Last week was a mixed bag. We saw Syracuse and Baylor coming. We missed Stanford and Ole Miss and got burned by an Ohio State punt return TD. Here are some picks for week 13.
Stanford (-2) at UCLA: Both teams are coming off huge wins last weekend. Stanford still has to win this one. UCLA does not. Thinking cynically, it might even be in UCLA’s best interest to avoid the trip up to Autzen for the title game. Stanford is disciplined, is getting more production on offense since the quarterback switch and may be playing the best defense in the country right now. Love UCLA’s firepower. Don’t love their defense or the fact they rank dead last nationally in penalties per game. Roll Cardinal.
Michigan (+4) at Ohio State: This is a good Ohio State team and an overvalued one. Three of their five one-score wins came against Cal (at home), Indiana and Purdue (at home). Michigan’s defense cannot stop an accurate quarterback who can make throws under duress. Ohio State does not have that. Michigan’s offense relies on big plays. Ohio State allows them. Their numbers allowing big plays are on par with Texas. They play in the Big Ten, not the Big 12.
Pitt (-1.5) vs. Rutgers: This is your bizarre line of the week. Trust Vegas. Pitt is at home, coming off a bye and will be motivated after two close, rough losses on the road. Rutgers gets caught in a sandwich game between Cincinnati and the showdown with Louisville next Thursday.
South Carolina (+3.5) at Clemson: Spurrier has owned Dabo. Clemson is 10-1, but the one loss was against the only team the Tigers have played in the SRS Top 50. Their best win is against 6-5 Georgia Tech at home. South Carolina was looking ahead last week. Clowney is back. We’ll take the points.
Ole Miss (-1.5) vs. Mississippi State: These teams are about even statistically. Ole Miss has played a much tougher schedule. Ole Miss needs one more win to go to a bowl game. Hugh Freeze has a track record motivating his teams for big games. Hard to get much bigger than an in-state rival at home. The Rebels also have one of the best records ATS at 8-3 this season. Ole Miss has been so close, so often in 2012. Here is where they get their cigar.
Oklahoma (-7) vs. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are having a very good season, at home. On the road, Oklahoma State is 0-3 against the spread. Arizona beat them by 21. They nearly coughed up a 20-point fourth-quarter lead at Kansas. They committed five turnovers in a two-touchdown loss at Kansas State. The Bedlam game has been anything but heated in Norman, where Mike Gundy is 0-3 and has not kept a game within 27 points.