Can Louisville capitalize on its win over UCF? Can Florida State get to 3-0 after beating LSU in Week 1?
Friday night includes a very intriguing ACC matchup between two of the better dual-threat quarterbacks in college football. The Seminoles travel to Louisville as 2.5-point favorites (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) after an off week in Week 2. The Cardinals are playing their second consecutive Friday night game after taking down the Knights.
Short road favorites can be a little scary, so we could understand why you’d be hesitant to take Florida State, even after the team’s Week 1 performance. Joran Travis had one of the best games of his career with 260 passing yards and two TDs to go along with 31 rushing yards as the Seminoles held on to beat LSU in regulation on a blocked extra point.
Malik Cunningham was fantastic against UCF in Week 2 after the Cardinals struggled mightily in a 24-point loss to Syracuse in Week 1. While he completed just half of his passes for 195 yards, he rushed 17 times for 121 yards and a score as UCF couldn’t contain him on the ground.
Will both teams’ practices against their own QBs help prepare them for the opposing one on Friday night? It didn’t really work for UCF against Cunningham and the Knights have QB-turned-WR-turned-QB again John Rhys Plumlee as their starter.
If Florida State is going to win and cover it will have to run much more like it did against Duquesne in Week 0 than it did against LSU in Week 1. The Seminoles averaged over seven yards a carry against their FCS opponents before averaging less than half that on 38 rushing attempts against the Tigers. Louisville has allowed exactly 208 rushing yards in each of its first two games of the season. Travis is a better passer than Plumlee. If FSU cracks the 200-yard mark on the ground, Louisville can’t count on Travis misfiring as much as Plumlee did to keep the Cardinals in the game.
The other Friday night game involves two Mountain West teams. Air Force is a 16.5-point favorite over Wyoming in Laramie (8 p.m. ET, CBSSN). The Falcons could be the best team in the Mountain West and Wyoming has won two consecutive games after losing by 32 to Illinois in Week 0. The Cowboys beat Tulsa in two overtimes in Week 1 at home before easily beating FCS opponent Northern Colorado in Week 2.
We really like Air Force in this game but are a bit hesitant to bet the Falcons because it’s a Friday night road game in Laramie. We don’t discount the possibility of something weird happening. Perhaps you keep an eye on the live spread and total as the game progresses and make an educated bet accordingly.
After a weekend off in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, most of the Premier League returns to action this weekend, though there are a few games that won’t happen because of a lack of security personnel.
Two games kick off at 3 p.m. ET on Friday. Aston Villa hosts Southampton while Nottingham Forest hosts Fulham in a battle of teams promoted to the top flight over the offseason. Villa is +110 to win while a Southampton win and a tie are each +240. Fulham is favored over Forest at +150 while a Forest win is at +175 and a tie is at +240. Both over/unders are at 2.5 goals with the over slightly favored.
Friday night NASCAR to bet on
You can get some NASCAR short track action on Friday night at the Xfinity Series regular-season finale at Bristol (7:30 p.m. ET, USA). Justin Allgaier is the favorite at +275 while Ty Gibbs is at +300 and Noah Gragson is at +350. We like Josh Berry at +650 and AJ Allmendinger at +1000, while Sheldon Creed at +1800 is an interesting flyer as he tries to make the playoffs.
Friday night baseball
The Twins and Guardians are once again a part of the biggest weekend series in baseball. The Twins have fallen to four games behind the Guardians in the AL Central standings as they’ve dropped to just two games over .500.
Minnesota is +115 to win outright while Cleveland is at -140 to win straight up and +150 to win by two or more runs. Bailey Ober starts for Minnesota on Friday night while Triston McKenzie takes the mound for the Guardians.
The Braves and Phillies are the biggest weekend series in the National League as the Phillies look to solidify their playoff status. The Braves are eight games ahead of the Phillies for the first Wild Card berth while Philadelphia is just 2.5 games ahead of the Padres and four games ahead of the Brewers for the second of three Wild Card spots. Ranger Suarez starts for the Phillies (+150) while Max Fried’s presence on the mound makes the Braves -185 to win straight up.
Who cashed bets Thursday?
The Chargers got a nice backdoor cover for bettors with a late TD in their 27-24 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night. Kansas City scored 20 consecutive points — including a 99-yard pick-six — to take a 27-17 lead but Los Angeles converted two fourth downs on its final drive to cut the winning margin to three. Kansas City was favored by four or 4.5 depending on when you bet the Chiefs.