NCAA Football Betting: Top 25 College Football Matchups for Week 13

Florida v Alabama

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2011 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the Top 25 matchups for Week 13!

#3 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-1 SU, 7-4 ATS) @ #1 LSU Tigers (11-0 SU, 8-3 ATS)
Spread: LSU -12, Total: 52

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA – Friday, 2:30 ET

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There are a number of games that the Bayou Bengals have played in this year against Top 10 foes, and this is going to be the last of the bunch in all likelihood. The test might be tremendous though, as Arkansas has had a history of pulling off the upset on the day after Thanksgiving, even in this very venue with the Tigers ranked No. 1 in the country. The winner of this game is likely to end up in the SEC Championship Game, while the loser is likely going to be out of the BCS all together. There is plenty still to work out over the course of the next two weeks, but the loser is definitely behind the 8-ball.

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) @ Auburn Tigers (7-4 SU, 4-7 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -21, Total: 47

Jordan Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL – Saturday, 3:30 ET

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The Iron Bowl is always one of the biggest rivalry games of the year, and this year is no exception. Last year, Auburn went on the road and beat Alabama to play for the National Championship Game. Now, it’s the Tide that are going to be on the road in the Iron Bowl with a shot at playing for all the marbles. Odds have it, a win will send Alabama to the title game, and the Tigers would love nothing more than to spoil that party once again. Remember that these are still the defending National Champions, and in their backyard, they aren’t going to give up without a tremendous fight.

#4 Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1 SU, 3-8 ATS) @ #25 Virginia Cavaliers (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Spread: Virginia Tech -4.5, Total: 45.5

Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA – Saturday, 3:30 ET

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It really isn’t often that this rivalry game in the state of Virginia means all that much, but this year, the stakes really couldn’t be much higher. The Hokies still have a shot of playing for all of the marbles, and a win in this game and in the ACC Championship Game might be enough to play for the National Championship. Meanwhile, Virginia is coming off of its biggest win of the year on the road at Florida State, and it knows that winning this game will send it to the ACC Championship Game instead of the Hokies. The loser of this one could be headed to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, while the winner will likely be favored to take the spot in the Orange Bowl (if VT isn’t playing in the National Championship Game).

#24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS) @ #5 Stanford Cardinal (10-1 SU, 9-2 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -6.5, Total: 58

Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA – Saturday, 8:00 ET

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With as much carnage that has gone on over the course of the last several weeks, Notre Dame has a chance to hop into the BCS as an at large team. A win over the No. 5 team in the land just could get it into the Top 14, which would guarantee the Irish a spot in the Sugar Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl. This is probably a play-in game to the BCS for the Cardinal as well. A loss would have them sitting on pins and needles, and it could be the difference between the Holiday Bowl and a huge reward in the Fiesta Bowl. Still, Notre Dame has played well of late, while Stanford has had two straight very suspect games right here down on the farm. This is going to be a huge game for both sides.

#7 Houston Cougars (11-0 SU, 9-2 ATS) @ Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS)
Spread: Houston -3, Total: 75

Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK – Friday, 12:00 ET

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The Cougars are just two wins away from the BCS, but this is going to be their toughest test of the season. Tulsa has only lost three games this year, and those losses were against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State. Since that point, the Golden Hurricane have been absolutely remarkable, and they know that they can spoil the party for Houston this week. Remember something else with this game… the winner is going to take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles next week in the Conference USA Championship Game. The Cougs could go from a team that is ranked in the Top 10 in the land to one that doesn’t even win its conference crown, just like what happened to Boise State a few weeks ago.

Wyoming Cowboys (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) @ #8 Boise State Broncos (9-1 SU, 4-6 ATS)
Spread: Boise State -32.5, Total: 61

Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID – Saturday, 2:00 ET

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Thanks to all of the big time upsets of last week, Boise State has a shot to make a case as a BCS at large bid even though there is no way that it can automatically get into the elite games. It’s still a long shot, but there’s a point that the Broncos, if they can get back into the Top 5 in the country, will really force the hands of the bowl selection committees. Wyoming is already bowl eligible, and it has had a fantastic year. Sure, there aren’t a whole heck of a lot of big wins, but the Cowboys have overachieved just to be guaranteed of a winning season.

Oregon State Beavers (3-8 SU, 4-7 ATS) @ #9 Oregon Ducks (9-2 SU, 6-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -28, Total: 63.5

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR – Saturday, 3:30 ET

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The Civil War is one of the oldest rivalries in college football, and this year’s edition of this game has a lot on the line as always. Head Coach Mike Riley could find this to be his final game with the Beavs, as a 3-9 season just wouldn’t cut it to keep his job. The Ducks are coming off of that bad loss to the USC Trojans that took them out of the National Championship picture. That being said, a win would still clinch the Pac-12 North, and it would keep them alive for the Rose Bowl. Head Coach Chip Kelly knows that the margin for error is nil at this point, as just one more slip will send the U of O to the Holiday Bowl instead of the BCS.

#10 Michigan State Spartans (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) @ Northwestern Wildcats (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Spread: Michigan State -6.5, Total: 51.5

Ryan Field, Evanston, IL – Saturday, 12:00 ET

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With the Big Ten fielding so many bowl teams this year, Northwestern really needs that one more victory to stand out above the rest of the barely eligible squads. That being said, this could be a brutally bad spot for the Spartans. They just clinched their division and know that next week they will be taking on either Penn State or Wisconsin in the first Big Ten Championship Game. The truth of the matter is that Michigan State knows that this game doesn’t mean much. The real prize comes next week regardless of how this one pans out. Don’t be shocked if there is an upset in the cards.

Iowa State Cyclones (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ #11 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -28, Total: 61.5

Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK – Saturday, 12:00 ET

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Iowa State made it to a bowl game last week by beating the Cowboys in its final home game of the season. The pressure is absolutely off at this point for the Cyclones, and the end result could be a terrible showing on the road against the Sooners. Oklahoma was upset last week as well by Baylor, and the end result is that it needs to win these last two games to make it to the BCS. Anything less, and it is going to be awfully difficult to justify any of the big bowl games taking a 9-3 Oklahoma team that has losses against presumably Texas Tech, Baylor, and Oklahoma State.

#19 Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2 SU, 3-7-1 ATS) @ #12 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2 SU, 6-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Wisconsin -14.5, Total: 49

Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI – Saturday, 3:30 ET

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The odd year in the Big Ten finally comes to a close on Saturday, as Penn State and Wisconsin battle for a spot in the first Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. It has been a truly tumultuous year for the Nittany Lions, who were rocked by a sex scandal two weeks ago, and it seems to be amazing that they are in control of their own destiny for the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin has had its chances all season long, and it has failed in a number of them. This is the ultimate chance in the final home game of the year for the Badgers. Anything less than a convincing win would be brutally disappointing.

#17 Clemson Tigers (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) @ #13 South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -4, Total: 49.5

Williams Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC – Saturday, 7:45 ET

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Clemson and South Carolina have one of the most bitter rivalries in all of college football, and though the stakes really aren’t that high in terms of bowl games and national power, the recruiting war is always big in the Palmetto State. The Tigers know that they are playing in the ACC Championship Game next week, but you wouldn’t have known it last week with that brutal loss at NC State in which the team was dominated. The Gamecocks are on the fringe of a Top 10 team in the game, but it will take a win this time around against the Tigers. Keep a close eye on WR Sammy Watkins, one of the best freshman in the nation, who missed last week’s loss to the Wolfpack. He is probable for this one, but his injury could hamper him.

#14 Georgia Bulldogs (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) @ #21 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-3 SU, 5-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -6, Total: 54.5

Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA – Saturday, 12:00 ET

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The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets will be bragging for supremacy in the Peach State. Again, there’s not truly much on the line for either side in the grand scheme of things. Georgia Tech probably has the most to gain by winning this game. The Jackets can maybe get to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl with a victory, but the drop down the ACC bowl ladder could be a huge one. UGA knows that it has its chance to play for a spot in the BCS next week against one of the three teams from the SEC West, and when push comes to shove, that should have the Dawgs’ attention a heck of a lot more than the trip to Atlanta. However, we have to remember that Georgia has the third longest winning streak in the nation at nine games.

Ohio State Buckeyes (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) @ #16 Michigan Wolverines (9-2 SU, 8-3 ATS)
Spread: Michigan -7, Total: 44.5

Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI – Saturday, 12:00 ET

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It’s the rivalry game of all rivalry games in the Big House this week, and the stakes are awfully high between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. Ohio State is normally the team that is trying to best Michigan to get into the Rose Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game, but this time around, it is the BCS bowl hopes of the Wolverines that is on the line. A win and Michigan will almost certainly finish the season in the Top 14 in the nation and be one of the handful of teams that the bowl committees of the BCS bowl games can invite. A loss would, at best, send Big Blue to the Capital One Bowl, and most likely significantly further down the bowl ladder than that.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS) @ #20 Baylor Bears (7-3 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Spread: Baylor -13, Total: 78

Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX – Saturday, 7:00 ET

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Remember when Texas Tech was ranked in the Top 25 in the country off of its road victory against Oklahoma? My, where those days have gone… Now, the Red Raiders need to pull off the upset against Baylor just to qualify for a bowl game. The Bears still have two games left to play, and if enough happens in that period of time, there is still a remote chance that the BCS might be willing to give a flyer to them as the final at large team (especially if Houston gets knocked off and TCU doesn’t get into the Top 16). Not only does Baylor have to win this game though, it has to win impressively to really have a decent case going into the last week of the season.

Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4 SU, 5-6 ATS) @ #22 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3 SU, 3-7 ATS)
Spread: Nebraska -9.5, Total: 53.5

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE – Friday, 12:00 ET

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It feels awfully weird to see the Cornhuskers playing a game the day after Thanksgiving and it not coming against Colorado… That doesn’t mean that the stakes aren’t high, though. Both of these teams are still hoping to latch on to one of the top bowl games in the Big Ten this year, with the Capital One Bowl and the Outback Bowl surely looking on at both of these teams. In all likelihood, the winner will be vacationing in the Sunshine State this winter, while the loser is probably going to be booted out of Florida and sent to a significantly lesser bowl game.

Pittsburgh Panthers (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) @ #23 West Virginia Mountaineers (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS)
Spread: West Virginia -6.5, Total: 57

Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV – Friday, 7:00 ET

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It’s amazing to think that the Panthers can still end up in the BCS if they win their final two games of the season, but they can also end up out of the bowl picture all together with losses in these final two games. WVU is in a lot better shape and is the only team in the Big East that is ranked in the Top 25, but a loss in this one will end that hope for likely the rest of the season. Pittsburgh needs one more to go bowling, but this is going to be a tough one without RB Ray Graham in the fold. We’ve seen some wild results in the Backyard Brawl though, so absolutely nothing should be taken for granted.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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