This week’s top 5 college football list predictions. What seem to be the best bets and tips for Friday’s Rivalry Week games?
The 5 best college football predictions vs Spread Rivalry Week Friday
Week 13: College Week 12: NFL
Week 13 game preview
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Results so far: 73-59-1
Welcome to Rivalry Week—that bittersweet time when the biggest, most entertaining games kick off just as the season is winding down.
We’ve already had a big game – and to be honest I’m kind of shocked Ole Miss lost it – with the state of Mississippi taking the Egg Bowl, but that feeds into Friday’s version of the top 5 predictions against the spread .
You have to adapt to the curve.
Because of all the big games I’ll break this down with five of the best looking predictions against the spread for Friday and then five more will turn up on Saturday morning.
Fair warning: 1) there are only 13 games on Friday, so beating five of them is a stat climb, but I’ll make it (I hope), and 2) the Mountain West has been a bear to find out this year against the spread, and I wasn’t the only one who had problems with it.
Of course, during the craziest and most emotional week of the year, I’m committed to picking three games in the craziest conference, starting with…
Click on each game for the game preview
5. New Mexico in the state of Colorado
TOTAL POINTS 35
All you are looking for is 20-16. The overall score for it is just too obscene to discount, but it actually makes sense – and was nicer at 34.5.
What happens when two bad teams play each other?
Sometimes a page turns out to be Yes, really bad, and the result is a caning – like New Mexico State beating New Mexico 21-6. Sometimes the two teams are really bad and they play a really bad game – like Colorado State beating New Nevada 17-14.
And sometimes the two bad teams put together something frighteningly entertaining.
Here’s the thing about Rivalry Week being called off – it is for many teams.
Forget the rivalry aspect, some of these teams just want to walk away with something happy after a long, tough season. That means both sides clear the playbook to do whatever it takes to claim victory.
Trainers take more risks because why not? More fourth down tries, more trick plays, everything – that’s it.
Here’s the problem with that when it comes to New Mexico moving to Colorado State – neither team can score.
Colorado State has yet to score 20 points this season, and New Mexico has only surpassed 14 three times, and once it was a 41-0 win over Maine.
But again, these two teams are equally bad.
New Mexico will allow more than 20 points. Colorado State should retire 14-17.
Overnight at Mountain West…
NEXT: College Football Tip Against Spread #4: State of Utah in Boise State
4. State of Utah in the state of Boise
LINE State of Boise -17
ATS SELECTION State of Utah
Here’s the other crazy thing about Rivalry Week – sometimes one side has bigger fish to cook.
The state of Utah was solid.
It pulled out of the ugly 1-5 swoop to start the season and win five of its last six games to qualify for the Bowl. Granted it beat the Air Force and four Uggos, but it made it. Now it’s time to solidify a bowl appearance with a seventh win, closing strong and possibly beating the eventual Mountain West champion.
I have to be more careful when I say teams don’t matter or a game doesn’t matter. Of course, Boise State wants to win this. Like Herm said, you’re playing to win the game, it’s a nice roll of six straight Mountain West wins, and it’d love to go into the conference championship game with some momentum.
Oh yes, the Mountain West Conference Championship. Boise State is already in and hosting.
That means 1) this is sort of a seniors day but not really as there is one last home game left to play and 2) no, this game doesn’t matter that much. What matters is that Boise State is healthy and ready to roll in a short week with Friday’s bigger game.
That, and again, Utah State is playing well, Boise State doesn’t have a realistic shot at the New Year’s Six Bowl game, so anything can be forgiven if the coaching staff doesn’t want to show eventual Conference Championship opponents anything interesting.
Boise State should win this, but the 17 is too rich.
Well, since I’m Mr. Mountain West, here’s the other conference game…
NEXT: College football pick vs. spread no. 3 Wyoming in the state of Fresno
3. Wyoming in the state of Fresno
LINE State of Fresno -15
ATS SELECTION Wyoming
Take that whole bull muffin analysis I just spat about Boise State already being in the conference championship and apply it to Fresno State.
Wyoming doesn’t really need this game, but it can secure second place in the Mountain Division if Utah State loses to Boise State earlier in the day. It already has seven wins — making it almost a bowl game — and it’s not a Senior Day or anything like that for Fresno State.
However, it’s another short week to play a conference championship and Fresno State also has to travel. That, and Wyoming has a style that might make that interesting.
The Cowboy offense all but blew off the forward pass, but it’s good on the ground, it’s going to get physical, and Fresno State hasn’t exactly dealt with a string of killers in its six-game winning streak at Mountain West.
It took a miracle to get through San Diego State at home, fought at UNLV and slid through San Jose State.
Wyoming was rocked in Illinois in Week 0 but managed to win three away games and lost at BYU by 14.
Again, like Boise State, Fresno State should win its game before the bigger game, but it’ll want to come in, get it done, and come out healthy.
It won’t pull out all the stops.
NEXT: College football pick against spread no. 2 Arizona State in Arizona
2. State of Arizona in Arizona
LINE Arizona -3.5
ATS SELECTION Arizona
I obviously work in college football, so I shouldn’t say it, but… sometimes the whole rivalry thing is a flaming bag of overrated hoo-ha.
Rivalries could keep teams a little more focused due to what’s at stake, and fans certainly care a lot about beating their pesky friends and acquaintances, but it’s still about who’s better at blocking and attacking.
Arizona is better than Arizona State this season — and if a couple of years ago the demon of a 70-7 loss is in the equation, that plays into it, too.
That’s what happened the last time the state of Arizona came to Tucson. It was 70-7 and only because Arizona State didn’t want it to go 84-7 or worse. If it’s possible to win at 63 and show mercy, ASU has done it, but Sun Devil fans are more than happy to keep bringing that up as part of the five-game losing streak.
Arizona struggled with turnover in last week’s 31-20 loss to Washington State but is playing better overall. If the offense is going the way it’s supposed to, winning this against an ASU defense that’s been hammered by everyone but Stanford shouldn’t be a problem.
Aside from the 15-14 loss to the Cardinal, the other eight Sun Devil losses were nine or more.
NEXT: College football pick vs. spread no. 1 Florida in the state of Florida
1. Florida in the State of Florida
LINE State of Florida -9.5
ATS SELECTION Florida
Two big warnings before you dive in. 1) This was my choice, “go with your first answer”. When this first came out I thought it was a typographical error so I’m sure I might be missing something obvious, and 2) Florida is mega flaky.
Here’s my biggest issue with the prevalence being so high — it’s not like the state of Florida has pierced a bunch of killers.
The college football playoff committee certainly loves the Noles, but that four-game winning streak came against Georgia Tech at home, en route against a weak Miami, en route against a decimated Syracuse — at least in some areas — and at home against Sun Belt Louisiana .
It lost to Wake Forest by ten, lost to NC State, lost to Clemson. Yes, it’s the team that beat LSU, but that was just as the season started and it took a small miracle to stay for his life.
I’m not saying Florida State is bad – quite the contrary – but that’s a big, big margin against a team with Florida’s firepower.
With a third stop, can the Gator D muster the FSU running game again? Probably not. Can the Gator O stutter and cough too much like in the odd 31-24 loss at Vanderbilt last week? Absolutely.
Does Florida have the ability to rise up and rip off the Florida state roof like it did in the 38-6 win over South Carolina? Yes.
+285 on the moneyline isn’t totally crazy if you like Gator – I think FSU wins – but it’s Rivalry Week. To do without 9.5 is too much.
And if not, I’ll be right here to take my nuggets when I return tomorrow for the top 5 predictions against the spread for Saturday’s games.
Week 13: College Week 12: NFL
Week 13 game preview
Large 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC
The story originally appeared in College Football News