College Football Odds & Picks: Our 4 Best Bets for Today’s Noon Kickoffs, Including Texas vs. Texas Tech (September 25)
Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Texas Longhorns football team.
- College football Saturday is finally here.
- Our staff is celebrating by betting the whole slate, and it kicks off with our four favorite picks for Saturday's noon games.
- Check out all of our top picks for the day's earliest kickoff window, complete with breakdowns, below.
Following a Week 3 schedule that was mostly subpar — other than a dramatic game in Happy Valley and Alabama’s scare at The Swamp — the Week 4 slate improves with two ranked duels and the beginning of conference play for many programs.
Regardless of the matchups, college football Saturdays are always a good time to open the wallet and attempt to hit the pay window.
We begin with four games kicking off at noon ET as No. 2 Georgia travels to Vanderbilt, No. 12 Notre Dame takes on No. 18 Wisconsin, Miami (OH) tries to slow down Army’s triple-option attack and Texas hosts Texas Tech in an in-state rivalry game.
Our betting experts preview each of those four games and offer their best bets below. As usual, use the table to successfully navigate to what showdown intrigues you most.
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’s Noon ET Kickoffs
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for games kicking off at noon ET. 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. 2 Georgia vs. Vanderbilt
Everything points to a run-heavy approach for Georgia, which is laying 35.5 points on the road at Vanderbilt.
Head coach Kirby Smart earlier this week acknowledged the passing game’s well ahead of the rushing attack. The least likely scenario would be chucking the ball all over the yard and complicating the playbook with meaningful games against Arkansas and Auburn on deck.
The Bulldogs have a plethora of talented backs who have yet to get going this season. The best remedy is a Vanderbilt club that’s allowing the second-most yards per carry (6.8) among Power Five defenses this season.
Although Daniels has gone over this total in four of his six career starts at Georgia, this is far and away the most meaningless. Backup Stetson Bennett should see action as early as the third quarter.
Pick: J.T. Daniels under 295.5 passing yards
No. 12 Notre Dame vs. No. 18 Wisconsin
By Alex Hinton
Despite having one of the best running backs in the country in Kyren Williams, Notre Dame has been unable to get anything going on the ground this season. The Fighting Irish rank 124th in Rushing Success Rate and 122nd in Line Yards.
Part of the issues stem from a rebuilt offensive line that replaced four starters from last season and is without starting left Blake Fisher for the foreseeable future with a knee injury.
The Fighting Irish also rank 116th in Havoc allowed and 92nd in Finishing Drives.
Notre Dame will be going against a Wisconsin defense that is allowing 33 rushing yards per game, which ranks first in the country. The Badgers defense is also second in Rushing Success Rate, 24th in Havoc, 12th in Line Yards, 11th in big play percentage, and seventh in Finishing Drives.
Expect the Badgers defense to make things difficult on the Notre Dame offense, including old buddy quarterback Jack Coan.
Conversely, the Badgers have shown an inability to put the ball in the end zone, ranking 124th in Finishing Drives. Sure, the Badgers have only played two games so far and one of them was against Penn State, which has an excellent defense.
However, this is a problem that dates back to last season. In 2020, the Badgers averaged 25.1 PPG for the year but just 6.7 in its three losses.
New defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman has been under fire from Notre Dame fans so far, but his unit ranks 17th in Rushing Success Rate and 19th in tackling. Both of those will be key against a Wisconsin team that everyone knows wants to pound the rock.
The Badgers lack explosiveness on offense, ranking 120th in big play percentage and 110th in plays per minute.
The Badgers’ slow pace, along with all the other factors, should contribute to a low-scoring and physical battle. It would not surprise me if neither team scored 20 points.
Pick: Under 45.5 (-114)
Miami (OH) vs. Army
Two weeks ago, I played Army -6.5 against Western Kentucky, and it covered nearly the whole game until the final second. Pain.
This week, I’m taking it to cover by a touchdown again. Will lightning strike twice and burn me again? Not this time.
Army’s offense is pretty simple. It runs the ball, and it runs it well.
Quarterback Christian Anderson has only 10 passing attempts total in three games so far. With nearly four times more rushing attempts than passing attempts, Anderson has 195 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns on 43 carries going into this game.
Running the triple option, Army has a stack of talent in the backfield that can continuously burn teams as the game goes on. The trio of Tyrell Robinson, Anthony Adkins, and Jakobi Buchanan all have 100 rushing yards and over two touchdowns apiece.
You would think going against a team so heavily focused on one scheme on offense would be easy to plan for. Well, good luck with that Miami (OH). This is going to be a long day for your defense.
Going into this game, the RedHawk defense ranks 108th in Def. Line Yards, 115th in Def. Rush Success, and 129th in Def. Finishing Drives — near the bottom of the barrel in all categories that the Army offense looks to exploit.
My thought process is simple going into this game. Almost too simple. Army is going to do what it’s done all season and run the ball down Miami’s throat. Miami has not been able to stop a nosebleed all season.
The cherry on top is that if Army can get past the 40, it will put up points. Just like the rush defense, the RedHawks have not been able to stop opposing offenses past the 40.
As long as the Black Knight defense can get some stops, then this will be a run-heavy cover for us. I’d play this at -7 or better.
Pick: Army -7
Texas Tech vs. Texas
Texas Tech (3-0) will travel to Austin to face Texas (2-1) as it opens Big 12 play. This game will be nationally televised and an early affair for the two teams, kicking off at 11 a.m. local time.
The Red Raiders have been off to an excellent start this season, notching victories over Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Florida International. Texas Tech outscored opponents, 40.0-21.3. This ranks 26th in FBS scoring offense and 58th in FBS scoring defense.
Defense has been where Texas Tech has stood out early this season. It’s giving up only 290.3 yards per game this season, which ranks 29th in FBS total defense.
The Red Raiders’ five interceptions this season lead the Big 12 and ranks in the top 10 nationally. The defensive unit has been creating Havoc all season, ranking seventh in FBS through three games.
Sophomore running back Tahj Brooks has been enjoying an excellent start to the season, rushing for 284 yards on 35 carries and four touchdowns. Brooks has been keen on the big play, already amassing three runs of over 40 yards this season.
Junior quarterback Tyler Shough has also impressed this season, throwing for 804 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. The Oregon transfer has a passer rating of 170.79 and has been meshing well with his new team.
This will clearly be Texas Tech’s stiffest test this season, but it’s have shown it has what it takes to be a competitive team this season. When considering the five factors, the Red Raiders rank higher than the Longhorns in every metric except explosiveness.
I project this game as a pick‘em. Take the points.
Pick: Texas Tech +9.5 Risk: 2 units.
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