There’s nothing quite like Black Friday Football. Our bellies are full from Thursday’s Thanksgiving edition — and hopefully our wallets are full, too, after making some money from the NFL table and Egg Bowl.
Now it’s time for the most loaded Friday college football list of the season.
Our staff came prepared and listed three games for this Black Friday: Baylor vs. Texas, Utah State vs. Boise State, and Tulane vs. Cincinnati.
Read on for all three of our best midday bets and be sure to check out our five other top picks for tonight’s afternoon and evening games.
Happy Rivalry Week!
Friday College Football Noon Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent all of the matchups our college football team is aiming for in Friday’s playlist. Click on the team logos for any of the following matchups to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Baylor versus Texas
By Patrick Strollo
Texas goes into this Black Friday duel with the goal of reaching the Big 12 Championship Game with a win and some luck.
Baylor, meanwhile, has a postseason set in stone with a suspended bowl berth and domestic pride on the line after failing to ruin TCU’s season last week.
Both teams have a tendency to run play, but face an equally strong opposing run defense. Yards on the ground will be hard to come by as Texas and Baylor are second and third in the Big 12 in rushing yards respectively.
To counter the strong rush defense, look for both attacks to fall back on the air attack.
Both quarterbacks have shown they can breathe, but the clear advantage in this matchup goes to Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers has been fickle at best this season, but both quarterbacks face passing defenses that have struggled en route to this regular-season finale.
Texas comes in with pass defense at #93, while Baylor has the slightly more efficient pass defense at #84.
For obvious reasons, an air strike is very favorable for the purposes of our bet, as it keeps time on the game clock and represents a greater likelihood of an effective play.
The crux of this pick is the stymying front sevens, forcing each other into an airstrike, given the relative strength of charging defense versus secondary for both programs.
My model predicts an overall score of 61.66, 59.52, and 61.31 points, respectively, resulting in an equally weighted average of 60.83 points. That rounds out to a five point lead over the market at the time of writing.
The desert underestimated the total here. Look for these two top-30 offenses to cruise past double nickels and a hook in Austin.
State of Utah vs. State of Boise
By Kyle Remillard
Boise State completely turned its season around after firing offensive coordinator Tim Plow and replacing longtime quarterback Hank Bachmeier.
The Broncos have since won 6-1, outscoring their opponents by 21 points per game.
Now they face an overrated Utah State team that has won four of their last five games. However, these victories were against the Mountain West bottom league in Hawaii, New Mexico and Colorado State.
Boise State’s offense has seen a massive spike since Taylen Green took over under center. He’s averaging 8.0 yards per pass attempt and has delivered an aerial threat to complement the rushing attack.
The Bronco’s bread-and-butter is his running game, averaging 5.0 yards per carry against FBS enemies. Now they face off against a Utah State defense that ranks 119th in that area and is allowing 5.1 yards per carry this season.
On the other side of the ball, Utah State is stuck with backup quarterback Cooper Legas. He’ll have his hands full against one of the top secondaries in the Group of Five, who allows 6.4 yards per pass attempt against the FBS competition.
Utah State will choose to let the ball run as it ranks 23rd in rush rate this season. But Boise’s defensive line is just as strong, ranking 29th nationally and allowing 3.1 yards per carry.
Utah State is poised for a disappointment game after being admitted to the Bowl last weekend, and Boise State will quickly turn that into a loss.
Tulane vs. Cincinnati
Through Action Analytics
If the old adage “good teams win, great teams mark” is true, the Tulane Green Wave could be said to be the best team in the nation. They currently have the #1 win rate versus spread, beating it by an 81.8% clip on the year.
Cincinnati is at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, covering only 30% of its games (120th place).
Despite all this, I’m telling you, hold your nose, take a deep breath, and bring the Bearcats here.
Yes, Green Wave has scored 27 or more points in each of their last five games, but they played terrible defenses like SMU, Tulsa, Memphis and USF.
Cincinnati’s defense isn’t terrible. In fact it is very good. The Bearcats are in the top 15 in both Defensive Havoc and Success Rate Allowed. They are also slightly above average in points per opportunity allowed, ranking 45th.
Meanwhile, Tulane’s offensive numbers have been inflated recently in games against the aforementioned teams.
We’ve forecast Cincinnati as the 3.5-point favorite, and I’m happy to take his moneyline at just -115. I expect the Bearcats to slow down this Tulane offense and be competent enough on offense to win.
Look for the Bearcats to pull out a close one at home.