Week 13 best bets for Missouri/Arkansas, UAB/North Texas
Rivalry week is always a fun one in college football and there are a lot of games that will have a little extra juice this week. There are also some games that have extra juice because they mean a lot in terms of the standings and the rankings, so some teams will be a little bit more invested than others.
It is the final week of the regular season and that means that this is our last chance to bet or against some teams that have been good to us this season. Bowl season will be much different and I’m excited to get to that point, but we have Week 13 and conference championship games to worry about first.
(odds as of November 22, 7:00 p.m. PT)
The players are allegedly happy, but the fan base doesn’t really seem to be that Arkansas is bringing back head coach Sam Pittman in 2024. It will be a celebration of KJ Jefferson’s career on Friday afternoon in Fayetteville, but the Razorbacks look outgunned and overmatched in this one.
Arkansas has one SEC win this season and it came in overtime against Florida after the Gators lost in the rivalry game against Georgia. Arkansas beat up on FIU last week, but it has not been a good season overall for them and Missouri has a crack at 10 wins for the first time since 2014.
Arkansas ranks just 108th in yards per play on offense with 5.05 and has managed just 4.6 YPP in SEC action. Missouri, meanwhile, is 15th with 6.7 YPP and has averaged 6.66 YPP in SEC action. The two defenses are fairly close together, with Missouri at 5.57 YPP and Arkansas at 5.67, but both groups padded their numbers in non-conference action.
Missouri’s going up against a defense allowing 6.2 yards per play in SEC games and one that has allowed over six yards per play this month, even with that game last week against FIU in the three-game sample. If Arkansas truly wanted Pittman to stay and would have been fighting for his job, maybe that would have closed the gap. Instead, I think Missouri rolls, especially off of last week’s scare against Florida.
Pick: Missouri -8.5
Trent Dilfer has vowed that this week will be different and told the media that he’s treating this trip to Denton, “like a championship game”. I don’t know how that will resonate with a 4-7 football team that hasn’t won on the road this season, but defense is what “travels” and UAB has none to speak of, so I’m not sure it matters and it may not really register for his team.
The Blazers are 107th in the nation in yards per play allowed. North Texas is 120th, but the Mean Green have much better offensive weapons at their disposal. The Mean Green are actually a top-25 unit by yards per play on that side of the ball, whereas UAB is 44th.
North Texas easily has the better running game between the two teams and Chandler Rogers has taken much better care of the ball than Jacob Zeno. Maybe Dilfer’s motivational tactics work and UAB will be fired up to get a road win to end the season, but I think the Mean Green are just a better team.
They also had to play Tulane, Memphis, UTSA, and SMU in a four-week stretch, so they got all of the conference’s best teams, while UAB has played the likes of Navy and Temple lately.
Pick: North Texas -3
Colorado State is one of the five-win teams I like this week. Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi has done a lot of good things this season while dealing with some conditions he isn’t really accustomed to as a freshman from Aledo, Texas. Colorado State has played a lot of bad weather or cold weather games, which is something he’ll learn to deal with as he gets more experience. This will not be a bad-weather game for him. In fact, it will be the opposite in Honolulu.
BFN had 11 touchdown passes through his first four games and 14 through his first six. He only has six in his last five games. He has had a completion rate under 60% in his last three games against Wyoming (road), San Diego State, and Nevada (home). Let’s see what he does with better conditions out on the island.
The Hawaii defense has allowed over six yards per play this season and the Colorado State defense has been a bit better lately, though some of that may be weather-aided. They’ve allowed nearly six yards per play on the road this season and won’t have the weather to fall back on here.
I lean with Colorado State -5.5, but I like Over 55 more here, as I expect the Rams passing attack to have a strong night and Hawaii’s Brayden Schager to do the same with a 13/5 TD/INT ratio at home this season.
Pick: Over 55
Click here for more expert college football best bets.