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Mike Handzelek's CFB Week 13 Analysis

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Nov 29, 2021
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Saturday, November 27, 2021 Texas Tech vs. Baylor (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 14/-110 Texas Tech Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Insiders' Play (WIN) Before your last regular season game, it's not a good thing to have the focus on whether your HC (Baylor's Dave Aranda) is going to bolt for a higher power (USC or LSU) or stay on & sign a proposed new contract. Yes, the Bears are 10-1 SU, ranked 8th in the CFB Playoff Rankings & could still get into the Big 12 Championship IF they win here & Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State. These teams have played barn-burners the last 2 seasons with the Red Raiders (- 1 1/2) winning 24-23 @ home last year while Baylor (- 10 1/2) won an OT thriller 33-30 @ this venue 2 seasons ago. For this one, Green N' Gold QB Gerry Bohannon was originally listed as questionable but will probably start. Backup Blake Shapen came in for him in relief last week & mustered only a FG the whole 2nd half. Now it gets quite interesting. Three weeks ago, Texas Tech fires HC Matt Wells & then hires the Bears' 5-year associate coach Joey McGuire (was on Matt Rhule's staff from 2017 til' this season). While McGuire won't take on sideline duties until after the season, he still has copies of all recent Baylor playbooks etched in his brain to ultimately prepare for this game. Current OC Sonny Cumbie (spent 7 years @ TCU) will be retained by McGuire so there will be a smooth transition. My bottom line says the odds-makers continue to slight the Black N' Red in this series (77th meeting with Baylor holding a 39-36-1 edge) as they're 5-2 ATS the past 7 hookups. Texas Tech is also a stronger 6-1 ATS versus conference opponents they beat previous season. After getting shutout (Tech lost to OSU 23-0 last week), they're a come-backing 5-1 versus the number the following week. Let's shoot on down to McLane Stadium in Waco to play the TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (buying to + 17 1/2) as my 8* CFB Insiders' Play! Miami Ohio vs. Kent State (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Kent State Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Earlybird Dependable (WIN) This game has a lot riding on it since the winner gets the MAC East crown & goes to the MAC championship next week versus Northern Illinois. I'm trusting the ground game by the home team to make a difference down the stretch. With Kent State getting better in the month of November (won 9 out off their last 12 ATS), I like the way they're trending. Let's go to Dix Stadium in Kent, OH to play the KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES (buying to + 3 1/2) as my 8* CFB Earlybird Dependable! Maryland vs. Rutgers (NCAAF) - 12:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Rutgers Rating: 8* Mike's CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS) HC Mike Locksley (11-23 SU @ MD) is in his 3rd season which looked like a promising season going 4-0 SU out of the gate. Since then, it's been quite the opposite as the Terps have crawled back into their shells by losing 6 out of their last 7 SU (0-7 ATS) coming in. A big part of the reason for the Maryland demise has to be their predictable pass-heavy sets featuring QB Taulia Tagovailoa (Tua's younger brother) whose thrown for 3,283 yards with a 21-11 TD/INT ratio along with WR & defensive injuries. Rutgers may not be an offensive juggernaut, but they get to face a Terrapins' "D" that's given up over 39 PPG on the Big Ten road. These 2 teams may look even on paper with Maryland holding the edge on offense & the Scarlet Knights on defense, I feel the home team holds a big turnover differential edge. After 11 games, Rutgers posts a +6 in that category compared to the Terps -9. My bottom line says this is a pivotal game more for Scarlet Knight's HC Greg Schiano (8-12 in his 2nd year back after going 68-67 in his 11-year 1st stint from 01' to 11') who needs this game to become bowl-eligible. After 2 blowout Maryland wins, Rutgers went to College Park last year & earned a hard-fought 27-24 OT win. In this literal bowl-eligible, play-in game atmosphere, I trust the team with the better defense. Let's go to SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ to play the RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 8* CFB Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Tulane vs. Memphis (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -225 Memphis Rating: 9* Mike's Saturday Night Bailout Play (WIN) Tulane (45-14 winners) got the best of us last week when they played like gangbusters out of the gate versus a South Florida squad that were obviously looking ahead to their "War On I-4" battle with Central Florida. That Green Wave win (2-9 SU) ended an 8-game losing streak that began with a blowout September loss to Ole Miss (54-21). Motivation is all on the Memphis side which needs this game to become bowl-eligible for the 8th consecutive year. The Tigers have already beaten Mississippi State 31-29 & S.M.U. 28-25 @ this venue as 3 1/2-point dogs in each. 2nd-year HC Ryan Silverfield has the best playmaker on the field in WR Calvin Austin of which there's no answer from a Tulane "D" ranked 115th in scoring defense. Let's jet to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to play the MEMPHIS TIGERS to get the "W" as my 9* Saturday Night Bailout Play! Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -180 Oklahoma State Rating: 9* Mike's X's & O's Getting Over That Hump Play (WIN) I feel this is that kind of week where some teams finally get over that hump. Oklahoma State is one of those teams. It's been total domination by the Sooners the last 18 as OSU has gone an anemic 2-16 SU, 0-6 the L6, (5-12-1 ATS). This year's 116th meeting in the "Bedlam Series Rivalry" looks like the tide has turned. Look for HC Mike Gundy (17th season, 147-68 overall) to get that proverbial monkey off his back using a suffocating 4-2-5 basic defensive scheme that morphs into a 3-3-5 that uses 3 down lineman with a JACK back which can lineup as a DE or anywhere in the 2nd tier. By design, 4th-year DC Jim Knowles (spent 8 years @ Duke from 10' through 17') "D" clogs up the interior with 3 athletic down lineman so it forces offenses to the outside so their stronger/more talented linebackers & secondary personnel can make plays. OLB Malcomb Rodriguez & ILB Devin Harper have combined for 160 tackles on a killer "D" that has 43 sacks & 14 forced turnovers. My bottom line says Oklahoma came up 2 TD's short @ Baylor (27-14) & should have just as much difficulty scoring here against OSU whose 2nd in the nation in scoring "D" (only 2nd to Georgia). Numbers show Oklahoma is a ticket-ripping 0-3 ATS in true road games this season. The OSU offense will have less pressure on it knowing they're backed up by a defense that only yields 243 total yards & 13 PPG versus Big 12 opposition. HC Lincoln Riley (5th season, 7th overall & came over from being OC @ East Carolina) gives new Frosh QB Caleb Williams the start in place of season-opening QB Spencer Rattler. I look for tough times for OU moving the football which will eventually force them out of their game plan. Let's fly to Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater to play the OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS for the "W" as my X's & O's Getting Over That Hump Play! Thursday, November 25, 2021 Mississippi vs. Mississippi State (NCAAF) - 7:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -135 Mississippi State Rating: 9* Mike's CFB Rivalry Week Knockout Punch Regular Season Game of Year (DOUBLE LOSS) After 10 years @ Texas Tech & 8 years @ Washington State, new Bulldogs' HC Mike "Mad Professor" Leach came to Starkville doing a COVID-19 season in order to resurrect a program that his predecessor Joe Moorhead (14-12 in just 2 seasons) couldn't convince the university brass to keep him a little longer. With 26 first-start players in 2020, Leach could only muster a 4-7 mark including a rare negative-record 28-26 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the Armed Forced Bowl. His squad comes into face a 9-2 (9th-ranked in the latest College Football Playoffs) Lane "new SEC HC'ing Primadonna" Kiffin (in his 2nd season in Oxford) team that's given up 33 PPG in just 3 true away games this season. Ole Miss has been a team that's achieved a school-record 10 wins 7 times before. But in each of those seasons, win #10 occurred in their bowl game. This year has seen QB & Heisman hopeful Matt Corral (whose thrown just 4 TD passes on the SEC road) lead the way with 3,100 passing yards with a 19/3 TD/INT ratio. However, the biggest motivational mistake for the 118th meeting of the Egg Bowl Rivalry was made by the Rebels' star Sophomore RB Jerrion Ealy. Ealy provided Mike Leach with some juiced-up bulletin board material by saying, "You're going to hate the sound of cowbells & probably hear them for 2 weeks after the game." Then he further buried himself by pointing out, "It's Stinkville to me. It stinks there. It's just so muddy which I just don't like." Wow! On the flip side of the coin, I feel that MSU Sophomore QB Will Rogers will be out to prove why Corral shouldn't be given most of the attention. Rogers has been outstanding thus far going an accurate 435-for-572 (76%) for 4,113 passing yards with a hefty 34/8 TD/INT ratio. He's peaking by throwing close to 392 YPG with a 16/1 ratio over his past 4. My bottom line points out what's happening on the OTHER side of the ball. The Bulldogs' DC Zach Arnett's smothering 3-4 scheme is ranked 7th in the country in run defense & holds foes to 73 YPG under their average. They're also ranked 19th in total "D" which rules over an Ole Miss squad defense ranked 100th in that same category. Revenge game numbers show Mississippi is just 3-8 ATS playing teams with conference revenge while Mississippi State is a superb 4-1 versus the number in SEC paybacks. The home team (MSU) also holds the edge winning 5 of their past 6 ATS on Thursdays. Sealing the deal for us looks @ MSU's success rate in back-to-back home games. In Game 2 of back-to-backers, they've gone a take-me-to-the-window 13-1 ATS heading into this after just their 55-10 win over Tennessee State last week. This goes nicely with Kiffin's sweating bullets 3-10 spread mark in games coming off consecutive wins AND playing a team with a lesser SU record. The stage is set as we go up to Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville for our DOUBLE-PLAY Regular Season CFB Game Of The Year to play the MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS as my 10 Star CFB Rivalry Week Knockout Punch! Notes/CFB Playoff Rankings: Forthcoming CFB Week 13 Record: 4-3 for 57% CFB Record L4 Weeks 18-8 for 69% Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 CFB Overall Record: 42-33 for 56%

  Mike Handzelek
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