Ben Wittenstein: Michigan -3.5 over Ohio State.
This is the Occam’s razor of bets, folks. Michigan is one of the two best teams in the country and they’re only laying 3.5 points. It’s just that simple. Take the better team!
Michigan, for the most part, hasn’t shown me a reason to doubt them covering a small number. Their defense has been as good as any in the country, their O-line has mainly stayed incredibly strong, and JJ McCarthy has said he’s fully healthy heading into “The Game.” I went with the Maize and Blue against Penn State and they made me some cash, so I’ll ride them to win again at home against the Buckeyes.
Nate Jacobson: Under 46 in Ohio State vs. Michigan.
My favorite angle in this de facto College Football Playoff quarterfinal is to bet against points being scored. Ohio State has had a drastic transformation this season in which their defense is better than their offense. Second-year DC Jim Knowles is getting the most of his talented group of players and QB Kyle McCord is a significant downgrade compared to recent Buckeyes quarterbacks.
Michigan’s defense has been playing at an elite level all season and I have some concerns about their passing game when they’re on offense. Last season, Michigan scored six touchdowns against Ohio State, all of which were 45 yards or longer. I expect Knowles to make adjustments to limit those explosive plays and McCord to struggle in his toughest road environment to date.
Colby Marchio: Georgia Southern +8.5 over Appalachian State.
Coming off a huge upset over James Madison with ESPN College GameDay at JMU, Appalachian State faces Georgia Southern right before the Sun Belt title game. It’s the perfect look-ahead spot for an 8.5-point underdog to take full advantage. Statistically, both teams are very similar and this should be a tight game throughout.
BW: NC State +2.5 over North Carolina.
Playing in Carter-Finley Stadium at night is no easy feat. Playing in Carter-Finley Stadium at night in a rivalry game is even harder. For a team that has been struggling in multiple facets like UNC, this could prove to be a difficult task to not only cover, but win.
These are two teams are heading in different directions, with UNC coming off a tough road loss to Clemson where their offense looked completely stuck. The Wolfpack come in having won four in a row and QB Brennan Armstrong looks as good as ever. NC State is peaking right at the end of the season having won their last three games by a 13.7 average margin. And you’re telling me I can get NC State as a home ‘dog? Oh baby, I’m jumping all over this.
NJ: Nebraska -2 over Iowa.
I like looking to bet teams with a 5-6 record who need a win to become bowl eligible. Not all teams are motivated to go bowling, but Nebraska is in Matt Rhule’s first year in charge of the program.
Iowa continues to somehow win games despite having one of the worst statistical offenses in the country. The Hawkeyes find themselves in a tricky spot after clinching the outright Big Ten West title last week, and next week they have a trip to Indianapolis to play either Ohio State or Michigan. I don’t think Iowa will be overlooking this game, but I believe Nebraska will go all out to get their sixth win in an early kickoff on Friday.
CM: Jacksonville State -1.5 over New Mexico State.
It’s a big week for teams in look-ahead spots. Jacksonville State facing New Mexico State is the perfect example. New Mexico State has to play at Liberty in the Conference USA title game on a short week next Friday. The Aggies are also coming off a gargantuan win over Auburn last week.
This is a massive let-down spot for them as they go up against a Jacksonville State team that will be playing for everything. This will be the Gamecocks’ final game of 2023, as they are ineligible for postseason play after transferring to FBS this season, having recently been denied their appeal. Rich Rodriguez’s team should be ready to play their hearts out in their last game of the season.
BW: Northwestern ML +180 over Illinois.
Oh no, Illinois has five wins so they’ll be extra motivated to win this game to get into a bowl.
*Extreme Dwight Schrute voice* False.
Just because Illinois has that motivation doesn’t mean you can immediately count on the Wildcats. In what’s slowly becoming a fun story, NU has won six games this season after a preseason win total of 3. David Braun recently became full-time head coach after the interim tag was removed. You don’t think he’ll be extra motivated to win his first rivalry game as head coach? Plus, the Wildcats have won three of four and are riding the hot hand. Gimme NU as a ‘dog on the road.
NJ: California ML +290 over UCLA.
California is another 5-6 team that stood out to me as one I want to back in Week 13 to get a sixth win. The Golden Bears have won their last two games against Washington State and Stanford, so it seems like the team is on a mission to be bowl eligible.
Justin Wilcox’s team travels south to LA to face a UCLA team coming off a big rivalry win over USC last week. They won that game amidst rumors that HC Chip Kelly could be fired after the season. I expect a natural letdown from the Bruins off the big win and expect Cal to keep the game close with a chance to win on the field.
CM: Iowa ML +120 over Nebraska.
In a game where the total is set at 26.5, I have to take the underdog. It so happens that this ‘dog has one of the best defenses in the country. Iowa’s defense is a force and it will continue to be one against Nebraska this Friday.
We know this Nebraska offense struggles to throw the ball. They have a solid run game, but Iowa also has a great rush defense. I get that Nebraska is fighting for a bowl game, but Iowa always comes ready. Give me the Hawkeyes.
Ben, Nate and Colby will discuss all of their college football and NFL bets on Stadium Bets. Check out the new show across Stadium’s OTT and OTA channels. Also subscribe on Spotify and Apple for podcast episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.