Friday College Football Betting: Odds & Picks for UVA-Miami, 2 More Games
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Herbert
After the most forgettable weeknight college football slate of the season, Friday night should pack a little more intrigue.
Miami hosts UVA as a surprising short favorite, while Oregon brings its suddenly-stellar defense to a meeting with Colorado. Sandwiched in between, New Mexico State and Colorado State square off.
How are we betting each game? Let’s dive in.
Friday College Football Odds & Picks
Odds as of Friday at 8 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Virginia vs. Miami Odds
- Spread: Miami -2.5
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
The No. 20 team in the country, an underdog against a 2-3 team with its only wins coming over Central Michigan and Bethune Cookman?
Yep, that’s what we’ve got Friday night, and our power ratings actually agree. There’s no such thing as a “trap” line set by oddsmakers — if there were, market movers and sharp bettors would obliterate the correct side.
Miami will look to get back in the ACC Coastal race when it hosts Virginia as a short favorite.
How are we betting this defensive slugfest? Let’s dive in.
Market Report for UVA-Miami
This will undoubtedly be the most heavily-bet game Friday night, and most of those bets are ending up on the same side. Virginia has taken in 68% of bets, and while that’s predictable given its ranking, you wouldn’t know it based on line movement.
The 32% of bettors on the Canes have been convincing enough to send this line from -1 to -2, and even -2.5 in some spots.
As for the total, it’s been the under drawing a majority of bettors and an even bigger majority of actual money. Sixty-two percent of tickets generating 87% of the loot has dropped this number from 46.5 to 43. — Danny Donahue
Stuckey: Reasons to Bet the Total
Why has Miami been such a dumpster fire to start the year? Well, it all starts with its offensive line, which has been an absolute disaster. It ranks…
- 130th in sacks allowed (25)
- 130th in passing down sack rate
- 129th in sack rate
- 123rd in tackles for loss allowed (45)
That’s not ideal going up against a Virginia team that brings pressure from all over. Virginia’s defense ranks…
- Second in the nation with 4.8 sacks per game
- First in hurries (93)
- First in QB pressures (130)
- Top 5 in passing down sack rate
The story is pretty similar for Virginia on offense — although not as drastic. UVA’s offensive line also has major issues, which the Miami defensive front (the strongest unit on the team) can certainly exploit.
The Hoos rank outside the top 100 in almost all of the same categories I mentioned that the Miami OL struggles with and they’ll be facing a Miami defense that excels at getting into opposing backfields.
How will either consistently move the ball through the air? I’m not sure. Plus, these are also two top 10 run defenses.
Unless we see a bunch of turnovers and/or special teams scores, I fancy this under 45 in what should be a hotly contested defensive battle. The scrambling ability of both Perry and Perkins might be each team’s best offense.
And if they get down to the redzone, both offenses have issues. We also have a matchup of two snails as both teams play super slow, especially Virginia, which finished 125th in Adjusted Pace last season.
Both squads don’t have the most reliable kickers in college football. And after an absolute disaster in the punting game last season when the Hurricanes finished DEAD LAST out of 130 teams in punt efficiency, their new Aussie punter has been much better this year. Miami ranks in the top 40 nationally with a 40+ net yards per punt average. Virginia ranks in the middle of the pack but has only allowed 1 punt return yard.
Give me the under 45 in a game that should be dominated by both defensive fronts. I’d play down to current number of 44. — Stuckey
Stuckey’s Pick: Under 45 or better
Collin: Miami’s Offense…Better Than You Think?
A quick peek of the havoc rankings for Virginia and Miami can be interpreted in only one way — there will be blood. The Hurricanes and Cavaliers both rank top 25 in defensive havoc, while each offense ranks in the bottom 20 in havoc allowed.
These teams have combined for 16 offensive fumbles and 79 tackles for loss allowed. There is plenty of reason to believe Bryce Perkins, Jarren Williams, N’Kosi Perry and even Tate Martell — whoever is under center for Miami — may be in constant state of scramble during this game. Each offensive line ranks outside the top 100 in sack rate.
Perry was announced on Wednesday as the starter. The sophomore quarterback looked better than he did in 2018 with 422 yards and four touchdowns against Virginia Tech. Even in a loss to the Hokies, the Hurricanes racked up 285 more yards through the air. That is the stat that comes into play against the Cavaliers.
With games against Florida State, Notre Dame and Pitt, the Virginia defense has yet to face a passing attack like Miami, as strange as that sounds. The Hurricanes are 11th in passing yards per game and rank 12th in the nation in receptions of 20 yards or greater despite a porous offensive line.
As much as I express my displeasure with former Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos, the Miami coordinator has improved the Hurricanes offense from a 2018 rank of 95th in passing plays over 20 yards.
While the Virginia front seven continues to create havoc and lock down rushing attacks, it’s the deep ball that has been kryptonite for the Cavaliers. Miami generated explosiveness on 13% of passes, leading the ACC so far this season. Virginia has one of the lowest ranks in defending pass explosiveness in conference.
In a game that should be close, look for any moneyline around -130.
Pick: Miami ML (-130)
Colorado State at New Mexico Betting Odds
- Spread: Colorado State -3.5
- Over/Under: 66.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
While many bettors are probably looking past this game, the line movement suggests that there’s still been enough action to keep oddsmakers on their toes.
After opening this game at around Colorado State -4, sportsbooks dropped this line to an even field goal on Wednesday. It has since ticked back up to -3.5 behind 57% of the bets.
The total has seen some up-and-down — or more accurately, down-and-up — action since opening. After an initial fall from 66.5 down to 65, 40% of bettors accounting for 65% of money have brought this number right back up to its opener. — Danny Donahue
All market information current as of 10:45 p.m. ET.
Collin Wilson: How to Play What Should Be an Ugly Game
There’s nothing quite like betting on two teams with a combined record of 1-7.
A look at the advanced stats for both of these teams tells you everything you need to know.
Colorado State and New Mexico rank 127th and 128th, respectively, in turnover margin combining for -15 in net turnovers over the past month. The Lobos sit 127th in red zone scoring percentage, 105th in punt return yards and 103rd in penalty yards.
The Rams aren’t much better, ranking dead last in opponent kickoff return yards, 105th in punt return yards and 112th in opponent red zone scoring percentage.
The one thing that Colorado State does have going for it is the passing game, led by quarterback Patrick O’Brien. The junior took over signal-calling duties after the Arkansas game and has inspired an explosive passing attack, even ranking inside the top-10 in the number of passes over 40 yards.
That’s a recipe for success against New Mexico, which ranks 129th in preventing passes over 20 yards.
While both teams have plenty of deficiencies, New Mexico’s horrendous numbers against the pass should make the difference. The Action Network Projections make this spread Colorado State -7, so there’s value on the Rams going against a team that has covered just once in its last 10 home games.
The Under is also worth a look as both of these teams struggle with turnovers, finishing drives and on special teams. Our projections call for this Over/Under to be at 54.5.
The Pick: Colorado State -3, Under 66.5
Colorado vs. Oregon Odds
- Odds: Oregon -21
- Over/Under: 59.5
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
Oregon has an NFL-caliber quarterback under center, but it’s actually been the Ducks defense that’s carried them. They’re 4-1 to the under so far this season, giving up a total of 22 points in their last four, and face a normally explosive Colorado offense that will be without its best player on Friday.
Can you back Oregon as a big favorite? Our analysts are split on this one.
It’s rare to see a ranked team getting the minority of bets against an unranked opponent, but give public bettors a 3-touchdown spread and they’re going to think twice about laying those points.
That’s what’s happened here, as Colorado (now +21) is drawing 56% of bettors. Even with that support, though, the number has risen from its opener of 20.5 thanks to 75% of actual money landing on the Ducks.
The over has also been a popular landing spot for both bets and dollars, attracting 77% and a whopping 95%, respectively. As a result, this number has moved up from 57 to 59. — Danny Donahue
Collin: First Real Test for Oregon D
The Oregon offense had one of the worst first halves of football against Cal in Week 6. The Ducks drive log read interception, fumble, fumble, punt and missed field goal.
But they went to the locker room with no points and trailing a Cal team that had a backup quarterback under center, and shut out the Bears in the second half while putting up 17 of their own.
The Ducks defense has been stellar in 2019 under new coordinator Andy Avalos, limiting Cal to just 256 total yards with two interceptions. Oregon now ranks eighth in defensive havoc and fifth in yards per play allowed.
Laviska Shenault continues to be sidelined with an injury, taking away the best offensive weapon for Colorado. Quarterback Steven Montez still found six different receivers for multiple receptions against Arizona, specifically Tony Brown for 141 yards on 10 catches. Colorado continues to have marginal success through the air, but one of the highest rates of explosive passing in the Pac-12.
Oregon’s defense is posting the best success rate numbers against the run and pass, allowing less than 30% of passing plays to grade successful.
But this will be the toughest task for the Oregon defense as Auburn, Stanford, Cal and Nevada have offenses outside the top 50.
Our Action Network projections make the Ducks -16, giving value to the current +20.5 and +21 throughout the market.
There should be steam on the Ducks heading into this game. Wait for a 21 to take Colorado, and look for the Ducks defense to get their first test. — Collin Wilson
Collin’s Pick: Colorado +20.5 or better
Stuckey: Why I Like the Ducks
I have to disagree with Collin here and we might have another Friday night head-to-head between us.
The Oregon defense is absolutely rolling. New coordinator Andy Avalos has this unit playing at a level we are not used to seeing in the Pac-12.
The Ducks have allowed one touchdown in four games since their opener against Auburn. They’re allowing 2.9 yards per rush (top 20) and 5.0 yards per pass (top 5).
And they’re one of only six teams to allow fewer than 4.0 yards per play overall, joining Clemson, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State and Missouri in that exclusive club.
This also sets up as a huge day for Oregon’s passing offense, which has been somewhat held back so far this season, primarily due to the fact that the defense has played so well.
Herbert finally got two of his primary receivers back last week in Brenden Schooler and Mycah Pittman, which you should start to see.
They didn’t do much last week but it was their first game back and against an excellent Cal defense. That will not be the case this week; in fact, quite the opposite.
While Oregon is only allowing 3.9 yards per play, Colorado is almost three full yards higher at 6.8. That’s 122nd in the country. Its 9.5 yards per pass attempt allowed is among the five worst marks in all of college football. Just last week, Arizona threw for over 400 yards last week in a win in Boulder.
Colorado has allowed 23 passes of 20-plus yards (113th in the nation) and it’s one of only five teams in the nation to allow 5 or more completions of at least 50 yards.
This Colorado defense is beyond bad. Even in its season opening 52-31 win over Colorado State, it was out-gained 505-475.
And it’s not all Mel Tucker’s fault. This defense has been decimated by injuries. DL Jalen Sami and safety Mikial Onu (their best player by far in the secondary, who has caused six turnovers) went down against Arizona. That’s after already previously losing three opening day starters on defense.
They even had a guy who was competing for quarterback during camp in at safety against Arizona in a close game. It’s a mess.
And if most of those guys are out this week (in addition to Shenault), Oregon should name it here and I’ll be on the Ducks at anything -21 or better.
The Oregon offense should shred this helpless Colorado defense and the Oregon defense should continue doing what it’s been doing with a very versatile and complex scheme that’s on a roll.
Stuckey’s Pick: Oregon -21 or better