Saturday College Football Odds & Picks: Collin Wilson’s Favorite Bets for LSU vs. Alabama, Coastal Carolina vs. BYU, Other Week 14 Games

Saturday College Football Odds & Picks: Collin Wilson’s Favorite Bets for LSU vs. Alabama, Coastal Carolina vs. BYU, Other Week 14 Games article feature image
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Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Najee Harris (22) and Grant Delpit (7).

  • Collin Wilson lays out his betting card for Week 14 of college football and explains how he’s betting a top-20 matchup and Alabama vs. LSU.
  • Check out all of Wilson's betting analysis and picks below.

Week 14 is here, and it’s already unlike anything we’ve seen in this particularly weird college football season.

Saturday’s slate features games of all kinds. For one, there’s the SEC matchup between historical powerhouses in Alabama and LSU. Then, there’s Saturday MACtion that includes games between two of the best teams in the conference and two of the worst in all of college football.

To cap it all off, undefeated Coastal Carolina will host fellow unbeaten BYU in what is essentially a College Football Playoff knockout game.

A number of those games made their way onto my betting card this week. Let’s enjoy this while we can, because it will be over before we know it.

Check out the Action Network Power Ratings for all Week 14 games and follow me on the Action App for the latest updates.



My College Football Betting Card for Week 14

Here’s a rundown of my favorite betting spots on Saturday’s slate of games:

Kickoff Time
Matchup
3:30 p.m. ET
#6 Florida vs. Tennessee
[CANCELED]
Buffalo vs. Ohio
5:30 p.m. ET
#13 BYU vs. #18 Coastal Carolina
8 p.m. ET
#1 Alabama vs. LSU

All listed odds have been updated as of Thursday afternoon and via DraftKings. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown 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.


CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Kickoff Time
Matchup
3:30 p.m. ET
#6 Florida vs. Tennessee
[CANCELED]
Buffalo vs. Ohio
5:30 p.m. ET
#13 BYU vs. #18 Coastal Carolina
8 p.m. ET
#1 Alabama vs. LSU

#6 Florida vs. Tennessee

Florida Odds -17.5 [BET NOW]
Tennessee Odds +17.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -770/+525 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 61.5 [BET NOW]
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV CBS
(Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images).

Florida Gators

While the Florida offense continues to blow opponents out, the defense came under the microscope in a Week 13 victory over Kentucky. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has struggled to build momentum on a defense that is 107th in pass coverage and 93rd in tackling. Before the final play of a 14-play, 87-yard Kentucky scoring drive, Mullen lit into Grantham.

Mullen sidestepped what the conversation was about, but the head coach knows he cannot beat Alabama with a defense that cannot get a stop. The Gators have posted four or more three-and-outs in just two games this season. Grantham will certainly look to keep the Tennessee scoring to a minimum.

The Kentucky game was business as usual for the Gators, as they gained 59% of available yards with a monster 66% Success Rate on standard downs. Quarterback Kyle Trask welcomed tight end Kyle Pitts back into the fold with seven targets for three touchdowns.


Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers have now lost five consecutive games, including two against Arkansas and Kentucky, by a combined 38 points. The job status of Jeremy Pruitt is in the balance of university finances and the appetite for hiring Hugh Freeze from Liberty. A victory over Florida would stave off the unemployment status for Pruitt, but the numbers may not be in favor of an upset.

Tennessee has been dreadful in downfield passing and putting points on the board. An Offensive Finishing Drives rank of 116th derives from an average 2.7 points per trip past the 40-yard line. Whether the quarterback has been Jarrett Guarantano or Harrison Bailey, the Volunteers rank 123rd in expected points in passing attempts. Tennessee has just one pass the entire season that has eclipsed 40 yards.

Betting Analysis & Pick


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Tennessee has come away victorious just once over its past 15 tries against Florida, covering just three of the past 10 in the series. That should not change in Week 14, as Florida ranks fourth in Passing Success Rate in contrast to the Tennessee defense that is 116th in Passing Success Rate.

There’s reason to believe that Tennessee may be able to find success running the ball, as the Gators are 107th in Defensive Rushing Success rate. The Volunteers sitting in the top 25 in Line Yards serves as a positive, although the end zone has eluded the team all season.

The biggest issue for Tennessee has been halftime adjustments. The Volunteers have won just one second half the entire season, a 14-6 output against Missouri. SEC coaches have done so well in adjustments at halftime that Tennessee has been outscored 108-14 through the five-game losing streak.

The hook on the full game spread for the Volunteers is appetizing, but the better bet is to take the Volunteers in the first half.

Pick: Tennessee +9.5 1H or better.

[Bet Tennessee 1H now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

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Kickoff Time
Matchup
3:30 p.m. ET
#6 Florida vs. Tennessee
[CANCELED]
Buffalo vs. Ohio
5:30 p.m. ET
#13 BYU vs. #18 Coastal Carolina
8 p.m. ET
#1 Alabama vs. LSU

#13 BYU vs. #18 Coastal Carolina

BYU Odds -10.5 [BET NOW]
Coastal Carolina Odds +10.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -335/+255 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 61.5 [BET NOW]
Time 5:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
(Photo Credit: Steven Branscombe/Getty Images).

For years, college football programs have been scheduling games more than a decade in advance. For instance, BYU is set to play Stanford in September 2035. But in this season, any game can happen at any time.

Not happy with their current placement in the College Football Playoff rankings, the BYU Cougars have been looking for opponents to help leave an impression on the committee. So, when Coastal Carolina’s original opponent for this weekend, Liberty, had to cancel their game due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Cougars started talking with the Chanticleers to schedule a game for this Saturday.

The AAC should certainly take note of this development. Cincinnati and Tulsa are scheduled to play a meaningless conference game before a rematch in the AAC Championship. If BYU is willing to travel across the country to South Carolina, certainly the Cougars would entertain the idea of playing Cincy at Nippert Stadium.

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BYU Cougars

BYU will take its 9-0 record to the East Coast. The Cougars’ schedule certainly looks strange, and non-believers would say too easy, but this unprecedented season has taken the old axiom of “You can only beat the team in front of you” to a whole new level.

The two closest games BYU played came in mid-October with a seven-point win over UTSA and a 17-point triumph over Houston. The skeptics would say those scores were too close, but both of those teams field Power Five talent.

BYU limited UTSA running back Sincere McCormick to just 42 rushing yards and held Houston wide receiver Marquez Stevenson to just a single catch on three targets.

The Cougars have allowed only one team (Houston) to score 21 points, and they’ve held six teams to 14 points or less. The offenses they’ve faced may not pass the sniff test, but there’s a lot to like about this unit. BYU is the 26th-best tackling team and ranks inside the top 15 in Finishing Drives, per Pro Football Focus.

It’s also worth noting that quarterback Zach Wilson has a very outside chance at winning the Heisman. The junior quarterback sits at +5000 to take home the award, but the advanced stats make a solid case for Wilson to be invited to New York for the ceremony. Wilson has 15 touchdowns against zero interceptions and boasts the top adjusted completion percentage in deep passing at 76.2%.

For comparison, Florida’s Kyle Trask and Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler rank right behind Wilson in adjusted completion percentage, but neither of them is above 66%.


Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Bravo to Coastal Carolina.

The Chanticleers could have stayed idle in Week 14 before heading to Troy in a warm-up for the Sun Belt Championship game on Dec. 19, but instead, they went searching for a challenge against the undefeated Cougars.

The Chants’ path to success begins with quarterback Grayson McCall. The true freshman leads an offense that ranks ninth in Passing Success Rate and 11th in pass explosiveness. Coastal is also the third-best offense in terms of third-down conversion rate and the 10th-best unit at Finishing Drives. The Chanticleers have scored 35 touchdowns in their 41 trips to the red zone this season.

Coastal’s defense has done its job, but it has not been as efficient as the offense. The Chanticleers rank 86th in Line Yards and 61st in Defensive Rushing Success Rate, so a good ground game can exploit Coastal Carolina.

In a three-point victory over Louisiana, the Chants allowed an average of 7.9 yards per carry on 30 attempts. More importantly, Louisiana has a Success Rate of 57% on running plays and 58% in standard downs. Appalachian State also gave Coastal Carolina a scare, as the Mountaineers posted a 63% Success Rate in standard downs and 58% in running attempts.


Betting Analysis & Pick


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As mentioned above, Coastal Carolina can be exposed against a strong ground attack that limits the Chanticleers’ possessions.

The Cougars boast one of the best rushing attacks in the nation, ranking 20th in Line yards and ninth in Offensive Rushing Success Rate. Tyler Allgeier averages 4.85 yards after contact, which should stand out against a defense that ranks 82nd in tackling.

BYU’s statistical profile also suggests that it can get big stops against McCall on third down. The Cougars rank inside the top 25 in third-down conversion rate, though they are middle of the pack with an average distance of 7.1 yards.  BYU should also provide a challenge if the Chants get inside the red zone, as the Cougars have allowed just nine red-zone touchdowns in nine games.

I think the stylistic and statistical matchup really favors BYU in this contest. Coastal runs the ball on 64% of its plays, and that plays right into the strengths of the Cougar defense. The opposite is true when BYU has the ball, as the Cougars’ ground game sets up well against Coastal’s leaky rush defense. Throw in a massive difference in special teams play, and the Cougars are the side to play in this College Football Playoff knockout game.

Pick: BYU -10 or better.

[Bet BYU now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Kickoff Time
Matchup
3:30 p.m. ET
#6 Florida vs. Tennessee
[CANCELED]
Buffalo vs. Ohio
5:30 p.m. ET
#13 BYU vs. #18 Coastal Carolina
8 p.m. ET
#1 Alabama vs. LSU

#1 Alabama vs. LSU

Alabama Odds -29 [BET NOW]
LSU Odds +29 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -5000/+1300 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 67 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV CBS
(Photo Credit: Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Alabama Crimson Tide

Even in the absence of head coach Nick Saban, Alabama prevented a late Auburn scramble from covering the spread in the Iron Bowl. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian did not miss a beat as the acting head coach, as the offense gained 59% of available yards and posted a 62% Success Rate on standard downs. Quarterback Mac Jones was Heisman-like in the pocket, throwing for over 300 yards with five touchdowns.

Saban was estimated to be worth two points to the spread, but most gamblers feel that his roots as a defensive coach were most beneficial to coordinator Pete Golding. The Crimson Tide defense turned up the heat on Bo Nix by forcing two interceptions and recording eight tackles for loss. Alabama is top-30 in defensive Havoc with a pass coverage rank of eighth, per Pro Football Focus.


LSU Tigers

The Tigers started the week with the news of their best wide receiver opting out of the season. Terrace Marshall Jr. was the highest-graded receiver on the team despite dropping seven passes on the season. The timing of the announcement was peculiar considering his locker room status as a team leader, specifically pulling the team together before its win over Arkansas.

Sloppy conditions against Texas A&M and constant poorly thrown passes may have helped Marshall in the decision to move on. Both TJ Finley and Max Johnson saw action at quarterback against the Aggies, as head coach Ed Orgeron cited poor conditions for the use of Johnson. With clear conditions against Alabama, Finley is expected to receive the start.

No matter who gets the call, the Tigers’ offense is a shade of the national championship team led by Joe Burrow and passing game coordinator Joe Brady. LSU ranks 115th in passing expected points and a staggering 85th in Offensive Finishing Drives.

Betting Analysis & Pick


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The LSU defense saw major improvements against Texas A&M. After allowing nine passes for 20 yards or more against Arkansas and Auburn, LSU allowed didn’t allow an explosive pass against the Aggies. Missed tackles plagued the Tigers all season, but the effort against Texas A&M saw just five the entire game. Of course, the previous teams were not Alabama, and the field conditions will not be a factor come Saturday.

During the LSU press conference on Monday, Orgeron repeated that the play-action pass was the go-to play for Sarkisian. The Tigers may scheme to keep defenders out of the box and prevent the explosive pass, but that could lead to a monster day from Tide running back Najee Harris.

LSU ranks 64th in Line Yards and 78th in tackling, but if the safeties begin to creep, Alabama will take advantage. Jones is the best play-action passer in all of FBS football with a completion percentage of 76% and an NFL rating that falls just below BYU’s Zach Wilson.

Alabama is going to be able to name its score while attempting to pitch a shutout defensively. Considering the ACC is shortening Notre Dame and Clemson’s regular season, the SEC may do the same for Alabama in preparation for the SEC Championship.

Pick: Alabama -17 1H or better | LSU Team Total Under 17

[Bet Alabama 1H and the LSU team total at FanDuel completely risk-free up to $1,000]


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[CANCELED] Buffalo vs. Ohio

(Photo Credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images).

Buffalo Bulls

One of the top stories in college football during Week 13 was running back Jaret Patterson’s rushing yards. The junior had 409 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in the Bulls’ 70-41 win against Kent State.

Unfortunately, Patterson came up just 18 yards short of tying the single-game rushing yardage record (427), originally set by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine in 2014. Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold simply did not know that Patterson was close to breaking multiple records before pulling him from the game.

The Bulls are one victory away from clinching the MAC East title, with victories over Kent State and Miami (OH). The Bulls’ 2020 season statistics have been astounding: The team averages 230 rushing yards per game, and Patterson has totaled 16 rushing touchdowns by himself — more than 31 other FBS team totals.

Despite all the offensive accolades, the Bulls defense has given up points. Kent State and Northern Illinois each posted 30 point efforts against the Bulls, with the Golden Flashes gaining 578 total yards. Opposing offenses have found success due to the Bulls’ poor grades in tackling (94th) and defensive pass explosiveness (92nd), per Pro Football Focus. Thankfully for Buffalo, no MAC offense has been able to keep up with Patterson.


Ohio Bobcats

A field goal loss to Central Michigan to open the MAC conference slate derailed what could have been an undefeated 2020-21 season for the Bobcats. With the departure of quarterback Nathan Rourke, Ohio was set to have a rebuilding year to replicate a MAC offense that has been successful for years.

Thanks to running back De’Montre Tuggle, the ground explosiveness is still a go-to weapon for the Bobcats. Tuggle now ranks top-10 in breakaway percentage among all FBS running backs with 40 carries or more.

The more interesting aspect of Frank Solich’s offense is the quarterback rotation of Kurtis Rourke and UNLV-transfer Armani Rogers. Rourke has been the primary passer throughout the season, but Rodgers’ breakaway speed in the run game has made a nasty one-two punch with Tuggle.

The Ohio defense has played much like former versions of the Bobcats, ranking outside the top 100 in Havoc and Line Yards. Nonetheless, Ohio’s eighth-place rank in defensive finishing drives illustrates how stingy Ohio has been up against the goal line. Opponents have posted just five touchdowns in nine red-zone attempts versus the Bobcats.


Betting Analysis & Pick


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Per The Action Network Power Ratings, the point spread is a tad inflated. The number did open at Buffalo by a touchdown as projected, but the number has moved to Ohio +11 throughout the week. This move is expected after Patterson’s near record-breaking Week 13 performance. The question remains whether or not the Ohio defense can stop a Buffalo offense that ranks second in momentum kills — the measure of offense interrupted — per Sport Source Analytics.

As mentioned earlier, Ohio does not have the best numbers defensively in the trenches. Throw in a tackling grade of 122nd, per PFF, and there is reason to believe that Patterson can run wild in Athens. Although the Ohio defense has great marks in Finishing Drives, Buffalo features an offense that can score from any field position on any down.

If there’s no resistance to the Buffalo ground game, is there an avenue for Ohio to keep up on the scoreboard? The Bobcats can’t compete with the Bulls in momentum kills. Ohio ranks 114th in that category, which is a result of one of the worst Sack Rates in FBS.

Frank Solich’s group has struggled on passing downs, posting a rank of 83rd in Success Rate and 75th in explosiveness. The Buffalo defense ranks 84th in standard downs Success Rate, meaning Ohio must gain the needed yards on first or second down to avoid momentum kills.

Per SportsInsights, Mother Nature may have her say in this game. The forecast for Peden Stadium includes rain and wind, which may leave two rush-heavy teams to exceed yearly ratios on ground attempts.



While Buffalo is the more competent team from an offensive perspective, neither defense is going to combat the rush explosiveness of Tuggle and Patterson. Our Pace Report puts this game at a total of 58, but there will be plenty of opportunities for both Ohio and Buffalo to put up a number of explosive touchdowns.

Pick: Over 58.5 or better.