College Football Best Bets: 5 Picks for Saturday Night

College Football Best Bets: 5 Picks for Saturday Night article feature image

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chuck Hicks (30) and the Missouri Tigers.

Saturday's Week 7 college football slate rolls on to the evening, and our staff has even more best bets to dish out.

Our college football writers came through with five picks for Saturday night's games, including picks for Kansas State vs. Texas Tech, USC vs. Notre Dame, Missouri vs. Kentucky and UAB vs. UTSA.

Check out all five of our college football best bets for Saturday evening below — and be sure to take a look at our top picks for Saturday's noon and afternoon kickoff windows.

Saturday Evening College Football Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football betting staff is targeting from Saturday evening's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
8 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations 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.

Kansas State vs. Texas Tech

Saturday, Oct. 14
7 p.m. ET

Over 56

By BJ Cunningham

The pace of this game should be very fast given how both of these offenses want to play.

Kansas State's ground-and-pound rushing attack has been very effective this season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry while ranking 17th in EPA/Play.

More important, though, is the fact that the Wildcats are playing much faster this season. In 2022, they ran a play about every 27 seconds, but this season, they've lowered that to nearly 24 seconds per play, which is a top-40 pace in the country.

It's worked for the offense, as running back DJ Giddens and quarterback Will Howard are both averaging over six yards per carry and have combined for 23 runs of at least 10 yards.

Kansas State is also one of the most efficient scoring teams when it gets into the opponent's territory, averaging 5.15 points per scoring opportunity — the seventh-best mark in the nation.

Texas Tech is currently working with a backup quarterback after Tyler Shough went down with an injury against West Virginia in Week 4. Behren Morton essentially got thrown into the fire against the Mountaineers and had a horrible game.

However, his last two starts against Houston and Baylor have been pretty solid. He averaged 7.5 yards per attempt in those two starts and put up a PFF passing grade of 75.7.

With that said, the pressure is not entirely on his shoulders in this offense because the Red Raiders have run the ball 62.2% of the time with Morton as the starter. Plus, they’ve been very effective in doing so.

Running back Tahj Brooks has been a key beneficiary. He's averaging 6.0 yards per carry, as the Red Raiders rank 15th in EPA/Rush and 12th in Offensive Line Yards.

While Kansas State boasts one of the best rush defenses in the country — it ranks first in Defensive Line Yards and third in Rushing Success Rate Allowed — both UCF and Oklahoma State ran for over four yards per carry in the last two games against the Wildcats.

I have 66.1 points projected for this game, so I like the value on over 56.5 points.

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Texas Tech ML -120

By Mike McNamara

I was very high on the Red Raiders entering the year, and despite two gut-wrenching non conference losses to start the season, I’m still a believer in this team.

The losses against Wyoming and Oregon continue to look better and better, and Texas Tech had leads in the fourth quarter in both of them.

Last week, we backed Tech as a tiny road favorite in Waco, and it handled Baylor from start to finish in a game that was never close.

Now TTU heads home as a short favorite with still plenty to play for in the Big 12 race, where it currently sits at 2-1 in the league standings.

This year’s Kansas State team is nowhere near as complete as the 2022 version was. The WIldcats’ defense – and its secondary, in particular – is extremely vulnerable.

An Oklahoma State offense that hadn’t really done anything all year gashed the Wildcats last Friday night in a game in which KSU looked lifeless.

Additionally, the offense really misses the playmaking abilities of Deuce Vaughn. The running game hasn’t been the same without him, and Vaughn also offered a very valuable safety blanket as a check-down piece out of the backfield.

Behren Morton is starting to look more comfortable running the show for the Tech offense after he was thrown into the fire when Tyler Shough went down with a season-ending injury.

Morton has also gotten healthier after barely practicing in recent weeks, and he should be in line for a big day against the aforementioned weak Kansas State defense.

I think Texas Tech is the better team all around, and when you toss in the fact that Saturday will be a blackout game at Jones AT&T Stadium, I don’t know that this one needs to be all that close.

Guns Up.

Pick: Texas Tech ML -120 (Play to -135)

USC vs. Notre Dame

Saturday, Oct. 14
7:30 p.m. ET
Notre Dame -2.5

By Collin Wilson

Notre Dame has played a brutal schedule that includes a trip across the pond to Ireland, three visits to ACC territory and a top-10 showdown with Ohio State.

The Irish players and coaches return home after a brutal defeat to a Louisville team that cashed in on a bye week.

Despite the tough slate, Notre Dame has recorded one of the strongest strength of schedule ranks in the nation.
In contrast, USC has played a strength of schedule that sits at 117th in the country and has struggled against offenses that have the ability to attack downfield.

The Trojans defense had high preseason hopes of improvement, but coordinator Alex Grinch fields a unit that’s 111th in tackling while allowing a plethora of explosives.

Notre Dame will send running back Audric Estime through the Trojans’ front seven, as he brings a season tally of 4.4 yards after contact and 38 missed tackles created.

Estime should dominate standard downs for the Irish, possibly causing a heavy box of Trojan defenders.

Sam Hartman should have one of his best days of the season, as USC is outside the top 70 in defending pass explosives.

On the other side, can Notre Dame throw in coverage to jam up the reigning Heisman trophy winner? That answer is a resounding yes, as the Irish run a high rate of Cover 1 and Cover 3 looks, both of which have given Caleb Williams fits in Success Rate.

Williams dominates quarters coverage, a package implemented in less than 10% of defensive snaps by Notre Dame.

Look for the Notre Dame offense to enjoy home field on full rest, possibly utilizing a slippery track in a trench battle.

Pick: Notre Dame -2.5 (Play to -3)

Missouri vs. Kentucky

Saturday, Oct. 14
7:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Missouri +2.5

By Eric Caselton

Missouri is coming off a hard-fought loss to LSU, while the Wildcats of Kentucky try to bounce back after a brutal loss on the road in Athens to Georgia.

This Tigers team has had quite the bounce-back season thus far after suffering four one-score losses in 2022, including a close one to Kentucky.

The Wildcats had some success early this season, but mainly against teams that struggled to throw the ball. The Wildcats hold the 35th-best run defense, but it’s their pass defense that raises a huge cause for concern.

They rank 110th against the pass defensively, which doesn’t bode well against Eli Drinkwitz and quarterback Brady Cook, who rank 13th in pass offense this year.

The Tigers also rank 37th in pass Explosiveness this season, so they can score in a hurry if they’re down or need an answer after a tough defensive possession.

This Tigers defense has been much better than the Wildcats’ defense, ranking 29th compared to 74th. The Tigers do struggle against big plays, which could keep this Kentucky team in the game after it exploded against a solid Florida defense a few weeks prior.

This Tigers offense with Cook under center and Luther Burden III out wide should be able to move the ball efficiently and often against this Wildcats defense.

I anticipate Missouri’s defense will prevent a lot of big plays, keeping this Wildcats offense at bay.

Give me the Tigers +2.5, but I trust them to win this game outright.


Saturday, Oct. 14
8 p.m. ET
Over 67.5

By John Feltman

If you like offense, be sure to tune in to CBS Sports Network on Saturday night. This should be quite the offensive showcase.

The Blazers rank top 25 nationally in both Rushing and Passing Success Rates and 14th in Offensive Line Yards. The line play has been much better than expected.

Quarterback Jacob Zeno continues to put up gaudy numbers week after week, and do not forget he looked sharp against a Georgia defense a couple of weeks ago as well.

Running back Jermaine Brown should find some success, despite the Roadrunners having a stingy run defense.

Quarterback Frank Harris returned for UTSA last week and put up a nice performance against a miserable Temple Owls team. Harris should find a ton of success against this miserable Blazers defense.

They may have won fairly comfortably last week, but something is off with this Roadrunners defense. They were absolutely gashed by the Owls last week, and now they face a far more superior offensive attack this week.

Both of these teams will be airing it out and finding a multitude of success, as I don’t see a lot of clock-chewing in the forecast. Both of these teams are excellent at sustaining and Finishing Drives.

I know Blazers head coach Trent Dilfer might still be elated from last week’s big win, but I see no reason as to why the Blazers can’t keep up with the Roadrunners.

I don’t think the market has adjusted for the return of Harris, and I absolutely love the over in this game.

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