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Friday Night College Football Betting Preview

CFB Friday Night Betting Preview

Can’t wait for Saturday’s full slate of college football action to wager? No worries, there are three games, including two ranked teams, scheduled to kick off Friday night and I have provided a breakdown and pick for each of these games all in one article!

Odds Analysis & Predictions

FIU vs Louisiana Tech

Florida International Golden Panthers @ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Game Center

Date/Time: September 20, 8 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: CBSSN

Opening Odds: Louisiana Tech -8 | O/U 51.5 (Line History)

The fourth meeting over the last six seasons between FIU and LA Tech and the Golden Panthers are seeking their first win over the Bulldogs. The last two contests saw the Bulldogs close as a favorite of two or more touchdowns and they are 2-1 ATS in the previous three matches with an average winning margin of 15.33.

The Bulldogs opened the season with a tough contest on the road against then-No. 10 Texas and suffered a 45-14 defeat. Since then, LA Tech has rattled off consecutive wins and returns home with a third straight in its sights. Meanwhile, FIU got its first taste of victory in Week 3, topping New Hampshire 30-17 after opening the season with back-to-back losses at Tulane and home to Western Kentucky.

The offense has been scuffling for the Golden Panthers in the early stages of the season, averaging just 19.3 points per game, and the passing game is averaging just 133.7 yards per game. However, the run game has been effective for FIU, especially so against New Hampshire, led by dual-threat QB Kaylan Wiggins, who scampered for 187 yards on 14 carries last week. Although the Panthers have been strong offensively on the run, defensively it has been a different story. FIU ranks 111th out of 130 FBS teams in run defense, giving up 198 rushing yards per game.

Senior QB J’Mar Smith has been paving the way to victory for the Bulldogs thus far, piling up 818 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception this season. Louisiana Tech is averaging 294.7 passing yards per game and is chipping in another 124 yards per game on the ground. On the defensive side of the ball, LA Tech has limited its last two opponents to just 21 points combined after surrendering 45 in Week 1 against Texas.

Betting Pick: Louisiana Tech -8


Utah vs USC

No. 10 Utah Utes @ USC Trojans Game Center

Date/Time: September 20, 9 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: FS1

Opening Odds: Utah -3 | O/U 53.5 (Line History)

The Utes are facing their lowest spread thus far in the 2019 campaign – the previous low was -6.5 in their season opener on the road at BYU. Utah is 1-2 ATS this season, failing to cover two spreads over 20 points while covering in that aforementioned contest with the Cougars. Meanwhile, this is the first time the Trojans have been a dog and they are coming off a 30-27 loss to BYU in Week 3.

After climbing into the AP Top 25 poll, opening the season 2-0, USC quickly fell out of the rankings with its 30-27 loss to BYU. On the other side, we have likely the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 this season in undefeated Utah, which has outscored its opponents 96-29, including a 30-12 triumph over BYU in its season opener.

The Trojans looked dead to rights after Week 1 following the news that sophomore QB JT Daniels was done for the season with a knee injury. However, true freshman QB Kedon Slovis filled in quite nicely in his debut, completing 84.8 percent of his passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-20 rout over then-No. 23 Stanford. That being said, he came back down to earth against BYU, throwing for 281 yards with two TDs and three interceptions in the 30-27 OT loss to the Cougars. On defense, the Trojans have struggled mightily against the pass, surrendering 264 passing yards per game.

Defense, defense, defense! That is the key for Utah in 2019 as it has simply smothered its opponents through three games, surrendering a combined 29 points. Opposing teams have gained just 718 yards against the Utes, the 17th-fewest in the nation. Additionally, Utah has limited opposing running backs to an average of just 65 rushing yards per game for the seventh-best mark in college football. Offensively, the Utes are well-balanced through the air and on the ground and the Trojans will have to try to keep senior running back Zack Moss in check as he has gained 373 yards with four TDs on 57 totes.

Betting Pick: Utah -4


Air Force vs Boise State

Air Force Falcons @ No. 20 Boise State Broncos Game Center

Date/Time: September 20, 9 p.m. ET

TV Coverage: ESPN 2

Opening Odds: Boise State -9.5 | O/U 53 (Line History)

I did a video outlining how Boise State plays on Friday nights and their struggles ATS. This line has already shifted down 2 points with the Broncos being 7.5-point favorites. Air Force had covered five straight games vs Boise State between 2011 and 2016 but is 0-1-1 ATS in the last two seasons with the Broncos closing as a double-digit favorite in both of those games and in six of the last seven meetings overall. The lone game with a single-digit spread was -7.5 for the Broncos and the Falcons won 27-20.

A pair of unbeatens collide in a Mountain West showdown at Albertsons Stadium as Air Force and Boise State look to keep their perfect records intact. The Broncos are playing their third straight home game and have flexed their defensive muscles through their last two wins over Marshall and Portland State. Meanwhile, the Falcons remain on the road for the second consecutive week, coming off a hard-fought 30-23 overtime triumph at Colorado.

As is the case with each of the military schools, the run game is the main weapon for Air Force. However, in Week 3 against Colorado, junior QB Donald Hammond III showed off an aerial attack by going 7-for-12 for 155 yards and two TDs. As for the boots on the ground, the Falcons have averaged 356 rushing yards per game this season. The defense has been stout as well, allowing an average of just 243 yards per game against in its two victories.

Boise State faced some adversity in its season opener at Florida State, overcoming a 31-19 deficit at the half to earn a 36-31 victory, and followed that up with a narrow victory over Marshall in Week 2. Things seemed to really click last week over Portland State, though, in a 45-10 route of the Vikings. True freshman QB Hank Bachmeier has been effective, throwing for 927 yards with four TDs and three interceptions, and overall the Broncos have averaged 516 yards per game thus far. Meanwhile, the defense has been strong as always for Boise State, not allowing much through the air or on the ground.

Betting Pick: Air Force +7.5