Week 13 of the NCAA football season is full of plenty of juicy matchups, and both Friday and Saturday have some Top 25 teams in action. The College Football Playoff rankings will come out for the first time this week, and it will be crunch time for a number of the teams in action.
There will likely be a handful of games that are canceled once again, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the sports calendar. There are some Top 25 battles set to take place across the country throughout the weekend, and that will lead to some terrific games.
Here is a brief betting overview of 12 of the top college football games set to take place in Week 13.
Iowa State and Texas will kick things off on Friday with an important matchup in the Big 12 Conference. The Big 12 title race is still up for grabs, and this game will help determine the eventual outcome.
Iowa State enters play with a 6-2 record, but the Cyclones have just one Big 12 loss this season. The Cyclones have won three straight games, and they are coming off a dominant 45-0 win over Kansas State in their most recent outing.
Texas has also won three straight games, and the Longhorns are scoring more than 40 points per game this season. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has thrown 22 touchdowns, and he has also made big plays with his legs.
This game should be a back-and-forth affair, but Texas gets the edge at home. Take the Longhorns -1.5 over the Cyclones on Friday.
The 6-2 North Carolina Tar Heels will look to play the role of spoiler as they host the 8-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Both of these teams still have a shot at playing in the ACC Championship Game, but the Fighting Irish have bigger dreams.
Notre Dame is giving up just 16.6 points per game, and that defense will need to play great in this game. Quarterback Ian Book and running back Kyren Williams power the Fighting Irish offense.
North Carolina has won two straight games, scoring more than 56 points in each of those contests. North Carolina has a top 10 scoring offense, and the Tar Heels are in the top 15 in both passing and rushing as well.
This will be a massive challenge for Notre Dame, and this one has upset written all over it. The Tar Heels will keep this game close, but Notre Dame will pull through and cover the four-point spread.
The "Civil War Game" is no longer the name of this huge rivalry, but that won't take away from the battle on the field. There is no love lost when the Ducks and Beavers get together, and it could make for another great battle on Friday night.
Oregon is a perfect 3-0 so far this season, and the offense is averaging more than 38 points per game. The Ducks have given up some points at times, but Oregon will want to play this game at a fast pace.
Oregon State is just 1-2 on the season, and throwing the football has been a real challenge. The Beavers did score 31 points in their most recent game, and quarterback Tristan Gebbia will need to play great again for Oregon State.
The Ducks are the much better team, and they are going to overwhelm the Beavers in this game. Take Oregon -14.0 over Oregon State in this huge Pac-12 rivalry matchup.
The Indiana Hoosiers are one of the most surprising teams in the country this season at 4-1. They play host to the 2-1 Maryland Terrapins on Saturday in a game that should feature plenty of offense.
Maryland has won two straight games, averaging 40 points per game during those two wins. The Terrapins' biggest problem is that their last two contests have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has thrown for 770 yards this season, and the Terrapins have been putting up points in a hurry.
Indiana suffered a 42-35 loss at Ohio State on Saturday, but the Hoosiers took one of the best teams in the country down to the wire. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has thrown for 1,561 yards, and the Hoosiers won't be afraid to take shots downfield.
Both of these teams want to play fast, and that should make for an exciting game. Indiana has a huge edge on the defensive side of the ball, and that will allow the Hoosiers to take control and cover the 14.5-point spread.
The American Athletic Conference is one of the most underrated leagues in the country this season, and two of its top teams will square off on Saturday. The 3-3 Houston Cougars will take on the 5-1 Tulsa Golden Hurricane in a game that will affect the conference standings.
Tulsa has yet to lose a conference game, and it has now won five straight games overall. Quarterback Zach Smith has thrown for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he will be a huge key in this matchup.
Houston has an explosive offensive attack that is scoring more than 33 points per game. The Cougars are dealing with some COVID-19 issues, and that could play a huge role in the outcome of this game.
Look for this to be a high-scoring affair as many of the games in this conference are. Houston will be tough on its home turf, but taking Tulsa to win this game outright is the smart play in this one.
The Big Ten Conference has produced some surprising results this season, and this game could be another interesting matchup. The 2-1 Wisconsin Badgers host the 2-3 Minnesota Golden Gophers in the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe.
Minnesota is scoring more than 34 points per game, but it is also giving up 30 points per contest. Running back Mohammed Ibrahim has 13 touchdowns through five games, and he will need to play a big role on Saturday.
Wisconsin got off to a perfect 2-0 start, but the wheels came off Saturday in a 17-7 loss to Northwestern. The Badgers need freshman quarterback Graham Mertz to play much better to get back in the win column.
Wisconsin wins this game, but the Badgers have plenty of questions heading into Saturday. Take the 21 points and bet on the Minnesota Golden Gophers to keep this rivalry game close.
The 2020 edition of the "Iron Bowl" will look a little bit different as the stands won't be packed full of raucous fans. The spread in this game also looks much different than normal as the 7-0 Alabama Crimson Tide are massive favorites over the 5-2 Auburn Tigers.
Auburn has now won three straight games, and its defense has been carrying the load. The Tigers still need more from their offense as they are averaging less than 29 points per game.
Alabama has not had any trouble scoring points this season, entering play with a scoring average of 49.4 points per game. The Crimson Tide are led by quarterback Mac Jones and his 18 touchdown passes, but there is talent all over the roster.
Alabama is the much better team in this matchup, but this is too big of a spread for a rivalry game. Take the 23.5 points and look for Auburn to keep this game within three scores.
The 7-1 Clemson Tigers will be back on the field Saturday for a matchup with the 5-4 Pittsburgh Panthers. Clemson is still in a position to reach the College Football Playoff, but this could be a bit of a trap game.
Pittsburgh has now won two straight games, and it looked impressive in a huge win over Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Panthers are allowing 22.0 points per game, and that defense will need to play extremely well in this one.
Clemson will have quarterback Trevor Lawrence back on the field on Saturday, but there could be some rust for the Tigers. The Tigers are scoring more than 45 points per game, and that offense is hard to stop when they are rolling.
The Tigers have some frustration to get out, and that could spell trouble for Pittsburgh in this one. Take the Clemson Tigers -25.0 over the Pittsburgh Panthers in this ACC clash.
The 1-3 Michigan State Spartans are set to host the 5-0 Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday in a game with huge importance in the Big Ten West. Northwestern is just three wins away from a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, but the Spartans will be ready.
Michigan State has lost two straight games since stunning Michigan, and the offense has been a big issue of late. The Spartans are scoring just 20.3 points per game, and running the football has not gone well for Michigan State.
Northwestern is allowing just 12.6 points per game, and that defense completely shut down Wisconsin on Saturday. The Wildcats aren't going to blow anyone out, but this is a complete team capable of beating anyone.
Life in the Big Ten Conference is always a challenge, and Michigan State keeps this game close. Take the 12 points and bet on the Michigan State Spartans, but Northwestern stays perfect.
The Pac-12 Conference is still just getting things going, and this conference is always hard to handicap. The 3-0 USC Trojans will host the 2-0 Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday in a game that will have a big impact on the conference race.
Colorado has been scoring more than 41 points per game so far this season, and that offense could give USC some trouble in this game. The Buffaloes are allowing 37 points per game, and they can't afford to turn this game into a shootout.
USC quarterback Kedon Slovis has thrown for 970 yards through three games, and he is one of the best in the country. The defense of the Trojans could play a huge role in this game as they are holding teams to just 25 points per game.
Colorado is off to a great start this season, but that will come to an end in this game. USC is the much better team, and the Trojans will cover the 13.5-point spread in this matchup.
The Texas A&M Aggies host the LSU Tigers on Saturday in a battle in the SEC. Texas A&M is 5-1 so far this season, and the Tigers come into this game with a 3-3 record.
LSU is throwing for more than 327 yards per game, and the Tigers can put up points in a hurry. Defense has been a major issue at times for LSU, and that could play a huge role in this game.
Texas A&M features a balanced offensive attack led by quarterback Kellen Mond and his 16 touchdown passes. The Aggies are also one of the better defensive teams in the SEC, but that secondary will be challenged against LSU.
This feels like a trap game for Texas A&M, but it will find a way to survive late. Take the 14 points in this game and bet on the LSU Tigers to keep this game close against their conference rival.
The Oklahoma Sooners have now won five straight games, but they will put that winning streak on the line Saturday at West Virginia. The Mountaineers have had an interesting season, and they enter play with a 5-3 record.
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler has thrown for 2,319 yards and 22 touchdowns, and the Sooners want to score points in a hurry. The Sooners have also found some defense this season, holding opponents to just 23 points per game.
West Virginia has been even better on defense, holding opponents to less than 18 points per game. The Mountaineers struggle to score points at times, which could keep them from pulling off this upset.
The Big 12 Conference seems to produce some strange results each weekend, but this game won't be one of them. Take the Oklahoma Sooners -10.5 over the West Virginia Mountainers on Saturday.
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