College Football Odds & Picks: Saturday Night Best Bets, Including Duke vs Notre Dame & More

College Football Odds & Picks: Saturday Night Best Bets, Including Duke vs Notre Dame & More article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

  • It's been a fun day of college football, but it's not over yet.
  • We have five best bets for Saturday night, including picks for Duke vs Notre Dame, Ole Miss vs LSU and more.
  • Read on for all five Saturday night college football best bets.

College football Saturdays are the best because there's wall-to-wall action from noon all the way past midnight. And one of the best points of the whole experience is when the day turns into night.

That's when the top-tier prime-time matchups tend to populate the slate, and we have two good ones on Saturday night. First, LSU travels to Oxford to take on Ole Miss in a top-20 SEC showdown before Duke hosts Notre Dame for another ranked-on-ranked matchup.

Along with those two games, our staff has two other best bets for Iowa State vs. Oklahoma and Troy vs. Georgia State.

It's time to close out the night in Green Dot City, so check out all five of our best bets for Saturday evening's college football slate below.

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 night'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
6 p.m.
7 p.m. ET
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.

LSU vs. Ole Miss

Saturday, Sept. 30
6 p.m. ET
Ole Miss +2.5

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By Mike McNamara

I like the Rebels here in a bounce-back spot against a talented LSU team.

Some struggles in the red zone plagued Ole Miss last week at Alabama, but this is still a dynamic offense with tons of playmakers.

Additionally, LSU has looked very poor on the defensive end when going up against high-powered offenses that use some tempo.

Jordan Travis and Florida State gashed the Tigers in the opener, and last week, Arkansas went for over 400 yards of total offense in Baton Rouge.

Ultimately, I view these teams as very similar across the board, so I will gladly back the home team catching a couple of points in what should be a rowdy environment in Oxford.

Give me the Rebels +2.5.

Pick: Ole Miss +2.5 (Play to +2)
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Iowa State vs. Oklahoma

Saturday, Sept. 30
7 p.m. ET ET
Iowa State +20

By Tanner McGrath

The Sooners are stupidly overvalued.

Their 14-point win against Cincinnati was a farce, considering the Bearcats finished with six points on six drives ([) past the OU 40-yard line. They amassed three points on their final four red-zone drives ([) and finished 1-for-4 on fourth down ([).

Oklahoma’s other wins are fraudulent, too.

The Sooners pulled out a miracle cover against SMU, winning by 17 as 16.5-point favorites despite trailing in the fourth quarter and getting outgained in total yardage (367 to 365).

Their other two victories came against doormats in Arkansas State, 73-0, and Tulsa, which was playing with a backup quarterback, 66-17.

I’m betting Oklahoma won’t get so lucky the rest of the season. Its numbers look great, but they’re propped up due to an easy schedule and some lucky breaks (+7 in net turnovers). The Sooners are due for serious regression.

Iowa State is a good team to force that negative regression.

The Cyclones struggled in the non-con thanks to some off-the-field gambling issues (yikes), but they’re starting to settle in.

They switched quarterbacks, going from Hunter Dekkers to Rocco Becht, and Becht is coming into his own, going 27-for-38 for 350 yards and three touchdowns last week in a win over Oklahoma State.

Becht’s offense finished with .48 EPA per Dropback, which would rank in the 90th percentile of single-game performances.

The Cyclones are a tad undervalued, anyway. Their Week 3 loss to Ohio looks bad, but the advanced box score projects ISU with an 83% post-game win expectancy.

I’m looking to sell the Sooners at every corner, and I don’t mind buying an Iowa State team on the up-and-up.

This spread is overinflated — our Action Analytics projections make OU a 14.5-point favorite — and Matt Campbell knows how to cover overinflated numbers. He’s 14-3 ATS lifetime as a double-digit underdog, including a perfect 6-0 when catching more than 17.

This is my absolute favorite play of the Saturday slate.

Pick: Iowa State +20 (Play to +17.5)

Notre Dame vs. Duke

Saturday, Sept. 30
7:30 p.m. ET

Notre Dame -5.5

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By Cody Goggin

Last week, we saw Notre Dame come up just short against Ohio State in a game where the Irish had a 60.6% post-game win expectancy with an expected margin of 13.4 points.

In this game, Notre Dame had a 77th-percentile Success Rate while holding Ohio State to a 38th-percentile Success Rate. Despite the loss, Notre Dame showed that it can play with the top-level teams in college football this season.

Duke is hosting College GameDay for the first time in history and all of the buzz will be around this game. But it may be short-lived.

Duke has had a great start to the season, as it’s 4-0 with a win over Clemson and hasn’t allowed over 14 points in a game yet.

If you remember the Clemson game, however, you remember how many things went Duke’s way that night. The Blue Devils were still the better team, but the final 21-point margin isn’t indicative of how that game went.

On the year, Duke has the 21st-best Success Rate in the country offensively, but Clemson is the only top-70 defense it has faced. In that game, the Blue Devils had their worst mark of the season with a 56th-percentile Success Rate.

This Notre Dame team wants to run the ball, and it does it well. The Irish rush at the 28th-highest rate in the country and have the 16th-best Rushing Success Rate. They also rank 36th in Rushing PPA.

This is the Achilles’ heel for Duke, as it ranks 102nd in Rushing Success Rate this season and is 111th in PFF run defense grade.

Duke is a good team still and this is a great story, but I think it’s just outmatched here. Notre Dame’s rushing offense should make light work of this Duke defense as the Irish dominate them in the trenches.

Defensively, Notre Dame has the best unit that Duke has had to face off against all year and will provide quite the challenge.

There’s the potential for a letdown spot here from Notre Dame — it’s still reeling from last week’s tight loss — but I believe the Irish are the better team here and should have a good chance to cover this spread at under a touchdown.

Pick: Notre Dame -5.5 (Play to -6)

Under 52.5

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By Patrick Strollo

Notre Dame will look to get back on track after last week’s heartbreaking last-second loss to Ohio State. Meanwhile, Duke will look to remain undefeated as it hosts the Fighting Irish for a night game at Brooks Field.

Each team enters the game with excellent defenses in a must-win game for both sides.

While a lot of emphasis has been placed on Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman and his capabilities this season, the Notre Dame defense has been tenacious. Coming into this game, Notre Dame has the nation's sixth-ranked passing defense, allowing just 149.4 yards per game through the air.

As evidenced last week against Ohio State, Notre Dame’s success against the pass has translated directly into scoring defense. The Fighting Irish are allowing just 12.8 points per game, which ranks tied for 14th in the nation.

Duke quarterback Leonard Riley will face his toughest test of the season against the Notre Dame secondary. That unit will force Duke into its preferred game plan of keeping the ball on the ground, which bodes well for the under as the clock runs.

When Notre Dame has the ball, Hartman will also face another difficult passing defense. Duke ranks fourth nationally in passing defense, allowing just 143.3 yards per game and sitting one spot ahead of Ohio State, which gave Hartman a hard time last week.

Duke comes into the game with the top-ranked secondary in the nation, per PFF. Duke defensive backs Joshua Pickett and Myles Jones are the highest-graded cornerbacks on this elite unit and should be able to stymie Notre Dame's aerial attack after Hartman was held to just 175 yards last week.

I like both defensive units to steal the show in this matchup, particularly the respective secondaries. This should force both sides to keep the ball on the ground and eat up enough clock to keep the under firmly in play.

My model projects 49.5 points in this game, so I recommend playing this under at 53 with a stop at 50.5.

Pick: Under 52.5 (Play to 50.5)

Troy vs. Georgia State

Saturday, Sept. 30
8 p.m. ET
Troy +1.5

By John Feltman

This is a great opportunity to buy low on the Trojans.

Georgia State has had a great start to the season, but its strength of schedule has had a lot to do with its current record.

The Trojans should be able to expose Georgia State’s secondary, and I envision a lot of explosive plays down the field. Although the Panthers have been excellent defensively in the trench, I’m starting to think this is a flawed statistic given the circumstances.

Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson should allow the Trojans to move the ball efficiently down the field, which will allow even more running lanes for running back Kimani Vidal. Even if Watson is off his game, Vidal is too talented of a runner to get bottled up all afternoon.

This is a classic sell-high spot on the Panthers, and I think the fact that the 2-2 Trojans are a 1-point favorite on the road against an undefeated opponent tells the story.

The Trojans have the defensive chops to bottle up the Panthers' run game. If Georgia State becomes one-dimensional, this could get ugly pretty quickly.

Pick: Troy +1.5 (Play to -2.5)

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