They say it’s the toughest week of the college football season to bet on. They say there are too many variables to consider when betting on games this weekend of the season every year. Emotions run high with rivalry games and senior days. Some teams may be mentally exhausted and not ready to play. Then there’s the fact that many players can’t spend the holidays with their families because they’re too busy preparing with their team, and many are on the road. Ultimately, they say it’s harder because there are no secrets at this point in the season. Bettors know who is who and how they play.
And they are right. It’s the toughest weekend of the year to bet, but you know what? I do not care. It does not matter. It’s tough to bet every week in this sport, but that hasn’t stopped The Six Pack from crushing it all year long. We went 5-1 again last week. Our confidence has never been higher. We see the picture with a clarity previously unimaginable to the human eye.
We’ll delight in this slate the same way we’ll delight in all those side dishes and that Thanksgiving turkey. There won’t be a single piece of meat left on the bone when we’re done. Let’s make it our own.
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Games of the week
No. 2 Ohio State at No. 3 Michigan: I don’t need to hype you up for this game. We all know what’s at stake and we all know the hatred runs deep between these two. We also know that hatred is usually layered with a foundation of respect, but I’m not convinced that layer is there this season. Either way, it’s going to be a great match and I have no idea who will win. That’s why I avoid the spread and go all out.
I understand how incredible these defenses have been all year. I do not care. Both teams spend the entire season preparing for this matchup, pulling elements out of the playbook that they haven’t used against anyone else. I watch almost every game these two teams play every season, and every year I see them do things in this game that I’ve never seen before. Now, the defenses are good enough that I don’t expect the winner to score 40 points, but I can see both teams reaching 30. Choice: Over 45.5 (-115)
No. 16 Oregon State at No. 6 Oregon (Friday): I don’t know when we’ll see this match again, so I plan to do my best to figure it all out Friday night. Civil War has long been one of my favorite rivalries in the sport, even when there isn’t as much at stake as in this one. Oregon must win to advance to Pac-12 championship game And keeping his College Football Playoff dream alive. Oregon State would love nothing more than to destroy those dreams as a parting gift.
I fully expect the Beavers to make this game difficult. I think Oregon is the most complete team in the Pac-12, but I don’t think they are unstoppable. While I’ve seen the Ducks take down terrible teams, I’ve also seen them in close games against good opponents. There was the Utah blowout, but the Utes have been crushed by injuries all year and this was a terrible game for them.
I also remember games against Washington State and USC when the Ducks were struggling to pull away. Oregon State is better than both, and it has an offensive line that can dictate the pace better than most against the Ducks. This game came down to the fourth quarter. Pick: Oregon State +14 (-108)
Lock of the week
No. 17 Iowa at Nebraska (Friday): I’m sorry, but you’d have to be crazy to trust Nebraska as the favorite in this spot. I know the Cornhuskers ended their losing streak against Iowa last season and that Iowa’s offense is an abomination, but there is no logic behind it. Iowa is a great wrestling school whose football team is like a wrestler who doesn’t attack his opponent. Iowa pushes back every advance and waits for its opponents to make a mistake, then puts them in a sort of vise from which there is no escape.
Iowa football expects you to be wrong. Do you know what Nebraska often does? It spoils. The Cornhuskers lead the nation with 28 turnovers this season, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Nebraska lost 13 fumbles, but it fumbled 28 times overall. You can’t put the ball in danger that often against Iowa without paying for it. It will be close. It will be ugly. The score will be low. And in the end, Iowa will win, but we’ll take the points. Pick: Iowa +2.5 (-105)
Sub of the week
Wisconsin to Minnesota: Remember before the season started and we were all excited about the Dairy Raid offensive coming to Wisconsin? Well, that milk has gone bad. Wisconsin enters this game ranked 96th nationally in points per possession and 102nd in EPA per play. Some of that is due to a lack of talent, but most of it is due to injuries. The situation also got worse as the season progressed.
The same can be said of Minnesota. The Gophers had a lot of trouble moving the ball against better defenses. This will be a game between two struggling offenses trying to do something they haven’t had much success with all season in cold and miserable conditions. First team to 17 wins. Choice: Under 42.5 (-110)
Team total of the week
Texas A&M at 14th LSU: It’s clear that LSU is doing everything possible for Jayden Daniels to win the Heisman Trophy because the Tigers know they won’t play on championship weekend and are out of the playoffs. That’s why you saw Daniels play 49 of 54 offensive snaps last week in a 56-14 blowout of Georgia State. This will be LSU’s last game before Heisman votes are cast, so he’ll do everything he can to get Daniels numbers here.
There’s just one problem: Texas A&M’s defense is not Georgia State’s defense. LSU’s total for this game is set at 40.5 points, and while scoring 41 certainly isn’t out of character for the Tigers, allowing 41 points would be out of character for the Aggies defense. Only Miami scored more than 40 points on the Aggies in Week 2. Ole Miss was the only other team to even surpass 30 (it finished with 38). Something tells me Texas A&M’s defense isn’t interested in helping Daniels. Additionally, the Aggies defense has only allowed 43 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks this season. They won’t completely stop Daniels (no one can), but they are much better equipped to take away one of his main strengths. Pick: LSU team total under 40.5 (-113)
My team of the week 2024
Virginia Tech in Virginia: I’m saying it officially now: If Anthony Colandrea is Virginia’s starting QB next season, I’ll be all in on the Hoos. And by “all in” I mean I expect them to surpass their preseason win total and cover plenty of gaps early in the season. I really like Colandrea. But next season is a long way off and I’m not a patient man, so I’m getting the hype train started right now by taking the Cavs as my house dogs in this rivalry game.
No disrespect to coach Brent Pry, who has done a great job saving the Hokies’ season after a disastrous start, but I’m not ready to trust this team as a road favorite, even with a place for bowling on the line. Additionally, we cannot forget the tragedy that befell Virginia last season that resulted in the cancellation of this game. There is absolutely no way in the world I could bet against the Cavs in this spot, considering everything you know they will put into this game. Choice: Virginia +3 (-110)
Games of the week
Lock of the week
What college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profits over the past seven seasons – and find out.