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The Daily Sweat: San Diego State and Houston aim for 10-1 records on Friday night

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The penultimate Friday of the regular season features no shortage of betting options.

There are five college football games Friday night as teams like Houston and San Diego State look to bolster their cases to be included in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Let’s start with Houston, which is an 8.5-point favorite at home over Memphis (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The Cougars moved into the top 25 at No. 24 on Tuesday thanks to an easy win over Temple a week ago. Houston is 9-1 overall and is playing for a 12-1 season. The Cougars locked up a spot in the AAC title game with that Temple win and will likely face Cincinnati for the conference title.

Houston hasn’t gotten much respect so far this season because of a season-opening loss to Texas Tech and a schedule that didn’t include Cincinnati. But the Cougars did hand SMU its first loss of the season and that Texas Tech loss doesn’t look as bad now that the Red Raiders are bowl eligible.

Houston QB Clayton Tune has been efficient so far this season with over 2,400 yards passing and 21 TDs. Tune has completed nearly 70% of his passes and is averaging over eight yards an attempt. Wide receiver Nathaniel Dell has caught eight of those TD passes while RB Alton McCaskill has 14 rushing touchdowns.

Memphis is playing for a bowl game. The Tigers are 5-5 and need a win over either Houston or Tulane to get to the postseason. While we don’t like Memphis’ chances of winning on Friday night, they will be favored over Tulane at home on Nov. 27.

Houston is 6-4 against the spread this year so far and six of its games have gone over the total — Friday night’s total is 59.5. Memphis, meanwhile, is 4-6 against the spread and has gone over four times this season. A Houston win and an over feel like the right play.

HONOLULU, HI - NOVEMBER 6: Lucas Johnson #7 of the San Diego State Aztecs hands the ball off to Greg Bell #22 during the second half of an NCAA football game against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at the Clarance T.C. Ching Athletic Complex on November 6, 2021 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
San Diego State is 9-1 and No. 19 in the CFP rankings. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

San Diego State is at No. 19 in the CFP rankings and is favored by 10.5 points at UNLV (11:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN). The Rebels are suddenly frisky; after starting the season 0-8, UNLV has beaten New Mexico and Hawaii over the last two weeks.

SDSU has been ruthlessly efficient so far in 2021. The Aztecs’ only loss came against Fresno State and that’s the only time that SDSU has given up 30 or more points in regulation this season. SDSU games typically have one of the lowest totals every weekend and Friday night is no different. The over/under is 41. Only Iowa and Illinois (38.5) have a lower total.

Despite having those low totals, SDSU games have gone under more often than not so far this season. The Aztecs are just 4-6 against the total and are 5-4-1 against the spread. UNLV has covered the spread seven times in 2021 and is 5-5 against the total. If you’re going to attempt to stay up late and watch this game we’re not going to promise you a shootout. We wouldn’t be surprised if the under hits.

The only Power Five game of the night features a terrible Arizona team at a Washington State team looking for bowl eligibility in a tumultuous season (9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network). The Cougars are favored by 15.5 over the Wildcats as Arizona’s only win of the season came on Nov. 6 against a shorthanded Cal team.

Washington State should make easy work of Arizona, even if the Wildcats sneak in a backdoor cover. Arizona scores just 17 points per game.

The closest game of the night could be in the Mountain West. Air Force travels to Nevada (9 p.m. ET, FS1) and the Wolf Pack are just 1.5-point favorites. If you’re a casual football fan this is your chance to see 2022 NFL draft prospect Carson Strong play for Nevada and you should also appreciate how fun Air Force QB Haaziq Daniels is. Daniels has a 92-yard completion and a 94-yard run this season. He and Air Force RB Brad Roberts have combined to rush for over 1,700 yards so far this season.

The first game of the evening is the lowest-profile game on the schedule. Louisiana Tech is favored by 15.5 points over Southern Miss (8 p.m. ET, CBSSN).

All odds via BetMGM.

Celtics favored over Lakers

A historic NBA rivalry is renewed on Friday night when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Boston Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Celtics are favored by 2.5 points as neither team is above .500.

The Lakers are just 6-10 against the spread so far this season while the Celtics are 9-6. Boston, however, has trended under more often than not. The under has hit in nine of Boston’s 15 games so far. The total on Friday night is 214.5 as LeBron James’ status is still in question. James is recovering from an oblique injury and has said he hopes to take the court against the Celtics. Wait to bet this game as long as you can.

The most fun game of the night could be in Denver as the Bulls are in town to face the Nuggets. Denver is favored by 4.5 points though the Bulls are 10-5 against the spread so far this season. The total for this one is just 208 and the over may be the right play here. The relatively low total could be a reaction to both teams’ performance against the over/under so far this season. Chicago games have gone under nine times while Denver games have gone under 11 times.

Nearly 50 men’s college basketball games

There are 46 men’s college basketball games to bet on Friday and the first game tips off at 1 p.m. ET between Bradley and Colorado State. The week before Thanksgiving is prime tournament time and there’s money to be made — and lost — by betting on early season games.

Who cashed tickets on Thursday?

Bettors who had the under and the New England Patriots were happy on Thursday night. New England easily beat the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 as over 80% of the money at BetMGM was on the Pats to cover a 6.5-point spread.

An absolutely massive fourth quarter for the Golden State Warriors powered them to a 104-89 win and a cover over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 36-8 in the final period as Steph Curry scored 20 points to flip a 13-point deficit at the start of the quarter into a 15-point win.

The Nuggets lost 103-89 at home against a shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers team. The Sixers didn’t have Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle or Danny Green but Tyrese Maxey scored 22 points and Seth Curry had 20 against a Nuggets team that got another star performance from Nikola Jokic. He had 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.