College Football Betting Picks | 3 Picks for Friday’s Rivalry Week Games
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Ventrell Miller (51) of the Florida Gators.
Sadly, for the last time this season, I will share my favorite spots for this week’s college football games. as I’ve done every Wednesday for the past two months.
Hopefully, we can avoid the regression monster for one final week and keep it rolling right up until the buzzer of the regular season. Although, there will always be rough weeks in this gig, so please wager responsibly.
Ultimately, the actual spread value still reigns supreme. No matter how great a situational spot appears on paper, you still have to factor in how much value the number holds. A good or bad spot may sway me one way or the other on a bet I’m on the fence for, but it’s certainly more art than science.
My primary goal is to simply help you make one or two of those same tough wagering decisions while sharing a few key angles, notable matchups and injury situations for each particular game.
Week 13 College Football Situational Spots ⋅ Friday, Nov. 25
Last week’s 12 spots finished 7-5 to bring the six-week running tally to 39-16-1 (70.9%). For Week 13, I have highlighted my top 10 college football betting spots, which span Friday and Saturday:
- Friday, Nov. 25: Noon – 7:30 p.m. ET (3 picks)
- Saturday Afternoon: Noon – 4 p.m. ET (4 picks)
- Saturday Night 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. ET (3 picks)
This particular article focuses on my three favorite spots from Friday’s college football slate. Find my top picks for Saturday afternoon and evening via the articles linked below:
Tulane +1 at Cincinnati
I’ve been waiting to fade this Cincinnati Bearcats team one last time in a big game this year. Friday’s matchup against the Tulane Green Wave certainly classifies: The winner gets to host the American Athletic Conference Championship game.
Just pull up each team’s schedule and look through the results. You’ll notice that Cincy has a handful of close wins against inferior competition, while Tulane has much more convincing results against those same opponents.
Plus, the Bearcats can’t run the ball, ranking in the bottom 10 nationally in Rush Success Rate. That is problematic against a Tulane team with an elite secondary that has no weaknesses.
Meanwhile, Tulane should be able to move the ball on the ground and through the air against Cincinnati. The Bearcats defense has experienced an obvious and significant drop-off after losing multiple starters from last year’s team who moved on to the NFL.
Tulane boasts the nation’s best against the spread (ATS) record at 9-2, including a perfect 4-0 ATS on the road. The most impressive result on the highway came in Manhattan, KS in an upset win over Kansas State, which looks even more impressive now.
Missouri +3.5 vs. Arkansas
This is a tough spot for the Arkansas Razorbacks after playing two emotional home games against LSU and Ole Miss — the latter of which resulted in an Arkansas victory that secured the Hogs’ postseason bowl eligibility.
Conversely, the Missouri Tigers basically had a bye last week against New Mexico State. As a result, Mizzou likely spent two weeks preparing for Arkansas. The Tigers also need this game to reach bowl eligibility, which is critical for the coaching staff.
Missouri’s defense has performed at an elite level all season outside of one outing against Tennessee. It can certainly contain the Arkansas ground attack, and I’m not sure that Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson is healthy enough to sling it around all day.
The Missouri offense has struggled mightily at times, but I liked what I saw in its last two games. The Tigers changed play-callers, which brings an added element of surprise into this matchup. Plus, it’s not like the Arkansas defense is anything to write home about.
The home team has dominated this series of late, winning seven of eight meetings with a 7-0-1 ATS mark.
Florida +9.5 at Florida state
This looks like a classic buy-low / sell-high opportunity in a late-season rivalry game. The Florida Gators just lost at Vanderbilt as two-touchdown underdogs, and the love for the Florida State Seminoles has grown exponentially in recent weeks.
However, if you dig a little deeper, Florida should have won that game last week. The Gators out-gained the Commodores 445-to-283, while holding a 7.0-4.6 yards per play edge.
Gators head coach Billy Napier also didn’t have a single designed run for quarterback Anthony Richardson in the first half for some wild reason. I’m sure we see him unleashed this week, which opens up everything else for an offense that had been trending in the right direction prior to last week.
Meanwhile, Florida State has won four straight — but those victories came against a bunch of corpses and backup quarterbacks. This same Seminoles squad lost three straight to NC State (with a backup quarterback in the second half), Clemson and Wake Forest, with the latter two coming in Tallahassee.
Look, Florida State is good, and beating those teams with margin is meaningful, but I’m willing to bet this is the top of the market on Mike Norvell’s bunch. I also have doubts about the quality of the ACC this season after some of the head-scratching results we have seen in recent weeks.
I do have a few concerns with Florida from a personnel standpoint. The Gators have a number of injuries at wide receiver and will be without stud linebacker Ventrell Miller for the first half due to a targeting penalty.
With that added uncertainty, I probably need 10 or better to make this bet, but I imagine we should get there at some point.
Large spreads in this matchup have historically led to blowouts. Since 2005, when either Florida or Florida State is favored by more than 7.5 points, the favorite has gone 7-0 ATS.