College Football Betting Guide: Saturday 9/19/20

We are still not fully back in the swing of things in Week 3, as the ACC and Big 12 are still the only Power 5 conferences to have games. However, there is a primetime matchup between two ranked teams this Saturday. Plus, the Big Ten announced that they’ll begin their season in late October and finish in time for teams be considered for the College Football Playoff. So despite the lackluster game slate, bettors have plenty to be excited about.

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.

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

Miami Hurricanes vs. Louisville Cardinals

Under 64.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

The main Saturday night game gives us a matchup of a top defensive team in Miami (projected 20th in defensive FEI rating per Football Outsiders) and a top offensive team in Louisville (projected 19th in offensive FEI rating).

Last Thursday, the Hurricanes held UAB to just 285 points en route to an easy win, earning them a spot in the AP poll this week. Meanwhile, the Cardinals crushed Western Kentucky last Saturday behind quarterback Malik Cunningham’s four total touchdowns.

Miami has two top pass rushing NFL prospects in Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche. While Rousseau decided to opt out of the season due to COVID-19, Roche had a sack in the game against UAB. The Hurricanes were third in sack rate last year per Football Outsiders, while Louisville was just 125th in sack rate on offense.

Bettors should take advantage of this massive mismatch by betting the game will stay under the total. Roche and company might not have enough to win the game, but they could make it relatively low scoring with Cunningham under pressure often.

Our model projects the score to stay under 64.5 with 70.76% likelihood, netting bettors a 35.10% return.

Central Florida Knights vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Central Florida -7.5: 5 Star Rating out of 5

We got burned last week when Florida State failed to cover and was ultimately upset by the Yellow Jackets, but bettors shouldn’t be fooled. UCF is potentially the best non-Power 5 conference team this year, and they rank 28th in the FEI projections this year. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, needed to recover two fumbles in order to slide past the Seminoles last Saturday, 16-13.

Central Florida returns their starting quarterback from a year ago, Dillon Gabriel, who is only a sophomore but threw for 29 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions in his freshman season. The Knights bring back most of their other skill position players, who along with Gabriel, led UCF to finish second in total yards per game last year behind only champion LSU. Georgia Tech gave up 32.4 points per game during their 2019 season, so they’ll have their hands full on Saturday afternoon.

Our model gives Central Florida a 72.72% probability of covering the 7.5-point spread against the Jackets. Although that number is on the wrong side of 7 for Knights backers, UCF is projected to hang 38 points on Georgia Tech’s lackluster defense. Bettors should hopefully have an easy afternoon as Central Florida looks to start their season on a high.