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The 23 best bets on college football’s Rivalry Weekend

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Place your wagers on one of the biggest weeks of the college football season.

All wagers are at -110 odds unless otherwise noted. My picks are in bold with that team’s spread attached. Visit Odds Shark for updated lines throughout each game week.

Season record: 130-92 (59 percent) following a 12-11 Week 12; 38 games over .500 is a much better year than I expected. A breakdown of my Week 12 wins and losses is here. This is one of my favorite columns to write for SB Nation, as I enjoy doing it and it helps me follow college football. Thanks for reading, and I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving.

Notes on games I didn’t bet

I think Auburn has a real chance to beat Alabama outright, but just four points against Nick Saban is not enough for me to pull the trigger. And I can’t bet Ohio State vs. Michigan without knowing if quarterback Brandon Peters is playing.

Thursday

1 and 2. Ole Miss +15 at Mississippi State and Over 65: There is not much time to prepare for this game, and both teams can really score. Update: Welp, Nick Fitzgerald had a gruesome leg injury in the first quarter (get well, Nick!), and the game was still one score away from hitting the over. As it was, I open with a split.

Friday

3. Baylor +25 at TCU: This is just too many points, by my numbers. TCU’s offense has not been great of late, and the Bears missed covering last week by a half point.

4. Cal +7.5 at UCLA: I think Cal goes on the road and beats the Bruins in a major letdown spot.

5. Idaho at New Mexico State -9: New Mexico State well could have covered last week if not for a QB injury. Idaho’s offense is terrible, and I’m laying the points without knowing if Tyler Rogers will play for the Aggies.

6. Iowa -3 at Nebraska: Iowa was the victim of some poor turnover luck last week. Since the calendar turned to November, Nebraska is allowing 7.1 yards/play. Even the lesser offenses Big Red has faced, like Purdue and Northwestern, have put up north of 5.5 yards/play.

7. Miami at Pitt +14: Pitt has been playing much improved of late, despite two close and late losses. I’ll take these points all day.

8. New Mexico +20.5 at San Diego State: SDSU has actually been playing quite well since a mid-season slump, but this is just too many points against a New Mexico that showed up last week, though it did lose.

9. Texas State +25 at Troy: Texas State is a bad football team, while Troy is pretty solid. Still, this is about a touchdown more than I thought the line would be. Perhaps I am missing something.

10. Virginia Tech at UVA +7.5: Virginia Tech’s offense has struggled a lot down the stretch, and I’ll take a spunky home underdog.

Saturday

11. Wisconsin at Minnesota +17.5: It would be very easy for the Badgers to overlook the Gophers here.

12. BYU -3 at Hawaii: BYU just lost at home to UMass, true, but Hawaii’s defense is horrible, and the Cougars were unlucky in the turnover department a week ago.

13. Florida State at Florida Under 44.5: UF is 126th nationally in Bill Connelly’s adjusted pace metric. FSU is 127th. Low possessions, inept offenses, and the only worry is turnovers.

14. Indiana +3 at Purdue: I think Indiana will go into Purdue and win outright.

15. Louisville -10 at Kentucky: Lamar Jackson wants revenge for last year, and Kentucky’s defense probably won’t be able to stop him.

16. North Texas at Rice +11.5: I’ve backed North Texas and won. Rice probably should have beaten ODU last weekend, so I’ll take them at home on senior day.

17. Northwestern at Illinois +17: Fading NU has not been a great idea of late, but this is just a lot of points for the Purple to lay. (I said the same thing last week and lost, FWIW).

18. UNLV +3 at Nevada: I am a big believer in UNLV QB Armani Rogers.

19. Washington State at Washington -9.5: Washington State on the road has been really bad. Seattle is not an easy place to play.

20 and 21. Arkansas State -8 at Louisiana Monroe and Over 69: Arkansas State and Louisiana Monroe can really score, but I trust the Red Wolves’ efense to get enough stops to win by two scores.

22 and 23. Southern Miss +3 at Marshall and Under 48: Southern Miss’ defense has been playing lights out. Marshall has played good defense all year. I think the Golden Eagles have a chance to win outright in a low-scoring game.

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