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Wilson: My Projected Odds for Every Week 13 College Football Game

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UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris gets tackled by several Kentucky Wildcats players.

Although the top teams in the nation were devoid of upsets, Week 12 still gave us some exciting action.

Oregon remaining undefeated in the Pac-12, despite facing a UCLA team that took an early lead without quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The Pac-12 remains in the College Football Playoff picture, with BYU and Cincinnati collecting wins over North Alabama and Central Florida, respectively.

Speaking of the Playoff, the first rankings will be released Tuesday night. Notre Dame, Alabama and Ohio State are expected to take the top spots. The Buckeyes did not have a clean Week 12, as evident from Indiana gaining a negative number in rushing yards.

Michael Penix Jr. of Indiana threw close to 500 yards against the Buckeyes secondary, as the 42-21 lead evaporated for Ohio State.

Will Clemson, who had its game with Florida State canceled, remain in the top four? Cincinnati came back from double-digits down against Central Florida, while Florida toyed with Vanderbilt through the second half.

BYU may have covered the spread, but how will the committee look at a Cougars team that allowed two scores to 0-4 North Alabama?

In other action, Coastal Carolina’s game against Liberty may have more of a national impact than the eventual Sun Belt Championship.

Every Sunday, The Action Network publishes updated Power Ratings — now including all 127 teams playing FBS football this fall.

Look here to identify early betting value when opening lines are released, and follow me in The Action Network App to see when I bet those lines on Sunday afternoon.

Here are the projections for Week 13:

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Projected College Football Odds, Week 13

A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; a positive number means the home team is an underdog.


Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.


Week 13 Notes

  • Wake Forest, Duke, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan State, Maryland, Houston, SMU, Charottle, Marshall, Louisiana, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Texas, Kansas, UNLV, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Navy, South Florida, Arizona State and Colorado all come off COVID-19 disruptions.
  • Kent State has the highest offensive success rate, ranking just ahead of Alabama and Ohio State.
  • Oregon now ranks seventh as the most explosive offense per expected points per play.
  • Despite losses in Week 12, San Diego State and Wisconsin lead the nation in defensive success rate.
  • The Aztecs are joined by Iowa and Tulsa as the nation’s best against the explosive pass, while Utah opens as the best defense against the explosive run.
  • Kent State, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Alabama and BYU round out the top-ranked teams in points per opportunity, also known as finishing drives.
  • Florida Atlantic and Northwestern are the best defenses in the nation in opponent scoring opportunities.

Week 13 Situational Spots to Play

  • Arkansas had a 90% postgame win expectancy against LSU. The Razorbacks had more total yards on 38 less plays.
  • Indiana must overcome a hangover of playing Ohio State in a Week 13 game with Maryland. The Hoosiers also have overlook to Wisconsin in Week 14.
  • Coastal Carolina has wrapped up the Sun Belt East division. Will a game against 2-9 Texas State matter before a G5 titanic battle with Liberty?

Week 13 Injury Report

  • Auburn running back Tank Bigsby was lifted from the game against Tennessee with a right hip injury.
  • Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett sat with a sprained AC joint. JT Daniels made his debut against Mississippi State.

  • Georgia State quarterback Shai Werts left due to an unspecified injury. His status for Georgia State is unknown.
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders was lifted from the Oklahoma game with an unlisted injury.
  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson sat out with an undetermined ailment. It is unknown if he will suit up for Arizona.

Terms to Know

Postgame Win Expectancy is a calculation of all variables in a box score that dictate who would win the game if it was played a high number of times. Turnover luck, success rate and yards per play are notable components of this calculation and can influence a single game. But over a large sample, the team that moved the ball better would win more often than not.

There have been plenty of box scores in which a team wins as an underdog, but a negative value is applied to that team’s power rating because the result was fluky rather than systematic.

Coach scheme changes can adjust a power rating quickly. For example, Oregon will undergo a change from Marcus Arroyo’s conservative play-calling to new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s system. Moorhead’s offense features a heavy dose of 11 personnel, west coast spread concepts and modern RPOs.

That offensive philosophy has led to more explosiveness and higher rates of success on standard downs at each of Moorhead’s previous stops at Penn State and Mississippi State. In a situation like this, a power rating can be useful to quickly adjust a team’s forecast for future games. In the case of Mike Leach, an adjustment of totals is coming with an increase in plays per game.

Success Rate, Finishing Drives and Explosiveness were first defined in Bill Connelly’s Five Factors and are strong indicators for future box scores. While EPA (Expected Points Added) and IsoPPP (Isolated Points Per Play) can be highly variable from season to season, Success Rate is a stable data point for handicappers to use for projections.

Simply put, if a team consistently achieves the desired amount of yards — determined by down and distance — then this is a “play-on” team with your bankroll. Texas A&M ranked 17th in offensive success rate last season and returns 80% of its offensive production for 2020; that combination makes the Aggies a play-on team.

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