College Football Betting Guide: Thursday 10/21/21

SMU looks to continue their undefeated season against Tulane on Thursday. What betting spots stand out on the slate?

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.

Note: 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.

UL Lafayette vs Arkansas State

UL Lafayette -17.5: 4 Stars out of 5

Louisiana-Lafayette is coming off an amazing 10-1 season where they finished the year ranked 15th in the final AP Poll. This year they are off to another strong start at 5-1; their only loss came on the road against Texas in Week 1.

The Rain Cajuns just defeated a tough Appalachian State squad 41-13 last week, so they seem to be hitting their stride. They face a 1-5 Arkansas State team that has yet to defeat an FBS opponent. The Red Wolves have given up an average of 51.8 points per game against FBS competition and have statistically the worst defense in all of college football, so they are certainly susceptible to a blowout.

Our model gives Lafayette a 67.47% chance to cover the betting line, and we like this as a 4-star bet for Thursday night.

Tulane vs SMU

Over 70.5: 4 Stars out of 5

Southern Methodist is 6-0 and they have been an offensive powerhouse this season, averaging 40.67 points per game. They face a weak Tulane defense that is giving up 40.17 points per game, so there is certainly an opportunity for SMU to run up the score.

Although Tulane is a terrible defensive team, they have been more than competent offensively, averaging 32.83 points per game. Four of their first six games have gone over the 70.5 point total, so they have been no stranger to offensive slugfests early this season.

Our model gives over a 71.14% chance of hitting, making it a 4-star betting option for Thursday.

San Jose State vs UNLV

UNLV +4.5: 2 Stars out of 5

Nevada-Las Vegas is 0-6 to start the season, but 3 of those losses came against teams that have been ranked inside the top-25 poll this season. If we look at their other games, UNLV lost by two in overtime to Eastern Washington (FCS), lost by seven to Texas-San Antonio, and lost by four last week to Utah State. The Rebels are close to breaking through, and they are not quite as bad as you would expect a winless team to be.

San Jose State is 3-4 to start the season but only 2-4 against the FBS. The Spartans' FBS wins were a 17-13 victory over Hawaii and a 37-31 win over the 1-6 New Mexico State Aggies. The Spartans have not impressed much this season, and this figures to be a very close game despite the disparity in records between these Mountain West foes.

Our model gives UNLV a 57.27% chance to win, and that is good for a two-star bet.