Friday College Football Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Top 6 Best Bets For Nov. 27 Slate
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images. Pictured: Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson (6).
- Did your Thanksgiving NFL and college basketball bets cash? If so, ready for a double-up? If not, ready for a bounceback?
- In either case, Friday's nine-game college football slate offers more betting action all day long.
- Below, find each of our six favorite college football betting spots for Black Friday's expanded card.
At the Action Network, we rep midweek MACtion to the fullest, but sadly for bettors everywhere, midweek MACtion is no more — at least until the 2021-22 season rolls back around next fall.
But, the college football gods are not without mercy. To offset the loss of midweek action, we instead have a full extra day of college football on Friday as an appetizer for the wall-to-wall slate on Saturday.
And, despite myriad cancelations, postponements, and last-minute scheduling switch-ups, Friday’s card is largely still in tact with nine college football games ranging from noon to 7:30 p.m. ET.
So, rather than mourning the matchups we’ve lost, instead, let us be thankful for the games that yet remain. In that spirit, our staff has broken down the odds and highlighted their favorite betting spots for the Week 13 Friday college football slate. We’ve got you covered with our six best bets across the entire slate of college football action on Black Friday.
Friday College Football Best Bets for Week 13:
Our six favorite Friday picks are listed in the table below. Click on any of our best bets to easily navigate to a specific bet or a particular matchup.
All listed odds have been updated as of Thursday and via DraftKings. Specific bet recommendations for each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing.
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
#13 Iowa State at #17 Texas
|Iowa State Odds||-1 [BET NOW]|
|Texas Odds||+1 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-114 / -107 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||56.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
BJ Cunningham: Iowa State +1.5 (-115) | BetMGM [Bet Now]
The Cyclones head to Austin for a top-25 matchup that could decide who plays in the Big 12 Championship game. Texas’ Week 12 game against Kansas cancelled, while Iowa State pitched a shutout against Kansas State in Ames.
There is one glaring mismatch in the game: Brock Purdy versus the Longhorns secondary. Yes, I know it’s not Brocktober anymore, but Purdy has been on fire in his last three games, averaging 8.19 yards per pass attempt and logging 11 total passing touchdowns. Texas, on the other hand, has been terrible defending the pass this season, ranking 108th in defensive passing success per College Football Data.
However, the Iowa State offense doesn’t entirely run through Brock Purdy. The Cyclones also have a dynamic running game led by running back Breece Hall, who is averaging a ridiculous 6.5 yards per carry. Even though Hall has been stellar, his matchup against the Longhorns’ top-10 rush defense may be his toughest test of the season.
The offense hasn’t been an issue for Texas this year. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has been a one-man show, throwing for over 1,834 yards and 22 touchdowns. The issue for the Longhorns offensive is that Ehlinger has had to do it all, and he isn’t getting much help.
Ehlinger is the team’s leading rusher, running for over 323 yards after the Longhorns rolled with a committee in its backfield. Texas is undoubtedly going to have trouble running the ball on Friday, because Iowa State has the best run defense in the Big 12. The Cyclones rank 13th in the country in defensive rushing success and are allowing only 3.1 yards per carry. So, most of Ehlinger’s success on Saturday is going to have to come through the air, which is going to be an issue since the Longhorns rank 86th in passing success.
I have Iowa State projected as -4.37 favorites in Austin, so I think there is plenty of value on the Cyclones at +1.5 or on the moneyline.
Pick: Iowa State +1.5 (-115) or on the moneyline.
Darin Gardner: Iowa State Moneyline (-105) | BetMGM [Bet Now]
Iowa State is rolling after a 45-point shutout win against Kansas State, while Texas will be playing its first game in 20 days. Iowa State ranks 27th on offense in EPA per play and features the nation’s rushing yards-leader in Breece Hall. Texas has been good against the run (11th in EPA allowed per rush attempt); but if you dig a little deeper, then the numbers do not look as impressive.
The Longhorns have not faced a single team ranked in the top 65 in EPA per rush this season. Its highest-ranking opponent was Oklahoma, who currently ranks 66th. The Sooners really struggled to run the ball early in the season (which included the Texas game) without starting running back Rhamondre Stevenson.
Texas hasn’t seen anything like this Iowa State rushing attack. The Longhorns rank 78th in success rate allowed on defense. So, Iowa State shouldn’t have any trouble moving the chains.
The Texas offense has been disappointing this year, ranking 82nd in first down rate. Sam Ehlinger has played well for the most part, but the rest of the offense has let him down. The offensive line needs to improve, as it ranks 67th in sack rate and 68th in stuff rate.
However, the offensive line is still not the biggest problem: Texas’ wide receivers have greatly underperformed expectation. The Longhorns’ highest-graded receiver is Brennan Eagles, who ranks 126th at the position per Pro Football Focus‘ grading criteria.
Iowa State will be one of the best defenses on the Texas schedule. The Cyclones allow opponents to gain 39.7% of available yards (23rd), and they rank 19th in points allowed per drive.
Both teams have played plenty of conference games; and as a result, they have both played five of the same opponents (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech). In those five mutual matchups, Iowa State averaged a 46% offensive success rate and a 36% success rate allowed on defense, for a net success rate of 9.3%. Texas averaged a 40% success rate on offense and allowed a 46% success rate on defense, for a net success rate of -5.4%.
I see a fair amount of value on the Cyclones, as I project them at 4.3-point favorites. Iowa State is an incredibly balanced team on both sides of the ball, while Texas has exploitable weaknesses.
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#2 Notre Dame at #19 North Carolina
|Notre Dame Odds||-5 [BET NOW]|
|North Carolina Odds||+5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-195 / +155 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||68 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
Mike Calabrese: North Carolina Moneyline (+175) | bet365 [Bet Now]
I’m interested in backing a Tar Heel upset for two reasons: Sam Howell and turnover luck. Howell has played against three ranked opponents during his career and was within a two-point conversion against No. 1 Clemson of winning them all. In those three contests, he accounted for seven total touchdowns and zero turnovers, and he has been dynamite in the second half of games this season. If UNC falls behind early, I’m in capable hands as a UNC bettor.
Then there’s the turnover luck element. UNC has recovered just two fumbles in their eight games this season. Meanwhile, Notre Dame has put the ball on the carpet 10 times already. Something has to give here, and I believe it will favor UNC. Capitalizing on a turnover or two won’t be a problem for this North Carolina offense. The Tar Heels are top-15 in points and yards per game. Drilling down further, UNC ranks sixth in yards per play, and top-five in explosive plays in excess of 10, 20, and 30 yards from scrimmage.
And finally, I like Mack Brown’s presence on the UNC sideline. He wasn’t intimidated last season when Clemson rolled into town, and the national championship coach will know just which buttons to push on Friday afternoon.
Pick: North Carolina Moneyline (+175)
Mike Ianniello: Notre Dame vs. North Carolina Over 66.5 (-106) | FanDuel [Bet Now]
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish found themselves ranked No. 2 in the first batch of College Football Playoff rankings. Now, the Irish will take on a North Carolina team that likely presents their toughest hurdle to reach the ACC Championship undefeated.
The Notre Dame offense has looked fantastic over the past two weeks, putting up over 500 yards against Clemson and Boston College. Quarterback Ian Book is playing the best football of his career. In his last two games, Book has passed for 593 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions; plus, he’s added 152 yards and a touchdown on the ground on top of that.
The Fighting Irish rank 14th in the country in rushing offense (tied with North Carolina). Lead back Kyren Williams is averaging 97.1 rushing yards per game and has 10 touchdowns on the season. He gashed the Clemson defense for 140 yards and three touchdowns in Week 10.
Notre Dame will be able to run the ball effectively against a North Carolina defense that ranks 87th in the nation in Rushing Success and struggles to prevent big plays on the ground and in the air. The Tar Heels rank 96th in tacking according to Pro Football Focus and 100th in defensive finishing drives.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Tar Heels offense is awesome. The Heels rank fourth in the country in total offense and can burn teams on the ground with two-headed monster Javonte Williams and Michael Carter — or through the air with quarterback Sam Howell. North Carolina ranks ninth in rushing success and 10th in passing success rate.
The Notre Dame defense has been terrific, but — as they showed against Clemson — the Fighting Irish are vulnerable to giving up big plays. Despite ranking No. 12 in success rate on defense, the Irish are down at No. 65 against explosiveness. North Carolina is also very susceptible to big plays, ranked even lower at No. 85.
Both of these teams struggle against explosiveness, and both offenses are hitting their stride and playing the best they have all season.
Take over 66.5. I would bet it up to 68.5.
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Stanford at California
|Stanford Odds||+1.5 [BET NOW]|
|California Odds||-1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-103 / -118 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||52.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4:30 p.m. ET|
Roberto Arguello: Stanford Moneyline (+100) | bet365 [Bet Now]
Although Stanford hasn’t run the ball as well as David Shaw would like to, the offensive line has impressed in pass protection, allowing only one sack through two games. That Cardinal unit matches up favorably against the Bears defensive line. Cal has been forced to move players around frequently along its front four, and that discontinuity has resulted in poor results: The Bears pass rush has recorded only one sack in two games.
Stanford’s offensive line, led by the best center in the Pac-12, Drew Dalman, should have the advantage on the interior. On top of that, Cal’s defense is riddled with holes up the middle following the departures of linebacker Evan Weaver, safety Jaylinn Hawkins and safety Ashtyn Davis — each of whom was selected in the 2020 NFL Draft this offseason. Stanford quarterback Davis Mills and his full arsenal of receivers should take advantage of errors there.
Cal is likely to be without three starters on the offensive line due to COVID-19 protocols, and another injured starter will be a game-time decision. Those potential losses do not bode well for Cal to exploit Stanford’s defensive line that has struggled to stop the run — especially against dual-threat quarterbacks. The Bears have averaged a meager 2.7 yards per rush attempt through two games, and Cal quarterback Chase Garbers isn’t as athletic as the other quarterbacks Stanford has faced.
Consequently, I like the Cardinal’s chances to keep the Cal offense in check. Excluding the first half against Oregon State, the Bears offense has only managed to score 17 points in its other six quarters this season.
Take the Cardinal on the moneyline to win at even money. I would play the Stanford ML down to -120.
Pick: Stanford Moneyline (+100) | Play down to -120.
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#15 Oregon at Oregon State
|Oregon Odds||-13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Oregon State Odds||+13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-670 / +380 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||64 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Patrick Strollo: Oregon State +13.5 (-108) | DraftKings [Bet Now]
The Oregon State Beavers (1-2) will host the Oregon Ducks (3-0) in Corvallis, Oregon for the 124th matchup between Pac-12 rivals. Oregon leads the all-time series 66-47-10. Formerly called the Oregon Civil War, the series is currently seeking a new name as the teams battle for the Platypus Trophy.
Ducks sophomore quarterback Tyler Shough is off to an excellent start to the 2020 season, leading the Pac-12 in passing touchdowns. Oregon is averaging a whopping 499.7 total yards of offense and 38.7 points per game. The Ducks have an offensive PPA per play of 0.44 which is best in the Pac-12 and more than double the conference average of 0.19.
But, here’s the catch: The Ducks defense hasn’t been so good, allowing an average of 432 yards per game. Oregon’s rush defense has given up 188 yards per game on the ground — and six of the team’s nine touchdowns allowed have come via opponents’ rushing attacks. The Ducks report a defensive PPA per play of 0.22, versus a Pac-12 average of 0.20.
Oregon State’s offense is led by junior running back Jermar Jefferson. He is averaging 166.7 all-purpose yards per game and has already scored five touchdowns in three games. The Beavers offense averages 354 yards and 26.7 points per game and reports an offensive PPA per play of 0.20.
However, much like the rival Ducks, the Beavers defense hasn’t been so good either. They have allowed an average of 434.3 yards and 30.7 points per game. Oregon State has a defensive PPA per play of 0.20, which is average among Pac-12 programs. The passing defense is slightly better than the rushing defense and will need to come out strong against Shough and the Ducks offense.
My model has Oregon State as a 3-point dog in this matchup, which translates to roughly a 10.5-point edge over the currently listed point spread of 13.5.
The Ducks should win this game, but they likely do not have the defense necessary for a blowout. Meanwhile the Beavers will likely lean on Jefferson and the ground game to control the clock and neutralize the prolific Ducks offense. That may be enough to keep this rivalry game closer than expected.
If you are an over/under bettor, err on the side of the over in this one. My model only shows a two-point edge with the game total hovering around 63.
Pick: Oregon State +13.5 or better.