Our 7 best bets for college football’s rivalry week

Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame all have work to do before moving on to the playoff, and face off against their biggest rivals this weekend. Will Newton/Getty Images

Rivalry weekend is upon us!

After a year of college football action, teams are winding down their seasons with games against their most-hated rivals, some of which come with huge implications for conference championships and the College Football Playoff.

We had a tough week of picks last week after a three teams won but fell short of covering the spread, but we’re still above .500 for the season so far – let’s see if we can keep the money flowing the right direction, starting with a few big games on Friday night.

Take a look below for our seven best bets of the Week 12 college football slate (* indicates home team).

LAST WEEK: 1-5-1
OVERALL: 41-39-4

Oregon (-19.5) over Oregon State*


The Oregon Ducks have won the game known as “Civil War” nine of the past 10 years. This year should be no different, as Oregon State is in the midst of a depressing 2-9 season while the Ducks are still a formidable squad, despite this season’s middling 7-4 record.

Virginia (-4.5) over Virginia Tech*


Virginia Tech has won this game 14 consecutive years, but this feels like the season the Hokies finally fall. Tech is in the middle of a tailspin, having lost four straight games and just took a bad karmic step of adding a game against Marshall with hopes of maintaining bowl eligibility as their season goes up in flames around them.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Cavaliers take home the Commonwealth Cup.

Washington State* (-2.5) over Washington


Washington State hasn’t won the Apple Cup since 2012, but the Cougars have been one of the most compelling stories in football this season, and this would be one heck of a way to cap the year.

Wazzu only has two chances left to impress the committee for a potential spot in the College Football Playoff, and while it’s tough to imagine the Huskies losing four games in a year that looked so promising, my heart says the Cougars find a way to come through.

Ohio State* (+4.5) over Michigan


To state the obvious, Ohio State has been far from impressive recently, surviving a scare from Maryland by the skin of their teeth last weekend.

Still, the thought of Michigan blowing their best shot at making the playoff by losing to the Buckeyes yet again is too sweet to pass up. Ohio State has been Jim Harbaugh’s white whale since he took over for the Wolverines, and while Michigan is the better team, that’s been the case in previous years when they still fell short.

Alabama* (-24) over Auburn


Alabama appeared to take a day off last weekend as they were tied, 10-10, with The Citadel at halftime, despite being 42-point first-half favourites.

Well rested for this week, I think Saban and company do everything they can to ruin Auburn’s day in their biggest rivalry game of the year.

Notre Dame (-11) over USC*


Betting against Notre Dame the past two weeks hasn’t gone well, and the Irish now seem destined to complete their undefeated season and march into the playoff to get trounced by Clemson or Alabama.

Georgia* (-17) over Georgia Tech


Georgia-Georgia Tech is referred to as “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate,” arguably the best rivalry name in all of sport.

The Bulldogs host in Athens this year, and have lost the past two times they have been home for the big game – with a stacked roster this year, expect them to exact some revenge for the Georgia-faithful.

Now check out which teams are still alive in the hunt for the college football playoff.


We ranked the 9 teams still alive for the College Football Playoff based on which have the best shot to make it