College Football Betting Guide: Friday 10/16/20

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.

SMU vs. Tulane

Tulane +6.5: 4 Stars out of 5
Tulane +190: 2 Stars out of 5
Under 64.5: 2 Stars out of 5

Tulane are off to a decent start this season at 2-2 with an offense averaging 37 points per game. They split three-point games against South Alabama and Navy followed by a blowout win over Southern Mississippi and then a blowout loss to Houston.

On the flip side, SMU has gone 4-0 to start the year with wins over Texas State, North Texas, Stephen F. Austin (FCS) and Memphis. SMU is averaging 42 points per game against FBS competition, but they did play one-score games with Texas State and Memphis, so they are far from invincible.

Our projections have this as a 30.97-28.51 SMU victory. So while we give SMU a 58.5% chance to win, our projected margin of victory is much smaller than the 6.5-point spread. We give Tulane a 68.62% chance to cover, which is our best bet of the night, and we give the under a 60.99% chance, making that a two-star betting option. And if you want to stomach some risk, we don't mind taking Tulane to win at +190.

Houston vs. BYU

Houston +5.5: 1 Star out of 5

BYU was dominant in their opening three games this season, winning by an average margin of slightly more than 41 points. However, the Cougars came down to Earth in their last outing, winning by only seven points last week against UTSA, putting a slight damper on their hype this season.

Now BYU faces a Houston team that has had their early schedule derailed by COVID, and Houston played their first game just last Thursday against Tulane, which ended up being a 49-31 victory.

Houston looked a little rusty, as they lost the turnover battle 5-0, but they still managed to win by three scores. With a game under their belt, Houston should play better and make fewer mistakes, which could pose a difficult challenge for BYU on Friday night.

Our projections have a BYU victory at 68.3% likelihood, but we give Houston a small edge to cover the 5.5-point spread. We give Houston a 53.17% chance to cover, making this a one-star bet.