College Football Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 7 Favorite Friday Bets
Jennifer Buchanon-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Myles Gaskin
- Our eight college football experts give their favorite Friday betting picks for Week 13.
- You'll find a few favorites, some underdogs and even an moneyline underdog to back in this week's selections.
Week 13 is a special one for college football bettors. We get two days of wall-to-wall action, on Friday and Saturday.
This week, we’re compiling our staff’s favorite bets for both days, starting with games on Friday at noon ET.
We will get things started a few afternoon kicks before diving into the marquee matchups between Oklahoma-West Virginia and Washington State-Washington. And as always, don’t forget about the quick grabs at the end, where you will find an additional side and an underdog moneyline shot.
We hope you at least pick up one key nugget of information that can help you make a more informed wagering decision. I think you’ll find plenty. Let’s jump in. — Stuckey
In case you’re curious, our staff’s favorite college football bets are 73-75-2 -2.5 units on the season.
Steve Petrella: Houston-Memphis Under 75
Noon ET on ABC
Sweating the under on a monstrous total is probably not how you want to shake off your Thanksgiving hangover. But I’ll make my case anyway.
Houston lost quarterback D’Eriq King for the season last week, and freshman Clayton Tune is expected to take over. Coach Major Applewhite said he may run more wildcat packages than normal, too.
Tune is a three-star, pro-style quarterback who doesn’t have near the mobility of King, who is among the most dynamic dual-threats in the nation. Tune looked fine in the second half against Tulane last week — 6-of-15 for 108 yards — but I don’t think Houston’s offense will have quite the explosiveness it did under King. At the very least, it will take a little bit to get going.
Memphis has one of the country’s best offenses, but does a lot of that on the ground, where Houston is much better — 47th in rushing S&P+ defense compared to 102nd against the pass. And the Cougs are expected to get star defensive lineman Ed Oliver back on Friday.
I’ll be looking at the first half under (38), as well.
Ken Barkley: Virginia Tech +4 (vs. Virginia)
3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Look, I get it. The Hokies have been downright miserable. Pitt basically set all new offensive school records against the Panther defense, and then a reeling Miami team came in and dump-trucked the Hokies, too.
But let’s remember that once upon a time, Miami actually had a lot of talent and was just performing below expectations. Pitt can’t lose to anyone. Those actually aren’t even particularly bad losses.
Now, Virginia Tech gets a home game against a team that maybe isn’t what we thought. Here are Virginia’s wins this year:
Virginia Tech, it should be mentioned, beat Duke and UNC as well. You are hanging an awful lot on that Miami win to claim Virginia deserves to be a four-point favorite in this game.
In reality, this is a pick’em that’s been bent completely out of whack.
I’ll take the Hokies as a home dog against their in-state rival, as they fight to extend the nation’s second-longest active bowl streak of 25 consecutive years.
John Ewing: Oklahoma -3
8 p.m. ET on Longhorn Network
West Virginia lost last Saturday to Oklahoma State. Since 2005, ranked teams after a loss have gone 243-296-16 (45%) ATS in their next game.
History suggests WVU could underperform, and so do the college football models. The Action Network power ratings make Oklahoma a 5-point favorite and S&P+ has the Sooners winning by 6.5 points on average.
I played the Sooners at -1.5 earlier in the week and still like them at -3.
Collin Wilson: Washington +3 (at Washington State)
8:30 p.m. ET on FOX
Washington State obliterated Arizona this past weekend, scoring 55 points by halftime. Gardner Minshew threw for seven touchdowns and 473 yards. The ground game chipped in more than 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns in the blowout.
When Sunday Morning Coffee was published, I was a bit surprised myself to see this game slated as a pick’em. S&P+ agrees with that notion, also making the game in Pullman a pick.
The highlights for Washington State are fantastic for a team that is ranked 14th in S&P+ offensively, but Washington may hold the keys to stop Minshew.
The Huskies have the ninth-ranked S&P+ defense, but more importantly carry the the 29th-ranked havoc unit in the secondary.
There is also a large discrepancy in red zone defense, with Washington ranking 12th in finishing drives and Washington State ranking 117th in red zone defense.
Washington was dominating the Apple Cup even before Chris Petersen arrived, covering the spread seven of the past eight games in this series.
Be sure to shop around for the best number here, as Washington’s consensus spread has come down off 3, but there are still a few lingering around the market.
Danny Donahue: Washington +3 (at Washington State)
8:30 p.m. ET on FOX
I might be giving Washington too much credit by saying this, but I truly believe that the Huskies gave up on their season for a little bit after their loss to Oregon.
To me, that lack of motivation helps explain Washington’s 12-10 loss to Cal in Week 9, along with the Huskies’ lackluster performances against Stanford and Oregon State (both wins).
As a result of the Huskies’ recent lulls, I think most bettors have forgotten just how good Washington can be — and just how motivated they’ll be for this game against the rival Cougars.
A rivalry game is enough to get a team hyped, but add in the fact that they’ll get to be the ones to crush what little hope remains for Washington State to make the playoff, and the Huskies should come out with a fire lit under their behinds.
All of this goes without even mentioning the indications coming from the betting market, which hint that sharp action is hitting Washington.
Sean Koerner: UNC +7
Peter Jennings: Houston ML (+260)
Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.