College Football Betting Guide: Saturday 10/3/20

The college football slate seems to improve each week as fans can look forward to two huge SEC matchups on Saturday. Texas A&M travels to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama in the late afternoon slot and Georgia will be tested at home against Auburn in primetime. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be much value in the Georgia-Auburn game. However, there are still plenty of interesting games for bettors as our model has targeted a bet on the Texas A&M-Alabama total and a couple Big 12 spreads.

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.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Longhorns

Texas -12.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

Texas sits atop the numberFire college football team rankings after two wins, including a victory in an overtime thriller against Texas Tech (currently second in our rankings). Quarterback Sam Ehlinger proved that he is amongst the best at the position, posting a QBR of 77.8 according to ESPN, ranking 12th in the country. The Longhorns appear to be the playoff frontrunner out of the Big 12 after an Oklahoma loss to Kansas State, but they have a solid opponent at home this week in TCU.

The Frogs have a pair of safeties that have a future playing on Sundays with Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington, both among the top 100 NFL prospects per CBS Sports. Ehlinger threw four picks in a loss to TCU last year, one each for Moehrig and Washington. However, the TCU defense looked subpar in a loss to Iowa State to begin their season. The Longhorns rank 5th in offense per SP+ while the Frogs are only 31st in defense.

Our model gives Texas a 67.40% probability to cover the two-score spread. While they seemed to take a step backward in 2019 after finishing second in the Big 12 and winning the Sugar Bowl in 2018, Texas is poised to contend for a playoff spot behind the play of Ehlinger and one of college football’s best offenses.

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Under 52.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

Alabama gave up over 300 yards of offense to Missouri last week, in which our model correctly predicted a cover by the Tigers. But, don’t be fooled -- the Tide’s defense has legitimate NFL talent and they should rank amongst the best in the country by the end of the season. Dylan Moses returns after missing the 2019 season with a knee injury, which should be a big boost for Alabama as Moses was a second-team All-American in 2018.

The Aggies didn’t play as well as expected in their opener, either, only narrowly beating Vanderbilt, 17-12. Texas A&M’s defense played relatively well, allowing 2.8 yards per rush and forcing two Commodore turnovers; the problem was they couldn’t pull away, turning the ball over three times themselves. Quarterback Kellen Mond is expected to lead Texas A&M to great offensive numbers, but as can be expected in a strange, shortened season by the coronavirus, the Aggies haven’t quite found their rhythm on offense yet.

Based on our model’s predictions, this game has a likelihood of 71.06% to stay under the total. This can be a competitive game if Mond shows up in midseason form, but the more likely outcome is that Alabama’s defense leads the Tide to a win as both offenses continue to find their rhythm.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State +7.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5

Bettors that followed our model’s predictions last week made money by fading Oklahoma against underdog Kansas State as the Wildcats pulled off an outright win. Now the Sooners travel to Ames to battle an upstart Iowa State team, led by quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy finished 2019 with a 71.2 QBR and has become one of the top NFL prospects at quarterback over the offseason. However, the Purdy and the Cyclones struggled in their opener at home against Louisiana, of all teams, and lost 31-14.

Iowa State may have been embarrassed in their first game, but Purdy improved on his accuracy that he lacked in the opener at TCU to pick up the win. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler threw three interceptions in their loss to Kansas State. If this game comes down to the quarterback battle, the Cyclones are the safe bet with a proven veteran.

Oklahoma is expected to beat Iowa State in a close one according to our model’s prediction, but the Cyclones have a probability of 63.89% to cover the spread. Bettors should confirm that the spread remains at 7.5 points when betting on Iowa State to stay above that key number of 7 -- check oddsFire to see which sportsbook has the best price.