College Football Odds & Picks: Our Saturday Night Best Bets, Including Baylor vs. BYU
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Shapen (Baylor)
- The slate is winding down, but that doesn't mean the betting has to stop.
- There's still plenty of college football left to be plaid tonight and our analysts have found betting value in the late games.
- Continue reading to see our staff's three best bets for the late-night slate.
If you’re a consist follower of our college football content here at the Action Network, then you know we’re not stopping after the 7 p.m. ET games kick off.
Below, our staff dives into two games and provides three best bets for the late-night college football slate, including Baylor vs. BYU.
To those of you who’ve stumbled upon this column ahead of schedule, check out our three other staff best bets articles for Saturday’s games:
Saturday Night College Football Best Bets for Week 2
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one 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. BYU
Editor’s Note: ESPN is reporting that WRs Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney won’t play vs. Baylor due to injuries on Saturday.
The question with BYU is how much of the offense and defense was left off of tape in preparation for Baylor.
Wide receiver Gunner Romney was held out of play, while fellow receiver Puka Nacua received just one target against the Bulls. Both Nacua and Romney are listed on the depth chart for Baylor and would add an even more explosive element than what was on display against South Florida.
No new update on #BYU WR Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney from OC Aaron Roderick.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) September 7, 2022
Al Walcott replaces star linebacker and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jalen Pitre. Albany had the most offensive success targeting Walcott in passing attempts, and BYU and Jaren Hall are expected to follow the same plan.
BYU’s defense also played coy in the opener, playing a non-aggressive base that allowed defenders to react after South Florida exposed the play. Although Jeff Grimes knows the BYU defense inside and out, expect Kalani Sitake to have held a few wrinkles of blitz and coverage schemes off of film.
This is a BYU team that traveled to Florida and endured multiple hours of lightning delays before routing the home team.
Now back at home with elevation as an advantage, Baylor must leave the state of Texas. The Bears struggled in Big 12 games away from Waco, suffering two losses and minimal offense in a victory over Kansas State.
Baylor lost most of the back seven heading into this season, returning less than 50% of pass breakups. Look for BYU to avoid Baylor’s defensive line and aim straight for the back seven in a preview of a future Big 12 Conference matchup.
Pick: BYU -4 or Better
I’ve planted my flag for BYU’s offense, fresh off taking the Cougars over the total vs. South Florida in Week 1. I’ll do it again, despite the team down wide receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney.
This is still a unit rife with experience where it matters: at quarterback and in the trenches.
Jaren Hall’s still operating behind one of the most underrated offensive lines in the country, which returned north of 90% of snaps from 2021.
Without Nacua and Romney, in come a couple of tight ends in Isaac Rex and Dallin Holker, who both have NFL potential.
One of the hot angles against BYU last weekend was the humidity in South Florida. All the program did was take the trek to Tampa in the single-worst barometric pressure of any game Saturday, without its starting No. 2 WR, and still hung 50 with ease in the opener.
This is an offense on a mission, and I’ve yet to mention transfer running back Christopher Brooks, who totaled 135 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown against the Bulls.
I still value Dave Aranda’s defensive ties to Baylor, but his Bears lost more than 77% of their pressures from last year’s unit.
The offense, meanwhile, is a buy for me with Blake Shapen running the show.
The number’s dropping with Nacua and Romney, but I thought 55 was initially a fair price, assuming the former was playing.
I’m not going to call it a complete overadjustment, but as someone who’s endorsed the Cougars offense as much as I have, I’ll still play the over in what should be an electric home atmosphere.
Pick: Over 53.5
Oregon State vs. Fresno State
Back to the Beaver well we go after a successful Week 1 pick with the Beavs handling Boise State from start to finish.
Oregon State should have success once again this week against another Mountain West foe as a short favorite.
The Beavers’ defense forced five turnovers against Hank Bachmeier and the Broncos offense and pretty much dominated in the trenches from start to finish.
Second-year quarterback Chance Nolan looked a lot more comfortable running the offense and was quick with his reads and getting the ball out early.
As long as Nolan takes care of the ball on the road in Fresno, OSU should be able to lean on its ground game and move the ball up and down the field.
While Jake Haener and the Bulldogs’ offense will be a step up from what the Beavers saw last week, I love the physicality that Oregon State is starting to play with under Jonathan Smith.
It’s never easy going on the road for the first time, but give me the Beavers to move to 2-0 with a second victory over the upper echelon of the Mountain West.