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10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 13

10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 13

10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 13

The Week 13 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by a key ACC Coastal showdown as Pittsburgh heads to Virginia Tech. Elsewhere, Michigan battles Indiana in Bloomington; Minnesota looks to get back on track against Northwestern; and Tennessee seeks win No. 6 against Missouri. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

Virginia Tech (-4) over Pittsburgh

Remember when Virginia Tech lost at home to Duke, 45–10, in late September to drop to 2–2 overall? Those weren’t the best of times in Blacksburg. Well, the Hokies are 5–1 since, with the only loss by one point at Notre Dame. The offense has scored 34 points or more in each of the five wins, including 45 last week in a shutout at Georgia Tech. A victory by Virginia Tech this weekend would set up a winner-take-all for the Coastal between the Hokies and Cavaliers in the finale at Virginia. Pittsburgh is still alive as well in its pursuit to play in the ACC Championship Game for the second straight season; the Panthers need to beat Virginia Tech and Boston College, and Virginia Tech needs to beat Virginia. The part about beating Virginia Tech could be problematic. Virginia Tech 30, Pittsburgh 24

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Virginia Tech

Indiana (+8.5) over Michigan

Last weekend, Indiana lost for only the third time in 2018, but the Hoosiers’ 34–27 defeat at Penn State ranks as one of the team’s most impressive performances of the season. Consider the following: IU outgained Penn State at Beaver Stadium in both total yards (462 to 371) and yards per play (6.4 to 5.5). Quarterback Peyton Ramsey, thrust into the starting role due to an injury to Michael Penix, completed 31-of-41 attempts for 371 yards and one touchdown. A loss is a loss, but there is no doubt this is a very solid Indiana team that proved its recent four-game winning streak was not a fluke — despite the level of competition. Michigan is fresh off of a 44–10 win over Michigan State, though the game did not get out of hand until the third quarter. The Wolverines have won three straight in convincing fashion and are now 8–2 overall, with this trip to Indiana and a home date with Ohio State remaining. The Hoosiers will make Michigan sweat. Michigan 30, Indiana 24

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East Carolina (-13.5) over UConn

East Carolina doesn’t have the wins to prove it, but this is an improved team in Mike Houston’s first season at the school. The Pirates have trimmed the scoring margin from minus-14.7 in 2018 to minus-6.5 in ’19 and the yards per play differential from minus-1.1 to minus-0.4. They have flirted with their first AAC win of the year in recent weeks but have come up just short against quality competition, losing 46–43 to Cincinnati and 59–51 at SMU. This should be the week for a breakthrough. UConn is 0–6 in the AAC and five of the six losses have come by 26 points or more. The Huskies have failed to score more than 22 points against any AAC foe. East Carolina 47, UConn 26

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Temple (+10) over Cincinnati

Cincinnati remains unbeaten in AAC play — and in first place in the East Division — but it’s been a bit of a struggle in recent weeks. In early November, the Bearcats beat East Carolina (winless in league play) on a walk-off field goal, and last week they edged South Florida 20–17 in Tampa. Temple has been inconsistent this season but has two wins over Power 5 opponents (Maryland and Georgia Tech) and handed Memphis its only loss of the season. Last week, the Owls topped Tulane 29–21 to improve to 7–3. This is a solid team that has played pretty well on defense for most of the season. Cincinnati 27, Temple 20

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Minnesota (-13) over Northwestern

Minnesota lost for the first time of the 2019 season, dropping a 23–19 decision at Iowa. The Gophers, in defeat, rolled up 431 yards of offense (to 290 yards for Iowa) and averaged a more-than-respectable 6.2 yards per play. Now they head to Northwestern, which is winless in Big Ten games and features one of the worst offenses in the nation. The Wildcats have scored seven touchdowns in seven conference games and have been held to 10 points or fewer in six of those seven games. Northwestern has been solid on defense but is still allowing 28.3 points per game against Big Ten competition. Minnesota 27, Northwestern 10

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Boston College (+19) over Notre Dame

Notre Dame recorded one of the most impressive wins of the weekend, rolling past Navy with shocking ease. The Fighting Irish raced out to a 38–0 lead in the second quarter and cruised to a 52–20 win. Now, Boston College, another of Notre Dame’s many rivals, visits South Bend. The Eagles, who did not play last week, have been very good on offense over the past month when not playing Clemson. They scored only seven against the Tigers but averaged 43.3 points in their other four games — losses to Louisville and Florida State (by two and seven points, respectively) and wins over NC State and Syracuse. Notre Dame is the better team, but this line seems a bit high against a Boston College team that figures to score some points. Notre Dame 41, Boston College 24

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Oregon State (+12) over Washington State

Oregon State has very quietly been one of the most improved teams in the nation in Year 2 of the Jonathan Smith era. The Beavers went 2–10 a year ago and were outscored by an average of nearly 20 points per game. This fall, they are 5–5 overall and 4–3 in the Pac-12 (all alone in second place in the North) and are being outscored by only 0.1 points per game. Last week, they won a league game at home for the first time since November 2016, topping Arizona State 35–34. Washington State is 2-5 in the league but did play perhaps its best game of the season last week, beating Stanford 49–22 in Pullman. The Cougars need to beat Oregon State at home or beat Washington in the Apple Cup in Seattle to reach bowl eligibility. I smell an upset. Oregon State 41, Washington State 38

College football rankings: Oregon State

Navy has enjoyed an impressive bounce-back 2019 season — the Midshipmen are 7–2 overall after winning only three games last year — was humbled last Saturday in South Bend. Notre Dame jumped out to a 38–0 lead in the second quarter en route to a 52–20 win. Now, Navy heads back to league play to face an SMU team that is 9–1 overall and 5–1 in the league. The Mustangs have been remarkably consistent on offense — they have scored between 37 and 59 points in every game — but have had their struggles on defense, especially of late. They gave up 54 in a loss to Memphis two weeks ago and 51 in a win over East Carolina last Saturday. The guess here is that SMU struggles to slow down Navy’s rushing attack. Navy 44, SMU 40

College football rankings: NAVY

Tennessee (+4) over Missouri

Since joining the SEC in 2012, Missouri has won five of the seven meetings between these two schools, including the last two by identical scores of 50–17. Times appear to be changing. Missouri, just a few months ago considered by some to be a threat to win the SEC East, has lost four straight games — and looked bad doing so; the Tigers have scored a total of 27 points in those four losses after scoring 34 or more in five straight games (all wins) earlier in the season. Tennessee, on the other hand, has recovered from a disastrous start and is closing in on bowl eligibility for the first time since 2016. The Vols have not been piling up quality wins, but they are clearly much improved on both sides of the ball as the second season of the Jeremy Pruitt era winds down. I believe the wrong team is favored. Tennessee 27, Missouri 17

College Football Top 25: Tennessee

Wake Forest (-7) over Duke

One month into the season, Duke was 4–1 overall, with a win at Virginia Tech and its only loss to Alabama. Now, the Blue Devils are 4–6 and have lost four straight. Last week’s loss was the most troubling: Syracuse, which had lost four straight and had given up 58 points in its previous game against Boston College, won in Durham 49–6. Duke has scored a total of five touchdowns during this current losing streak. Wake is in the midst of some late-season troubles, due in part to some key injuries but mostly the result of a more difficult schedule. The Demon Deacons have lost two straight (following a 7–1 start), falling at Virginia Tech 36–17 and Clemson 52–3. This is still a good team capable of putting up a bunch of points against a struggling Duke defense. Wake Forest 37, Duke 21

Wake Forest: college football picks against the spread

Last week: 5-4-1

Season: 60-57-2

(Top photo courtesy of hokiesports.com)