College Football Odds & Picks: Our Best Bets for Oklahoma State vs. Texas, Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame, 2 More Saturday Afternoon Games
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Brian Kelly and his Notre Dame players.
- With a Saturday full of college football, our staff broke down the odds and stats to come up with their favorite bets for the afternoon slate of games.
- Our experts' favorite bets come from Oklahoma State-Texas, Notre Dame-Georgia Tech, Louisville-Virginia Tech, and Indiana-Rutgers.
- Check out our experts' full betting analysis for each of those four afternoon games below.
Alright, so you woke up early (for a Saturday) and got in your noon bets, but by halftime, your moneyline parlay isn’t looking so hot. We’ve all been there, which is likely why you’re here — and rest assured: You’re definitely in the right place for a quick afternoon turnaround.
Our staff has broken down the odds and highlighted their favorite betting positions for the Week 9 Saturday college football slate. From the noons to the nightcap, we’ve got you covered with our favorite bets for each of the major Saturday college football kickoff windows:
- 12:00 p.m. ET | aka “The Noons”
- 3:30 p.m. ET | “The Night Owl’s Nightcap”
- 7:00 p.m. ET | “The Evening Set”
In this article, we’re focusing on “The Night Owl’s Nightcap,” by highlighting our three favorite betting spots for games that tee it up at 3:30 p.m. ET or 4 p.m. ET.
Freely navigate among each of the three kickoff windows via the links below:
Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 9:
Check our top Saturday picks below, each of which comes from one of the following 10 games. Click any of the afternoon games below to navigate to a specific matchup. Alternatively, click on any of the other seven games among our staff’s best bets this week to navigate to our Noon or Evening Best Bets columns.
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Wake Forest vs. Syracuse
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Cincinnati vs. Memphis
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Georgia vs. Kentucky
- 3:30 p.m. ET | Rutgers vs. Indiana
- 3:30 p.m. ET | Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame
- 4:00 p.m. ET | Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
- 4:00 p.m. ET | Texas vs. Oklahoma State
- 7:00 p.m. ET | Charlotte vs. Duke
- 8:00 p.m. ET | North Carolina vs. Virginia
- 9:30 p.m. ET | San Diego State vs. Utah State
All odds have been updated as of Friday evening.
Rutgers +11.5 (-110) vs. Indiana
|Rutgers Odds||+11.5 [BET NOW]|
|Indiana Odds||-11.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+335/-455 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||53.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||FOX Sports 1|
Rutgers put up an incredible defensive performance in its opening game in East Lansing last weekend. The Scarlet Knights shot up the Havoc rankings by forcing seven turnovers against Michigan State, including two interceptions and five fumble recoveries.
Neither team impressed much on offense, however. Rutgers saw just one explosive drive in 15 possessions, and only its Success Rate on passing downs rose above the national average. In the run game, the Scarlet Knights averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.
Meanwhile, Indiana recorded just one pass that went longer than 20 yards, and the Hoosiers didn’t have a run that reached that mark against Penn State’s defense.
After a huge win to open its season, Indiana could be in a look-ahead spot with Michigan on deck in Week 10. The Hoosiers may sleep through the first half while the Scarlet Knights play with Popeye’s spinach in their back pocket.
I also like the over in this game, as both teams rank in the top 13 in Finishing Drives and are facing arguably worse defenses than they did last week. Indiana also jumps off the chart in pace, taking only 19 seconds off the clock in between plays to lead the country in that department.
If there’s steam movement past 10, I might look to get on Indiana.
Georgia Tech +20.5 (-114) vs. Notre Dame
|Notre Dame Odds||-20.5 [BET NOW]|
|Georgia Tech Odds||+20.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-1300/+730 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||58.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
Not my favorite card in the world, but my favorite play on the board is Georgia Tech. I make this line 17.5, so I gladly grabbed some +20.5 and would play anything at +20 or above. I will also look to add some at +21 or better either after some game day steam, or potentially live if Notre Dame goes up quickly.
There’s nothing I genuinely love about this matchup in particular. I just think the line is inflated, and it’s a good situational spot to buy Tech low and sell Notre Dame in potential lookahead spot with Clemson on deck, which will be the biggest game of the season for the Irish.
What does that mean for the Irish? Well, they could come out a little flat and unfocused on the road against a bad Georgia Tech team. The coaches also could’ve prepared a little less this week, knowing the team can beat a clearly inferior opponent without needing to game-plan in full, which would give them more time to prepare for the Tigers.
I’d also expect Notre Dame to go extra vanilla from a play calling perspective and not show much of anything from the playbook. Head coach Brian Kelly may also pull his starters a tad bit earlier than normal in advance of the ACC showdown next week.
Virginia Tech -3.5 (-109) vs. Louisville
by Pat McMahon
|Virginia Tech Odds||-3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Louisville Odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-148/+120 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||67 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 4 p.m. ET|
I think we’re getting a discount on Virginia Tech in this spot following the team’s loss to Wake Forest last week. As Darin Gardner discussed in his misleading box scores post on Monday, the final score was not indicative of how the teams looked on the field. The Hokies were able to move the football with no issues, but struggled to finish off drives. They were plagued by three Hendon Hooker interceptions and only managed to score six points in four red-zone trips.
Louisville is coming off of its best offensive performance in a blowout win over Florida State last week, but the Cardinals face a tougher task this week against a Hokies defense that’s finally starting to find its footing. Virginia Tech was missing a long list of players on the defensive side of the ball for the first four games of the season due to injuries and positive COVID-19 tests.
The secondary was hit particularly hard early on, but that unit is healthier now. The Hokies reported their shortest injury report to date last week and played much better, holding Wake Forest to just 313 total yards.
Louisville benefited from plenty of explosive plays last week against the Seminoles, including touchdowns of 58 and 70 yards. It won’t be that easy against a more talented Hokies defense that is better equipped to slow down the Cardinals top play-makers.
Virginia Tech will get back to its roots and try to establish the run early, and its powerhouse ground game should have no issues moving the football against Louisville’s below-average rush defense. Among teams that have played more than once, the Hokies rank second in the nation in rushing yards per game, only trailing Army.
Kansas transfer Khalil Herbert leads the way with 656 yards to date on a ridiculous 8.75 yards per rush. Since Hooker took over at halftime of the UNC game, he’s been lethal on the ground as well, already accumulating 291 yards and four touchdowns.
Look for the Hokies to keep it simple and thrash the Louisville defense on the ground while controlling the clock. Once they establish a lead, they have the offensive line and weapons to keep their foot on the gas and eventually bury the Cardinals. Don’t be afraid of the hook, and back the Hokies to cruise to victory.
Texas vs. Oklahoma State Under 59 (-109)
by Matt Wispe
|Texas Odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Oklahoma State Odds||-3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+133/-167 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||59 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 4 p.m. ET|
Arguably, the strongest unit in this game is the Oklahoma State defense, which has contributed in part to the Cowboys’ 3-1 under record this year. They allow a 29.5% Success Rate and less than 1.5 points per opportunity. Oklahoma State unders aren’t a blind principle; but, given the weather conditions in this game, it’s my favorite play of the weekend.
The weather forecast is projecting crosswinds ranging from 8 to 18 MPH. This puts the game into one of my favorite systems on Bet Labs: Windy Unders. The winds will limit the passing games and keep the clock moving. It will also force Texas to attack Oklahoma State’s defensive strength. While Texas has Success Rate of 47.4%, it will be tasked with moving the ball against a defense that allows a rushing Success Rate of 28.5% and boasts a Havoc rate of 22.6%.
And on the other side of the field, the Cowboys have been a surprisingly weak rushing team, despite returning the nation’s leading rusher from 2019. And their line is at the center of the problem. They provide just 2.59 line yards per attempt and have a Stuff Rate of 22%. The Texas defense has created Havoc on 21.3% of plays, which bodes ominously for Oklahoma State’s probability to consistently find success on offense.