College Football Betting Guide: Friday 12/2/22
It's championship weekend in college football, and Friday could see one team effectively lock themselves into the College Football Playoff with a win in the Pac-12 title game.
However, we also have the MAC and Conference USA titles on the line Friday, and our model and I are in lockstep expecting a blowout in one.
Which lines should you back?
Note: All college football odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. Please check numberFire's model to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Texas-San Antonio -8.5 (-115) - 3 Stars
In C-USA, there's Texas-San Antonio, and then there's everyone else.
Led by dual-threat quarterback Frank Harris and senior wideout Zakhari Franklin, the Roadrunners were once again an elite offense this year, ranking 26th in FBS in yards per play (YPP). They're 16th in ESPN's SP+ ranks offensively and a sturdy 48th overall.
The Mean Green aren't as far behind as their 7-5 record would indicate. They actually hold the 20th-best defense in SP+ rankings, but the offense (99th) has been pretty dreadful.
North Texas beat UTSA last year, and they only lost 31-27 earlier this season. This line is at 8.5 points, which seems at first glance too high. That's why 52% of bets are on a team most of us haven't seen play a lot.
UTSA has hit its stride, though. They've put together their best point differential stretch in their past three games (+81 points), and our model believes they get revenge here. It believes the Roadrunners cover this lofty spread 64.9% of the time against these 53.0% implied odds.
Over 66.5 (-106) - 2 Stars
The Trojans can leave no doubt tonight.
Avenging the one loss of their 2022 season should effectively lock them into the College Football Playoff as Pac-12 champions. USC and Utah clashed in a wild 43-42 affair earlier this season in Salt Lake City, but it was the Utes -- with 48 seconds left -- that went for two to end the Trojans' perfect season.
On paper, both of these teams have two stellar offenses routinely let down by their defense, which makes the over a fine bet here.
USC is second in FBS in YPP behind quarterback Caleb Williams, who is a lock for this year's Heisman Trophy should they win this game. Williams' willingness and ability to scramble behind the line of scrimmage and throw from different angles is about as unstoppable as it is with Patrick Mahomes in the NFL.
Utah, though, is a respectable 19th in that same category. They're also led by a more conventional dual-threat quarterback in Cam Rising. Senior tight end Dalton Kincaid is his security blanket in the middle, and he posted 234 yards against USC back in October
Both of these defenses are outside the top 75 in defensive YPP, so this should be another shootout where the last touchdown wins. Our model is expecting the over to win out 59.1% of the time, so we can wager on that against these 51.9% implied odds.
Our model also likes Utah's moneyline for a one-star wager, but the significant gap in motivation here keeps me away from that side.