Week 13 College Football Situational Betting Spots: 3 Picks for Saturday Afternoon
Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Myles Purchase (5) of the Iowa State Cyclones.
- Stuckey is starting Week 13 off strong with four picks for Saturday afternoon's college football games.
- Those picks include Iowa State vs. TCU, UTEP vs. UTSA and more.
- Read on for all four of Stuckey's early-game picks below.
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 ⋅ Saturday Afternoon
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 Saturday afternoon’s college football slate. Find my top picks for Friday and Saturday night via the articles linked below:
James Madison -13.5 vs. Coastal Carolina
This is the James Maidson Dukes‘ de facto Super Bowl, since the Dukes are ineligible for postseason play during its transition to the FBS. That also precludes JMU from winning the Sun Belt.
Without that stupid NCAA rule for new FBS teams, the winner of this matchup would go to the Sun Belt Conference title. I’m sure that the Dukes want to make a major statement in their season finale.
Since JMU is ineligible, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are already locked into the SBC title game. The team has nothing to play for and will be without star quarterback Grayson McCall. He’s arguably worth more to the spread than any other player in college football based on the drop-off to his replacement.
Additionally, James Madison has an elite run defense. Therefore, I’m not sure how the Chants will move it consistently through the air without McCall.
I think JMU jumps out to a lead and doesn’t let up.
Coastal Carolina has not closed as greater than a 10-point underdog since 2019.
Kent State +4 at Buffalo
Now, with the Bulls’ game against Akron being rescheduled for next week, Buffalo no longer needs this game to achieve bowl eligibility with six wins.
I also see plenty of value in this line; in fact, I have the Kent State Golden Flashes rated as the better overall team.
However, I have not placed a wager yet on the Golden Flashes since we don’t know the status of quarterback Collin Schlee, who suffered an injury last game.
Also, one or both of their star wideouts could sit out in a game that means nothing to them. If they all sit out, I’ll likely pass.
Elsewhere in MAC, I will have the same approach with Akron +10 depending on the status of quarterback DJ Irons. If he can go, this is a decent matchup for the Zips with a bit of an inflated line.
Since 2005, Buffalo has excelled at home in MAC play from an ATS perspective. Over that span, the Bulls have gone 41-25-2 ATS (62.1%), covering by more than a field goal per game. Only Wake Forest and Kansas State have been more profitable.
UTEP +17 at UTSA
I faded the UTSA Roadrunners last season in this exact same situation.
One week after clinching a home game for the Conference USA Championship, UTSA played a five-win North Texas team fighting for bowl eligibility. The Mean Green won in blowout fashion after UTSA sat starting quarterback Frank Harris and other players during the second half.
The same thing has played out this season after the Roadrunners clinched everything last week. Meanwhile, the five-win UTEP Miners need to win in order to lock up a second consecutive bowl game appearance. That accomplishment would be very meaningful to the UTEP program.
In addition to the motivation mismatch, UTSA could bench a few key players or go with a vanilla offense that doesn’t show much while limiting Harris’ runs. The staff also probably spent most of the week preparing for the conference championship.
The road team has historically dominated this head-to-head. UTEP is 0-5 ATS at home against UTSA but 3-1 ATS in San Antonio, including a pair of outright victories as double-digit underdogs.
Iowa State +10 at TCU
That should sound familiar for a TCU team that has lived on the edge during the past two-and-a-half months. Now, the Horned Frogs must get up for the Iowa State Cyclones — TCU’s 10th game in as many weeks with absolutely no freebies during that stretch.
During TCU’s nine-game winning streak following the team’s early bye, the Horned Frogs have only won one game by more than 10 points. That came against an Oklahoma Sooners team that lost starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel during the first half.
Additionally, this schedule gauntlet has led to a number of injuries for TCU. Quarterback Max Duggan continues to deal with a nagging injury.
TCU mounted its comeback against Baylor last week without three of its top offensive weapons: Leading rusher Keandre Miller (1188 yards), starting slot Darius Davis, and star wideout Quentin Johnston, who might be the best WR in the country.
All three players will likely suit up on Saturday, but that’s not a guarantee — and they certainly won’t be at 100%.
This will also be the best defense that TCU has faced all season, and it’s not like the offense is firing at all cylinders right now. I have the Iowa State defense rated fourth nationally.
The Clones have no weaknesses on that side of the ball; they particularly excel at taking away explosive plays, which could pose problems for the Frogs.
Granted, the Iowa State offense is not very good, but the elite defense has kept head coach Matt Campbell’s bunch in every game.
It is almost impossible to build margin against the Cyclones.
TCU hasn’t won by more than 10 points against any opponent except Oklahoma; in stark contrast, Iowa State hasn’t lost by more than 10 points against any team other than the Sooners.
Take a look at Iowa State’s six league losses that came by an average of four points per game:
- 31-24 vs. Baylor
- 14-11 at Kansas
- 10-9 vs. Kansas State
- 24-21 at Kansas
- 20-14 at Oklahoma State
- 14-10 vs. Texas Tech
Unlike TCU, Iowa State has been very unlucky in its close games. This looks like another close game for both teams — and somehow, TCU will probably pull out a win once again. However, I’ll happily take double-digits with the Clones in what will be their Super Bowl since they will not be going to a bowl.
Matt Campbell boasts a 14-3 ATS (82.4%) record as a double-digit underdog, covering by 8.25 points per game. That includes an absurd 11-1 ATS mark in conference games.