College Football Picks Against the Spread Week 13

Kyle Koster
Indiana v Penn State
Indiana v Penn State / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Season Records: Koster 62-53; Giuffra 56-50; McKeone 55-60; Phillips 53-62

Michigan (-8.5) at Indiana

Koster: Sandwiched in between two rivalry games, this has all the makings of a trap game. The Hoosiers gave Penn State all it could handle in Happy Valley and can do some impressive things on both sides of the ball. Jim Harbaugh will have his team focused mentally and will get the victory, but it won't come easy. Indiana finds the backdoor here in the final seconds. Michigan 34, Indiana 27

Giuffra: Indiana went toe-to-toe with Penn State last week, proving it's no longer a Big Ten pushover. But against Michigan’s improving squad, which is gearing up for its showdown with Ohio State next week, the Hoosiers will have more problems than answers. Michigan 31, Indiana 20

McKeone: Michigan knows the temptation to look past the Hoosiers towards Ohio State, but they won't let Indiana trip them up. Feels like it'll be close enough that Indiana covers, though. Michigan 28, Indiana 21

Phillips: Michigan is definitely looking past Indiana and that's dangerous because my Hoosiers are actually good this year. Michigan 37, Indiana 31

Texas A&M (+13.5) at Georgia

Koster: The Bulldogs' defense has been super impressive all year as the offense struggles to find any type of explosiveness, even with major playmakers. The Aggies have played all of the nation's top teams this year and won't be scared. Kellen Mond is explosive enough to match scores for about 45 minutes. Georgia 28, Texas A&M 17

Giuffra: Even though the score doesn’t show it, Georgia dominated Auburn last week and has continued its turnaround following the loss to South Carolina. Like Auburn, Texas A&M is a run-heavy team. That plays into Georgia’s strength on defense. My only issue is: can its offense score enough? I’m going to say no, but it’ll be close. Georgia 31, Texas A&M 21

McKeone: Georgia is coming off a big-time win against Auburn and won't let A&M trip them up, especially at home. Georgia 35, Texas A&M 20

Phillips: Georgia's defense has saved this season while its offense has been a huge disappointment. This feels like one Texas A&M will keep relatively close. Georgia 31, Texas A&M 21

Texas (+5.5) at Baylor

Koster: Both teams lost in heartbreaking fashion last weekend, but the Bears were far more impressive. Texas' inability to put together consistent efforts week to week is a huge problem and there's little to play for after failing to meet any of its own expectations. Baylor 26, Texas 20

Giuffra: Baylor imploded against Oklahoma, as both its offense and defense collapsed after torrid starts. Sometimes a game like that stays with you, and I think it does against a Texas squad looking to play spoiler against an in-state opponent. Texas 30, Baylor 27

McKeone: I don't think Baylor can keep it together after letting their season slip away against Oklahoma. Texas 25, Baylor 17

Phillips: Tom Herman and Texas have been a huge disappointment this season and I'm not sure how to pick them. I think Baylor bounces back this week though. Baylor 27, Texas 21

Penn State (+18) at Ohio State

Koster: Ohio State is the best team in the country and systematically took apart Wisconsin's soul in a previous marquee Columbus matchup. But wow, this line is gigantic. Every fiber in my being is telling me that this will be a competitive game for a half or so with the Buckeyes pulling away late. With gritted teeth and holding my nose at the smelly number, I'll take the Nittany Lions to get some turnover luck and a cover. Ohio State 38, Penn State 24

Giuffra: The disrespect on this line for Penn State is real. But I supposed it’s performance the last two weeks justifies it. Still, while Ohio State has dominated everyone in its path, this is its first true test of the season against a highly-ranked opponent. Penn State still has everything to gain and nothing to lose in this, the opposite of OSU. Pressure bursts pipes and I see leakage, at least in the spread. Ohio State 40, Penn State 30

McKeone: As my coworkers have stated, this is a hefty line for an Ohio State team that has yet to see a real challenge. But with Chase Young back in the fold, I think their defense will create opportunities for an offense that could struggle against Penn State's run defense, and Ohio State will run away with it late. Ohio State 45, Penn State 24

Phillips: This is shaping up to be the Game of the Year in the Big Ten. I think it'll be close despite the huge line. Ohio State 42, Penn State 28

Illinois (+14) at Iowa

Koster: Lovie Smith's team has been on a magical ride in recent weeks but won't be able to compete physically in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Hawkeyes bullied Minnesota and should be able to replicate that game plan. Iowa 35, Illinois 13

Giuffra: Illinois is bowl-eligible and playing better football than it has in years. Iowa remains the same hard-nosed program it’s been, but beating a team by 15 requires total domination. Not sure Iowa has that in it. Iowa 19, Illinois 10

McKeone: Iowa did just end Minnesota's undefeated season. But Lovie Smith's beard blinds me to what appears logical and what does not. Gimme this upset and hammer the under. Illinois 14, Iowa 10

Phillips: Illinois will get exposed this week as Iowa is playing really well. Iowa 28, Illinois 13

SMU (+4) at Navy

Koster: Navy was absolutely cruising until reaching South Bend. A typical team could be thrown for a loop after such a bad performance. But these kids are mentally tough. Big bounceback spot here. Navy 38, SMU 30

Giuffra: I just don't think Navy's offense can hang with SMU, much like it couldn't hang with Notre Dame last week. SMU 41, Navy 28

McKeone: I laid it all on the line for Navy last week, and they didn't back me up. Let's see if SMU is more reliable. SMU 34, Navy 28

Phillips: Other than getting pasted in South Bend last weekend, the Midshipmen have been on a roll. I think they'll pick that back up again this week. Navy 35, SMU 28

Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Virginia Tech

Koster: The Hokies have been one of the hardest teams to figure out this year, so I legitimately flipped a coin. Virginia Tech 26, Pitt 21

Giuffra: Pretty sure every time I’ve picked against Virginia Tech this year it’s proven me wrong. The Hokies have been playing exceptional football of late and I won’t make the same mistake again. Virginia Tech 27, Pitt 20

McKeone: VT have been on a roll and Pitt hasn't been able to string four consistent quarters together all season. At home, the Hokies will cruise. Virginia Tech 35, Pittsburgh 17

Phillips: Talk about a ridiculously tough game to pick. I'm taking the Hokies because they're demonstrably better than Pitt despite not always playing like it. Plus they're at home. Virginia Tech 28, Pitt 23

UCLA (+13.5) at USC

Koster: Let's take a moment and reflect on how one of the great college football rivalries is devoid of any sizzle. Both teams should find the end zone a handful of times and it'll be fun. Also: the best uniform matchup available anywhere. USC 49, UCLA 45

Giuffra: The Pac-12 has been as volatile as ever and perhaps no where has it been more evident than with USC. But most of that shakiness has come on the road for the Trojans. At home they’re much better. Still, I think Chip Kelly’s offense can score on USC and I feel like 14 points is too many to lay in a rivalry game. USC 37, UCLA 25

McKeone: USC has been anything but consistent this year. UCLA, however, is coming off a week in which they scored exactly three points. I'll lean Trojans, even if UCLA will bounce back offensively. USC 38, UCLA 31

Phillips: Neither team has excelled defensively and there should be some offensive fireworks. I'll roll wtih the Trojans to win but it won't be comfortable. USC 45, UCLA 38

TCU (+17.5) at Oklahoma

Koster: The Sooners awoke from an unfortunate slumber just in time and Jalen Hurts showed why he's a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. The Horned Frogs simply do not have the offense to keep pace. Oklahoma 55, TCU 30

Giuffra: Oklahoma has won two straight miracles late in the fourth quarter. This time they roll from the start. Oklahoma 50, TCU 27

McKeone: Oklahoma will be feeling it after their epic comeback this week, and TCU is unfortunate enough to be standing in their way. Oklahoma 45, TCU 27

Phillips: Oklahoma barely snuck by Baylor but it might have been the jolt the Sooners needed. Oklahoma 56, TCU 28

Oregon (-14) at Arizona State

Koster: Herm Edwards is not the miracle worker he appeared early on, but his teams play hard and love to keep things tight. Justin Herbert is an NFL-caliber quarterback and he'll get a chance to go against NFL schemes. Don't be surprised if the Ducks' title dreams die. Arizona State 20, Oregon 19

Giuffra: Oregon has certainly looked the part recently. But can the Ducks do it against a solid defense like Arizona State? I think we see a closer game than Vegas does. Oregon 27, Arizona State 21

McKeone: Herm Edwards will keep his squad in contention for most of this one, but the talent disparity is too large for Oregon to not pull this out. Oregon 30, Arizona State 17

Phillips: Oregon has been rolling but occasionally Tempe can be a really tough place to play. This will be closer than you'd think. Oregon 31, Arizona State 28