College Football Betting Guide: Thursday 12/23/21

Florida and Central Florida provides an in-state matchup in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday. Which side of the game should you bet?

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.

Miami (OH) vs North Texas

Over 54.5: 5 Stars out of 5

Miami (OH) and North Texas both finished the year 6-6, and both programs finished the year strong. North Texas won their last 5 games to secure the bowl bid, capping it off with a surprising 45-23 win over previously undefeated Texas-San Antonio. Miami (OH) won four of their last six to earn their bowl bid.

Both teams are more than capable offensively. Miami averages 29.08 points per game, and the mark is 28.58 points per game for North Texas. Our model projects a Miami win by a final score of 34.80-28.38 for a total of 63.18 points. This puts our projected game total 8.68 points above the actual game total.

Our simulation model gives a 73.23% likelihood that the over cashes -- a five-star bet.

Central Florida vs Florida

Florida (-290): 1 Star out of 5

The Gasparilla Bowl provides an interesting in-state matchup between Florida and Central Florida. The Gators finished their season with a 24-21 win over rival Florida State to become bowl eligible, but at 6-6, they had a disappointing season overall. Central Florida also had a slightly disappointing season compared to what they’ve accomplished in recent years. They finished just 8-4.

These teams have one common opponent -- South Florida. The Gators did outperform Central Florida in this matchup as they defeated South Florida 42-20 away from home. Central Florida also defeated USF -- but only by a 17-13 final score in a home game.

Our model projects a 74.61% likelihood of Florida winning the game outright. Given the current odds of -290, we project an expected return of 0.30%. That's good for a one-star bet with no spread.