The time has come for the final column of the season, although I will make some picks on CBS Sportsline during Championship Week. It is also the last chance for several teams to get that sixth win for bowl eligibility — not to mention all the trophies up for grabs. The Old Oaken Bucket game between Indiana and Purdue is included below.
Each week, I will use this space to share with you a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week by picking a team that is at least a touchdown underdog to win outright.
I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Now that CFP Rankings are out weekly, I will pick games involving teams that are either undefeated or from a major conference with no more than one loss.
Last week was another mixed bag, but I am still in plus territory for the season. I want to finish on a high in a week where you never really know what you’re going to get. Teams have different motivations as the season comes to an end. Some are playing out the string, some are trying to beat a rival, and some are trying to stay alive for the College Football Playoff.
Week 13 picks
Iowa State at No. 4 TCU:
Featured Game | TCU Horned Frogs vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State has one of the top defenses in the nation, ranking eighth nationally in total and scoring defense; however, they are almost as bad on the other side of the ball. TCU has ridden a powerful offense to an undefeated season, but it will have to rely more on its defense this time. To its credit, it has before. Iowa State has not allowed more than 31 points in a game. If it can hold TCU to no more than 35, the under should hit. Pick: Under 47.5
No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State
Featured Game | Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
The Game for which we have all been waiting. These two have pummeled also-rans with precious few exceptions for several weeks now. This is a contrast in styles as the Buckeyes try to dazzle you with offense and Michigan pummels you with the running game and defense. Wolverines running back Blake Corum thinks he will be ready to go after leaving last week’s win vs. Illinois with an injury. If any team runs away with it, it’s probably Ohio State, but it’s hard to imagine that happening for either team. Pick: Michigan +7.5
Purdue at Indiana
Featured Game | Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
This line is not nearly as hilarious as the Purdue-Northwestern line last week, but the Boilermakers’ margin of victory in wins over FBS opponents is still just 5.8 points. Also, Purdue could be without its top running back, Devin Mockobee. The Boilers should still win, but Indiana will keep it close. Pick: Indiana +10
Upset of the Week
Coastal Carolina at James Madison
Featured Game | James Madison Dukes vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Chanticleers are playing without quarterback Grayson McCall, who was lost for the season in the victory over Appalachian State on Nov. 3. Replacement Jason Garrett and Coastal’s usual strong running game led them to a win over Southern Miss in the Chants’ first game without McCall. Now, they travel to James Madison with hosting the conference title game on the line. The Dukes have had a good FBS debut, but Coastal Carolina is still the team to beat in this league. This line is too much. Pick: Coastal Carolina (+430)
Other CFP candidates
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13, and which top-25 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.