College Football Odds, Picks: Our 3 Noon Best Bets, Featuring Texas vs. Baylor, Cincinnati vs. Tulane (Nov. 25)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Baylor wide receiver Elijah Bean.
- Black Friday college football is here.
- Our staff gets the day started with three best bets for Friday's noon slate, including picks for Texas vs. Baylor and Cincinnati vs. Tulane.
- Check out all three picks for the noon Black Friday slate below.
There’s nothing quite like Black Friday football. Our bellies are full from Thursday’s Thanksgiving spread — and hopefully, our wallets are also full after making some money on the NFL slate and Egg Bowl.
Now, it’s time for the most loaded Friday college football slate of the season.
Our staff came prepared, breaking down three games for this Black Friday docket: Baylor vs. Texas, Utah State vs. Boise State and Tulane vs. Cincinnati.
Read on for all three of our noon best bets, and be sure to check out our five other top picks for today’s afternoon and evening games.
Happy Rivalry Week!
Friday College Football Noon Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from Friday’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.|
Baylor vs. Texas
Texas enters this Black Friday duel with aspirations of reaching the Big 12 Championship game with a win and some good fortune along the way.
Baylor, meanwhile, has a postseason that’s set in stone, with a bowl berth locked up and intrastate pride on the line after failing to ruin TCU’s season last week.
Both teams have a propensity for the run game but are met with equally stiff opposing run defenses. Yards on the ground will be hard to come by with Texas and Baylor ranked second and third in rushing yards allowed in the Big 12, respectively.
To counteract the strong rush defenses, look for both offenses to resort to the aerial attack.
Both quarterbacks have shown the ability to air it out, but the clear advantage goes to Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen in this matchup.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers has been fickle at best this season, but both quarterbacks face passing defenses that have struggled heading into this regular-season finale.
Texas enters the game with the 93rd-ranked passing defense, whereas Baylor has the slightly more efficient 84th-ranked passing defense unit.
For obvious reasons, an aerial attack is very favorable for the purposes of our wager by keeping time on the game clock and presenting a larger probability of a high-impact play.
The crux of this pick is the stymying front sevens forcing each other into an aerial attack given the relative strength of the rushing defense compared to the secondary for both programs.
My model is projecting totals of 61.66, 59.52 and 61.31 points being scored, resulting in an equally weighted average of 60.83 points. This rounds to a five-point advantage relative to the market at the time of writing.
The desert has set the total too low here. Look for these two top-30 scoring offenses to cruise past double nickels and a hook in Austin.
Utah State vs. Boise State
Boise State completely flipped its season around after firing offensive coordinator Tim Plough and replacing longtime quarterback Hank Bachmeier.
The Broncos have gone 6-1 since that span and outscored their opponents by 21 points per game.
Now, they get a crack at an overvalued Utah State team that has won four of its last five games. However, those victories have come against the bottom tier of the Mountain West in Hawaii, New Mexico and Colorado State.
Boise State’s offense has seen a massive surge since Taylen Green has taken over under center. He’s averaged 8.0 yards per pass attempt and has provided an aerial threat to complement the rushing attack.
The Bronco’s bread-and-butter is its running game that averages 5.0 yards per carry against FBS foes. Now, they match up against a Utah State defense that ranks 119th in that area, allowing 5.1 yards per carry this season.
On the other side of the ball, Utah State is stuck with backup quarterback Cooper Legas. He will have his hands full against one of the top secondaries in the Group of Five that allows 6.4 yards per pass attempt against FBS competition.
Utah State will opt to run the ball, as it ranks 23rd in Rush Rate this season. But Boise’s defensive front is equally as stout, ranking 29th nationally and allowing 3.1 yards per carry.
Utah State is poised for a letdown game after becoming bowl-eligible last weekend, and Boise State will turn this into a rout quickly.
Tulane vs. Cincinnati
If the old adage of “Good teams win, great teams cover” is true, then the case could be made that the Tulane Green Wave are the best team in the nation. They currently have the No. 1 win percentage against the spread, beating it at an 81.8% clip on the year.
Cincinnati is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, covering only 30% of its games (120th).
Despite all this, I’m telling you to plug your nose, take a deep breath and take the Bearcats here.
Yes, the Green Wave have scored 27 or more points in each of their last five games, but they were playing terrible defenses such as SMU, Tulsa, Memphis and USF.
Cincinnati’s defense is not terrible. In fact, it’s very good. The Bearcats rank in the top 15 in both Defensive Havoc and Success Rate Allowed. They are also slightly above average in points per opportunity allowed, ranking 45th.
Meanwhile, Tulane’s offensive numbers have been inflated lately playing against the aforementioned teams.
We have Cincinnati projected as a 3.5-point favorite, and I am happy to take its moneyline at just -115. I expect the Bearcats to slow down this Tulane offense and be proficient enough on offense to win.
Look for the Bearcats to pull out a close one at home.