#Betting101: Digging For Friday Night NCAAF Value

Cal Golden Bears Betting 101

Jason Lake

Thursday, October 12, 2017 1:08 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 1:08 PM GMT

There are two very big favorites in action Friday night. Do we auto-bet the double-digit home dogs for our Week 7 college football picks? Or is chalk the tasty choice?

They say home-field advantage isn’t what it’s cracked up to be these days. They may be right: Road teams are 226-159-13 ATS (58.7 percent) in college football heading into Week 7, and road favorites are even better at 68-41-3 ATS (62.4 percent). That’s great news for the two ranked teams in action this Friday night. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind the NCAAF odds for both these matchups.
 

No. 2 Clemson Tigers at Syracuse Orange 

7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

The defending National Champions have won 11 straight games stretching back to last year, and Clemson (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) is expected to make it a dozen this Friday against the overmatched Orange (3-3 SU, 3-2-1 ATS). At press time, the Tigers are 22.5-point favorites, up from –21 at the open, and our consensus reports show a slight lean towards Clemson at 53 percent.

There’s a problem, though: Clemson QB Kelly Bryant hurt his ankle in last week’s win over Wake Forest. Bryant is expected to play Friday, but he’s not 100 percent. And this spread already looks way too big according to the math. FiveThirtyEight likes the Tigers to win 89 percent of the time, which works out to around –16. ESPN’s Football Power Index has Clemson’s chances at 91.5 percent, which still only gets us to –18. We’ll fade that for a dollar.

Free College Football Pick: Syracuse +23 (–107)
Best Line Offered: at Betmania

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No. 8 Washington State Cougars at California Golden Bears

10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

How about them Cougs (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS)? Washington State has taken a big step forward this year under infamous head coach Mike Leach, and they’ve been dancing around the –14 mark against Cal (3-3 SU and ATS) since the open. The sharps were quick to put Wazzu in their Week 7 NCAAF picks; our reports show 92 percent consensus on the Cougars at the open, and 65 percent at press time.
 


Once again, the math just doesn’t work out. FiveThirtyEight says the Cougs will win 75 percent of the time, or –8.5 for an equivalent spread. The FPI numbers have them at 78.7 percent for a kayfabe spread of –10. Looks like we’re running with the home dogs here. Old school FTW!

Free College Football Pick: Cal +14.5 (–105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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