College Football Best Bets: Our Staff’s Picks for Saturday Night, Including UCLA vs. Stanford
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Quarterback Anthony Brown (13) and the Oregon Ducks.
- Two Pac-12 games, Indiana traveling on the road to Western Kentucky and Buffalo vs. ODU spotlights Saturday evening in college football.
- Anthony Brown, CJ Verdell and No. 3 Oregon are in action at 10:30 p.m. ET
- Our staff has their best bets for all four games, including two from UCLA vs. Stanford.
Saturday college football is truly a glorious all-day affair. And the perfect way to cap a day of football is by betting on Pac-12 After Dark and other late-night action.
The Week 4 college football evening kickoff window includes No. 24 UCLA on the rebound facing Stanford, Buffalo vs. Old Dominion, Indiana squaring off vs. Western Kentucky and No. 3 Oregon hosting Arizona.
Pitching a heater and want to keep the dice rolling? Still chasing break-even after your midday parlay flopped? Our staff has you covered with their best bets for four games on Saturday night — including two ways to bet UCLA vs. Stanford at 6 p.m. ET.
Use the table below in order to navigate through the page and find your favorite potential wager.
Check out our Saturday College Football Best Bets for Each Kickoff Window:
Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 4
Our Top Picks for Saturday Night
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for games kicking off at 6 p.m. ET or later. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific pick 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.
No. 24 UCLA vs. Stanford
By Doug Ziefel
This is a spot in which we get to capitalize on two major things: market overreaction and injuries.
The Bruins are coming off a stunning upset at the hands of Fresno State. The upset was certainly no fluke, as Jake Haener torched the Bruins for 455 yards.
Though, what has gotten overshadowed is another ultra-efficient performance by the Bruins offense. Dorian Thompson-Robinson averaged over 11 yards per completion and chipped in 67 yards rushing.
The Bruins showed why they rank sixth in the nation in red-zone efficiency, as they scored five touchdowns while possessing the ball for only 19 minutes.
The second major factor in this game is the pile of injuries the Cardinal have coming into it. They are going to be missing three running backs, including lead back Austin Jones. An offense that ranks 107th in yards per play and 122nd in rushing yards is without its best weapon.
Then, on the defensive side of the ball, one of their leading tacklers in safety Noah Williams has been ruled out. Joining him are starting cornerbacks Ethan Bonner and Zahran Manley.
The Cardinal defense, which ranks 116th in yards per play, will have a depleted secondary to contest against an improving DTR.
This line holds tremendous value at 4.5. Our PRO Projections make this a 7-point game, and with the number of injuries on the Stanford sideline, the Bruins are capable of winning this by double digits.
Pick: UCLA -4
By Shawn Burns
The Bruins and Cardinals face off in a matchup that could go a long way in deciding who participates in the Pac-12 Championship game in December.
Stanford has had UCLA’s number, winning 12 out of the past 13 games between the rivals.
UCLA suffered its first loss to Fresno State last week. The Bruins were double-digit favorites, but anyone who has watched Fresno State this season knew this would be a competitive game.
The strength of UCLA is its elite rushing attack that averages 194 yards per game and over five yards per carry. Overall, the Bruins average 40 points per game and 6.9 yards per play.
Since Tanner McKee was named the starting quarterback for the Cardinal, Stanford has been a different team with impressive wins over USC and Vanderbilt. The offense has taken off with McKee under center as Stanford has scored over 40 points the past two games.
The Cardinal are dealing with multiple injuries at the running back position, so expect even more pass attempts for McKee, who has seven total touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. UCLA can strike quickly, and Stanford will need to throw the ball to keep up.
Both teams seem to have the upper hand in what they would like to do offensively.
Stanford will need to throw the ball, while UCLA has been poor against the pass. The Bruins want to run the ball, and Stanford has struggled against the run.
Last season’s game saw a combined 95 points scored, and this has the makings of another high-scoring affair.
Pick: Over 58.5
Buffalo vs. Old Dominion
The Buffalo Bulls enter the weekend ranked No. 1 in the country in Success Rate on offense. They run the ball great with a committee of Kevin Marks, Dylan McDuffie and Ron Cook Jr., who all are averaging over four yards per carry.
Quarterback Kyle Vantrease is in his sixth season in Buffalo and continues to be as efficient as they come. He is never asked to do too much but has completed 60% of his passes for 7.3 yards per attempt in his career.
Buffalo sits third in Passing Success Rate this year and will have no problem moving the ball on Old Dominion.
The Monarchs opted out of the 2020 and had one of the worst offenses in the country the year before.
I like new head coach Ricky Rahne a lot, but this is still a team in transition. It flexed on Hampton two weeks ago but managed just 201 total yards of offense last week against Liberty.
Old Dominion’s offense line gives up a ton of pressure, and Taylor Riggins and this Buffalo front seven will create Havoc all day. DJ Mack has struggled at quarterback, and the Bulls defense is second in the country in Passing Success rate this year.
Don’t expect Old Dominion to be able to move the ball on Buffalo’s defense. But the Bulls offense continues to have success with its balanced and efficient attack. This one could be a blowout.
Pick: Buffalo -13.5
Indiana vs. Western Kentucky
The Houston Baptist offensive migration to Bowling Green is working, and it’s working well. Western Kentucky currently leads the nation in passing yards while ranking sixth in yards per play and fourth in points.
Meanwhile, after coming off a disappointing loss to Cincinnati, the Hoosiers defense is outside the top 50 in every ranking except passing yards allowed, which they rank 31st.
Saturday night is expected to be the biggest crowd at Houchens Industries-LT Smith Stadium since Western played Vanderbilt in 2016, a game Western lost in overtime, 31-30.
I am hesitant to bet the spread or the total, as Indiana has played some tough competition against Iowa and Cincinnati.
This will be Western’s first game against a Power Five opponent this year, but I have no doubt that this offense and Bailey Zappe will be able to put up points against Indiana.
Through three games, the Hoosiers have limited only Idaho to fewer than 30 points, The Hilltoppers have scored at least 30 in both of their games so far.
I can see this game quickly becoming a shootout, and I would bet the Western team total up to 28 (-110).
Zappe Hour starts at 8 p.m. Don’t be late.
Pick: Western Kentucky Team Total Over 26.5 (-122)
Arizona vs. No. 3 Oregon
It’s always the right time to fade the worst Power Five program in the nation. Arizona is two years away from being bad — that’s how much work this roster needs.
The Wildcats just lost to Northern Arizona for the first time in program history and haven’t cracked 20 points this season.
Oregon, meanwhile, is playing its best football since the Mariota era and has the kind of depth to keep scoring in the second half when it turns to their second- and third-stringers.
Ty Thompson, Oregon’s backup quarterback, is going to get a lot of work in this game. The 2020-21 Arizona Gatorade Football Player of the Year, just lit up Stony Brook in mop-up duty with two touchdown passes on just nine attempts. Expect more of that in the second half.
Arizona will be lucky to survive this matchup due to its patchy offensive line. It’s allowed 10 sacks in three games (113th) and 27 TFLs (121st).
Oregon is primed to take advantage of that and could be welcoming back future NFL millionaire Kayvon Thibodeaux. According to beat reporters out in Eugene, the Ducks’ superstar edge rusher is “really close” to being back.
In this series, Arizona has been a real pest when the teams meet up in Tucson, winning three of the last five outright in the desert. This includes ruining Oregon’s title chances in ‘07 and ‘13.
But when the series moves up north, Oregon has dominated, with victory margins of 28, 20, 49 and 19 in their last four victories over the Wildcats at Autzen. It covered all four numbers in those spots, and it will run away with this on Saturday night.