Free NCAA Football Picks Week 13: Under-the-Radar Matchups Provide Great Betting Profits
First and foremost, I would like to wish all my American friends and colleagues a belated Happy Thanksgiving. I hope the turkey was delicious and the family get together was the least stressful as possible. I also hope you remained sober enough to effectively bet yesterday's NFL board. If you didn't and ended up losing some money, you've come to the right place. I will help you make it back and then some.
As we enter the final week of the college football regular season, aka Rivalry Week, there are plenty of storylines that could effectively take the lead. I could talk in depth about the latest rankings for the College Football Playoff, which currently sees Alabama, Miami, Clemson and Oklahoma occupy the top-four spots in the nation. I could also talk about the conference title games that are already set. In Conference USA, North Texas takes on Florida Atlantic, Miami takes on Clemson in the ACC Championship Game and lastly Wisconsin takes on Ohio State for the Big Ten title. The SEC title game will be set after this week's massive showdown between Auburn and Alabama. The winner of that game gets to take on Georgia for the right to be called SEC Champion. On the flip side of all that success, there have been several coaches fired already this season, and the rumor mill is turning with talks of Chip Kelly to Florida and/or UCLA and a possible Jon Gruden sighting in Tennessee, where they are actively seeking a qualified head coach.
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All of those would make great leads, but the only thing that matters in this article is picking winners from smaller conferences and making you money. I've done it all season long, and I enter this week's card with an 11-10-2 record for +3.5 units. It's not the greatest record ever recorded in the sports betting world, but any time you can stay in the black over an extended period of time you are doing something right.
You might be asking yourself "why do I focus on smaller conferences?" Typically, smaller conferences have softer lines, which increases your edge over the book. The majority of new bettors make the same mistake every week - they get sucked into the media's propaganda and all the "hype up" commercials on television featuring ranked teams. If those commercials are the only thing a new bettor sees, that is likely the game they will bet on. What these square bettors don't know is that the line as very little value left in it and the books will typically win more often than not.
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Friday card is stacked from noon until night with stellar college action. Here is a quick rundown of the card; Western Michigan at Toledo (-13), Northern Illinois (-3) at Central Michigan, No.2 Miami (-12) at Pittsburgh, Navy at Houston (-4.5), Baylor at No.12 TCU (-24.5), Ohio (-6) at Buffalo, Missouri (-9) at Arkansas, South Florida at No.15 UCF (-9.5), New Mexico at San Diego State (-20), Iowa (-4) at Nebraska, Texas State at Troy (-24.5), Western Kentucky (-2.5) at FIU, No.25 Virginia Tech (-7) at Virginia, Texas Tech at Texas (-9.5), and lastly California at UCLA (-6.5).
From a Top-25 perspective, there are several massive games involving ranked opponents, but the biggest is taking place at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. No. 1 Alabama puts their undefeated record on the line against No. 6 Auburn, with the winner advancing to the SEC title game against Georgia. As of writing this, the Crimson Tide are 4.5-point favorites and the total is set 47. The other games featuring a pair of ranked teams are No. 3 Clemson (-13.5) at No. 24 South Carolina, No. 8 Notre Dame (-2) at No. 21 Stanford and No. 13 Washington State at No. 17 Washington (-10.5).
This week I absolutely love these two "under the radar" games on Saturday. I will use $100 as my unit of wager and as always, all lines are courtesy of our friends at 5Dimes.
UNLV @ Nevada (-3) Saturday November 25, 3 p.m. EST
If you looked up "awful" in the dictionary, you would likely find a picture of the UNLV Rebels football team. Since 2010, they've only had one winning season, and that was in 2013 where the Rebels went 7-6 and lost the Heart of Dallas Bowl to North Texas. In the other six seasons, they've accumulated four two-win seasons, a three-win season and a four-win season. This year, the Rebels are 5-6 and are knocking on the door of Bowl eligibility. All that stands in their way is a 2-9 Nevada team that's beaten San Jose State (1-11) and Hawaii (3-8). Not exactly standout wins.
Normally, the past futility would steer me away from trusting the Rebels with my money, but this year is different. The Rebels have won three of their last four games and have been very competitive in their losses - a far cry from past UNLV programs.
Typically in college football, new coaches are given three years to turn the team around. This is year three for Tony Sanchez, and he's done wonders in getting this team ready for massive games. This is the biggest game of the season, and anything but a win would make this season a complete failure.
Nevada, on the other hand, has struggled mightily this year. They've lost three of their last four games and are giving up an average of 36 points per game. As I mentioned earlier, they've only beaten San Jose State and Hawaii, two teams whose combined record is 4-19. Regardless of if they are at home or not, the Wolf Pack shouldn't be laying points against any team in the FBS.
If you need a little more convincing, the Rebels are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games, 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Pick: 3-Unit Play on #181 UNLV (+3)-110
Utah State @ Air Force (-1.5) Saturday November 25, 10:15 p.m. EST
For my second selection and last pick of this College Football year, I am staying in the Mountain West Conference for a game between Utah State and Air Force. This game pits two teams going in opposite directions, and I'm going to be riding the team trending up at the right time - Utah State.
The Aggies come into this game on a mini two-game winning streak thanks to a 24-10 win over New Mexico and a 38-0 drubbing of Hawaii. Their last win got them to the coveted six-win mark and ensured them bowl eligibility. The reason why I like the Aggies in this matchup is their run defense. They are holding teams to just 3.8 rush yards per carry, which will surely help them against a run-first team like the Falcons.
Air Force comes into this game unable to qualify for a bowl game after losing their last three contests. They were shut out by Army 21-0 and then doubled up in consecutive weeks by Wyoming and Boise State. While they have a solid rushing attack, the passing attack is lacking any real conviction.
The Aggies are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against a team with a losing record while the Falcons are just 1-5 ATS in their last six November games and 2-12 in their last 14 conference games.
Give me the team in the better form.
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