We have reached the final full week of the college football regular season. And while the majority of the betting public continues to focus its energy on the top matchups on each week’s slate, I continue to focus my attention on the mid-majors. These games tend to stay well “under the radar,” which can add a tremendous amount of value to the spread if you know where and how to look.
I finally righted the ship last week with a perfect 3-0 record with my picks to climb back over .500 on the year at 18-17-1. With the conference championship games and bowl season right around the corner, I am using this last week of games to set the stage for a huge postseason. The following are my three free college football picks for Week 13’s mid-major matchups with lines provided by 5Dimes.
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Friday, Nov. 23
Buffalo Bulls vs. Bowling Green Falcons (-9)
Buffalo snapped a mid-season six-game losing streak with three straight victories that raised its overall record to 4-7 straight-up and 5-5-1 against the spread. The Bulls’ offense has picked-up the pace the last three games with a combined 85 points after averaging just 20.3 points in their first eight games.
The Falcons devastating 31-24 loss to Kent State last Saturday as 2.5-point home favorites ended their bid for the MAC’s East Division title. While they will still qualify for a bowl game with an overall record of 7-4 both SU and ATS, you have to question how much juice last week’s loss took out of this team.
The road team in this matchup is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings and the underdog is 7-0 ATS in the last seven games. The series has been evenly split the last four seasons with the road team winning SU each time. The Bulls probably cannot pull off the SU upset as road underdogs this time around, but they will definitely cover with the nine points.
Take #113 Buffalo (+9) over Bowling Green (Friday, Nov.23, 2 p.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 24
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-5) vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs
I rode Tulsa last Saturday in a tight 23-21 victory over Central Florida as a one-point home favorite. The Golden Hurricane are now 9-2 SU (6-4 ATS) on the year and 5-1 both SU and ATS in their last six games. The combination of Ja’Terian Douglas, Trey Watts and Alex Singleton running the ball has been almost unstoppable with a team average of 241.4 yards a game.
SMU is coming off a sloppy 36-14 loss to Rice as a 3.5-point home favorite that dropped its overall record to 5-6 SU (6-5 ATS). The Mustangs have been able to average 29 points a game this season, but they have had trouble in the past keeping pace with a defense that is giving up almost as many points to the opposition.
This battle between the top two teams in Conference-USA’s West Division is not as nearly as close as it may appear. Tulsa comes in a perfect 7-0 SU in conference play and is now 17-5 ATS in its last 22 conference games. The Golden Hurricane will continue to roll this Saturday as they gear up for this season’s C-USA title game.
Take #191 Tulsa (-5) over SMU (Saturday, Nov.24, 12 p.m.)
Rice Owls vs. Texas-El Paso Miners (-1.5)
Staying with C-USA, Rice stumbled its way to a 2-6 SU start, but a late-season rally has it on the brink of becoming bowl eligible at 5-6 SU (6-4-1 ATS). Over the past three games, the Owls have outscored their opponents 129-78 behind an offense that is averaging 197.2 yards a game on the ground. Quarterback Taylor McHargue has been a one-man wrecking ball with 1,971 yards through the air and 611 yards on the ground.
UTEP has posted just two SU victories in its last eight games to fall to 3-8 SU (4-7 ATS) on the year. The Miners are just 2-5 SU in conference play behind an offense that is averaging 20.9 points a game to complement a defense that is giving up close to 30 points a game. They have given up 30 or more points in four of their last five games.
The Owls have won five of the last six meetings SU and are 8-1 ATS in the last nine games between the two teams. The fact that Rice is getting a few points in this matchup is just an added bonus as given the current form of each of these teams, it will win this game going away.
Take #203 Rice (+1.5) vs. UTEP (Saturday, Nov.24, 7 p.m.)
YTD Record: 18-17-1
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