The leaves and temperatures are dropping, signaling that the College Football Playoffs are just around the corner. This weekend features two games that will go a long way in determining which teams will make this year’s CFP. Below, we will preview both matchups to give you the information you need to bet confidently at NCAAF betting sites this weekend.
NCAAF Betting: How to Bet on This Weekend’s Two Marquee College Football Matchups
- Michigan is yet to face a ranked opponent in 2023
- Michigan’s defense leads the country in yards (231.4 YDS/G) and points (6.7 PTS/G) allowed
- Washington has won 13 of their 15 matchups with Utah
#3 Michigan Wolverines vs #10 Penn State Nittany Lions
- Spread: Michigan -4.5 (-110) | Penn State +4.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Michigan -192 | Penn State +160
- Total: Over 46 (-110) | Under 46 (-110)
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
This matchup features two great Big 10 teams that have yet to be tested this season.
Michigan has not played a ranked team, while Penn state has faced just one in Ohio State. The game will be played at the famous Beaver Stadium, where they have lost just once over the last two seasons. Michigan has won the previous two matchups with Penn State, and three of the last five.
Michigan is a popular pick to win the Big 10 and make the CFP, but that will be tested this Saturday. On top of the on the field challenge, the Wolverines are also the center of a NCAA investigation into sign stealing that could lead to penalties. The story has gained a lot of traction over the last few weeks, which serves as a distraction for the locker room.
Michigan’s defense leads the country in yards (231.4 YDS/G) and scoring (6.7 PTS/G). Their offense ranks in the top 50, averaging 424.2 yards per game. The question is if those numbers are inflated from their very easy schedule. Michigan’s top weapon is quarterback JJ McCarthy, who has 2,134 yards, 18 touchdowns, and a 75.7% completion percentage. He faced Penn State last season and struggled, with 145 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.
The Nittany Lions could launch themselves back into the CFP conversation with a win on Saturday. Their loss to Ohio State hurts but beating a team like Michigan could vault them up the rankings. We don’t see them being a true threat to win the National Championship, but that motivation will lead to a massive effort this Saturday.
Penn State’s defense is also elite, ranking second in the country in yards (231.4YDS/G) and third in points (11.9 PTS/G) allowed. They also have the second-highest sack total in the league, with 38. The PSU offense has been good (394.0 YDS/G, 40.2 PTS/G), thanks to quarterback Drew Allar (20 TD) and a pair of talent running backs in Kaytron Allen (573 YDS, 4 TD) and Nicholas Singleton (480 YDS, 7 TD).
Michigan leads the overall series against Penn State 16-10.
#18 Utah Utes vs #5 Washington Huskies
- Spread: Utah +9.5 (-110) | Washington -9.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Utah +275 | Washington -350
- Total: Over 53.5 (-110) | Under 53.5 (-110)
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
While Utah’s CFP hopes are likely over, they will have a chance to deal a massive blow to Washington’s prospects this weekend. The Huskies currently lead the Pac-12 at 9-0, with wins over Oregon and USC. Utah has a 7-2 record, but they will need to get a win this weekend to stay in Pac-12 South race. These teams have not met since the 2020 season.
Utah lost quarterback Cameron Rising before the season began, but their elite defense has been able to carry them to seven wins. They are tenth in the country in yards allowed (282.3 YDS/G) and ninth in points (15.9 PTS/G). They are led by Jonah Ellis, who has the third most sacks in the country (11.5). He will play a key role against Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies offense.
Speaking of Penix Jr, the quarterback is a Heisman Trophy finalist with 3,201 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and a 69.4% completion percentage. He has made the Washington offense one of the league’s best, ranking fourth in the country in yards per game (509.1). The defense is average (413.0 YDS/G) but have been good enough to support their elite offensive attack.
While Utah’s CFP hopes are over, a win for Washington would go a long way in securing their spot in the postseason.
Washington has dominated this series in the past, winning 13 of their 15 meetings.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.