College Football Odds, Best Bets: 3 Picks for Saturday Night, Featuring Tulsa vs. Cincinnati & Wyoming vs. San Jose State
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Cincinnati Bearcats
- It's been a great Saturday full of college football so far, but it's not over yet.
- Our staff has three more best bets for tonight's college football games, including picks for Tulsa vs. Cincinnati and San Jose State vs. Wyoming.
- Check out all three best bets for Saturday night below.
While the nation's attention will be focused on No. 10 NC State vs. No. 5 Clemson, or LSU vs. Auburn, or No. 1 Georgia vs. Missouri, our staff is targeting the best value for Saturday's college football Week 5 night slate.
Our experts have zeroed in on three under-the-radar affairs for this window of games, so dive in below to see how they are betting these matchups.
Saturday Night's Week 5 College Football Best Bets
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.|
Liberty vs. Old Dominion
This total was heavily influenced by Liberty’s woeful offensive performance last week against Akron. The Flames mustered just 21 points and 309 total yards.
But they did that with a third-string quarterback (Johnathan Bennett) who was totally overwhelmed.
Bennett returns to the bench this weekend, and the future of the program, at quarterback at least, is back to run Hugh Freeze’s up-tempo system.
That player is Kaidon Salter, a four-star QB who signed with Tennessee out of high school. Salter was the 2020 Sports Illustrated Texas HS QB of the Year, and a track-and-field star to boot.
His athletic prowess is reminiscent of Malik Willis, although he doesn’t have quite as live of an arm as the Tennessee Titans quarterback.
Nonetheless, he can make this offense sing, as he did against Wake Forest two weeks ago. Liberty nearly upset the Demon Deacons, scoring 36 points in Winston-Salem.
On the ODU side of things, a slow start last week gave way to a massive second half in which it scored 29 points in the final 30 minutes against Arkansas State.
Both offenses are capable of scoring 42 points on their own in this game, and given Old Dominion’s issues in the running game (Blake Watson may be out again), I could see the Monarchs abandoning the ground game altogether.
That would be ideal for this over because Hayden Wolff and Ali Jennings III are one of the best duos in the Group of Five. Wolff has posted a 7:1 TD-INT ratio in his last three games, and Jennings III is fourth nationally in yards per reception (23.3).
Both offenses — now that Salter is a “go” on Saturday — have a chance to light up the scoreboard.
Also, don’t worry about the weather conditions in Norfolk. Light winds and zero rain is the current forecast, as of publication.
Pick: Over 42.5 (Play to 45)
Cincinnati vs. Tulsa
By Cody Goggin
Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin has been fantastic this season. He is averaging 0.50 EPA per drop back and has led the Tulsa offense to the 15th-best Passing Success Rate in the country.
Last week, against an Ole Miss defense that is ranked 15th by SP+, Tulsa had a 96th-percentile Offensive Success Rate.
Cincinnati’s defense has been tough, but its weakness has been stopping the pass. In fact, it ranks 92nd in Success Rate against the pass.
Bearcats quarterback Ben Bryant has been good in his own right, as Cincinnati’s offense ranks 29th in Passing Success Rate and 17th overall.
Cincinnati passes at the 12th-highest rate in the country and will be facing a Tulsa defense that ranks 112th against the pass and 111th overall.
Both of these teams have gone over their team totals in every game, and between the two teams, their games are 7-1 to the over with the only under coming in Tulsa’s 35-27 loss to Ole Miss.
These two teams can score in bunches, and I would expect some fireworks on Saturday night. If all breaks right, the home underdog could pull off a massive upset, as well.
Pick: Over 58.5 (Play to 62.5)
San Jose State vs. Wyoming
These teams have two different perceptions after a month of play that I believe are creating value for the road favorite Spartans.
San Jose State relied on the transfer portal to fill multiple holes on the roster, including quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who transferred in from fellow Mountain West foe Hawaii.
Last year, Cordeiro had one of the best games of his career in Laramie against these same Pokes. He threw for over 300 yards and ran for 86 yards with four total touchdowns.
As you see often with transfer-reliant teams, San Jose State struggled in its opener with FCS Portland State, needing a late score to avoid the upset.
However, the Spartans looked much better in the following game on the road at Auburn. They actually led at the half in a game where Cordeiro threw for over 300 yards.
Things continued trending in the right direction last week in a dominant 34-6 victory over Western Michigan.
Speaking of the transfer portal, no other team lost more to it than Wyoming. The Cowboys had one of the worst offseason TARP numbers, resulting in one of the least-experienced teams in FBS.
Given all of the turnover, Wyoming has exceeded expectations. But it's also been quite fortunate in a pair of comeback three-point victories over Tulsa (in double OT) and a shorthanded Air Force team that had a 70% post-game win expectancy.
Digging into Wyoming's statistical profiles, the Pokes have major issues on defense. They rank 130th in tackling and aren't generating any Havoc or pass rush. Additionally, they rank outside the top 100 in coverage, signaling a big day for Cordeiro and his very talented receiver room.
Meanwhile, the experienced Spartans defense — which filled the few departed players with some promising transfers — has especially excelled in keeping opponents out of the end zone. They've allowed only 2.7 points on 15 opponent trips into scoring position.
Their very strong defensive line should control the line of scrimmage against a limited Wyoming offense en route to a conference road victory for a Spartans team trending in the right direction.