College Football Betting Guide: Thursday 9/10/20

College football is back and the Miami Hurricanes will become the first Power Five team to get into action when they face the UAB Blazers this Thursday.

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, the spread, or the moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting for any given game. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300. Here are the best bets for this weekend with guidance from our model. All advanced statistics are courtesy of the S&P individual team statistical profiles, except where noted.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

UAB vs Miami (FL)

Under 54.5 Points: 4 Stars out of 5

UAB was a defensive-oriented team last season, as they conceded only 21.8 points per game, good enough to make them the 25th-best scoring defense in the country. The Blazers pair this strong defense with a lackluster offense, which ranked 97th in points per game last season.

The Blazers return 18 of their starters from last season, so they should figure to expect similar results to last season. Last year, only 2 out of their 14 games finished with more than 54 points, and none finished with more than 55 total(!). This trend did not hold true in UAB’s season-opener last week against Central Arkansas, but it’s hard to put much stock in that game, considering it was against an FCS opponent.

Miami’s scoring statistics were almost identical to UAB’s last season, with the Hurricanes finishing 26th in scoring defense 99th in scoring offense. Miami has yet to play a game this season, but only 3 of their 13 games from last year finished with more than 54.5 total points.

Our projections like a low-scoring game in this one, with the point total coming in at 45.44. We give a 69.67% likelihood of this game finishing with less than 54.5 points, making this a strong four-star bet for Thursday night.

Miami (FL) -13.5: 2 Stars out of 5

As we established above, Miami and UAB were extremely similar in terms of scoring last season. However, Miami was doing so against much more difficult competition. UAB went 6-2 in conference and 1-0 against FCS opponents, but despite a good season, they were blown up in some of their biggest games.

UAB played one Power 5 team last year and lost 30-7 against a relatively mediocre Tennessee team. Then they proceeded to get blown out in their conference championship against Florida Atlantic (49-6), as well as in their bowl game against Appalachian State (31-17).

UAB lost by 14 or more in all three of these big games, and while Miami is not a great team (6-7 last season), the Hurricanes are certainly much more highly-touted than the Blazers are.

Our models project a 30.22-15.12 Miami victory, giving them a 57.17% chance to cover the spread of 13.5. Although the under seems like the best play of the night, Miami to cover at 13.5 also provides some potential value.