College Football Betting Guide: Saturday 11/14/20

The coronavirus has rendered Week 11 a disappointment, as it’s been the reason for a number of postponements or cancellations, most notably games involving Alabama, Ohio State, and Texas A&M. However, although there aren’t any marquee matchups this week, there are a couple that popped out in our model’s projections as having betting value.

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. Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech -1.5: 3-Star Rating out of 5

It may be odd to see a top-10 team as an underdog to a squad that just lost to Liberty, but then again, 2020 has been an odd year. Virginia Tech couldn’t hold off Liberty’s upset bid last weekend, and they fell to 4-3. Meanwhile, Miami survived N.C. State to win their third straight game since losing to Clemson.

These teams aren’t as far apart as one might expect based on their records. The Hokies have had one of the nation’s best rushing attacks this season thanks to Khalil Herbert, who has averaged 8.4 yards per carry on 96 attempts. Miami has a solid defense (ranked 22nd in SP+ per ESPN), but they have allowed 148 rushing yards per game.

Virginia Tech has the best matchup advantage with Herbert and the offense, and both teams are missing their best defensive players (Caleb Farley for Virginia Tech, Gregory Rousseau for Miami) because they opted out before the season started. Both defenses have suffered as a result, so the Hokies’ offensive advantage could play a huge part in this game.

Our model gives Virginia Tech a 64.13% probability to cover the short spread, which would net bettors a return of 22.40%. The betting stats on this game from oddsFire imply that Virginia Tech is a sharp bet this week. Miami is receiving 76% of the bets but only 56% of the money, which tells us that there are some large bets on the Hokies, which are typically made by professional bettors.

California Golden Bears vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State -3.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5

The Sun Devils lost a heartbreaker last week against USC as ESPN’s win probability chart shows Arizona State had a 99.9% chance to beat the Trojans with 3:05 left on the clock. USC was down 13 points at that point with a 4th-and-13, but they scored on the play, recovered an onside kick, and scored on the play after the recovery to make the score 28-27. The Devils definitely blew it, but they showed that they might be a better team than expected, albeit in a one-game sample.

California has yet to play this season, so we don't know how they'll respond to certain matchup advantages. We do know that Arizona State excelled in the running game but faltered in the passing game on both offense and defense. Quarterback Jayden Daniels is arguably the best quarterback in the conference not named Kedon Slovis, as he was selected to the preseason all-conference second team, but he’s much better at running the ball than throwing it. Daniels is the key to a Sun Devils victory against the Bears, who only rank 68th in SP+ on defense.

If Arizona State can bunker down on defense, they should be able to win handily at home, and let bettors rest easy late Saturday night. The Devils have a 68.07% probability to cover, according to our model, which would net bettors a 30.00% return.