College Football Picks: Week 13 Recap and Best Bets for Championship Week

College Football Picks: Week 13 Recap and Best Bets for Championship Week

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

College Football Week 13 Betting Roundup

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For the first time since Week 8, home teams posted a losing 29-35 straight-up (SU) record and went a money-losing 29-33-2 against the spread (ATS) for 47% winners. The Over had a great week going 41-23 for 64% winning bets. Home dogs were even worse in Week 13, going 6-27 SU and 14-18-1 ATS for 44% winning bets. The Over was the bet to make involving a home dog as it went 20-13 for 61% winning bets. 

The No.2 Michigan Wolverines committed to running the ball again, which gave them the edge they needed to defeat their Big Ten Conference rival the Ohio State Buckeyes in a great game. Michigan won 30-24 and covered the spread priced as 3-point home favorites and the Over won the money.

The Oregon Ducks destroyed their in-state and PAC-12 rival, the Oregon Ducks 31-7, and easily covered the spread as 13-point home favorites. The game total of 38 points went Under the posted total of 66 points by 22.5 points, making it an easy winner. Despite having an extremely explosive offense, Oregon has gone 5-6-1 Over-Under for the season. 

After losing in Week 2 in Tuscaloosa to the No. 7 Texas Longhorns, the Alabama Crimson Tide have won 10 consecutive games and have gone 6-3 ATS. However, they need a touchdown in the waning seconds to keep that win streak and their College Football Playoffs alive in a 27-24 win over the Auburn Tigers in their annual Iron Bowl. Despite being 13.5-point road favorites, Alabama's quarterback, Jalen Milroe hit Isaiah Bond for a 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal with 32 seconds remaining.

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College Football Playoff Scenarios and Nightmares

Alabama will need to upset the two-time National Champion Georgia Bulldogs as 5-point underdogs to win the SEC Championship and earn a potential spot in the CFP. Georgia has not lost a game since December 4th, 2021, and has won 30 consecutive games, going an even 15-14-1 ATS since. That loss was in the SEC Championship game against Alabama, who won 41-24 and covered the spread as 3.5-point favorites. If Alabama does win, I think the committee must include both Georgia and Alabama in the CFP, making the other two invites very difficult to determine.

Texas destroyed the Texas Tech Red Raiders 57-7 and easily covered the spread as 16-point favorites, and their point total alone went over the posted total of 53.5 points. Next up for Texas is a date with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who finished second in the conference standings by virtue of a 27-24 upset win over the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma State has three losses to just two for Oklahoma, but it is the conference record that determines the top two teams. 

Texas is favored by 15 points over Oklahoma State with a posted total of 55.5 points, but a win may not be enough for Texas to be invited to the CFP because both the Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks rank ahead of them. Washington is undefeated on the season and defeated Oregon back in Week 7 by a final score of 36-33 in one of the best played games of this season. These two teams will square off for a second time in the PAC-12 Conference Championship game with Oregon favored by 9.5 points, including a 66-point total. Texas will certainly jump over the loser of this game, but they may not have enough height on that jump to move over Oregon.

The Florida State Seminoles are undefeated as I stated they would be back in the Week 2 article. They have suffered an immense loss with their quarterback Jordan Travis, who is out for the season. FSU is more than just a one-player team, and their defense ranks 8th best nationally in my ratings. They went into Gainesville and defeated the Florida Gators 24-15 after trailing 12-7 at the half, holding Florida to just three second-half points. With a win over the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Championship, they are deserving of an invite to the CFP, and it would be an egregious decision for the committee to dismiss an undefeated team from a Power-5 conference simply because of the loss of their quarterback.

As mentioned, the PAC-12 Championship winner will go a long way to clearing the CFP landscape for the committee. Since 2005, teams playing with revenge in their conference championship have gone 15-29 SU and 18-25-1 ATS for just 42% winning bets. Only 14 of these 44 teams have been favored, and they have gone 9-5 SU and just 7-7 ATS. If the game occurred in the Power-5, these favorites seeking revenge have gone 4-2 SU and 3-2 ATS mark. Teams with revenge in a rematch against an undefeated foe are 1-6 SU and 2-4-1 ATS so the market has certainly overreacted to the recent high-powered Oregon offense and their results. So, the problem for the committee then becomes a decision to invite the winner no matter who it is and not invite an undefeated ACC Champion or a one-loss Big-12 Champion. 

Michigan finds themselves priced as 23-point favorites with a posted total of just 35.5 points when they take on Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game. Since 1990, the favorite in the Big Ten Championship game has gone just 54-23 SU, but just 32-45-1 ATS for 42% winning bets. Since 1990, double-digit favorites are 31-5 SU and 16-19-1 ATS, but the total has played Over to the tune of a 12-5-1 record for 71% winning bets. There have been 11 favorites of 21 or more points in the Big Ten Champions game and those favorites are 10-1 SU, but just 4-7 ATS for 36% winning bets. So, I cannot see Michigan losing, but it could end up being a single-digit, low-scoring dogfight.

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College Football Expert Picks for Championship Week

Double-digit underdogs to monitor in Week 14 based on the models

There are three double-digit underdogs in the Conference Championship matchups, starting with New Mexico State being installed as a 10-point dog to the Liberty Flames in the Sun Belt Championship on Friday. Iowa is a 23-point underdog to Michigan, and Oklahoma State is priced as a 15-point dog to Texas. Over the past 10 seasons, double-digit underdogs in the conference champion games have gone 53-9 SU and 36-26 ATS for 58% winning bets. So, these dogs are cast to the curb by the betting community, mistakenly thinking that they have no chance to cover the spread and that the favorite will rule the game.  For us, they represent solid betting opportunities to book on the Week 14 card.

College Football Best Bet for Week 14: Georgia vs. Alabama Over 54.5 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)

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No. 8 Alabama vs. No. 1 Georgia
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
4:00 ET | CBS
Georgia -6 | 54.5-point total

The Over bet for this conference championship game is backed by one of the best betting algorithms in my database, consisting of over 5,000 money-making algorithms. This one has earned a 21-9-1 Over record, good for 70% winning bets since 2006. The requirements are as follows:

§  Bet the Over in a conference championship game.

§  The total in the game exceeds the average of both team's points allowed by at least 20 points.

Now, if we drill down a bit further into the database and filter games that had a total of fewer than 60 points, the Over has produced a perfect 9-0 record. Georgia and Alabama rank first and second in the SEC, allowing 15.8 and 17.9 points per game, respectively. Their defenses combine for 33.7 points per game which is 20.8 points below the posted total of 54.5 points. 

The Under may gain some steam from the public, given that the defenses are the best in the conference and among the best nationally. So, even if this points differential falls to -19 or fewer points (52.5-point total) know that the system still has produced a money-making 10-3 Over record, good for 77% winning bets. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Ryan
John Ryan has been handicapping professional sports for over 28 years. He has either won or placed in the Top-10 in dozens of contests. John's success begins with the philosophy that profits are earned and measured over the long-term and not just one lucky weekend. He has hosted or been a guest on more than 5,000 shows and when hosting he always ends them with "Bet with your heads and not over it and may all the wins be yours." Every client is informed that there are no guarantees for profit or that any past performances can be counted on for future profitable results. He provides full disclosure that gambling can be dangerous, but can be a lot of fun if done in a very disciplined manner. For more than 30 years John has develoepd adn deployed many advanced analytical, machine learning, and neural network quantitative applications. Jumuman subjectivity from these applications is minimized and proftit potential optimized. The foundation systems are based on combinatorial algorithms and an adaptive-structure Neural Network. In summary, his systems calculate and analyze several million pieces of game data and then optimizes the data to produce the best possible forecasts. The systems also optimize team streaks and momentum metrics much like their technical use in the analysis of a stocks, futures, or even bitcoin. As seen in the financial markets for decades and personally learned from a vast investment banking career on Wall Street, John applies a contrarian weighting to the betting markets consensus. For example, if a given trend in any sport is posting a 15-2 ATS, then the model may project that the trend has topped and is more likely to reverse. JRS is a cutting-edge technology company whose sports information is unique, and informative, and has produced strong predictive anmd consistent results. The key is committing to a full season or a 6 to 12-month horizon. If you make that decision to do that and invest in yourself, you will not be disappointed. After all, he has been around for 28 years with a proven track record of success and treating clients with the respect and full transparency. To be one of the best in anything it takes hard work week after week and John provides this with no hype and just facts that you trust.
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