College Football Betting Picks for Saturday 9/30/23
Just like that, we have already reached Week 5 in the 2023-24 college football season. And, as expected, the action on the field to this point has been truly enthralling.
Now that everyone has the taste of conference play on their palate, the season feels broken in. As such, we should see some sides truly humming around the gridiron this Saturday.
For CFB Week 5, the games begin on Friday with the No. 10 Utah Utes visiting the No. 19 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis. From there, the No. 8 Southern California Trojans will travel to play the Colorado Buffaloes in Saturday's early window.
In other noteworthy clashes, the No. 13 Louisiana State Tigers head to Oxford to face the No. 20 Mississippi Rebels. Also, we will see dueling private-school programs when the No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish arrive at the No. 17 Duke Blue Devils.
Let's dive into Saturday's slate with an emphasis on scoping out the most valuable lines in traditional betting markets.
All college football odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published.
College Football Betting Picks (9/30/23)
Saturday's Full Slate
Implied Road Total
Implied Home Total
Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors at UNLV Rebels
- Time: 4 p.m. EST
- TV: SSSEN/Spectrum Sports PPV
- Spread: UNLV -10.5 (-114)
- Moneyline: HAW +340/UNLV -450
- Total: 59.5
When the Hawaii Warriors and Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels get together, it is dubbed as the "Ninth Island Showdown." If you're familiar with the story of Sam Boyd and Vegas' Fremont Street, you know why the cultures are intertwined. Still, as Mountain West rivals, the Rebs and 'Bows have no love lost between them.
UNLV is off to a 3-1 start for the second consecutive campaign, which is hard to imagine after the past couple decades of poor football. In 2023, the Rebels are thriving under head coach Barry Odom.
On offense, Nevada-Las Vegas is averaging 190.8 rushing yards per game this year. Starting quarterback Doug Brumfield is practicing again, but feel confident about second stringer Jayden Maiava; the sophomore signal-caller has passed for 559 yards in Brumfield's absence this season.
The Rainbow Warriors have played to a 2-3 record thus far, earning wins over the New Mexico State Aggies as well as FCS Albany. Still, in their three losses this year, Hawai'i has been defeated by an average margin of 21.7 points.
Keep in mind: this is head coach Timmy Chang's second season at post, but he is still looking for his first road victory with the 'Bows. Does that happen Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas? Of course, Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo won't be the only show in town this weekend.
Best Bet: UNLV -10.5 (-114)
Hawai'i has traveled to Vegas' Allegiant Stadium only once prior, losing 27-13 back in 2021. The Rainbow Warriors don't seem to have made much progress since then since numberFire has Hawai'i ranked in the nation's bottom 10 (125th, -18.97 nERD) on their respective 2023 power rankings.
As highlighted in CFB Week 4, UNLV is still undefeated against the spread. After routing the Texas-El Paso Miners 45-28 last Saturday, the Rebels are now 4-0 ATS. Against rival Hawai'i, I have faith that streak continues.
These are the second-most points UNLV has laid this year, but I think they take it to an inferior Warriors team. I expect the Rebs to blow out Hawai'i in "Fabulous" Las Vegas.
(#13) LSU Tigers at (#20) Ole Miss Rebels
- Time: 6 p.m. EST
- TV: ESPN
- Spread: LSU -2.5 (-120)
- Moneyline: LSU -144/MISS +118
- Total: 67.5
Moving on from the UNLV Rebels, the Ole Miss Rebels also have a familiar foe on hand this weekend: LSU. Both SEC schools have already started conference play. Additionally, both sides enter this matchup at 3-1 straight up. Come Saturday in Oxford, who will have the edge?
In last year's meeting between the Tigers and Rebels in Baton Rouge, LSU reigned supreme by trouncing Mississippi 45-20. However, the season prior (also in Oxford), Ole Miss ran over the "Bayou Bengals" for 270 rushing yards and a 31-17 victory.
With two high-profile head coaches in Brian Kelly and Lane Kiffin, there are plenty of storylines to follow. Additionally, the quarterback battle between LSU's Jayden Daniels (82.8 QBR) and Ole Miss' Jaxson Dart (82.4) is worth watching with both sitting as top-15 passers in the nation so far.
Best Bet: Ole Miss +2.5 (-102)
When referencing the CFB power index on ESPN, these two SEC rivals are quite close. Ahead of the Week 5 matchup, Mississippi chimes in at 13th in the nation (18.7) while LSU is a spot behind at 14th (18.6). With the game in Oxford, I am willing to take the points (+2.5) with the home side. Considering Ole Miss' ATS price (-102) is slightly longer, the potential payout gets a lift.
Entering Week 5, Mississippi is 3-1 ATS while LSU is 2-2 ATS. When referencing CFB game projections on numberFire, the Rebels yield a winning score over LSU of 33.39-29-88. I might not have the complete "Hotty Toddy" courage to take Mississippi straight up in this contest, but I am not eager to bet on LSU here, either.
Still, I think Kiffin's spread offense under Dart can keep pace with the Tigers -- especially at home.
(#9) Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal
- Time: 6:30 p.m. EST
- TV: Pac-12 Network
- Spread: ORE -27.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: ORE -4500/STAN +1600
- Total: 60.5
After a major statement victory over the Colorado Buffaloes, the No. 9 Oregon Ducks look as if they very well could be the Pac-12's top team. With Bo Nix currently pulling all the right strings at quarterback, Oregon torched Coach Prime's group for 276 passing yards (84.8% completion clip) and 4 total touchdowns. So, what will Nix and the fellas do to Stanford in Palo Alto this weekend?
The Stanford Cardinal appear to be at a low point as a football program. Other than an opening win at the Hawaii Warriors, the Cardinal have been defeated by an average margin of 18 points through three losses in 2023. One of those L's came against FCS Sacramento State. With Stanford already allowing 32.8 points per game (114th out of 133 FBS schools) this year, they will have an extremely difficult job sinking the Ducks.
This matchup is tangentially personal for me. I did not attend either academic institution, but on the day Oregon last traveled to Stanford (Oct. 2, 2021), I was part of my best friends' wedding in the meadows overlooking Palo Alto -- Woodside, to be exact. When the wedding party departed from the hotel that morning, we noticed a group of Stanford football alum at the inn leaving for the game. The fellow groomsmen all murmured things like, "Oh they play #3 Oregon today; they've got no chance."
Well, by the time we returned to the hotel bar hours later for the wedding's after party, that same Cardinal alumni group was already filling the space in full celebration. They had just upset the No. 3 Ducks, 31-24. Naturally, though spontaneously, we merged the festivities.
Best Bet: Oregon -27.5 (-105)
I would not count on an upset at The Farm this time around for Oregon at Stanford. On ESPN's latest SP+ rankings, the Ducks come in sixth overall with a rating of 24.3. For the Cardinal, they are in the bottom tier of FBS, ranked 94th (-9.3). Simply, I think it whittles down to Oregon having playmakers on a different level than Stanford.
The Cardinal have a tall task this Saturday in trying to contain Duck wideouts Troy Franklin, Tez Johnson, Gary Bryant and Taeshon Holden -- all of whom have contributed more than 150 receiving yards and multiple scores in 2023. If Oregon has 30 points in the first half, I genuinely would not be surprised.
Looking back to numberFire's CFB Week 5 projections, the Fighting Ducks are tagged with an estimated winning score of 46.79-16.00. With that in mind, I am confident in laying 27.5 with Oregon on the road. At 4-0 ATS right now, I will follow the Ducks as long as profitable.
(#11) Notre Dame Fighting Irish at (#17) Duke Blue Devils
- Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
- TV: ABC
- Spread: ND -5.5 (-115)
- Moneyline: ND -215/DUKE +176
- Total: 52.5 (-115/-105)
Duke and Notre Dame are both at intriguing moments with their respective football programs. The Fighting Irish are attempting to reignite glory days under head coach Marcus Freeman while the Blue Devils are looking to redesign the brand entirely under head coach Mike Elko. Coming into this primetime meeting, both schools have already collected four wins to this point.
Notre Dame is looking to bounce back from their first loss of 2023: a 17-14 nail-biter versus the Ohio State Buckeyes. Outside of that contest, the Irish -- behind prolific play from transfer quarterback Sam Hartman -- have averaged 46.0 points per game through four wins this year. An institution mostly known for dominant defenses, N.D. might finally have another signal-caller that can take them the distance; FanDuel Sportsbook's CFP odds have Notre Dame at +900 despite last week's L.
The Blue Devils have been strong on both sides of the ball this season, as well. Quarterback Riley Leonard has emerged as a dynamic dual-threat player, having already contributed four touchdowns with his legs through as many games. Before the meeting with the Domers, Leonard has produced 1,016 all-purpose yards. Regardless, the Irish are the best defense Duke has seen in 2023.
With ESPN College GameDay making their Durham debut this Saturday, there will be added energy around tobacco country. Can the Blue Devils give the hometown fans reason to party?
Best Bet: Duke +5.5 (-105)
Initially, I was looking to make an over play on the total here, but with the number increasing one point on the Notre Dame-Duke odds at FanDuel Sportbook between Wednesday and Thursday, I am slightly deterred. Still, I think the home side has a fair chance to improve to 4-1 ATS this week; the Devils are 3-1 ATS currently.
numberFire projects the Irish to come out victorious in this meeting, but only by an estimated score of 27.61-23.03. I say only because that results would provide a cover for Duke supporters. At the moment, these two schools are 17 places apart on ESPN's CFPI (11th for N.D. versus 28th for Duke), but often, the affect of a home field advantage cannot be quantified.
Trending toward their first football conference title since 1989, I like the Blue Devils to deliver at home this weekend. I'll glady take five and a hook on the Dukies.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.