Saturday College Football Betting Picks: Our Favorite Bets for Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh & Louisville vs. Miami (Sept. 19)
Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: DeeJay Dallas (13).
- Looking for last-minute college football bets for Saturday? Our staff has you covered with two best bets and 11 individual betting guides for Week 3's slate of games.
- Below, you'll find two of our favorite betting positions this weekend, plus links to many of our most actionable articles to help you bet the Saturday card.
Editors Note: The Baylor vs. Houston game planned for 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX has been postponed. As a result, two of our staff’s best bets recommendations for that game have been removed.
The college football slates continue to grow in both size and magnitude of importance as we inch ever closer to the SEC’s conference restart next weekend.
The Week 3 slate of games on tap features a ton of opportunities to sweat out close spreads in compelling matchups. Our college football staff has you covered with picks from the following games on Saturday’s Week 3 slate:
Saturday College Football Best Bets
Check out our other betting guides for Week 3’s games to help you build a wall-to-wall betting card from start to finish:
Our Bettor’s Suite of Game Guides & Resources for College Football Week 3
Check out our new CFB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.
- The Action Network College Football Betting Power Ratings (updated for Week 3)
- Projected Odds for Every Week 3 College Football Game
- College Football Rankings: AP Poll Top 25 vs. Our Power Ratings
- Collin Wilson’s Five Favorite Bets for College Football Week 3
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson’s Favorite Week 3 Moneyline Underdogs
- 12:00 p.m. ET | (11) Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Georgia State vs. (19) Louisiana-Lafayette
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Western Kentucky vs. Liberty
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Tulane vs. Navy
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Duke vs. Boston College
- 3:30 p.m. ET | Georgia Tech vs. (14) UCF
- 3:30 p.m. ET | Marshall vs. (23) Appalachian State
- 6:00 p.m. ET | North Texas vs. SMU
- 8:00 p.m. ET | NC State vs. Wake Forest
Odds below are as of Friday afternoon.
Darin Gardner: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Under 50.5
- Odds available at FanDuel [Bet Now]
- Kickoff Time: 12 p.m. ET
Syracuse is going to have a long day here with Pittsburgh as a three-touchdown favorite. In their first game of the season a week ago against UNC, the Orange achieved a success rate of only 18%. On passing downs, their success rate dropped all the way down to 9%.
Quarterback Tommy Devito could only generate 3.6 yards per attempt and completed only 41.6% of his passes. This offensive performance comes off a 2019 season when Syracuse ranked 119th in offensive success rate (36%) and ranked 92nd in points per play.
At the root of their struggles is the offensive line. The Orange ranked 126th in sack rate a year ago, and judging by their seven sacks allowed against UNC, we can expect them to really struggle in that area again this season.
If you have a struggling offensive line, one of the last teams you want to run into is Pittsburgh. The Panthers’ strength is on the defensive line, and they ranked sixth in the nation in sack rate and success rate a year ago.
I expect Pitt to live in the Syracuse backfield all game long, and I can’t see the Orange generating any kind of efficiency on offense.
But, I’m also not convinced that Pitt can pull their own weight to get this game over the total. The Panthers’ 2019 offense ranked 100th in success rate, 112th in points per play, 110th in explosiveness, and 124th in finishing drives inside the 40-yard line.
My projections have this total at 47.51, so I’ll happily snag the under here.
BJ Cunningham: Miami (+114) vs. Louisville
- Odds available at Draftkings [Bet Now]
- Kickoff Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Miami opened up its season with a convincing win over a really good UAB team. The Hurricanes ran the ball for 337 yards and 6.5 yards per attempt against the No. 2-ranked defense in rushing success last season.
There were a lot of questions coming into the season about Miami’s offensive line, which was one of the worst in the ACC last year. However, the Hurricanes did bring back all five starters from last year, and they seem to have improved drastically during the offseason.
Louisville was horrible against the run in 2019, ranking 101st in defensive rushing success and 115th in defensive rushing explosiveness. In fact, the Cardinals allowed 6.32 yards per carry over their final seven games in 2019. The Cardinals return only one starter on their defensive line, so if Miami can repeat the performance they displayed against UAB on Saturday night, Louisville’s defense is going to have a tough time stopping Miami’s running attack.
D’Eriq King coming over from Houston has completely revitalized the Hurricanes offense that took a step back in 2019. King is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. He sat out most of the 2019 season, but in 2018 he threw for 38 touchdowns and ran for 14 more. He now has even more talent around him at Miami, so the sky’s the limit for this Hurricanes offense.
Scott Satterfield changed the culture in Louisville last season by winning eight games when most pundits projected the Cardinals to finish below .500. Satterfield’s offense was perhaps the most explosive in all of college football, ranking ninth in rushing explosiveness and first in passing explosiveness.
They continued that explosive offense against Western Kentucky last weekend, gaining 6.76 yards per play. However, they’ll have a tough matchup against one of the best front-seven units in the ACC.
Miami has maybe the best pass rushing tandem in the country with Gregory Rosseau and Quincy Roche. Rousseau was second to only Chase Young in sacks last year, and Roche is an All-American transfer from Temple who piled up 13 sacks in 2019. Those two will be in the backfield all night long against a weak Louisville offensive line.
Micale Cunningham is a legit dual-threat quarterback and was one of the most efficient passers in the country last season, averaging 11.2 yards per attempt. However, he did only complete 62.4% of his passes, so he’ll need to improve that number in order to buoy Louisville’s consistency in 2020.
The Cardinals also bring back their freshman phenom running back Javian Hawkins, who ran for 1,525 yards last season. However, Hawkins was held in check against the Hilltoppers last Saturday gaining only 3.7 yards per carry. Louisville’s offensive success is going to be on Cunningham’s shoulders Saturday, but I think he’s going to have a long night against Miami’s defensive line.
To be frank, I don’t think the Cardinals should be favored in this game. I think Miami will be able to run the ball all night long against the Cardinal’s weak run defense. The Hurricanes should control the tempo, keeping Louisville’s explosive offense off the field.
I have Miami projected at -4.87 in this game, so I think there is plenty of value on their moneyline of +114.