Let’s dive into a pair of critical matchups after the first release of the College Football Playoff rankings, including No. 3 Michigan State at Purdue and No. 13 Auburn at No. 14 Texas A&M. There’s value in each for my Week 10 college football best bets.
You’ll find the betting perspective of Motoi Pearson, WynnBET Sportsbook’s senior trader, below as well. Be sure to access WynnBET’s exclusive first-time offers here. You can also click on the spreads mentioned below to bet now.
Michigan State @ Purdue
Over at PointsBet Sportsbook, both 91% of the spread tickets and 94% of the spread handle are on the road favorites as of Wednesday. This game is on the way to representing the most lopsided handle of the college football slate.
As impressive as Heisman contender Kenneth Walker III looked against Michigan in Week 9, helping MSU overcome a 16-point second-half deficit, Mel Tucker’s squad was outgained in yards per play (YPP). The same occurred against Nebraska in Week 4, and it nearly did again in a tight road win at Indiana (3.9 to 3.7).
What does this signify? The Spartans aren’t as dominant as their 8-0 record appears. Their offense leans on Walker, generating a top-50 rushing rate across college football, but the Boilermakers have the unit to combust his engine at the second level.
How Jeff Brohm’s Team Matches Up
Purdue is allowing the 16th-lowest rushing success rate (SR) in Division I, aiding its No. 10 overall ranking in that department. Brohm’s bunch is also elite on forcing opponents off the field on third and fourth downs, respectively, and Michigan State’s passing attack could be limited with its top wide receiver Jalen Nailor (hand) potentially out.
- A play is successful if a team gains:
- 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
- 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
- 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth dow
Sparty’s defense ranks No. 52 in SR — in large part because of their inconsistent secondary play. Boilermakers signal caller Aidan O’Connell isn’t delivering an abundance of explosive plays through the air (7.0 yards per attempt), but he’s one of the more efficient quarterbacks in the country. O’Connell will have his opportunities to patiently pick apart their back-seven with star wideout David Bell.
On top of that, Purdue is notorious for its methodical approach while winding down the play clock, which correlates to keeping the opposing offense off the field. That won’t necessarily show up in plays per game, as Purdue ranks No. 13 in that category and MSU slots into the bottom-30. Nevertheless, that’s a product of Walker & Co. boasting an explosive offense.
Behind The Counter
“We opened Sparty -3.5 and settled in a -3,” WynnBet senior trader Motoi Pearson told TheLines. “We’ve taken into account the ‘spot,’ but the number is the number. We’re comfortable with how we’ve opened. There hasn’t been much action that’s turned our heads either — just some stabs on the underdog that’s cut us down (on the juice for the favorite).”
Eli’s Week 10 College Football Best Bets: Purdue +3 (PointsBet — placed on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 10am ET)
Best Available Line: Purdue
- More from Eli: NFL Week 9 best bets
Auburn @ Texas A&M
As of Wednesday, PointsBet noted that 60% of spread tickets and 80% of handle are backing the road underdogs.
The Tigers’ have a major liability in their secondary, surrendering the 33rd-highest passing SR. But I’m not convinced that the Aggies will expose it throughout, as they’re just above average in that offensive metric. Besides Zach Calzada’s impressive performance against then-top ranked Alabama, he’s struggled with his precision.
I’ll be monitoring this matchup live, aiming to get a better sense of Calzada’s tendencies. His counterpart Bo Nix isn’t exactly set up to excel either — with Jimbo Fisher’s defense ranking No. 18 in passing SR.
“This is just another game that we’re right in the neighborhood of the market now,” Pearson said. “One of our power rankings said A&M -2.5, and the other said -6.5. We’ve been pushed up to -4.5 with some decent side bets.”
Potential Betting Angle: Texas A&M live -2.5 or better
Best Available Line: Texas A&M
Pearson’s Week 10 College Football Best Bets: Navy @ Notre Dame
“Ken Niumatalolo is doing an incredible job with this Navy team, but it’s about to run into a brick wall,” Pearson said. “The disparity in talent level will be evident. I made this game Notre Dame -24.5, and I’m sticking with it.”
Mo’s Week 10 College Football Best Bets: Notre Dame -20.5
Best Available Line: Notre Dame