College Football Betting Guide: Friday 9/24/21
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.
UNLV vs Fresno State
UNLV +30.5: 5 Stars out of 5
Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) is off to a bad start this season at 0-3 but they have faced a difficult schedule, losing to ranked Power 5 schools in Arizona State and Iowa State the last two weeks. There is no doubt that UNLV is a bad football team, they went 0-6 last season as well, but the 30.5 point spread is still too large according to our model.
Last season, the Rebels went 0-6 but did not lose a game by more than 31 points all season. They only lost by more than 30.5 points once and they only lost to Fresno State by 13 points last year. This does not bode well for them in terms of winning outright on Friday, but it does show that the spread may be too large. Even this season, only one of UNLV’s three losses has come by more than 30.5 points and they only lost by 27 away to a ranked Arizona State team in Week 2.
Our model likes Fresno to win big of course, projecting a final score of 41.21-23.80. However, we give UNLV a 77.84% chance to cover the spread making this a 5-star bet for Friday.
Liberty vs Syracuse
Liberty -6.5: 4 Stars out of 5
Liberty is off to a 3-0 start this season and they are coming off a 10-1 season last year that included a 37-34 win over #12 Coastal Carolina. Liberty also beat Syracuse 38-21 and Virginia Tech Hokies 38-35 both on the road last season, so they had success against quality competition and Power Five programs.
Liberty returns all 11 starters on offense and nine starters on defense, so they should expect to be just as good, if not better than they were last season. They face a Syracuse team that is 2-1 this year with wins over Ohio and FCS opponent Albany, but they lost to Rutgers 17-7 in their only game against a Power Five team. Last season, Syracuse finished 1-10 and all but one of their losses were by seven points or more.
Our model gives Liberty a 68.64% chance to cover the spread and we like this as a 4-star bet.
Wake Forest vs Virginia
Wake Forest +4.5: 3 Stars out of 5
Wake Forest are 3-0 this season and while they have not faced great competition, they have dominated all of their opponents. The Demon Deacons are 3-0 with an average margin of victory of 26 points. Wake Forest returns 11 starters on offense and nine starters on defense from a team that went 4-5 last year, including a 40-23 victory over Virginia.
Virginia is also off to a good start this season at 2-1, with their only loss coming against #21 North Carolina. The Cavaliers have great success offensively, scoring 43, 42, and 39 points but their defense did allow 59 against North Carolina last weekend. Our model projects another high-scoring game and we essentially have this as a toss-up, giving Virginia the edge by a thin margin of 30.39-30.16.
We give Wake Forest a 63.9% chance to cover the spread, making this a 3-star bet for Friday night.