Saturday College Football Odds & Best Bets: How We’re Betting SMU vs. Memphis, Georgia vs. Auburn & More (Oct. 3)

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  • Looking for a couple last-minute college football bets for this Saturday? You're definitely in the right place.
  • Our staff has you covered with four best bes to help you build a stacked Saturday betting card.
  • Below, you'll find full breakdowns for each of our favorite betting positions on Saturday.

At long last, we finally tasted a more authentic brand of college football in Week 4 with the return of the SEC. And it’s about time, too: The Saturday betting card just felt lacking prior to last weekend.

This weekend’s unequivocal No. 1 matchup is No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia — and two members of our staff also believe it’s the most profitable betting opportunity on the board for Saturday.



Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 5:

Check out the rest of our Saturday picks below, each of which comes from the following three games:


All odds listed below are as of Friday and via DraftKings. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.


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Joe Murphy/Getty Images. Pictured: Morris Joseph (10) and Tim Hart (35).

Mike Calabrese: SMU Moneyline -103 vs. Memphis

  • Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
  • Kickoff Time: 3:30pm ET

Three factors play a significant role in this game. The first is Memphis’ prolonged layoff. The Tigers haven’t competed against another team since Sept. 5. If the three-week window was planned for, Memphis would have had a major strategic advantage in this game. Planning for a single opponent for three straight weeks is a coaching staff’s dream. But Memphis was forced to prepare for Houston and UTSA before late week cancellations.

The second factor playing in SMU’s favor is its recent surge on offense. Sonny Dykes’ team has put up 115 points and 1,142 total yards in their last two games. Two newcomers have made them virtually indefensible as of late: Danny Gray and Ulysses Bentley IV. Gray, a former junior college standout receiver, has taken the top off of defenses with his blistering speed. And Bentley IV leads all running backs in rushing yards (380) and rushing touchdowns (7).

The final reason I love SMU in this spot is revenge. Memphis knocked off SMU at home in a Saturday night thriller last season, a victory that propelled the Tigers to the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers offense pushed them over the top with massive contributions from Antonio Gibson and Kenneth Gainwell. The backfield duo combined for 488 total yards and four touchdowns.

Gibson is now toting the rock in the NFL and Gainwell has opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. That has left Memphis with a very good, but not elite offense in 2020. If you’re more of a spread bettor, I would play this all the way up to SMU -3. I believe that the Tigers are in trouble on the road in Dallas.

[Bet SMU -103 now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]


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Michael Shroyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Elijah Bowick (88) and Khalil Ladler (9).

BJ Cunningham: Virginia Tech (-12) at Duke

  • Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
  • Kickoff Time: 4:00pm ET

Virginia Tech ran the ball at will against NC State, toting the rock for 7.7 yards per carry. It was no surprise that the Hokies ground game was going to be their strength coming into the season. Virginia Tech returned all five offensive lineman and added a ton of depth up front.

Virginia Tech’s offense turned a corner last year when Hendon Hooker took over at quarterback. The Hokies went 6-2 with Hooker as the starter and averaged 9.6 yards per attempt. Hooker didn’t play last week, because he was among Virginia Tech’s 23 inactive players due to COVID-19 contact-tracing policies. Based on quotes from Fuente this week, he expects Hooker to start on Saturday. With Hooker at the helm, this offense is going be scary with his dual-threat ability and their explosive running game.

They should have a great matchup against a Duke defense that has allowed 8.2 yards per attempt so far this season and lost three starters on the defensive line from 2019.

The Blue Devils offense struggled with consistency in its first three games, gaining only 4.5 yards per play. Chase Brice has struggled since transferring from Clemson, throwing six interceptions and averaging only 6.4 yards per attempt in his first three starts.

The running game is also nowhere to be found, as the Blue Devils are gaining a measly 2.7 yards per carry. Without a running game, I think they’ll have a tough time against a Virginia Tech defense that returns 89% of its production from last season.

Getting Hooker back at quarterback is going to be huge for the Hokies offense. Their explosive rushing attack should open up their passing game for Hooker to throw all over the Blue Devils secondary. I have Virginia Tech projected as -19.31 favorites, so I think there is plenty of value on Hokies at -12.

[Bet Virginia Tech -12 now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]


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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Darin Gardner: Auburn +7 (-110) at Georgia

  • Odds available at BetMGM [Bet Now]
  • Kickoff Time: 7:30PM ET

My numbers show an edge here, projecting Georgia as a 4.2-point favorite. In its first game, Georgia was only able to generate 4.3 yards per play against an Arkansas defense that ranked 99th in success rate allowed and 121st in yards per play allowed last season. On a per-play basis, Georgia only outgained Arkansas by 0.1 yards: 4.3 to 4.2.

It looks like former walk-on Stetson Bennett will be the starter at quarterback after replacing D’Wan Mathis against Arkansas. Bennett has attempted a total of 56 passes in his career, and this Auburn defense will be a significant step up from what he just saw with Arkansas. Auburn’s defense finished the 2019 season ranking 14th in success rate and 18th in points per play, all while facing a very difficult schedule of opposing offenses.



Auburn’s offense also showed significant signs of improvement after a disappointing 2019 season. Quarterback Bo Nix threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions, with an adjusted yards per attempt of 10.9. As a whole, the offense averaged 5.7 yards per play against a solid Kentucky defense. The Tigers were able to successfully finish drives as well, averaging 5.6 points on trips past the Kentucky 40-yard line.

Georgia’s defense is admittedly very good, but one area where it struggled in 2019 was generating havoc. The Bulldogs only ranked 83rd in that department, while Auburn excelled, ranking 17th. In a game featuring an over/under around 44 and which projects as a low-scoring affair, I have to take the points with Auburn.

[Bet Auburn +7 (-110) now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]


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John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

Steve Petrella: Auburn 1Q (+2.5) at Georgia

  • Odds available at BetMGM [Bet Now]
  • Kickoff Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

This game could turn into a rock fight with Georgia’s offensive issues, so I’ll take the points in the first quarter and bank on a low-event first 15 minutes. Auburn is +2.5 in the first quarter at BetMGM, and +0.5 pretty much everywhere else. That +0.5 is a fine number if that’s all you can get.

Stetson Bennett made the Bulldogs offense look much better when he came on in relief last week against Arkansas, but this Auburn defense is different. The Tigers finished 14th in success rate against on defense and tend to reload quickly, especially up front. They’ve recruited all three defensive position groups at a top-20 level over the last five seasons, including No. 6 on the defensive line.

This Georgia offense just doesn’t strike fear into anyone right now. The Dawgs pulled away from Arkansas partially due to the Hogs’ incompetence on offense (and Georgia’s defense is still elite).

In the range of possible outcomes, there are a bunch in which this game is tied or Auburn has a small lead after one frame.

[Bet Auburn 1Q +2.5 (+100) now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

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