5 Best College Football Predictions Against The Spread Rivalry Week Saturday

5 best predictions for this week’s college football slate. What appear to be the best bets and picks for the Rivalry Week games on Saturday?

5 Best College Football Predictions Against the Spread Rivalry Week Saturday

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Results So Far: 74-63-1

So where did this all go wrong yesterday when I went 1-4 with the 5 Best Rivalry Picks Against the Spread, the Friday version?

I got the one I really wanted – Florida +9.5 against Florida State – and after not worrying about the hook with Arizona giving up 3.5 to Arizona State, I got caught on it in the 38-35 Wildcat win.

The other three? Mountain West games that I knew were flaky, but went there anyway. And no, I’m not over Utah State not covering the 16.5 against Boise State.

There are more to choose from in the Saturday selection, so I’m setting the bar higher. Friday was about as crazy as it gets – it seems like almost all the underdogs played up, with the regrettable misfires of my Utah State and Wyoming picks.

So read on at your own risk. And why?

Did you see Iowa blowing its shot to play for the Big Ten Championship by gagging against Nebraska?

Friday was weird. Saturday should be even zanier, so I’m going to try to control the uncontrollable starting with …

Click on each game for the game preview

5. Army at UMass

LINE Army -19.5

When in doubt, fall back on the research and what’s staring you in the face. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, at least you can rationalize the pick.

I’m stalling. I don’t want to pick UMass. Ever.

It has yet to beat an FBS team, the passing attack is painfully inconsistent, and the offense scored more than 13 points just three times all year.

Here’s the thing, though. The 34-7 loss to Buffalo was the only time in the last seven games the Minutemen lost by 20 or more.

It’s not like it played all lightweights, either – it lost at Texas A&M by 16, to Liberty by 18, and to UConn – don’t laugh, it’s going bowling – by 17.

Here’s the other glaring thing. Army stinks away from home.

It’s partly because the home slate was so light, but the Knights were 4-2 at West Point. The strongest win was over UConn, they were rocked by Georgia State by 17, and they lost in a shootout with UTSA. Two of the wins were to FCS teams, and one was a 24-point blowout over ULM.

Away from home? 0-4.

The offense only scored more than ten in the 38-28 loss to Coastal Carolina, and now it’s going against a team that’s not totally miserable at running the ball, controlling the clock, and making this a fast game.

Okay, fine. So you’re not going to spend part of your Saturday worrying about UMass. I don’t blame you.

Let me try again with another lousy team vs. another team that can’t play on the road and see if that does it for you …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against the Spread No. 4: UAB at Louisiana Tech

4. UAB at Louisiana Tech

LINE UAB -18.5
ATS PICK Louisiana Tech

Do I really believe Louisiana Tech can hang with UAB? Not really, but that spread of 18.5 is mighty large considering it’s the underdog’s final game of the year.

Am I worried that UAB needs this to become bowl eligible? Yeah, so it’s going to try extra-super hard – that might be enough to win.

Am I concerned the Louisiana Tech lost to a bad Charlotte team and turned it over five times in a blowout loss to UTSA? I should be, but those two games were on the road.

This is a straight trends play, so if you like more logic and reason than this, check out the game preview and maybe that could help.

Louisiana Tech was a disaster on the road. It was 0-7 and was trucked by everyone but those 49ers of Charlotte. In Ruston, though …


No, I don’t think Louisiana Tech will win outright – +580 is a hefty shot at the stars, though – but three wins and the lone loss a 42-41 shootout against Rice isn’t bad.

But UAB is good, right? Yeah … at home.

The Blazers went 5-1 at home with the one loss a good fight against the UTSA team that snuck by Louisiana Tech 51-7.

On the road? UAB is 0-5. They were all close except for last week’s 41-10 loss to LSU, but they’re all losses.

No, don’t pick Louisiana Tech outright. But 18.5 is a decent enough cushion to take a look.

I hear you. Life is too short to care about bad teams, right? Fine. Then I’ll go full bore believing my own hoo-ha with …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 3 Michigan at Ohio State

3. Michigan at Ohio State

LINE Ohio State -7.5
ATS PICK Ohio State

Call this the anecdotal “feel” pick. I’d say I’m going with my gut on this, but there’s way too much of that at the moment with the commitment to excellence about to restart on Monday.

I do weekly radio hits on three different sports talk radio stations in Ohio. What’s been the main topic conversation for every single appearance at times over the offseason and every week over the last three-plus months?


As is Ohio State is insane. It’s insane when it’s a Tuesday, it’s insane when the defense gives up two first downs, and it would be insane if it received a delightful warm try of chocolate chip cookies on Christmas Day.

And it was out-of-its-mind, batspit, freakishly-obsessive insane – from the fan base right on through to the players – after losing to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semis after then of the 2019 season.

That offseason was all about getting back to the CFP to get its revenge, and when a global pandemic hit and when it looked like the season might be cancelled, who was the lead dog in the yard barking at the Big Ten? Well, it was Nebraska, but it didn’t show up at the conference headquarters with (gasp!) signs written in permanent ink like Ohio State fans did.

And what happened? Forget being careful what you wish for, Ohio State got Clemson again in the playoff, and … boom. 49-28 Buckeyes.

Yeah, that was Cuckoo Lite compare to how the program handled the loss to Michigan over the last 360ish days.

Michigan is really, really good. The lines might be better than the 2021 version, the team has its style and groove, and it might not matter if Derrick Henry was coming out of the tunnel – Ohio State’s defensive front might just roar in this after the problems of last year.

Football-wise, of course the Wolverines can hang in this, and of course Ohio State has its own injury issues. However, it’s far more explosive, its lines aren’t appreciated enough, and the energy in that building is going to be – to sound like a wacky morning radio show host – bonkers.

There really is a good chance Ohio State was just going through the motions waiting for this.

I’d like this more at around 10-to-12, not 7.5.

The winner of this might play …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 2 Purdue at Indiana

2. Purdue at Indiana

LINE Purdue -10.5

As is Purdue was going to care about this game.

It’s for the Old Oaken Bucket, it stinks around Bloomington and West Lafayette to lose this game – even for two basketball-mad schools – and of course both teams are going to take their respective games up a few notches.

Purdue won 44-7 last year with nothing on the line other than bragging rights. The previous four meetings were all within a touchdown, and that’s always the concern.

It’s like the showbiz line of never dealing with kids or animals – too unpredictable. Never deal with teams at home in the final game of the season.

Indiana isn’t going anywhere, however, the dynamic changed in a huge way for the other side. For Purdue, win and get to the Big Ten Championship thanks to Iowa face-planting at home against Nebraska.

Either I believe in this thing or not. I picked Purdue to win by 11 before the Iowa loss, and now I’m really all in believing the team will take the intensity up a few more notches.

That, and I’m not quite buying that IU’s dynamic young QB Dexter Williams is about to start throwing well enough to pull this off. It’ll take a lot of sweating late, but Purdue should get there with a double-digit win.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 1 Troy at Arkansas State

1. Troy at Arkansas State

LINE Troy -13.5

I’ve already violated almost everything I believe in so far in this piece, I might as well chuck it all at this point.

I took two really bad teams as big underdogs at home, I want against the Michigan lines in that game, and I went with a big road favorite in a rivalry game that’s been relatively close over the years.

So let’s just turn the dial to another notch above OOPS for this last one.

Here’s why. The Troy defense is a thing.

It might be awful on third downs, and the offense doesn’t provide enough help, but when it needs to crank up the production, uh oh. If it wins this it’s off to the Sun Belt Championship.

Or, if South Alabama loses to Old Dominion, Troy is in. That starts at 12 ET, and this starts at 3:30, so the Trojans should know where they stand.

Just assume Troy is coming into this thinking it has to win. That’s where the defensive intensity kicks in.

Arkansas State hasn’t hit 300 yards or total offense in any of the last six games, going 5-1 with the lone win coming against UMass – which is why I’m so squeamish about No. 5 on this list. It also didn’t score more than 20 against anyone except the Minutemen over that run, and now it’s going against a defense that allowed 17 points or fewer to all but three teams.

Ole Miss only came up with 28 points against the Trojans, and WKU and it’s high-powered attack only managed 27.

The real worry is a Troy offense that’s not exactly lighting it up. Still, start with the defense keeping the score very, very low and go from there.

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Story originally appeared on College Football News