College Football Odds, Picks: 3 Noon Best Bets, Featuring Ohio State vs. Michigan, Clemson vs. South Carolina
Gaelen Morse/Getty Images. Pictured: Xavier Johnson (10) and long snapper Bradley Robinson (42).
- Week 13 of the college football season is here.
- Our staff wasted no time, coming through with three best bets for Saturday's noon games, including Ohio State vs. Michigan and Clemson vs. South Carolina.
- Check out all three of our early best bets for Saturday's Rivalry Week games below.
Saturday of Rivalry Week is here.
Our staff wasted no time jumping into it, coming through with three best bets for Week 13’s noon games. That includes “The Game” between Michigan and Ohio State, as well as the Battle of the Palmetto State with South Carolina and Clemson.
Read on for our three best bets for Saturday’s noon games, and be sure to check out our other top picks for today’s evening and afternoon games.
So, let’s strap in for one more regular-season Saturday and make a final trip to Green Dot City. It’s time to have a day.
Saturday College Football Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from Saturday’s noon slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Michigan vs. Ohio State
By Alex Hinton
For this pick, I’m operating under the assumption that Michigan will have at least one of running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards.
There likely will not be a definitive update pre-game due to the gamesmanship in this rivalry. However, I anticipate they will at least give it a go given the stakes of this game.
While Ohio State has had better quarterback play than Michigan for the past two decades, the team that has been more effective running the ball often has won this game. Last year, Michigan ran for 297 yards in the 42-27 victory.
Ohio State’s defense is improved this season, but there are still signs that Michigan can be effective on the ground.
Against Ohio State, Penn State’s running backs had 121 yards 4.65 yards per carry. Northwestern ran for over 200 yards against the Buckeyes, with 122 coming from running back Evan Hull on 30 carries.
Michigan ranks fourth in the nation with 243.8 rushing yards per game. It will need Corum and Edwards on the field to approach that number on Saturday. However, their presence will force Ohio State to respect play action and give J.J. McCarthy opportunities to exploit Ohio State’s secondary.
On the other side, CJ Stroud threw for 394 yards and two touchdowns last season against Michigan in snowy conditions. With a clear day and low 50s expected on Saturday afternoon, he will have a chance to put up similar numbers.
Michigan’s defense sits fifth in passing yards allowed at 161.7 yards per game. However, it can be vulnerable to explosive passing plays at times.
The Wolverines’ secondary is good as a group, but it does not have a true shutdown cornerback.
I expect Michigan to bracket Marvin Harrison Jr. to try to slow him down, but he will take advantage of most one-on-one matchups. Stroud is one of the best quarterbacks in the country with a clean pocket and he will exploit those opportunities if Michigan cannot pressure him.
Both teams have strong defenses and are top-10 nationally in scoring defense. However, those numbers are slightly inflated because of the underwhelming offenses in the Big Ten. Both teams are also top-10 nationally in scoring offense and when these rivals get together, points are often put on the board.
The over has hit in nine of the last 10 meetings, and seven of them had 57 points. Ohio State scored at least 26 points in all 10 games, and I don’t see that streak ending this year. If Michigan scores 24-27 points — which it has done in 10 of its 11 games this season — the over would just need another touchdown.
With the East Division title and a spot in the CFP on the line, there will be big plays on the ball. However, I expect these teams to combine for 57 points. I would play the over up to 59 points.
South Carolina vs. Clemson
I hope Spencer Rattler enjoyed his time against Tennessee because it’s time to come crashing back to earth.
Rattler threw for six touchdowns and 438 yards against the Volunteers as South Carolina scored 63 points in its upset win last week. It was an outlier against the worst SEC secondary not named Vanderbilt, as Rattler more than doubled his season average of 196.8 yards passing per game entering the Tennessee matchup.
Not accounting for his outlier performance against the Vols, Rattler’s 198.6 yards per game is the second-worst in the SEC among qualified passers, only better than Auburn’s Robby Ashford. In the 10 games before last week, the Oklahoma transfer had just eight passing touchdowns.
This line is giving too much credit to Gamecocks for last week, as they now must face a Clemson team that’s top-25 in both total and scoring defense and has allowed only 26 total points in the last two weeks to Louisville and Miami.
The Tigers are still playing for the College Football Playoff and won’t be looking to give the Gamecocks offense an inch in their home finale.
The Clemson offense has scored 71 total points in the last two weeks, but it’s not exactly a juggernaut either. The Tigers rank only 51st in total offense, and DJ Uiagalelei’s range of performances are as wide as they get.
This bet is more a fade of the Gamecocks offense than Clemson’s, but I feel even better about this number now that it has been bet up from 51.
Fading a Spencer Rattler that is feeling himself in one of the most hostile environments in college football is something I can get behind.
Georgia State vs. Marshall
By Dan Keegan
Georgia State had high hopes for this season, returning a ton of production and skill position stars from last season’s Camellia Bowl champions.
Instead, its defense regressed horribly, the offense was inconsistent and it will miss a bowl game this season.
It has to play out the string by traveling to Marshall to take on one of the most physical teams and best defenses in the Group of Five.
The Panthers defense has fallen off a cliff in 2022, as this stop unit ranked 65th in SP+ in 2021 and now sits at 114th
The Panthers offense is one of the most run-heavy teams in FBS that isn’t affiliated with a branch of the military, but it’s lost a number of contributors on the offensive line and will be playing an excellent Marshall run defense. The Herd are No. 7 in the country in Success Rate allowed on the ground.
Even if the Panthers do manage to create a few drives, they will struggle to finish them: they rank 114th in the country in points per opportunity, and Marshall’s defense is second overall in that metric.
While Georgia State does not have any postseason accolades to compete for, Marshall is going to a bowl and can upgrade their landing spot with another win. They are playing their best ball of the season in November, rebounding from midseason inconsistency to finish strong.
The offense has been improving with Cam Fancher replacing Henry Colombi at quarterback. Fancher is a talented runner and adds another dimension to the ground attack.
Star running back Rasheen Ali made his return last week; Ali and Khalan Laborn instantly combine to create one of the best two-headed backfield duos in the country, regardless of level.
But it’s the defense that’s the brightest star here. Marshall ranks first overall in EPA/Pass and fourth in EPA/Rush on defense. The front is aggressive and creates negative plays, and the defense is 17th overall in creating Havoc.
The front seven can play such aggressive football because the Herd have two lockdown future NFL cornerbacks in Stephen Gilmore and Micah Abraham.
Marshall is on fire right now and consistently fulfilling the promise it showed against Notre Dame in Week 2. The Panthers are limping into the offseason, and will have a tough day against this excellent Herd defense.