Gerald Herbert / Associated Press
For many teams, this week is the end of the road. No matter how many times we walk through it, the college football regular season always comes to a screeching halt.
Of course, we have conference championships, persistent clashes, a bowl season, and college football playoffs to unwrap. And we’re going to explore all of this in depth.
But the normal last weekend of the year is upon us and we need to take full advantage of a wonderful roster of games.
Last weekend I couldn’t do it. I finished the weekend under 0.500 for the first time in a month. There was a lot of good in week 4-6, although there was also some bad – more on that in a bit.
Either way, we enter Week 13 with a 58-60-2 record.
The closing will be spectacular.
Before we get to the choices, here’s what went well last weekend.
The good one: Utah (-3) against Oregon: It was easy. Utah completely destroyed Oregon and ended the Pac-12’s playoff hopes. My only regret is that I didn’t bet more on the Utes.
The Bad: Kansas State (-1) vs. Baylor: I thought Baylor would give up after beating Oklahoma. I thought K-State would benefit from it at home. I thought wrong.
With that, let’s pick a few winners.
Mississippi State (-1) vs. Ole Miss
Butch Dill / Press Associate
The fact that this game is played on Thanksgiving is wonderful. Let’s start there.
There is something in the Egg Bowl that suits Thanksgiving well, and I’m glad we have another football game to consume on this consumption day. It’s not another football game either, as both rivals have had some great seasons.
Ole Miss is 9-2. The state of Mississippi is 7-4.
Naturally, the public will likely support Lane Kiffin and flashy QB Matt Corral. But the more I see Mississippi State, the more I love.
The Bulldogs haven’t lost ATS since Oct. 16. The Rebels have also played three real road games this year; they are 1-2 ATS in these games.
Mike Leach’s unique play appeal and style should be effective again. While many will sprint to a top 10 team for points against an unranked foe, I’m going the other way.
Also, something weird is going to happen in this game. There is always something weird going on. Add Leach and Kiffin, and we ourselves have the potential for something wonderfully weird.
Oregon (-7) v Oregon State
Alex Goodlett / Associate Press
We cashed bets against the Ducks last week. Other than betting Ohio State against Michigan State, which unfortunately I didn’t, I’m not sure there was an easier win all weekend.
A week later, and I’m back in Oregon.
Now, I don’t do this lightly. Oregon State is fun and clearly improved. We’ve seen it against Arizona State, and we’ve seen it several times over the year.
In fact, I’ve done well to bet on the Beavers over the past few years, but they keep growing. Just a few weeks ago, they lost to California and Colorado as favorites over the following weeks.
Coming home will definitely help Oregon. And until the team is heartbroken after seeing their playoff hopes soar, I think we see a much better game and a lot more attacking.
The Ducks end a very good quality regular season with a double-digit win and head to the Pac-12 championship game.
Boise State (-2.5) to San Diego State
Steve Conner / Associated press
Now it’s a fascinating soccer and point spread game.
Despite just one loss, San Diego State is a home underdog against a program that lost three of its first five games earlier this year.
For much of the season, it felt like a lost year for Boise State. The Broncos, however, recovered to 7-4. It should be noted that one of seven wins came against BYU and one of four losses against Oklahoma State. Both have aged quite well.
The Broncos have won their last four games, covering the gap in three of those contests.
While I appreciate what San Diego State has done – and absolutely love watching Matt Araiza explode the punters and hit the field goals – this team has some offensive issues that could be highlighted in a match like this. And I believe they will.
In addition, this game will be played at 9 a.m. local time on Friday. We could all be a little groggy for this one.
LSU (+6.5) vs. Texas A&M
Gerald Herbert / Associated press
In all likelihood, this will be Ed Orgeron’s last hurray with LSU. The Tigers could still make a bowl game, and Orgeron could eventually coach that game, but chances are that this will be the last time he graces the sidelines of his dream job.
It’s a fascinating backdrop considering how Orgeron came to this position in the first place. As an interim coach with USC and LSU, Orgeron has always tapped these types of emotional points.
This one is definitely different, although I could see LSU playing really well. Plus, the Tigers have been playing considerably better lately. Specifically, the defense has been excellent over the past month, which should bode well against a Texas A&M team that has struggled offensively at times.
With a total in the mid-40s, this could be a low scoring game. And if it has to be — and I believe I will — LSU has an opportunity to hang around until the very end.
Coach O offers (at least) another wild ride.
Nebraska (+1.5) vs. Iowa
Patrick McDermott / Getty Images
Full Disclosure: I loved Nebraska before quarterback Adrian Martinez was announced on Monday, and I still love the Huskers now.
If you’ve been reading this article for a while, you know I have roots in Iowa. This year, those roots have served me well. I bet Iowa against Penn State and won (although I was lucky). I bet Wisconsin against Iowa and won comfortably. This one was unlucky at all.
This game has preoccupied me all year round. Even as Nebraska finds exciting new ways to lose football games, my thoughts on that game have not changed.
Of course, the Cornhuskers are masters of losing one-scoring games. Against Wisconsin on Saturday, they lost their seventh game by one touchdown or less in 2021. And yet, at 3-8, they’re still favored over a 9-2 team.
Hawkeyes will naturally attract tons of action. That’s understandable given Nebraska’s record and the absence in QB. But the Cornhuskers have excellent defense that could keep them in the game. And given Martinez’s revenue issues, is it really the worst thing he won’t start against a team that thrives on take-out?
Logan Smothers takes the start and he was one of the country’s most coveted double-threat QBs not too long ago. He has some capacity, and that might just be enough.
Other games on the map
Dylan Buell / Getty Images
Cincinnati to East Carolina (over 57): I’m actually really excited about this game and I think East Carolina will be able to score some points. Cincinnati too, hence the excessive bet.
Boston College (+4.5) vs. Wake Forest: The difficult section continues for Wake Forest. While British Columbia started off slow last week, they found a pace in the second half. Boston College outright.
North Carolina to the State of North Carolina (over 63): This game could and should be a lot of fun. I know the North Carolina season hasn’t gone as planned, but offense can still cook. NC State can too, and they both will in this one.
Washington State (-1) vs. Washington: I know I’ll have company on this one, and that’s fine. Washington State is playing for interim coach Jake Dickert, who is trying to get the full-time job.
Texas (-3) v Kansas State: Let’s go weird. At some point, Texas will play well. It could happen in 50 years. Or, it could come this week. I believe we are seeing a moment of success.
Odds via DraftKings and accurate from Tuesday.
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