Friday College Football Betting Guide: Insights, Odds for All 5 Games

Friday College Football Betting Guide: Insights, Odds for All 5 Games article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chip Kelly, AJ Dillon, Lane Kiffin

After five college football games Thursday night, some better than others, we’ve been blessed with another five-game slate on Friday.

Let’s follow up with some more winners.

>> All odds as of 7 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

Louisiana Tech at Florida Atlantic

  • Odds: Florida Atlantic -3.5
  • Over/Under: 58
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

The market caught up to Florida Atlantic in a big way this season.

After going 10-4 against the spread and winning Conference USA in 2017, Lane Kiffin’s group is 1-6 ATS this year. The Owls have failed to cover by an average of 11.8 points per game, second-worst in the country only to Louisville.

Can Louisiana Tech Prevent Big Plays?

By Stuckey

Can Louisiana Tech prevent FAU explosive plays, which doomed the Bulldogs last year? La Tech has especially struggled defending explosiveness in the running game (88th), which FAU can take advantage of. I fear this might play out like last year’s game when the Bulldogs moved the ball efficiently but the Owls just killed them with huge plays.

If you do decide to bet the Lane Train, I will warn you about FAU’s special teams, which have been dreadful all season. Just ask anybody who backed the Owls vs. Air Force.

Time to Buy Low on FAU?

By Steven Petrella

Kiffin’s bunch put up the worst showing during his tenure (and probably since his days at Tennessee) in a 31-7 loss to Marshall last week. The Owls actually outgained the Herd but had five turnovers.

Trouble is, I don’t think you’re getting any reactionary value on FAU because the betting public doesn’t care about C-USA. If this line gets inside a field goal, I’ll end up on the Owls.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

Florida Atlantic scored seven points in a loss to Marshall last Saturday. Teams favored at home after a poor offensive game (less than 10 points scored) have gone 166-244-4 (40.5%) ATS since 2005, per Bet Labs.

By Evan Abrams

Under Kiffin, Florida Atlantic has been a completely different team at home vs. on the road…

  • At home: 10-1 SU (won 10 straight), 7-4 ATS (+8.7 ATS diff), 21 Pass TD, 6 INT
  • On road: 4-6 SU and ATS (-0.3 ATS diff), 8 Pass TD, 12 INT

Miami at Boston College

  • Odds: Miami -3.5
  • Over/Under: 49.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

Boston College’s once-promising season has been derailed in the last few weeks while it’s been without star running back AJ Dillon. The good news is, Dillon is expected to return Friday.

The Eagles host a Miami team that’s behind the 8-ball in the ACC Coastal after a loss to Virginia two weeks ago.

Can Either Offense Get Going?

By Ken Barkley 

This is actually a fascinating game because each team has two losses and, despite only one conference loss each, their hopes could be fading fast to accomplish anything of note this season.

Boston College still plays Clemson, so it at least has a shot of winning the Atlantic, but with the Eagles’ recent form, how reasonable is it to expect much against the Tigers in THAT game? Meanwhile Miami’s conference loss is to ACC-leading Virginia, and the Hurricanes’ chances of making it to the conference title game are now very much in doubt, too.

To me, this is about Miami being by far the best team in terms of talent that BC has played so far, and if Dillon is banged up, I don’t think the Eagles have any reasonable advantages to exploit. Miami has a coaching edge, and both teams have had extra time to prepare.

Although the number is close to what I have (I made Miami -5) I am actually more interested in the under. Miami will be able to stop anything the Eagles are doing, and BC’s defense has improved in S&P+ all season, ascending to the top 40 (and maybe rising even further following the time off). Considering Miami’s disastrous quarterback situation, points may be hard to come by on either side.

Barkley’s Pick: Under 49.5

Does Boston College Match Up Well Enough?

By Stuckey

Whenever a team plays Miami, I look at three things first:

  • How do they defend the pass rush? Miami has an elite defensive line that gets tackles for loss in its sleep and leads the nation in adjusted sack rate. Well, BC’s offensive line doesn’t inspire much confidence in that regard, especially in passing situations. However, BC can have the same success on the other side of the ball.
  • How do they defend explosiveness? Miami has a very inefficient offense that relies on explosive plays. BC actually matches up well in this regard.
  • Havoc rate, as Miami’s defense ranks No. 1 in the nation. These two teams each have a defense that ranks in the top 25 in Havoc. And while Miami ranks No. 1 overall, its offense has allowed the 89th-worst Havoc against, while BC ranks in the top 10 in that regard. BC can win this Havoc battle.

A Pace Mismatch

By Steve Petrella

I like the under here, too, but Boston College’s new-found (well, found in 2017) pace is something to be aware of. The Eagles rank fourth in adjusted pace, while Miami is 84th.

BC is averaging 15 possessions per game and 2.70 plays per minute, which is 11th in the country. Miami is bottom third in FBS at 2.19.

Miami hasn’t faced a team that plays with any pace like the Eagles, but the ‘Canes rank high in all kinds of important metrics — average third-down distance (first), stuff rate (first) and efficiency (fifth).

To me, that means the Miami defense can get off the field quickly because BC will be in not-so-manageable third-down situations, and the ‘Canes can use that opposing pace against an Eagles defense that will be on the field again quickly. That plays into Miami’s favor, especially in the second half.

Trends to Know

By Evan Abrams

Miami is coming off a loss on the road against Virginia two weeks ago is now looking to bounce back. Under Mark Richt, Miami is 2-5 straight up and ATS after a SU and ATS loss in his previous game.

One of those wins was a 77-0 victory against Savannah State, which you can pretty much can throw. In road games in that spot, Miami is 0-3 SU and ATS under Richt.

Indiana at Minnesota

  • Odds: Indiana -2.5
  • Over/Under: 54
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1

Minnesota and Indiana play a rare Friday night Big Ten game, which may actually be an advantage for the Gophers. Coach P.J. Fleck has plenty of experience prepping on short rest thanks to his days at Western Michigan during MACtion.

There are quarterback questions on both sides. Minnesota starter Zack Annexstad is questionable, but fellow freshman Tanner Morgan actually looked better last week and provided a spark with his legs. Indiana’s Michael Penix tore his ACL against Penn State, so it’s now all on sophomore Peyton Ramsey, who has seen the bulk of the work for the Hoosiers this season.

What Happened to Minnesota?

By Stuckey

You had to expect growing pains for a team that has a higher percentage of freshmen than any other program in the nation. I mean they are starting a true freshman walk-on at QB, who might need to be replaced by another freshman this week.

What’s more, injuries have crushed Minnesota. Not only did it lose its star senior running back for the year, but also lost its most important player on defense: Antoine Winfield Jr.

Since he went down for the year, the Minnesota defense has been in disarray. It’s mainly been a result of allowing big plays due to defensive breakdowns — in conference play, the average touchdown length against Minnesota is 31.4 yards (21 touchdowns in four games). That’s almost impossible.

Well, if there’s one thing that Indiana is not, it’s explosive. The Hoosiers rank 123rd in IsoPPP+. That’s especially true in the passing game, where they also rank 123rd.

In a battle of two pretty evenly matched teams, I’ll take the home dog if it the Gophers get to +3.

Stuckey’s Pick: Minnesota +3 or better

Indiana Gets a Little Break

By Ken Barkley 

The winner of this game probably goes to a bowl, and the loser probably does not. Although that doesn’t really impact on-field developments, it does add a bit of weight to the game. These teams have lost a combined seven straight, but look at Indiana’s losses.

The Hoosiers’ four losses are to Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, and Iowa — the final three coming in their last three games. My word. They also have a win over current ACC leader Virginia, which looks much better than it did in Week 2.

With Annexstad questionable and banged up almost every week and running back Rodney Smith out for the last month (he won’t return this season), Minnesota’s offense has been hovering around 100th in S&P+.

I think the differences between these teams are slightly bigger than the line indicates, and I think for Indiana it’s just going to be nice to take the field against a team that isn’t dramatically more talented and better. At under -3, this isn’t that much different from my numbers, so I’ll lean Indiana.

Trends to Know

By Evan Abrams

Indiana football is a favorite on the road. That’s unheard of. Since 2005, the Hoosiers are 9-46 SU on the road in conference, going 18-34-3 ATS (34.6%) and losing bettors 17.1 units.

Since 2005, Indiana is the least-profitable road team against a conference opponent in the FBS. This will be just the Hoosiers’ eighth time as a road favorite vs. the Big Ten, and they have failed to cover their last four games in this spot over the last three seasons.

By John Ewing

Indiana has lost its past three games, yet the Hoosiers are road favorites in Minneapolis. Since 2005, teams that have lost three in a row and then are favored on the road have gone 36-47 ATS.

Wyoming at Colorado State

  • Odds: Colorado State -2
  • Over/Under: 46
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

Can Wyoming Slow CSU’s Passing Attack?

By Stuckey

The Border War for the Golden Boot, everybody’s favorite rivalry. And by everybody’s, I mean nobody’s.

From a matchup perspective, this one’s pretty easy to boil down. Wyoming has one of the worst pass offenses in the country, but has a decent rushing attack. And if you have a decent anything, that will work against a Rams team that can’t defend the pass or run.

On the other hand, Colorado State cannot run the ball, but does have a decent passing offense. However, that plays right into the hands of Wyoming, which for all of its faults, has a really solid and experienced secondary that ranks 14th in Passing Defense S&P+.

On paper, the Wyoming secondary should neutralize the Colorado State passing attack, while the Pokes offense should be able to keep the sticks moving on the ground — and even Wyoming might be able to complete some passes against this horrid Rams secondary. Ultimately, however, these are two really bad teams so maybe you just throw out the paper and pass on this one.

Wyoming Has Been Tested

By Collin Wilson

Colorado State is favored in a FBS football game? That is the reaction I’ve had most of the week.

Colorado State ranks 110th in S&P+ to Wyoming’s 92nd. Like S&P+, The Action Network power ratings have Wyoming a slight favorite in this game. There is a big discrepancy in strength of schedule, with Colorado State at 75 and Wyoming at 28.

The biggest advantage in this game is the Cowboys defense, specifically against explosiveness, where they are 19th overall in IsoPPP. Wyoming’s offense has not been a glorious watching experience thus far, but Colorado State is allowing 6.93 in opponent yards per play. That is close to last in the nation, which may benefit the Cowboys.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

Recreational gamblers overvalue favorites and home-field advantage, which leads to value on road underdogs. Small road underdogs win outright more often than the public thinks.

Since 2005, betting small road underdogs on the moneyline has returned a profit of $10,228 for a $100 bettor.

By Evan Abrams

Wyoming coach Craig Bohl arrived in Laramie in 2014 and the Cowboys are 24-35 SU and 29-30 ATS so far in his tenure. The best of Bohl’s time at Wyoming was with quarterback Josh Allen, who is now with the Bills in the NFL.

  • With Allen: 16-9 SU and 17-8 ATS.
  • Without Allen: 8-26 SU and 12-22 ATS.

Utah at UCLA

  • Odds: Utah -10.5
  • Over/Under: 55
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

A much-improved UCLA team hosts Utah on Friday night, as both teams look to pull into first (for now) in the Pac-12 South.

After starting 0-5, the Bruins have beaten Cal and Arizona in consecutive weeks to move to 2-2 in conference.

Where Can Utah Be Exploited?

By Stuckey

Utah really just does everything so solid, it’s hard to find glaring weaknesses. But if I were to name three:

  • The Utes lack explosiveness on offense
  • They struggle in the red zone
  • Their pass protection is lacking

Utah makes up for its lack of explosiveness with efficiency. I would chalk up the red zone numbers to randomness/flukes and UCLA just doesn’t have the pass rush to take advantage of the one deficiency that I do think is real in pass protection.

That said, UCLA is starting to play better and remains undervalued in the market after a slow start with a lot of new pieces, a new coach and one of the hardest schedules in the country to date.

I don’t think the Bruins can do enough to win, but I do think there is value at 10 and above on the home pup — especially considering UCLA’s special teams have been extremely productive, so Utah won’t have its normal edge in that department.

UCLA Quarterback Situation Unclear

By Collin Wilson

The quarterback situation at UCLA is a bit unclear with Dorian Thompson-Robinson leaving the Arizona game with injury and Wilton Speight going on to lead the Bruins to a one-point victory. Thompson-Robinson will play, Chip Kelly said on Tuesday, but Speight got all the practice with the first team this week. Kelly could be forcing Utah to pull double duty in practice, as each Bruins quarterback brings a different skill set.

While Utah is first in the nation in rushing defense, the Utes are barely inside the top 100 turnover margin. There is also a large difference in each team’s red-zone offense. UCLA ranks first in red-zone scoring percentage and second in red-zone points per attempt. That grossly outscales Utah at 110th and 112th in those categories, respectively.

I will look to back UCLA at double digits, but wait as long as possible for any Utah steam to produce a flat 11.

Collin’s Pick: UCLA +10 or better

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

Under Kyle Whittingham, Utah is 46-4 SU and 30-19-1 (61%) ATS when favored by 10 or more points. But since joining the Pac-12, when favored by double-digits against a conference foe, Utah is only 2-7 ATS.

Did you know: No. 23 Utah is ranked for the first time this season. The Utes have now started the season unranked but cracked the Top 25 in each of the past five seasons.