College Football Betting Guide: Friday 12/18/20

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.

UAB vs. Marshall

Marshall -4.5: 3 Stars out of 5

Marshall had their game canceled last week, so they have had two weeks to stew over their disastrous 20-0 loss to Rice, which dropped them to 7-1 on the season. However, overall Marshall are 4-1 in the conference, and they have won their other four conference games by an average of 20.25 points.

Alabama-Birmingham is having a solid 5-3 season, with a 3-1 conference record, and they are coming off a 21-16 win against the aforementioned Owls. But Rice is the only opponent UAB has played since Halloween, so it is difficult to gauge exactly where they are as a team.

Our model projects a fairly easy Marshall victory, predicting a final score of 28.07-18.25. We give the Thundering Herd a 64.31% chance to cover the spread, making this a three-star bet.

Oregon vs. USC

Oregon +3.5: 2 Stars out of 5

Southern California has started off 5-0, and they have done it with tremendous offensive play. The Trojans are averaging 35.4 points per game this season, and starting quarterback Kedon Slovis has thrown for at least 264 yards in each contest.

Oregon is another high-powered offensive team, as the Ducks are averaging 34.2 points per game. Oregon is only 3-2 on the season, but the two losses came by a combined seven points, so they still need to be respected as a quality Pac-12 opponent.

Our model does not see much separating these two sides, but we do give USC a very slight edge, projecting a 30.69-30.03 USC win. However, we like Oregon at +3.5, giving them a 59.94% chance to cover.

Ball State vs. Buffalo

Under 67.5: 5 Stars out of 5

Buffalo has been one of the most prolific college football offenses this season, as they are averaging an astounding 51.8 points in five conference games. Star running back Jaret Patterson has already ran for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he is averaging slightly better than 8.2 yards per carry.

Ball State will provide Buffalo a strong test, as the Cardinals are 5-1 on the season, having won five consecutive games. Their defense is solid, averaging 27.5 points against on the year, and with the game total being so high, they should be able to help keep the number a little lower than Buffalo is used to.

Our model projects a 33.62-22.94 win for Buffalo, resulting in a total of 56.56 points. This is way under the actual game total of 67.5, and we give the under a 73.49% chance of hitting, making this our best bet for Friday night.