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College football best bets

There are four college football games on Friday to serve as an appetizer for a loaded Saturday slate, and we have you covered with our college football best bets for Friday of Week 4 based on the best NCAAF odds.

Friday gets underway with the openers for two Power Five conferences. First, the Wisconsin Badgers and Purdue Boilermakers - Big Ten West rivals - battle. A half-hour later, there's a juicy ACC matchup between NC State and Virginia, as Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong faces his old Cavaliers teammates.

All four contests, including the two late Mountain West matchups between the Boise State Broncos and San Diego State Aztecs and the Air Force Falcons and San Jose State Spartans, have the road teams as favorites.

Here are our college football best bets for Friday of Week 4 (odds via our best college football betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

We're also looking ahead to the weekend with our college football best bets for Saturday.

College football best bets for Friday: Week 4

  • Devin Mockobee (Purdue) Under 50.5 rushing yards vs. Wisconsin (-114 via FanDuel)  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Brennan Armstrong (NC State) Under 1.5 passing touchdowns vs. Virginia (+150 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Ashton Jeanty (Boise State) anytime touchdown scorer vs. San Diego State (-125 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • San Jose State to score longest touchdown vs. Air Force (+105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Week 4 college football schedule and odds for Friday

(Odds via Caesars)

College football predictions

Devin Mockobee Under 50.5 rushing yards vs. Wisconsin (-114 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wisconsin's defense faced a tricky challenge last week from a veteran Georgia Southern offense that used tempo and a heavy run-pass option style offense to upset fellow Big Ten foe Nebraska in Lincoln last year. While the Badgers were out-gained 455 to 451, its run defense made the Eagles completely one-dimensional. Georgia Southern threw for 383 yards and totaled just 72 yards on the ground while averaging 2.6 yards per rush.

Wisconsin ranks 45th in overall Defensive Success Rate and should lick its chops to face a Purdue offense that allows college football's sixth-worst Stuff Rate. Running back Devin Mockobee averages 62 rushing yards per game this season but has a low 3.8 yards per carry average. Expect the Boilermakers to let quarterback Hudson Card air it out more than usual while following Georgia Southern’s script of how to attack the Badgers.

It's not much of a difference, but you'll get a slightly better number at FanDuel than DraftKings, Caesars, and bet365, as they're all at a 49.5 Over/Under and juiced to -115 or higher to back the Under.

Our Brenden Schaeffer offers more insight on this matchup with his Wisconsin vs. Purdue predictions.

Brennan Armstrong Under 1.5 passing touchdowns vs. Virginia (+150 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

There will be a lot of emotions in Charlottesville Friday night as NC State QB Brennan Armstrong returns to where he spent the first five years of his college career. It's also a homecoming for Wolfpack offensive coordinator Robert Anae. Armstrong completed 65% of his passes in 2021, ranking an FBS second in passing yards per game (404) while posting a 31-10 TD-INT ratio and a 75 QBR.

The point spread for this game had a significant line movement, as it rose from an opening number of -9 to -10 at most of our best sports betting apps. While bettors should have confidence in a Wolfpack cover, we're swayed by this wager's plus-money value, especially since DraftKings has Armstrong at -150 to be an anytime touchdown scorer (this play is -125 at bet365).

Armstrong has a solid chance to find the end zone on the ground and plays into our narrative that the Cavaliers' defense knows Armstrong’s passing tendencies. This gives them an advantage from a scouting perspective.

With Caesars and DraftKings offering +133 and +140 odds, respectively, get the best value for this wager at bet365.

Brenden Schaeffer has a more positive outlook on Armstrong and the Wolfpack in his NC State vs. Virginia predictions.

Ashton Jeanty anytime touchdown scorer vs. San Diego State (-125 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Boise State has a team total 26.5 O/U, with the Over on its 2.5 total touchdowns juiced to -180 at DraftKings. We don't mind laying the steep odds for rusher Ashton Jeanty’s anytime touchdown prop.

The Broncos will likely be without George Holani, their leading back from last year, for the second straight week. Even last season, Jeanty was the perfect complementary piece to Holani, running for 821 yards and a slightly higher 5.3 yards per carry average compared to Holani’s 5.2.

In last year’s 35-13 victory over San Diego State, Jeanty carried the ball 12 times for 82 yards and a TD. His ceiling is much higher this year, with Holani’s 17 carries from 2022 potentially up for grabs. This is a four-star play, as the Aztecs rank 114th in total defense (439.8 yards per game allowed) and 84th in rushing defense (144.5 YPG allowed), and I'm on the Broncos to cover -6.5 with my Boise State vs. San Diego State predictions.

DraftKings is the only other one of our best sports betting sites with anytime TD odds for this game as of Wednesday evening, but the price is a much steeper -155 for Jeanty to find the endzone. The price difference is likely because DK doesn't have odds for Holani listed, while bet365 gives him an anytime touchdown price of +162 if he does suit up.

San Jose State to score longest touchdown vs. Air Force (+105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Air Force has -140 odds to score the longest touchdown of the game, only because it's favored to win by more than a field goal. But the Falcons’ triple-option running attack isn't necessarily built on big plays. Air Force scored 11 touchdowns through three games, and seven were on plays of five or fewer yards.

Meanwhile, San Jose State has much more explosive and big-play potential, as 10 of its 16 touchdowns were 15-plus yards. The Spartans showed that ability for chunk plays even against the best competition, as they averaged 6.0 yards per play and 7.3 yards per rush against USC. This prop is only at DraftKings as of this writing.

For more on this matchup, check out my Air Force vs. San Jose State predictions.

College football best bets made Wednesday, 9/20/23 at 4:03 p.m. ET.

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