College Football Betting Guide: Saturday 10/24/20

Georgia blew a halftime lead against Alabama, and our picks ended up at 1-2 last week. The Big Ten is back this week, but there isn’t too much betting value in the conference’s biggest matchups, so we’ll look to bounce back with a pair of Big 12 matchups instead. Oklahoma State hopes to keep their conference lead against a tough opponent in Iowa State, while Texas looks to return to form at home against Baylor. Let’s see where the betting value is according to our model.

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.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State -3.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Big 12 has been all but eliminated from this year’s College Football Playoff race. Their best chance of getting in at this point in the season is our model’s second-ranked team, Oklahoma State. The Cowboys boast two of the nation’s premier offensive weapons in running back Chuba Hubbard and receiver Tylan Wallace. Hubbard and Wallace will both play on Sundays in the future, and they make Oklahoma State dangerous on offense, especially when freshman quarterback Shane Illingham (who is 13th in QBR, per ESPN) is playing well, too. The Cowboys had their best win of the season in their last game against Kansas, when Illingham threw for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Iowa State has great offensive players, too, as Brock Purdy has emerged as one of the best NFL prospects at quarterback. Purdy started off the season terribly, completing less than 48% of his passes in an upset loss to Louisiana before coming on strong in a three-game win streak that includes a win over Oklahoma. Both teams have the ability to score points, but the difference in this game could be Oklahoma State’s defense. The Cowboys have allowed only 274.3 yards per game so far, which is the sixth fewest in the country. Their balanced defense ranks second in both opponent points per drive and opponent available yards percentages of the teams that have played thus far, according to Football Outsiders.

Oklahoma State has a likelihood of 58.02% to cover the 3.5-point spread, according to our model. The Cowboys should manage to cover if they continue to fire on all cylinders, but bettors should shop around for spreads to get on the right side of key number three. The spreads and odds for this game at many of the major sportsbooks can be followed via our oddsFire tool.

Baylor Bears vs. Texas Longhorns

Baylor +9.5: 5-Star Rating out of 5

Texas has been one of the most disappointing teams this season, and they'll look to right the ship at home against Baylor on Saturday. However, the Bears have surprisingly been our model’s third best team through the two games they’ve played so far (two of their games have been postponed). Baylor crushed Kansas and then lost a close game to West Virginia, who have allowed the fewest yards per game on defense thus far.

The Longhorns have been losing games despite quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s best efforts as their defense has allowed more than 400 yards per game. The Bears’ defense has been much better, giving up only 336.5 yards per game in their short season. Baylor will have to exploit the Longhorns’ subpar defense to keep this game close. If they can get running back John Lovett -- who has averaged just 3.3 yards per carry -- going, they should have no problem covering this spread.

Our model loves this matchup for Baylor. We give them a projected probability of 76.39% to cover, which earns a five-star rating. The line opened at 10.0 and has gotten down to even 8.5 at some books with 68% of the money on Baylor, according to oddsFire, which could imply sharp money on the Bears.