College Football Odds, Picks: 5 Friday Afternoon Best Bets, Featuring Florida State vs. Florida, Arkansas vs. Missouri
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida State’s Doak Campbell Stadium.
- The Black Friday college football action rolls on as we turn our attention to the afternoon slate.
- Our staff has five best bets for this window, including picks for Arkansas vs. Missouri and Florida vs. Florida State.
- Check out all five picks for Friday afternoon below.
The Week 13 Black Friday slate rolls on as we turn our attention to the afternoon games.
Our college football staff came through with five bets on four games for these later kickoffs, including Florida vs. Florida State, UCLA vs. Cal, Arkansas vs. Missouri and Arizona State vs. Arizona.
So, whether you’re looking to lay points with a favorite, catch them with an underdog or bet a high-scoring affair, we have you covered.
Read on for our five best bets for Friday afternoon and evening’s college football games — and be sure to check out our three noon best bets.
Friday Afternoon College Football Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from Friday afternoon’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet 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.|
Arizona State vs. Arizona
I love this over in a game with zero postseason implications.
Arizona State has been stifled by every single team that has some semblance of a defense. But against teams that want to engage in track meets — the Washingtons and USCs of the Pac-12 — Arizona State goes into chuck mode.
Arizona is a perfect dance partner, as the Wildcats play at one of the fastest paces in the country, and there are few teams that are as good offensively as they are bad defensively as Jedd Fisch’s squad.
Both defenses are bottom-10 nationally in Line Yards and Rush Success in a game that should feature both offenses playing ahead of script.
Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet hails from just up the road in Marana. Arizona’s leading receiver, Jacob Cowing, is in his hometown to play against the in-state rival for the first time.
Track meet: Engaged.
Arkansas vs. Missouri
I love this spot for Mizzou playing for a bowl bid against an Arkansas team coming off a big home win over Ole Miss last week.
Missouri quietly boasts a rock-solid defense that has kept it in most games all season. Arkansas’ offense relies on a physical rushing attack, and I think the Tigers have the front in place to slow the Hogs down.
Brady Cook has been up and down all season, but he should be able to find some open receivers against a vulnerable Arkansas secondary.
I like Missouri to win this game outright and secure its sixth victory, so I will gladly back the home team getting three and the hook in this spot.
Arkansas snapped a two-game losing streak last week against Ole Miss by taking advantage of a Rebels front seven that has struggled to stop the rush all season.
Razorbacks running back Raheim Sanders racked up 232 Yards and three touchdowns on 24 total attempts. The Missouri defense will not allow Arkansas to sniff anywhere near that level of success on the ground.
Missouri has relied on its experienced defensive unit to keep it in games all year. The Tigers rank 19th nationally in Defensive Success Rate and 34th against the rush. These numbers are a result of a 22% Stuff Rate created by a front seven that has a 44% Success Rate on standard downs.
Additionally, Missouri has a 15% Havoc Rate up front this season.
The running game that Arkansas relied on for a majority of its offensive success last week will not come easy on Saturday.
The Tigers have also shown an improvement on offense as the season has progressed, posting 4.2 points per scoring opportunity.
Look for the Tigers defense to allow for their improved offense to stick around in a game that could send Missouri bowling.
UCLA vs. Cal
By Cody Goggin
UCLA fell short last weekend against USC in its biggest game of the season, but it’s still much more talented than this Cal team.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson was banged up last weekend but should be good to go here.
The Bruins have one of the best offenses in the nation. SP+ ranks this as the third-best unit in the country, as it boasts the second-best Rushing Success Rate and No. 1 Rushing PPA in the country.
They’re also eighth and 18th in those two categories, respectively, through the air.
Chip Kelly’s offense has been destroying teams all season, and I don’t see that being any different against a poor Cal defense.
Cal’s defense under Justin Wilcox is not up to the level that he had during his first few years in Berkeley. This team ranks 119th in Rushing Success Rate and 123rd in Passing Success Rate.
The one place that it has excelled in is preventing explosive plays, as it ranks 14th in explosiveness allowed.
The Bears just don’t have the offense to keep up with the Bruins. They rank 106th in Passing Success Rate and 85th in PPA but pass at the fourth-highest rate in the country. They aren’t strong when they run the ball either, ranking 87th in Rushing Success Rate.
UCLA’s defense has been atrocious this season, ranking 119th in Success Rate and 99th in points allowed per opportunity. Similarly to UCLA, this defense does a good job of preventing explosive plays, ranking 21st in explosiveness allowed.
Cal’s only strength on offense is generating explosive plays, and even though the UCLA defense is not good on a down-to-down basis, this is where it’s excelled this season.
I believe that UCLA’s offense will be efficient enough to pull away and that the Bears won’t have the ability to battle back.
Florida vs. Florida State
Florida State is on a bit of a roll, and I don’t see the Gators doing anything to slow it down.
The Seminoles have rattled off four-straight victories after dropping three in a row, scoring at least 38 points in all four games. Florida State has dominated on both sides of the ball, as it is the only team in the month of November to rank inside the top five of both points scored per possession and points allowed per possession.
Jordan Travis has been the perfect game manager in not turning the ball over, while the Seminoles have leaned on Trey Benson to help the team rush for over 200 yards in six straight games.
Florida, meanwhile, enters after dropping a seven-point loss to Vanderbilt, the third loss in Florida’s last five games. Anthony Richardson continues to be a threat in both the pass and run game, but the Gators defense has been a big issue.
Florida ranks 99th in the country, allowing 408.5 yards per game and has allowed more than 30 points in three of its last five games.
Making matters worse in this game, Ventrell Miller — who is the heart and soul of this defense — is suspended for the first half against the Seminoles thanks to a targeting penalty against Vanderbilt.
Rashad Torrence, Florida’s leading tackler, is also questionable to play due to injury.
The Seminoles are going to score with ease. Richardson may make some magic but not enough to keep this within 10 points.
Since 2007, this rivalry has been decided by single digits only twice. That trend will continue here. Back the Seminoles.