College Football, NFL odds: Best bets for Oregon-Utah, BYU-Texas

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National Football League

Oct. 27, 2023 6:00 p.m. ET

My only goal this weekend is to make you enough extra scratch so you can hand out the big candy bars on Halloween night.

Don’t be passing out candy corn, either!

I’ve circled four college football bets and will add a couple of NFL plays on Saturday morning. Remember, this space isn’t the place for a million picks or five-team parlays, either. These will always be the games I love the most.

Let’s go to work.

UNLV Rebels @ Fresno State Bulldogs (-9, O/U 57) 

I think Mikey Keene is going to play.

Circa Sports opened Fresno -9, and the betting market has been under the assumption all week that the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback is “questionable.” I imagine that line will zip through 10 if Keene gets the green light.

This is also a great schedule spot for the Bulldogs. They’re off their bye week with extra time to prepare for a UNLV team that hasn’t really played anybody. I applaud the Rebels for being bowl eligible after just seven games, but this is a massive step up in competition.

Give me the Bulldogs by two touchdowns.

PICK: Fresno State (-9) to win by more than 9 points

No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (-9.5, O/U 66) @ Kansas Jayhawks

I can’t wait to watch this one.  

The last time we saw these two teams play, there were 94 points scored in Norman. 94. Jason Bean threw four touchdowns, and the Jayhawks pulled out the cover as a 10.5-point underdog.

Kansas is better this year — and the game shifts to Lawrence — but the spread is basically the same? That doesn’t make much sense. Lance Leipold is one of the best head coaches in the country at manipulating safeties, and the Jayhawks will undoubtedly hit big plays down the field.

This is too many points.

I just wish I had the stones to call upset.

PICK: Kansas (+9.5) to lose by fewer than 9.5 points (or win outright)

Can Oregon, Bo Nix break Utah’s 27-game win streak at home in Salt Lake City?

No. 8 Oregon Ducks (-6.5, O/U 46.5) @ No. 13 Utah Utes

Does anybody like Utah here?

I’ve spoken with multiple Las Vegas bookmakers, and they’re all singing the same tune. “Everyone is laying the points.” 

I’ll be honest with you, I knew I was going to bet the ‘dog when this game opened Oregon -4.

That opening number tells you how much the house respects Utah. That’s an extremely well-coached team that wins the trench wars, doesn’t commit stupid penalties and protects that precious football.

Utah’s physicality has been a nightmare for so many teams this season, and I don’t expect much to change Saturday. Also, the Utes have controlled the pace against Oregon in three straight meetings. The song will remain the same.  

Take all those extra points.

PICK: Utah (+6.5) to lose by fewer than 6.5 points (or win outright)

BYU Cougars @ No. 7 Texas Longhorns (-20, O/U 50)

Yes, I’m aware Quinn Ewers isn’t playing.

The Longhorns’ star quarterback is expected to miss multiple weeks with a shoulder sprain, but it’s far from slim pickings in UT’s quarterback room. It’s so deep that five-star recruit Arch Manning is technically QB3.

Texas will be just fine with Maalik Murphy.

This is also one of those “accordion” spots I love betting in college football. Everybody just watched Texas almost lose to Houston while BYU pounded Texas Tech as a 3-point home underdog.

“Wow! That’s a lot of points for Texas to lay.”

It’s still not enough.  

PICK: Texas (-20) to win by more than 20 points

2023 Record: (16-20-1, -5.8)

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

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