College Football Odds & Early Bets for Week 13: 3 Picks for Kansas vs. Kansas State, Air Force vs. San Diego State
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Kansas State defensive back Julius Brents.
The final week of the College Football season is here. It's rivalry weekend across the country with some highly important games to decide who goes to certain conference championship games and which teams will stay alive for the College Football Playoff.
We all know the college football market moves a lot over the course of the week. Money pours in all over the place from the time lines open on Sunday afternoon until kickoff on Saturday. Week 13 is no exception.
Like any other sport, it's paramount to get the best price possible when betting on college football.
For example, a -6.5 favorite could move to -7.5 on Saturday morning, and then you run the risk of that team winning by one of the most likely outcomes — a seven-point victory — and you just lost your bet. It could have all been avoided if the bet was locked in at -6.5 on Monday morning.
I'm here to help you navigate the market by providing a few lines I'm buying right now — or other lines that I'm waiting to buy later in the week.
The hope for this piece is to beat the market, get the best price possible, and in the long run, save you some money with closing line value. To do that, we'll utilize our Action Network PRO projections, ESPN's SP+ and my own projections to create a consensus.
You hear all the time, "Process over results." The best way to know if the process is working is by closing line value (CLV), meaning how many points did you beat the closing line by?
I'll be keeping track of exactly how many points we've beaten the market by in recent weeks:
- East Carolina +3.5 → +3 closing line
- Marshall -1.5 → -2.5 closing line
- Syracuse +3.5 → +3.5 closing line
- New Mexico +15.5 → +14.5 closing line
- Bowling Green +2.5 → +2.5 closing line
- UCLA -18.5 → -20 closing line
- Louisiana +24 → -24.5 closing line
- Washington State -4 → -4 closing line
Now, let's dive into the Week 13 slate.
Utah State vs. Boise State
|Utah State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Boise State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Utah State picked up its sixth win of the season last weekend against San Jose State to become bowl eligible, so naturally, this is a letdown spot for the Aggies.
Boise State has been on fire ever since offensive coordinator Tim Plough was fired and Hank Bachmeier hit the transfer portal after the loss to UTEP, as the Broncos have gone 6-1 since that point with their only loss being a three-point loss to BYU.
When Plough was the offensive coordinator and Bachmeier was under center, the Broncos were averaging only 4.3 yards per play, and Bachmeier himself averaged just5.3 yards per attempt.
Since the change to Dirk Koetter at offensive coordinator and Taylen Green at quarterback, the Broncos are now averaging 6.4 yards per play while Green is averaging 8.0 yards per attempt.
However, the real strength of the Broncos offense has been their run game behind the two-headed monster of George Holani and Ashton Jeanty.
Both backs are averaging over 5.0 yards per carry, both have over an 87 PFF rushing grade, and have combined for 38 runs over 10 yards. Even Green is averaging over 6.0 yards per carry on the ground.
BOISE STATE! George Holani 49 yards to the house!! pic.twitter.com/pREwBPq1h1
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) November 13, 2022
The Utah State defense has been very poor against the run, as it's allowing 5.1 yards per carry (119th in FBS), rank 118th in rushing explosiveness allowed, and 95th in EPA/Rush Allowed.
Logan Bonner is out for the season, which means Cooper Legas has been handling the snaps over the second half of the season.
Legas has been a below-average quarterback, averaging only 6.9 yards per attempt with a 66.9 PFF passing grade. He will also be going up against the No. 1 secondary in college football in terms of Passing Success Rate Allowed, as the Broncos have surrendered 6.4 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks this season.
The Aggies' run game has not been much better. Utah State ranks 108th in Rushing Success Rate and 100th in EPA/Rush, while Boise State's front seven is 24th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.
Most importantly, Utah State's offense sits 105th in Finishing Drives, while Boise State's defense is 7th in that category on defense.
All three projection models have the Broncos projected over -18, so I'd grab Boise State -15.5 before it moves.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Kansas vs. Kansas State
-110o / -110u
|Kansas State Odds|
-110o / -110u
Kansas has put up two really bad defensive performances since becoming bowl eligible, giving up 43 to Texas Tech and 55 to Texas last weekend. It's really just been a microcosm of the Jayhawks' entire season, as the offense has bailed them out time and time again.
Kansas State snagged a huge win in Morgantown last weekend to put it in a position where all it has to do is beat its in-state rival to reach the Big 12 Championship game for a rematch with TCU.
Adrian Martinez missed the game against West Virginia, but Will Howard played a fantastic game, throwing for 10.9 yards per attempt and two touchdowns.
No matter who starts this game, Kansas State's main advantage is going to come on the ground. Deuce Vaughn isn't having the breakout season that everyone projected, but he's still putting up solid numbers.
Vaughn is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and owns a 78.6 PFF rushing grade, with 30 runs of at least 10 yards. He has a solid offensive line to run behind that should give him a good push since it's 36th in Offensive Line Yards.
Kansas has given up over 5.5 yards per carry in back-to-back weeks, and Texas ran for 427 yards against it last week.
For the season, Kansas ranks 118th in EPA/Rush, 120th in Defensive Line Yards and 126th in Stuff Rate, so Kansas State should have a field day on the ground.
— Ray G 🏁 (@RayGQue) September 29, 2022
Kansas has been a really good offense this season, but it's very reliant on a consistent run game.
Jalon Daniels did make his return from injury last weekend and put up 8.8 yards per attempt, but the Kansas rushing attack generated 3.5 yards per carry. Kansas sits top-five in EPA/Play, but Kansas State counters with a defense that's 14th in EPA/Play Allowed.
Kansas State is also top-40 in almost every defensive rushing category and has been outstanding in a couple of key areas. The Wildcats rank third in Power Success Rate Allowed, 32nd in third-down percentage allowed and 10th in Finishing Drives Allowed.
All three models have Kansas State projected over -14, so I'd grab Kansas State -11.5 before it goes up.
Air Force vs. San Diego State
|Air Force Odds|
-115o / -105u
|San Diego State Odds|
-115o / -105u
San Diego State's offense has been revitalized the past two weeks, putting up a combined 77 points against San Jose State and New Mexico. However, Air Force is a completely different animal.
Jalen Mayden may be averaging 9.3 yards per attempt with 10 touchdowns compared to five interceptions, but his PFF passing grade sits at just 77.2 and he has only five big-time throws compared to 10 turnover-worthy plays.
The way to beat this Air Force defense is by throwing the ball, as the Falcons rank 98th in Passing Success Rate Allowed. However, they don't typically allow a lot of big plays in the passing game, ranking 21st in explosive passing allowed.
San Diego State's offense, meanwhile, is built on its rushing attack. It runs the ball on 59% of its offensive plays. Its rushing attack has not been successful at all, though, as it ranks 112th in Rushing Success Rate, 105th in Offensive Line Yards and 86th in EPA/Rush.
Air Force is literally playing at the slowest pace in the country this season, averaging a play every 31.99 seconds. The triple option has been really effective at controlling possession, as it holds the ball 60.2% of the time, which is the highrst mark in the country.
Air Force's triple option has been incredibly efficient this season, ranking top-five in Offensive Line Yards, Stuff Rate Allowed, Power Success Rate and Rushing Success Rate. San Diego State sits outside the top 30 defensively in all three of those categories.
All three betting models have Air Force projected at least -3 or better, so I would grab the Falcons at -1.