College Football Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Mississippi State vs LSU & Louisville vs Indiana
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers.
We made it. After a two-game Thursday slate and a three-game Friday schedule, Saturday is here. Now, nothing stands between us and wall-to-wall college football action.
Our college football writers are looking to start the weekend off on a high note with three best bets for Saturday's noon games. Whether you're looking to fade the Mississippi State offense against a stout LSU defense or trying to sneak in the backdoor in a Power 5 nonconference matchup, we have you covered.
Read on for our three best bets for Saturday's noon games below — and be sure to check out our other best bets for Saturday's afternoon, evening and late-night games.
Week 3 College Football Noon Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football betting staff is targeting from Saturday's noon kickoffs. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
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. Mississippi State
By Brett Pund
In the offseason, Mississippi State made one of the biggest shifts in offensive mentality by going from Mike Leach’s famous Air Raid to a run-first attack under new play-caller Kevin Barbay.
In his previous stops, Barbay’s offenses have averaged a 56% run rate, which is a massive jump from the 32% average under Leach.
As we all saw in LSU’s opener, the area where the Tigers are most vulnerable on defense is in the secondary. However, the Bulldogs aren’t the offense to exploit those issues.
Last week against Arizona, Mississippi State only attempted 17 passes. MSU also took advantage of very short fields on its scoring drives, finishing with just one of four touchdown drives longer than 50 yards.
Another big change over the summer was in the Bulldogs’ receiving room, where they lost three of their four top wide receivers from 2022.
With their top weapons all under six-feet tall, I struggle to see how they’re able to create any explosive plays over the top of this weak LSU secondary.
The final note here is the fact that Mississippi State also plays at a very slow pace on offense, ranking 105th in seconds per play. I don’t believe it’ll have enough possessions to score over three touchdowns.
Florida State vs. Boston College
Florida State comes into this game as one of the hottest teams in the nation.
The Seminoles got off to a blazing hot start after making easy work of No. 5 LSU in a 45-24 victory in their opening game and then mowed through Southern Miss, 66-13, last weekend.
Boston College, meanwhile, has had a rough start to the season. The Eagles have been taken to the limit in both of their contests, losing in overtime to Northern Illinois, 27-24, and then needing all four quarters to sneak past FCS Holy Cross, 31-28.
Hurricane Lee has been a source of concern for this game, bringing the total down by seven points. I don’t see this impacting the spread much because the storm continues to weaken, and at the time of writing, it appears Chestnut Hill will just see wind and overcast conditions.
On a macro level, this is a bad matchup for Boston College, as it draws the fourth-ranked scoring offense (55.5 PPG) in the country while boasting just the 93rd-ranked scoring defense (27.5 PPG) in the country.
Additionally, these statistics potentially understate the talent gap between the two schools when adjusting for strength of schedule so far.
The base case for this game is for Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis to continue his quest for the Heisman through the air. Through two games this season, Travis has completed 63.3% of his attempts, averaged 258.5 yards per game and thrown for six touchdowns with one interception.
The Boston College secondary should be in for a very long afternoon after seeing just 45 passing attempts so far this season.
While Travis’ aerial effort is the base case, I actually think Florida State has a more exploitable advantage on the ground in this game. Boston College has been chewed up by opposing ground games so far this season. In its home opener, it gave up 166 yards and three touchdowns to Northern Illinois. Last weekend, its run defense was thrashed by FCS Holy Cross for 268 yards and four touchdowns.
While weather might be an issue tomorrow, I expect Travis and the Seminoles to put on an aerial show against the unproven Boston College secondary.
Should the weather flare up, the ground-and-pound method provides a path for the cover against a weak Eagles rush defense.
Look for the Florida State defense to keep the Eagles in check in a result similar to last week’s stomping of Southern Miss.
I recommend laying the 25.5 and playing this to 26.5.
If you want to add some juice to this play, you could make a same-game parlay with the over 48 or better. I think that’s an overreaction in the market based on how Saturday’s weather forecast is looking.
Louisville vs. Indiana
I like the Hoosiers to hang tough here on a neutral field against a Louisville team we still don’t know a ton about.
Tom Allen announced that Tayven Jackson will officially be the full-time starter after rotating with Brendan Sorsby for the first two weeks of the season.
Jackson’s mobility gives this offense a much higher upside, and there should be some added continuity and cohesiveness now that the rest of the locker room knows who their quarterback is.
On the other side of the ball, the Indiana defense is starting to play like it did under Allen in 2019 and 2020. The Hoosiers are stopping the run and forcing turnovers and held the explosive Ohio State receivers in check for much of the game in the opener.
Louisville may be 2-0, but this is a team that gave up 488 total yards of offense to Georgia Tech and is largely unproven with a new staff and a lot of portal movement.
I’ll gladly back the Hoosiers catching double-digits in a game I believe they have a chance of winning outright.