This season is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Computer simulations -- if that's your thing -- mean nothing with only a smattering of nonconference games between FBS schools currently scheduled and four of the leagues not playing any at all. Nevertheless, we must work with what we have.
Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will feature a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams.
Last week was a win, a loss and a last-minute cancellation. The upset missed, so it is now 4-4 outright so far this season and 5-3 ATS. I have been emboldened by last week's success at picking an over/under, so I am trying again with the same team.
Week 13 picks
Pittsburgh at No. 3 Clemson
Oh, boy. Dabo is mad and in a mood to lay 70 on somebody. The Clemson players cannot be in a much better mood than their coach after stewing in that Notre Dame loss for three weeks and counting. Sorry, Pitt, but this looks like a bad week to play the Tigers. Pick: Clemson (-24)
The strength of Kentucky this season has been its defense, but that unit has gone south the last couple of weeks, giving up 35 points to Vandy and 63 to Alabama. The Wildcats do not have enough offense to cover for that. Also, the Gators are getting stronger with the return of tight end Kyle Pitts. Pick: Florida (-23)
Purdue's offense is back at full strength with Rondale Moore's return to the lineup, and Jack Plummer is an improvement at quarterback. However, the Boilermakers defense will be without its best player, defensive end George Karlaftis. Rutgers has only played one game all season under this number. Pick: Over 62
Upset of the week
Mississippi State at Mississippi
The first Egg Bowl matchup between Bulldogs coach Mike Leach and Mississippi's Lane Kiffin figures to be weird. It would be disappointing if it wasn't. Mississippi State got off to a great start this season with a record-setting win at LSU and then promptly went in the tank. The last two weeks have been more promising, though. Mississippi's season has been up and down, but it is the one team that really pushed Alabama this season. I like Leach and the Bulldogs to surprise here. Pick: Mississippi State (+9.5)
Other CFP candidates
- No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-24.5) Pick: Auburn
- No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 19 North Carolina (+5) Pick: Notre Dame
- No. 4 Ohio State at Illinois (-28) Pick: Illinois
- LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M (-14.5) Pick: LSU
- No. 8 Northwestern at Michigan State (+13.5) Pick: Northwestern
- No. 15 Oregon at Oregon State (+13.5) Pick: Oregon
- Colorado at No. 18 USC (-12) Pick: USC
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,600 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.