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2014 NCAA College Football Week Thirteen Picks
The second to last full weekend of college football is upon us, and with only one game involving teams ranked in the top 20, you can see why ESPN chose to go Harvard for this weekend’s College Gameday location. It’s also a tough weekend for picking games, as not a lot seemed to jump out at me, so this week I’ll be going with just seven games in hopes of continuing to add to this season’s 67-51-4 record.
Before getting into this week’s picks, here is a quick rundown on how last week’s games went -
Duke -5 Virginia Tech
Three Duke turnovers lead to all seventeen of Virginia Tech’s points as they lose at home 17-6. (L)
Pittsburgh +2 North Carolina
As predicted James Connor runs wild for Pittsburgh, going for 220 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, but it’s not enough for the Panthers as they lose a tough road game on a North Carolina touchdown with under a minute left in the game, 40-35. (L)
Georgia Southern +3 Navy
Navy quarterback Kevin Reynolds runs for 277 yards and six touchdowns as Georgia Southern gets demolished on the road by the Midshipmen, 52-19. (L)
Mississippi State +10 Alabama
Mississippi State backdoor covers on a touchdown with 15 seconds left, losing to Alabama by only five, 25-20. In the past thirty years, teams ranked number one in the country for the first time are 1-9 in the first game they play against a ranked team. (W)
UL Lafayette -6.5 UL Monroe
Louisiana Lafayette wins their sixth straight game and remains undefeated in the Sun Belt conference as they take out UL Monroe on the road, 34-27. (W)
Texas -2 Oklahoma State
The Longhorns continue their 2014 resurgence, winning their fourth game in the last five by dismantling Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 28-7. (W)
Florida State -3 Miami
Jameis Winston throws the first half and performs well enough in the second, leading the Seminoles to yet another come from behind win, 30-26. (W)
UTEP -6 North Texas
UTEP runs all over North Texas, going for 351 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, and cruises to a 35-17 home win in a game they were leading by 32 points going into the fourth quarter before calling off the dogs. (W)
Last week’s record 5-3
Season record 72-54-4
THIS WEEK'S PICKS
Northern Illinois Huskies (-1) at Ohio Bobcats Tuesday 8:00 PM
Northern Illinois comes into this game having won five of their last six games, led by running back Cameron Stingley, who has scored in his last four games, including seven touchdowns in his last three. They should find road success against a Bobcat team that may have five wins on the year, but they are against teams with a combined seven total wins against FBS (Div 1-A) opponents on the season. Ohio is also 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games following a win and duplicate 1-7 against the line in games against teams with winning records. Go with the Huskies, who have won an incredible 19 of their last 20 road games.
PICK Northern Illinois -1
Utah State Aggies (-12) vs. San Jose State Spartans Friday 9:30 PM
Last week San Jose State lost at home to Hawaii, which marked the first time since 2011 that the Rainbows won a road game. That is not a good sign for the Spartans, as they now have to go on the road from sunny California to an expected snowy game in Utah against Utah State, who has won their last two games by an average of 25 points, has covered in seven of their last eight Friday night games and has beaten San Jose State each of the last five seasons. I’ve gone 15-0-1 this season in Mountain West games and will put the undefeated record on the line by picking Utah State this week.
PICK Utah State -12
Western Kentucky Hilltopers (-7) vs. UTSA Roadrunners Sat 12:00 PM
While Western Kentucky has won five of their last six home games and covered in fourteen of their last twenty games overall, this is more of a pick against UTSA. The Roadrunners have one road win on the season, and that was back in August. Since that win against Houston they are 2-7 both straight up and against the spread, and worst of all, are now forced to start a third-string freshman quarterback. Not a good recipe for success, and the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky should be able to take advantage and get a good sized win at home.
PICK Western Kentucky -7
Western Michigan Broncos (+2) at Central Michigan Chippewas Sat 1 PM
The Broncos of Western Michigan enter the game against rival Central Michigan having covered an amazing nine games in a row, including the last four weeks by at least ten points more then what the Vegas experts expected. They should find road success against a Chippewa squad that has only covered once in their last five home games, and struggled mightily in their last two, barely get past Miami Ohio and losing to Ball State. Western Michigan’s dominance over the spread continues again this week.
PICK Western Michigan +1.5
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-11.5) at Old Dominion Monarchs Sat 1:00 PM
In a matchup of teams going opposite directions, Louisiana Tech travels on the road to go against Old Dominion. Tech has won straight games by an average of nearly five touchdowns per, while ODU has only one win in their past six, and that is against a terrible Florida International team. The Bulldogs have also gone 8-2 in their last ten games against the spread while the Monarchs are an opposite 2-8 in their last ten against the number. The trends continue.
PICK Louisiana Tech -11.5
UCLA Bruins (-3) vs. USC Trojans
After losing back to back games to start October against Oregon and Utah, UCLA has won four games in a row, including three on the road. In that span, quarterback Brett Hundley has thrown six touchdowns, ran for four more and has completed over 70 percent of his passes. UCLA started the season as a top ten team, and they will continue to show it deserved that lofty ranking this week against USC. In the previous matchups between the two teams, the home team has covered in eight of the last eleven and USC has covered just once in the past five. Hundley and the Bruins win again in Los Angeles.
PICK UCLA -3
Nevada Wolfpack (-7) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
Nevada had been riding a three game winning streak before falling at Air Force last weekend in overtime, but should follow recent history (8-3 against the spread in last eleven games following a loss) and get things back on track this week against Fresno State. The Bulldogs have covered just twice in their last seven road games and twice again in their last eight games versus a team with a winning record. In one of Saturday’s last opportunities to win money, go with the Wolfpack.
PICK Nevada -7
That’s all for this week’s games. With cold weather expected throughout the country this weekend, it’s a perfect time to stock up on food and drinks and stay inside and watch as much football as possible and hopefully enjoy the second to last Saturday of games in what has been a great season of college football. Vote below on who you think will win this year’s inaugural College Football Playoff.