HN Staff 6-Pack of College Football Picks for Week 13

November 23, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The staff returns for another season of college football picks against the spread. Each week we’ll select six games.


Jon Miller 42-29-1/5-1 last week

Rob Howe 40-31-1 overall/2-4

Sean Neugent 39-32-1/4-2

David Schwartz 30-41-1/4-2

Here’s the Week 13 slate:

Nebraska (+7.5) at Iowa

Rob Howe: Nebraska has won four of its last five games after an 0-6 start. You know where it hasn’t won? Away from Memorial Stadium. I think the Hawkeyes are clearly the better and more well-rounded team here. I think they cover the number.

Jon Miller: Another windy, wet and cold football game for Iowa. This might have been the worst weather year for Iowa football games that I can recall. I don’t think these factors are good for Nebraska. They aren’t great for Iowa, but I think the Hawkeyes cover this spread.

David Schwartz: Nebraska has been considerably worse on the road this year than at home. Iowa’s offense has sputtered at home compared to the road, so it’s hard to know what’s going to happen here. This is one-part analysis and one-part guess: Iowa and lay the points.

Sean Neugent:  Nebraska is a team that has big play ability, no doubt. But, it’s the same team that allowed over 500 yards to Illinois two weeks ago. You know the one Iowa beat 63-0. Last week, Nebraska gutted out a win over MSU, but they finally faced a defensive sound team and were unable to score a touchdown. They have a skid of seven winless games on the road, while scoring 10 less ppg (24) this year than at home and are being gauged for 42 ppg on defense as the visitor. Oddly, the Hawkeyes are scoring 22 ppg, which are three touchdowns below what they do on the road. But, they are only allowing 11 ppg on defense. There is a high chance for rain, so it won’t look like a beat down, but it will feel like it. Hawks 31-17.

Oklahoma (pick’em) at West Virginia

Howe: Morgantown is one of the more underrated tough places to play in college football. Oklahoma is the better team here but I’m going with a hunch that the Mountaineers are geared up to play well for the seniors, including quarterback Will Grier. Give me the home team.

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Miller: Gimme the Mountaineers, as Oklahoma’s defense (they have allowed 40 or more points for three straight games and won all three, the first time that has happened since the 1960’s) does them in here.

Schwartz: The Sooners are the better team when fully healthy, which they’re not. West Virginia is powerful—except when it’s not, which is to say they’re prone to not show up from time to time. They’re also at home. Tough call here. Oklahoma is better on D. Sooners are the pick.

Neugent:  These two teams porous defenses are going to cost the Big 12 a representative in the College Football Playoff. Both teams boast great offenses led by QBs Kyler Murray and Will Grier. OU has scored at least 45 points in nine of 11 games, but have allowed over 40 points in their last three including to woeful Kansas. For WVU, Grier has made some clutch throws this year and I trust their defense more than the Sooners. Add in the fact they are at home and I see the Mountaineers taking this one in a high scoring affair, 46-41.

Michigan (-4) at Ohio State

Howe: The Wolverines have been talking a lot and so far have backed it up. Now, they must deal with their kryptonite – Ohio State. The Buckeyes have been less than impressive this season despite being 10-1. It seems like an easy call to make to go with Michigan in this spot. So, I’ll take OSU and the points.

Miller: The revenge tour makes one more stop, and it’s the biggest stop of them all. Michigan is the tougher team and I will lay the points.

Schwartz: Ohio State is going to screw this up for the Big Ten—you can just feel it coming. Ohio State at home plus the points.

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Neugent:  Rumors are swirling about Urban Meyer stepping down after the season. If it’s not true, than something for sure is happening in Columbus. It would help explain nearly losing in OT and allowing 51 points to Maryland last week, a close win over the Cornhuskers at home and getting crushed by Purdue. The Wolverines are a very strong team with a lockdown defense and solid offense. The Buckeyes defense can be easily scored on so look for QB Shea Patterson to have a big day. Michigan heads to the B1G Championship, winning 29-20.

Kansas State (+14) at Iowa State

Howe: This could be Bill Snyder’s last game coaching KSU. His players know that. They might pull it out for him but they’ll keep it within two touchdowns.

Miller: Perhaps one last game for Bill Snyder…he is one of the great ones. Alas, he goes out with a whimper as Iowa State wins by 17.

Schwartz: Kansas State has been such a thorn in ISU’s side over the years. The Cyclones are better, but they don’t feel two touchdowns better than their Big 12 Boggart. I think they win but don’t cover, so take KSU plus the points.

Neugent:  The last dance for Bill Snyder? I doubt it. This series has been crazy close the last four games. KSU has won all four by a combined total of 13 points — less than the spread this year. The Wildcats are a thorn in the side of Cy, winning 10 straight in the series. Should ISU lose this game, it will really damper what could have been a great season for the Cyclones. Iowa State is more talented, but they were last year as well. Until they prove they can actually pull one out against Snyder, I can’t go with them. I will take Kansas State in the upset, 27-24.

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Purdue (-4) at Indiana

Howe: Oh the stories the old oaken bucket might tell if it could talk. It can’t. You know that. I’m just delaying picking this game. Purdue looks iffy since the Jeff Brohm to Louisville talk started. Still, it should have beaten Wisconsin last week if not for a late-game collapse. It’s the better team and playing at Indiana isn’t like a real road game. I’ll throw the four and take the Boilermakers.

Miller: It’s crazy to think that as good as Purdue has played of late, if they lose this, they may not make it to a bowl game. I think they will win so I will lay the points and take the Boilermakers.

Schwartz: If Purdue wins, they’re bowl eligible and finish third in the Big Ten West. If they lose and Iowa beats Nebraska, Purdue stays home and Iowa finishes third. The Boilers are 2-2 on the road, while IU is 3-3 at home. Blah. This game won’t have a lot of interest outside of Indiana and a few select Big Ten markets. I’ll go with Purdue and lay the points.

Neugent: The Boilermakers have some big time talent, but inconsistencies have put them in danger of reaching a bowl game should they lose this game. They are a fun team to watch, but it certainly feels like there is a cloud over them with Jeff Brohm’s possible departure to Louisville. On paper, it seems there is too much talent for Indiana to overcome as David Blough and Rondale Moore likely will have big days. However, in a battle to see who can punch their ticket to a bowl, I’m going with the coach that is likely staying put in Tom Allen. The Hoosiers are victorious, 41-34.

LSU (+2) at Texas A&M

Howe: Does it really matter for the Tigers? They lose games and still remain in the Top 10. SEC nonsense. Give me the Aggies plus the deuce at home.

Miller: LSU…defense…covers.

Schwartz: A&M is a far better team at home than on the road, but LSU is a far better team than A&M. Remember this warning before I make my pick: I haven’t successfully picked an LSU game in the last half-decade. LSU and take the points.

Neugent:  The Tigers have had a fantastic season that would end in disappointment should they lose to the Aggies. I’m surprised by the spread and it actually makes me want to take A&M. Texas A&M has a good offense, but is facing a very stout defensive team that will shut them down. I like LSU to win 23-17.

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