NCAAF Week 13 Best Bets: Let’s Get Ready to Rival!

malik cunningham louisville cardinals ncaa football
Malik Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Boston College Eagles. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images/AFP

The college football regular season comes to an end with the last full weekend of games over Thanksgiving weekend, Week 13.

That means it is Rivalry Week. It doesn’t matter whether a team has had a great season –it can all be for naught if they don’t beat their cross-state rival. Similarly, a disappointing year filled with losses can be wiped away with this one win, which would give fans bragging rights at work for a full year.

Usually, there is some type of trophy exchanged in these rivalry games, in addition to all the bad blood. So buckle in, as we look at some of the most compelling cross-state matchups on the Saturday schedule and get ready to take back the bell, or the bucket, or the ax, or the cup.

Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Kroger Field

The Governor’s Cup is up for grabs as Louisville travels to archrival Kentucky. This is a rivalry that gets plenty of attention during basketball season, but, with both teams having outstanding football seasons, it will get plenty of heat on the gridiron as well.

Kentucky has dominated recently, winning the last three by margins of 32, 31 and 46 points. This year’s game promises to be much closer. Louisville is 7-4 and holds wins over then No. 10 Wake Forest and No. 24 NC State.

Kentucky is 6-5 with wins over then No. 12 Florida and No. 16 Mississippi State. Both teams also gave playoff contenders a scare, with Louisville losing by 15 to Clemson and Kentucky by 10 to top-ranked Georgia.

Saturday’s Roster

Louisville has been playing without star quarterback Malik Cunningham, who missed last week’s game with a shoulder problem and has gone down with a variety of injuries this year. Coach Scott Satterfield said Cunningham has been practicing this week.

“We’ll see how it goes, I think that remains to be seen, but I feel good about it. I feel pretty optimistic that he’ll be able to go,” Satterfield said.

Running back Tiyon Evans has also been limited with an ankle injury, but Satterfield is also optimistic there. “Tiyon should be available to be able to go play,” he said.

The Pick

Assuming the Cards get back their offensive stars, they should have the edge, Louisville’s defense leads the nation in sacks, while Kentucky has given up 3.6 per week. The pass rush and Cunningham’s playmaking should be the difference.

NCAAF Pick: Louisville +2.5 (-118) at FanDuel

Washington Huskies vs. Washington State Cougars

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 10:30 PM EST at Martin Stadium

The Apple Cup is at stake in the Pacific Northwest as the 9-2 Huskies take their five-game winning streak to Pullman to face 7-4 Wazzu, riding their own three-game win streak.

Washington has dominated the series recently but will want to avenge last year’s loss, which snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Huskies in the series.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has set a host of UW single-game and season records this year. He leads the nation in passing yards, is No. 3 in completions and No. 2 in total offense.

As a result, the Huskies lead the NCAA in passing yards, first downs and third-down conversions and are top 10 in total offense and scoring. Washington State can throw the ball around too, and has held seven opponents below 20 points, including the last three. They haven’t faced anyone like Penix, however.

The Pick

Look for Washington to score enough to pull away on the road.

NCAAF Pick: Washington -1.5 (-115) at FanDuel

Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers

Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Reser Stadium

Another Pacific Northwest battle will have the Platypus Trophy at stake. This rivalry doesn’t have a name at the moment, however, after both schools agreed to stop calling it the Civil War in 2020.

Both teams are ranked for the game for the first time since 2012, and just the fifth time ever. The 9-2 Ducks will make the Pac-12 Championship Game with a win, while the Beavers would like nothing better than to derail those plans.

The key to the game will be the availability of Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. He is battling an ankle injury and played through the pain last week. Oregon got the win, but the Ducks’ No. 4 offense nationally just wasn’t the same with him hobbled.

“It was up and down,” he said. “There was times I was like ‘You know what I can go out there and manage.’ And then there was times I was like ‘I can’t even walk, I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to do that.’

Coach Dan Lanning said the team would “keep evaluating as we get closer (to the) game.”

The Pick

Our guess is Nix finds a way to go and the Ducks roll on to the conference title game.

NCAAF Pick: Oregon -3.5 (-104) at FanDuel is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

Site Footer