College Football Week 10 Best Bets: Our Top 5 Picks to Open Saturday’s Slate, Featuring Missouri vs. Georgia
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Davis (99) of the Georgia Bulldogs.
College Football Best Bets for Week 10
Welcome to Week 10 of the college football season.
Here at The Action Network, we love all kinds of football — air raid offenses, Big Ten slugfests, Hawaii island games at midnight ET, and of course — service academy showdowns.
That’s very apparent judging by our top bets for Saturday’s opening slate of games. Four of our betting experts are targeting the Army vs. Air Force matchup at 11:30 a.m. ET.
One of our bettors is backing a trend that has recorded a winning percentage of over 81% since 2005, while three others have identified a side that holds value with the point spread under a field goal.
Then after that game kicks off, we’ll head to Athens, GA for Missouri vs. No. 1 Georgia, where we see betting value on that SEC total.
Our Staff’s Top 5 Picks for Saturday’s Openers
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting for games kicking off at or before noon ET. 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.|
Army vs. Air Force
Air Force -2.5
Army and Air Force meet at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, to meet for a battle between service academies.
Both teams enter this game off a bye week, not that either needs more time to prepare for the option offense.
Last year, the Black Knights won the battle, 10-7, thanks to a handful of Air Force errors. The Falcons missed two field goals to go along with three interceptions in that game.
This season, Air Force owns the 11th-best scoring defense, which has allowed 17 points per game against FBS opponents.
The Falcons have already faced a handful of run-heavy offenses such as Navy, FAU, New Mexico, Wyoming, Boise State, and San Diego State. Air Force held those opponents to an average of 95 yards rushing and 3.5 yards per carry.
Army enters this game on a three-game skid, most recently allowing 70 points to Wake Forest. The defense has allowed 28 points and proven to be vulnerable after allowing 378 rushing yards and seven touchdowns over the last two weeks.
The Falcons offense owns a significant advantage in creating Havoc, Explosiveness, and Finishing Drives over the Army defense.
Air Force bounced back after its loss to Utah State earlier in the season, dominating FAU, 31-7. I anticipate a similar effort for the Falcons coming off their second loss of the season.
Pick: Air Force -2.5
Air Force -2.5
Obviously, I love the under here because this is America and these are two Service Academies. A man has to have principles.
But I think the best bet here is actually on Air Force to cover the -2.5. We know these two teams will pretty much exclusively run the ball with the triple option.
Well, the Falcons do that better than the Black Knights. Air Force has the No. 1 rushing offense in the country, racking up 318.4 yards per game on the ground. It averages five yards per carry and leads the nation with 28 rushing touchdowns.
Quarterback Haaziq Daniels and running back Brad Roberts are an unbelievable duo. Daniels is averaging 71.8 yards per game with nine touchdowns, and Roberts has gone for 105.6 yards per game with eight scores.
Air Force is the eighth-best run blocking team, per Pro Football Focus, and will be able to move the ball against an Army defense that is 40th at defending the run and 71st in tackling.
The Falcons rank 14th in Rushing Success rate on defense and ninth in tackling. They held the Navy triple option to just 36 rushing yards and a 16% Success Rate.
With a win over Navy already under its belt, a win over Army would clinch the Commander in Chief Trophy for Air Force for the first time since 2016. Play the Falcons at -3 or better.
Pick: Air Force -2.5
Air Force -2.5
Army and Air Force are squaring off Saturday morning at a neutral site in Arlington, Texas. This is the 56th meeting all-time between the two service academies and only the fourth time at a neutral location.
The neutral location should offer an advantage to the offenses, as both programs’ home fields are tough places to play. Playing in Texas should neutralize weather, travel and altitude issues that can be a factor in West Point and Colorado Springs.
Air Force leads the all-time series, 37-17-1. Army won the last meeting between the two schools, 10-7, at Michie Stadium in West Point.
Army and Air Force are the top two rushing attacks in the nation. Air Force is leading the nation in rushing yards per game at 318.4, and Army is second in the nation at 312.3 yards per game.
A first derivative of the run-heavy attacks is time of possession, and unsurprisingly, both programs are in the top two in time of possession.
While both of these stat lines would lead you to believe that the under should be in play, these teams have a penchant for finding the end zone relative to seasons past.
Army ranks 30th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging almost 35 points per game. Air Force sits 66th in the nation in the same metric, scoring 29.3 points per game.
Defensively, Army has been extremely porous. It ranks 79th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 27.7 points per game, whereas Air Force has an excellent defense, giving up only 16.8 points per game.
Air Force will not have a problem putting up points against an Army defense that has had a problem keeping points off the board this year. The Black Knights have seen a role reversal this season, moving to more of a scoring offense and less of a defensive stalwart.
However, the Air Force defense will be able to stifle the Army run game and score enough to secure the cover.
My model projects the Air Force at 6.1-point favorites in this game. Lay the 2.5 points, and play this at better than a field goal.
Pick: Air Force -2.5
By Shawn Burns
Both academies are coming off a bye week and have had ample time to prepare for this unique and intense rivalry. When military academies face off, you know you are going to get hard-nosed, physical football, and this one should be more of the same.
Air Force has the No. 1 rushing attack in the nation, while Army isn’t far behind at No. 2. Both average more than 300 yards per game and are the top-two teams in the country in time of possession. Air Force and Army run the ball on well over 80% of their offensive snaps, so we can expect long drives and a fast-moving game with the clock running constantly.
This season, the Army defense has struggled mightily against Western Kentucky and Wake Forest who have two of the most explosive offenses in the country. Air Force runs a completely different style of offense, so the Knights won’t have to face the same type of threat with the passing game.
Both defenses have experience and are comfortable playing against run-oriented schemes and specifically the triple-option. They play against the option each week in practice and are very familiar with the defensive concepts.
The under has hit seven straight between these teams and I expect another low-scoring, but extremely entertaining, game to kick off another great Saturday of college football.
Pick: Under 37.5
Missouri vs. Georgia
By CJ Vogel
Sixty points in a game involving Georgia’s defense is simply too many.
Off the bat however, Missouri is very successful when it comes to punching the ball into the end zone when in the red zone. In fact, it ranks fourth in the country this year when converting red-zone trips into points.
But how often will the Tigers trek down the field to reach Georgia’s 20-yard line? I don’t see it being very many.
Georgia is currently second in the country in yards per game allowed through the air at just a hair over 150.0 yards per game.
With only three passing touchdowns allowed this season, it’s going to be very tough sledding for a Mizzou offense that is snuggled inside the top 25 in the important passing statistics this year.
If best-on-best is Missouri’s strategy to move the ball down the field, it’s going to be a long afternoon. Georgia’s defense will not be allowing more than 20 points in this game, and I don’t see the Bulldogs offense having enough firepower to muster 40 points or more of its own.
Now, Georgia scored 21 points in less than two minutes of game time last week against Florida, but the odds of that happening once more are slim. I like the under here.