College Football Odds & Picks: How To Bet San Diego State vs. Utah State, North Carolina vs. Virginia, More
Kent Horner/Getty Images. Pictured: The San Diego State Aztecs.
It’s been a long Saturday packed to the brim with college football. But it’s not over yet.
After pouring through the odds and stats, our college football experts have come up with picks in three more games to get bettors through the final Saturday night stretch. Because what’s a Saturday betting card without any late action?
If it’s early and you’re a little antsy setting your betting card up perfectly, check out all of our best bets for Saturday, sorted by kickoff time:
- 12:00 p.m. ET | “The Noons”
- 3:30 p.m. ET | “The Night Owl’s Nightcap”
- 7:00 p.m. ET | “The Evening Set”
This column focuses on “The Evening Set” and includes our staff’s three favorite bets for the late games, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Freely navigated among each of the three kickoff windows via the links below:
Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 9:
Check our top Saturday picks below, each of which comes from one of the following 10 games. Click any of the evening games below to navigate to a specific matchup. Alternatively, click on any of the other seven games among our staff’s best bets this week to navigate to our Noon or Afternoon Best Bets columns.
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Wake Forest vs. Syracuse
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Cincinnati vs. Memphis
- 12:00 p.m. ET | Georgia vs. Kentucky
- 3:30 p.m. ET | Rutgers vs. Indiana
- 3:30 p.m. ET | Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame
- 4:00 p.m. ET | Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
- 4:00 p.m. ET | Texas vs. Oklahoma State
- 7:00 p.m. ET | Charlotte vs. Duke
- 8:00 p.m. ET | North Carolina vs. Virginia
- 9:30 p.m. ET | San Diego State vs. Utah State
All odds have been updated as of Friday evening.
Charlotte +9.5 vs. Duke
|Charlotte Odds||+9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Duke Odds||-9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+270/-285 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||56 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||Charter Sports Southeast|
Charlotte makes the short trip over to Durham on Saturday for an in-state battle. The 49ers have been lighting up the scoreboard in their last two games, scoring 87 points and gaining 7.74 yards per play.
Chris Reynolds has backed up his stellar sophomore season, when he threw for 22 touchdowns, as he’s throwing the ball for 8.7 yards per attempt. The reason he’s been able to repeat those numbers is that his top three pass catchers from last season are back in 2020 and have already combined for 38 catches and 532 yards through the first four games of the season.
The 49er offense will have a great matchup against a Blue Devils’ secondary that hasn’t been able to stop anybody, allowing 7.9 yards per attempt. Duke lost a lot of starters on the defensive side of the ball, especially up front and in its linebacking core. Reynolds and the Charlotte passing attack should be able to throw the ball all over the yard on Saturday.
Chase Brice has struggled since transferring from Clemson, throwing 11 interceptions compared to only six touchdowns while averaging only 6.3 yards per attempt.
The running game is also nowhere to be found; the Blue Devils are gaining a measly 3.8 yards per carry. Coach David Cutcliffe took over play-calling duties in the offseason, but so far, the Blue Devils haven’t seen any improvements, as they’re still near the bottom of college football in Offensive Success Rate. With both the run and pass game being stagnant, it’s possible they won’t find a way to keep up with Charlotte’s offense.
I only have Duke projected at -2.47 favorites at home, so I think there is plenty of value on the 49ers to cover 9.5 points on the road.
North Carolina -7 vs. Virginia
|North Carolina Odds||-7 [BET NOW]|
|Virginia Odds||+7 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-270/+215 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||61.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
North Carolina’s offense has been incredible this year, both in the passing game and the running game.
As a whole, the offense ranks ninth in EPA per play and sixth in Success Rate. Quarterback Sam Howell ranks 13th in the country in EPA per pass attempt. While the offense has been successful on a per-play basis, it has been able to consistently hit explosive plays as well. The Tar Heels rank sixth nationally in percentage of plays that gain 20+ yards (10.1%), and they move up to fourth if only teams that have played more than one game are included.
Virginia’s offense, meanwhile, is on the other end of the spectrum. It ranks 70th in EPA, and quarterback Brennan Armstrong ranks fifth-worst in EPA per pass attempt among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts. In its last four games, Virginia has only put up 20.3 points per game.
On the defensive side, North Carolina has outperformed Virginia this year.
The Tar Heels rank 33rd in EPA per play, while Virginia ranks 64th. The teams are actually posting nearly identical Success Rates on defense, but Virginia has been much more vulnerable against explosive plays. It’s allowing the sixth-most 20+ yard gains per play at a 9.9% clip. The Cavaliers also rank 88th in yards per pass attempt allowed, which could be problematic against one of the best passing offenses in the country.
I project North Carolina as an 11.4-point favorite even with a two-point home-field advantage for Virginia, so there’s a good bit of value on this line, in my opinion.
San Diego State at Utah State Over 43.5
|San Diego State Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Utah State Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||286-/+220 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||43.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
San Diego State rushed for 287 yards on 46 carries and three touchdowns last week, toppling UNLV, 34-6.
It averaged 6.2 yards per carry behind its veteran offensive line. The Aztecs didn’t look to pass much after building an early lead behind the ground attack but still registered one score through the air. The Aztecs are averaging 0.31 Predicted Points Added (PPA) per play, which ranks third in their conference.
The Aztec defense was stalwart, allowing only six points in the first matchup of the season against a rebuilding UNLV offense. After one game, the defense is exhibiting shutdown capabilities, allowing -0.03 PPA per play defensively. This puts it in first place in the Mountain West.
Utah State had a tough opening week matchup against Boise State, losing to the Broncos, 42-13. The Aggies scored twice on the ground and were held to under 100 yards through the air as they replaced quarterback Jordan Love after losing him to the Green Bay Packers in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Utah State put up an offensive PPA per play of -0.01. Defensively, the Aggies found it difficult to contain Boise State’s aerial attack, allowing three scores through the air. They also gave up two touchdowns on the ground. The Aggies have a defensive PPA per play of 0.36, which puts them at second-to-last in the Mountain West after the first week.
The Aztecs are committed to the ground game and will continue to leverage that as their game plan this week as they travel to elevation. The Aggies faced a solid Boise State team for the first game of the season and found a way to put up two scores on the ground. Both teams should be able to improve from their first games of the season and find more rhythm passing the ball to supplement their running games. The expected improvement makes 43.5 points too low for the total.