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Get the best value betting these college football odds at the right time
By Steve Merril
Each week during the college football season, Steve Merril looks at the NCAAF odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later and which total to watch as the week plays out.
Spread to bet now
Temple Owls at Houston Cougars (-6)
Houston opened as a 6.5-point favorite over Temple, and a little money has come in on the underdog pushing the line down to -6 at some sportsbooks. But I expect Houston money to come in later on and push this line back up higher.
Temple does not have the offensive firepower to trade points with Houston. The Owls are only averaging 5.4 yards per play despite playing opposing defenses that are giving up 5.7 yards per play. Temple’s defense has good seasonal numbers, but it’s faced an extremely weak slate of opposing offenses. Houston is averaging 42 points per game on 6.4 yards per play. Houston is less than a touchdown favorite with a high octane offense, so lay the points now before the line goes up.
Spread to wait on
Texas Longhorns (+20.5) at Baylor Bears
Baylor was posted as a 20-point home favorite in some spots versus Texas, but now the line is -20.5 and I anticipate it going even higher. The Bears are 9-2 SU and since they’re laying less than three touchdowns, bettors will be inclined to lay the points in this game.
Texas has had another disappointing season, but this is its “bowl game” as the Horns are just 4-7 SU on the year. They’re catching Baylor at the perfect time as the Bears are off a 28-21 overtime loss at TCU last week. This is a huge letdown spot after Baylor’s second loss in three weeks will keep them out of the four-team national title playoff. Wait this game out and take Texas plus the points later in the week.
Total to watch
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (72.5)
This total opened 71 and has already risen to 72.5 or higher in most locations. Southern Miss has played in three straight high-scoring games with 75, 87, and 82 points scored. All three of those games went Over the posted total. Off their recent three games, and against an opponent like Western Kentucky, this figures to be another shootout for the Golden Eagles.
Western Kentucky has an explosive offense that is averaging 44.2 points per game on a whopping 7.3 yards per play. It’s put those numbers up against defenses that allow 29.6 points per game on 5.7 yards per play. The Hilltoppers are 9-3 to the Over this season. This should be a high-scoring game, so take the Over now before the total goes any higher.