneyline -152
While they certainly don’t look as good as many people had expected them to look prior to the season, Kentucky is still a good team. They are slight favorites here, and I think that assessment is fairly accurate. I’ll eat a little bit of juice and take the moneyline here, as I expect Kentucky to find a way to pull off a win against a team with decent name recognition in a last-ditch attempt to salvage what they can of their season. I think Will Levis has a decent game here (between 225 to 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, maybe one interception, and maybe one rushing touchdown in a goal-line scenario), and that should be enough for the Wildcats to come away with a victory. I’m not expecting a dominant performance, but when it comes to the moneyline, a win is a win.
Alabama – Auburn
Alabama -22.5 (-105)
Alabama is too good of a football team to not bounce back after multiple losses and subpar performances. Auburn is certainly not as good as they have been in years past, but this is a rivalry game and Auburn has name recognition. The door is almost closed on Alabama this year in terms of making the College Football Playoff, but any hopes start with an absolute dismantling of Auburn, and Nick Saban knows that. He will have his guys ready to go, playing for pride in their team and hoping to make a statement with a dominant victory on the field and on the scoreboard.