College Football Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Saturday Noon Games
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Maryland Terrapins.
College Football Best Bets Today | Picks for Noon Games
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Is it Saturday at Noon yet? Yes! Yes, it is! And that means it's time for our college football best bets today and our expert picks for Saturday's noon games.
We’ve reached the penultimate full college football Saturday slate of the year. While we’re sad this season is ending, the job’s not finished.
Our staff has three best bets for Saturday’s noon slate, including picks for Michigan vs. Maryland, Louisiana-Monroe vs. Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina vs Army.
Read on for a full breakdown and betting preview of all three picks below.
Michigan vs. Maryland
At this number, I simply have to fade Michigan in a classic sandwich spot in College Park after taking care of business at Penn State with one of the biggest college football games of the season on deck.
I won't waste your time by attempting to wax poetic about the Terps, who got waxed two weeks ago at home by Penn State. That's certainly a bit concerning.
But I show too much value at this number to pass it up with the surrounding circumstances.
Behind an offensive line that excels in pass blocking, Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and a group of talented pass-catchers will at least present the Michigan secondary with its toughest test of the season to date.
For what it's worth, Maryland lost, 34-27, last year in this matchup in Ann Arbor.
I'm confident the Maryland offense can score at least 17 points, which is likely all it would take against a Wolverines squad that I expect to go super conservative (which they already do to some extent) once they build a lead.
Not only could they potentially come out a bit flat for this noon kick, but I just can't envision the staff wanting to show anything more than they have to or risk any injuries before The Game next Saturday.
Style points are irrelevant since Michigan's entire season will come down to next week if it just gets out of dodge with a win.
Pick: Maryland +19 (Play to +18.5)
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ULM vs. Ole Miss
It’s Cupcake Week in the SEC, but the Rebels are too depressed to even partake in consuming a delicious delectable, and they're also saving room for Thanksgiving's main course.
It’s been only seven days since Ole Miss’ season went up in flames. A 35-point loss at the hands of Georgia killed the Rebels’ hopes of winning the SEC and crashing the College Football Playoff.
Now Ole Miss has to find the energy to whoop one of the worst teams in America.
Its full attention won’t likely even be on the War Eagles, with the Egg Bowl imminently awaiting on Thanksgiving.
While the War Eagles are likely bad enough for Ole Miss to cover a 37.5-point spread, the Rebels must do almost all the scoring. ULM is 132nd in Success Rate, 102nd in total offense and 126th in points per game.
There’s no doubt the Rebels are leaps and bounds better than Louisiana-Monroe, but there are too many extenuating factors for this to be a high-scoring affair. Jaxson Dart is already banged up, and Lane Kiffin will be looking to pull his starters as soon as possible with a short week ahead.
Ole Miss isn’t looking to make a statement in this game. It just needs to escape with a win and prepare to end its regular season on the best note possible with a resounding victory over Mississippi State.
Look for Ole Miss to jump to an early lead before Kiffin pulls his foot off the gas, slowing the tempo and keeping this game far Under the total.
Pick: Under 62.5
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Coastal Carolina vs. Army
This game means nothing to the Chanticleers.
It’s a random, late-season non-conference noon-tip road matchup two weeks after they reached bowl eligibility and a week before their biggest game of the season – they’ll catch James Madison at home next Saturday for a chance at the Sun Belt East crown.
They’ll be looking ahead to next week schematically.
They’ll also be resting some critical guys with injuries. That includes star starting quarterback Grayson McCall and backup Jarrett Guest.
That leaves third-string quarterback Ethan Vasko to start this game. He’s completed 58% of his passes with two big-time throws to two turnover-worthy plays this year.
Army’s defense is a mess, but I don’t see Coastal moving the ball all that efficiently.
Conversely, Army’s triple option should exploit Coastal’s porous, pathetic rush defense. The Chants rank sub-100th nationally in Rush Success Rate allowed and EPA per Rush allowed. They’re 90th nationally in YPC allowed behind a defensive line that ranks 98th in Line Yards and 120th in Power Success Rate allowed.
The Knights should sustain long drives, control the time of possession and drain the clock as four-point home ‘dogs in a sluggish game – otherwise known as the perfect combination of factors to bet the underdog.
For what it’s worth, Army head coach Jeff Monken is 28-13-1 ATS as a field-goal-or-more underdog at West Point.
I’ll back him again here.