College Football Week 13: Best bets for Rivalry Week | NFL and NCAA Betting Picks | PFF

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College Football Week 13: Best bets for Rivalry Week

College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) reacts after the play during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The final week of the 2021 college football regular season has arrived. At least they save the best for last, per usual, as most of the collegiate landscape takes part in the annual rivalry week. Programs with a long history between will go toe-to-toe to decide bragging rights, hardware and — in some cases — conference title games, major bowl games and the College Football Playoff picture. Since it's the final week, I went all out and plucked a load of bets that will get you through Thanksgiving weekend.


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The following are my bets for Week 13. Please note there is no model involved with these picks, as they are independent from PFF Greenline.

OHIO STATE BUCKEYES at MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | FOX

The Pick: Michigan +8

Ohio State has been a wild ride this season. It wasn’t long ago that the Buckeyes had their two least-efficient performances of the season on the offensive side of the ball (Weeks 9 and 10 against Penn State and Nebraska). The Buckeyes have been on a war path the last couple of weeks, though, producing a success rate north of 60% against Purdue and Michigan State on their home turf. The only other time they did that was against Akron in Week 4. This week, there’s reason to believe we could see the Buckeyes slipping back to the form they were at just a few weeks ago.

Ohio State escaped Nebraska on the road with a 26-17 victory, but the passing offense was wildly inconsistent and made the game much closer than it should have bee. A big reason why: Nebraska’s ability to get pressure on C.J. Stroud without the need to send an extra man in a blitz. Stroud spent 16 dropbacks under pressure on non-blitzes, earning a 46.0 passing grade on those plays. The Buckeyes generated -0.77 EPA per pass play. 

Guess who owns the highest pressure rate in the Power Five without the blitz? The Michigan Wolverines. Led by edge defenders Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, the Wolverines rank first in the Power Five in team pass-rush grade. Of course, the Nebraska performance was a bit of an anomaly for the Buckeyes offensive line. They still lead the Big Ten in unit pass-block grade for the 2021 season. But this is a strength versus strength battle, and the Blue’s pass-rush unit hasn’t backed down this season. It’s going to be difficult for Ohio State to consistently stop the defensive front, whether it be on true dropbacks or scheming away from pressure.

There’s value on Michigan getting eight points in Ann Arbor Saturday.

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE at AUBURN TIGERS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 3:30 PM EST | CBS

The Pick: Alabama -19.5

There shouldn’t be a whole lot of faith in Auburn’s passing offense to populate enough explosive plays to cover this number. With Bo Nix out due to an injury, T.J. Finley will be under center for the Tigers. He led an inefficient offense in last week’s loss to South Carolina when Auburn generated -0.26 EPA per pass play and posted a 28% success rate throwing the ball. The Gamecocks aren’t exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to coverage — they entered the week ninth in team coverage grade in conference play. Alabama may not be up to its normal form in that facet, but it isn't near the level of South Carolina. Alabama ranks 11th in PFF’s defensive power ranking. Crimson Tide defenders such as Will Anderson Jr. — the FBS leader in pressures generated through Week 12 — could have a field day with Finley in at quarterback. 

OREGON STATE BEAVERS at OREGON DUCKS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 3:30 PM EST | ESPN

The Pick: Oregon State +7 and UNDER 61.5

Oregon State has flown under the radar for most of the 2021 season, and they’ve looked even better as of late. Since firing their defensive coordinator after Week 10, the Beavers are second in the Pac-12 in success rate allowed on defense. On the season, Oregon State’s offense has been producing at the same level as Oregon’s. In fact, the Beavs have been more efficient on a per-play basis than the Ducks have been in conference play.

Oregon State joins only the Utah Utes as the lone teams to rank top three in Pac-12 play in both explosive run and pass rate this year. In PFF’s offensive power rankings, Oregon State outranks Oregon nationally 39th to 64th. Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan has performed admirably thus far with an 83.1 passing grade for the season, while Oregon’s Anthony Brown has not with a 67.1 passing grade. 

This could be a letdown spot for the Ducks after they were blown out in Week 12.

OTHER BETS I LIKE THIS WEEK:

MISSOURI TIGERS at ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

Friday, Nov. 26 | 3:30 PM EST | CBS

The Pick: UNDER 62.5

CINCINNATI BEARCATS at EAST CAROLINA PIRATES

Friday, Nov. 26 | 3:30 PM EST | ABC

The Pick: Cincinnati -14 and UNDER 58

TCU HORNED FROGS at IOWA STATE CYCLONES

Friday, Nov. 26 | 4:30 PM EST | FS1

The Pick: UNDER 59

NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS at NC STATE WOLFPACK 

Friday, Nov. 26 | 7 PM EST | ESPN

The Pick: NC State -5.5

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS at WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Friday, Nov. 26 | 8 PM EST | FS1

The Pick: Washington State -1

MARYLAND TERRAPINS at RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | Big Ten Network

The Pick: Maryland -1.5

ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS at LIBERTY FLAMES

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | ESPN+

The Pick: Army +3.5

AKRON ZIPS at TOLEDO ROCKETS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | ESPN+

The Pick: Akron +28.5

WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS at BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | ESPN2

The Pick: Boston College +4.5

GEORGIA BULLDOGS at GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | ABC

The Pick: Georgia -35

HOUSTON COUGARS at UCONN HUSKIES

Saturday, Nov. 27 | Noon EST | CBS Sports Network

The Pick: UNDER 56

MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES at DUKE BLUE DEVILS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 12:30 PM EST | ESPN3

The Pick: UNDER 68.5

UTSA ROADRUNNERS at NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN 

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 2 PM EST | ESPN+

The Pick: North Texas +10.5

TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE at SMU MUSTANGS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 4 PM EST | ESPN2

The Pick: SMU -6.5

WISCONSIN BADGERS at MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 4 PM EST | FOX

The Pick: OVER 39

TEXAS A&M AGGIES at LSU TIGERS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 7 PM EST | ESPN

The Pick: Texas A&M -6.5

BYU COUGARS at USC TROJANS

Saturday, Nov. 27 | 10:30 PM EST | ESPN

The Pick: UNDER 64.5

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