Betting News & Analysis

College Football Betting 2021: Best late Week 10 Bets — spread, total & moneyline

Carson, California, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener (9) throws the ball against the San Diego State Aztecs in the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No.s 6, 9, 10, 12, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22.

No, these are not the lottery numbers. They are the rankings of teams that lost last weekend, as nine ranked teams went down in a single week for the second time this season — right before the initial College Football Playoff rankings.

My Week 9 picks went 3-3, bringing my year-to-date record to 31-31 for +2.03 units. Here are more spread, total, and moneyline picks for Week 10. All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Missouri vs. Georgia (UNDER 59.5)

Tale of the Tape

No. 1 Georgia recently secured a spot in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game and is a heavy favorite to win out and go 12-0. They boast an NFL-caliber defense that has put up a nation-leading 95.7 team defense grade through nine weeks. They rank third in the country in passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, and first in EPA allowed per play (-0.351).

On the other end of the spectrum sit the Missouri Tigers, who are dead last in rushing yards and explosive rushing plays allowed this season. The Tigers defense has allowed the second-most EPA per play of any Power Five school at +0.209.

To say that this Missouri run defense is worrisome would be an understatement, as they have allowed a colossal 7.2 yards per carry so far. Their 47.6 team run-defense grade is the 13th-worst mark in the FBS.

Expect a committee of Georgia rushers, featuring the likes of Zamir White, James Cook, Kendall Milton and Kenny McIntosh to establish the run game early. All four have rushing grades above 76.0.

Implied Value Under Over
Cover probability 56.5% 43.5%
Break-even 52.4% 52.4%
Value 4.1% -8.9%
Matchup to Watch: GEORGIA quarterbacks Stetson Bennett vs. J.T. Daniels

There is an expectation that J.T. Daniels makes an appearance at the end of this one. And this plays into the under because it will be his first game action since Sept. 25, so there will be some rust in his game while Georgia goes into clock-killing mode.

Stetson Bennett has taken over the starting job in Daniels’ absence and has done nothing to lose it. He has put together a tidy 85.9 PFF grade, thanks to nine big-time throws and just five turnover-worthy plays, but the Georgia offense has not required much out of the passing game.

The Bulldogs may not need it in the regular season, but with the College Football Playoff beckoning, the Bulldogs' coaching staff could start to weigh Bennett's higher floor against Daniels' higher ceiling.

Year J.T. Daniels Stetson Bennett
2021 PFF Grade 81.3 85.9
2020 PFF Grade 88.3 68.9
X-Factor: GEORGIA’s Nakobe Dean

While the Georgia defense has too many talented names to talk about, Dean is the leader of the unit. The linebacker’s 91.9 defensive grade, 90.9 pass-rush grade and 91.1 coverage grade lead the team. He simply takes over the field, as displayed by his 14 total pressures, 28 tackles, 13 assisted tackles, 19 stops and two interceptions.

Missouri running back Tyler Badie is their best weapon on offense, but Nakobe Dean, along with other members of the defense, will emphasize stopping him.

PFF Greenline has the projected total at 58.4 — a full point under the market and just over 4% in value. The Bulldogs' defense has not allowed teams to move the ball all year; do not expect that to change against the Tigers.

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NCAA game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Penn State vs. Maryland (+10.5)

Tale of the Tape

Penn State was ranked as high as No. 4 just a few weeks ago but is now reeling after three consecutive losses. Maryland also lost three straight before a win against Indiana.

The winner of this Big Ten battle will secure bowl eligibility. The Nittany Lions and Terrapins close out the rest of the season against the same three opponents — Michigan State, Michigan and Rutgers — just in a different order.

One can make the case that Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is the best quarterback in the Big Ten, but who is behind him? Some might say Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez or Michigan State’s Payton Thorne. Some could argue for Penn State’s Sean Clifford. But is the correct answer Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa?

Tagovailoa's 89.0 PFF passing grade is the second-best mark in the Big Ten, behind only Stroud’s 91.1. The Maryland signal-caller is tied atop the conference in big-time throws (17) and has recorded an adjusted completion percentage of 81.1%.

Implied Value Penn State Maryland
Cover probability 45.0% 55.0%
Break-even 52.4% 52.4%
Value -7.4% 2.6%
Matchup to Watch: Penn State edge Arnold Ebiketie vs. Maryland OL JAELYN DUNCAN

Ebiketie is the Nittany Lions’ highest-graded defensive player and boasts an 88.8 PFF grade and 90.4 pass-rush grade after eight weeks of play. He has been difficult to stop for most offensive linemen, stuffing the stat sheet with five sacks, 10 hits and 19 hurries.

Left tackle Jaelyn Duncan has taken 278 pass-block snaps and has not given up a sack since Week 3, but that could change this weekend. In total, Duncan has allowed two sacks, two hits and one hurry this year.


A year ago, Maryland won this game outright despite entering the game as 27-point underdogs. Wideout Rakim Jarrett was a problem all day and enjoyed one of the best games of his career — a five-reception, 144-yard, two-touchdown curb stomp en route to an 86.1 receiving grade. His touchdowns came in the first quarter, and they came from 42 and 62 yards out.

The Nittany Lions allowed 40 explosive pass plays in nine games in 2020. That number is down to 30 in 2021, the second-best in the conference. Has Penn State learned its lesson in defending Jarrett, or will he find a weakness for Tagovailoa to expose?

PFF Greenline has the spread at -9.6, a point off from the market spread.

Michigan State -3 vs. Purdue

Tale of the Tape

Head coach Mel Tucker is doing incredible things with the now 8-0 Michigan State Spartans. Look for that to continue, though there is a possibility of a letdown game after last week's 16-point comeback against Michigan.

On the other sideline, Purdue has already taken down a No. 2-ranked team. Beating a top-three team once in a season is incredible, but doing it twice would be a season to remember for the potential Spoilermakers.

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III found the end zone five times in a Week 9 performance that featured 153 rushing yards after contact. This season, 31 of the Spartans’ 50 explosive rushing plays have come courtesy of Walker, whose 91.7 rushing grade ranks third among college backs in 2021.

Purdue is tied for second in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed before contact but tied for dead last in rushing yards allowed after contact, which presents Walker with a great opportunity to continue his push for the Heisman Trophy.

Team Comparison Michigan State Purdue
Average offensive snaps 68.8 79.0
% run plays 52% 37%
% pass plays 48% 64%
EPA per run 0.01 -0.28
EPA per pass 0.20 0.10
Matchup to Watch: PURDUE offensive line vs. MICHIGAN STATE defensive line

The Spartans defense has racked up a mammoth 194 pressures so far — 22 more than the second-place Ohio State Buckeyes. Edge rusher Jacub Panasiuk tops the conference with 51 total pressures, while interior defensive lineman Jacob Slade has 27 pressures of his own. In all, the Spartans defensive line has produced pressure on 28.1% of pass-rush snaps, the fourth-best rate in the Big Ten.

This strong defensive front will put pressure on a Purdue offensive line that has been adequate but not great this year. The unit's 65.2 team pass-blocking grade ranks sixth among the 14 Big Ten programs, and their 64 total pressures allowed ranks eighth.


If Purdue is to have any chance of an upset, the only way to do it is through the air, particularly with receiver David Bell. Although the pass rush is the team's strong suit, stopping the pass altogether is a different matter. Michigan State has allowed 2,396 passing yards and 51 explosive passing plays on 381 pass attempts. Teams know that their coverage unit is reeling, and they attack it.

Bell leads the Big Ten in PFF receiving grade (85.3), yards after the catch (349) and missed tackles forced on receptions (18). His 18 explosive pass plays tie with Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson for second in the conference.

Bell will likely match up against Michigan State cornerback Chester Kimbrough, who has earned a solid yet unspectacular 66.9 coverage grade this year. If he can make an impact, it will force Purdue to include other pass-catchers and move away from Bell, which will be key for Michigan State.

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NCAA game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

USC +8.5 vs. Arizona State

Tale of the Tape

Nobody knows how the Pac-12 works. There is chaos everywhere, upsets aplenty, and games are very evenly matched. Both USC and Arizona State had high expectations entering the season, but both may finish the season with different head coaches than they started with. USC sits at 4-4, having just lost the best offensive player in the conference to injury. Arizona State sits at 5-3 with two recent losses in a row.

Drake London was the highlight of this USC offense and, really, all of college football. His 91.8 receiving grade is the top mark among wide receivers with more than 15 snaps. He led the FBS in targets, receiving yards after contact, contested targets and catches and missed tackles forced on receptions. In other words, London was a focal point of the Trojan offense. Then he got injured.

Implied Value USC Arizona State
Cover probability 54.4% 45.6%
Break-even 52.4% 52.4%
Value 2.0% -6.8%
Matchup to Watch: USC’s Drake Jackson and TULI TUIPULOTU vs. ARIZONA STATE offensive line

The strength of the Arizona State attack lies in the offensive line. The line has only allowed 12 sacks and has given Jayden Daniels an average of 2.92 seconds to throw. However, they will have their hands full against edge rushers Jackson and Tuipulotu.

Jackson ranks third in the conference with an 85.5 pass-rush grade, having accumulated 22 total pressures and 14 stops so far. Tuipulotu has 16 total pressures and 18 stops.


Ingram has put together strong back-to-back rushing performances, earning an 85.9 PFF grade against Notre Dame in Week 8 and an 89.3 PFF grade against Arizona in Week 9. His 91.4 rushing grade paces the conference, while his 3.86 yards after contact per attempt ranks seventh. He also leads the conference with 26 explosive runs.

Arizona State leads the conference in team run-defense grade (75.6), and the front seven is physical, but Ingram is a physical runner. If he can find yards on the ground, it will help open up more of the pass-oriented game plan USC thrives in. With the loss of London, look for Ingram to have a few more touches than usual.

PFF Greenline likes the Trojans to cover with the implied spread closer to -7.9 than -8.5 in favor of Arizona State. The conference has parity, and despite losing its best playmaker, this underwhelming USC squad can cover against an underperforming Pac-12 opponent.

Boise State (ML +175) vs. Fresno State

Tale of the Tape

Boise State has been a powerhouse for the better part of the last 20 years, but this year's 4-4 squad has fallen way short of expectations. They have alternated losses and wins this season, but a notable road win against BYU last month is the highlight of their campaign. Another road game against Fresno State provides another opportunity for an upset against a ranked opponent.

The 7-2 Fresno State Bulldogs sit atop the West Division in the Mountain West. An early-season loss to Oregon was close, while QB Jake Haener’s game-winning performance against UCLA caught the eyes of America. A loss on the islands of Hawai’i to begin the month of October stalled Fresno State’s momentum. Since then, they have rattled off three consecutive wins.

A recurring theme for the Broncos is trailing early but never quitting, with the defense stepping up as the game goes on. Against BYU, the Broncos trailed 10-0 in the first. Against Colorado State, they trailed 13-0. It is a team that stays competitive, no matter the deficit. Both defenses fare well in forcing turnovers, with a combined 33 offensive turnovers forced between the two units.

Team Passing Comparison Boise State Fresno State
PFF Grade 80.0 84.1
Passer rating when clean 103.4 115.6
Passer rating under pressure 87.8 77.6
Big-time throw % 3.57% 6.02%
Turnover-worthy play % 1.19% 2.31%
Matchup to Watch: Boise State secondary vs. FRESNO STATE wide receivers

Fresno State passes the ball 62.5% of the time, and why wouldn't you when you rank among the FBS' top 35 teams in passing yards per attempt (8.27).

The receiving corps has combined for 177 catches on 266 targets for 2,451 receiving yards and 21 scores so far, with Jalen Cropper (77.7 receiving grade), Josh Kelly (73.3) and Zane Pope (72.7) all averaging more than 2.00 receiving yards per route run.

The Boise State defense has allowed 6.7 yards per pass play this season, 10th among the 12 teams in the conference. They'll have their hands full against a talented receiving corps that will be wanting to keep the good times rolling in 2021.


Among the 46 Mountain West receivers with at least 15 targets, Shakir has the third-highest receiving grade at 88.4. His 777 receiving yards rank second in the conference, as does his 21 explosive plays of 15 or more yards.

The magic happens after the ball gets in his hands. Despite an average depth of target receiving of 9.6 yards, he is averaging 7.0 receiving yards after the catch per reception.

PFF Greenline sees value in taking the Broncos at 1.8% and an implied moneyline of +158, approximately 15 cents of value compared to the market moneyline.

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NCAA game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


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