Stuckey, Locky, Wilson: College Football Moneyline Underdogs to Bet in Week 4
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bowling Green Falcons head coach Mike Jinks
- Don't forget about the underdogs when finalizing your Week 4 bets. Remember that we saw four double-digit underdogs win outright last week.
- Three of our college football experts give their best moneyline underdog bets for Week 4, starting with a matchup of schools almost 5,000 miles apart.
Each week, we will each give out our favorite moneyline underdog on the college football Saturday slate. You can play them straight, throw them in a longshot parlay or just read the commentary for additional insight.
All three of our underdogs covered last week, but only one could pull out the victory. Let’s take a look at our three Week 4 moneylines, starting with Louisiana-Monroe. If you feel like really rolling the dice, a moneyline parlay of all three pays better than 22-1.
YTD: 4-5 +1.45 units
>> Check out Sports Insights’ Bet Signals to track sharp action for college football’s entire Week 4 slate.
Stuckey: Louisiana-Monroe +170
- Spread: Troy -4.5
- Over/Under: 62
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN+
Troy might look tempting at such a short number in its conference opener after the Trojans beat Nebraska last week, but I think that was more of an indictment of the Cornhuskers.
If you recall, Troy pulled off an even bigger upset win last year at LSU. Well, it followed that up by laying an egg at home against South Alabama, which won 19-8 as an 18-point underdog.
ULM will present a much stiffer test for Troy in the Trojans’ second consecutive road game. Troy not only didn’t deal with success last year, the Trojans also got blown out by Arkansas State 35-3 in 2016 the week after receiving their first top-25 ranking since joining the FBS ranks in 2001. Speaking of 2001, that’s the last time Troy won at Louisiana-Monroe.
The Warhawks have an explosive offense, led by junior quarterback Caleb Evans and senior wideout Marcus Green. Make sure you also keep an eye out for Green on special teams.
The dynamic returner may just break one against a vulnerable Troy special teams unit, which finished 122nd in the nation last year in Kickoff Efficiency; meanwhile, ULM finished in the top five in Kickoff Return efficiency.
Ultimately, it will be the defense that lets Troy down in my opinion. The Trojans lost a ton of production from last year’s elite defensive unit, and that will show in its second matchup of the year against an explosive offense (it lost the first to Boise 56-20.)
Collin Wilson: Marshall +175
- Spread: N.C. State -5
- Over/Under: 56.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBSSN
If you read my weekly piece on my nine favorite college football bets and/or listened to our most recent podcast episode, you know I love the Thundering Herd in a matchup of two teams that had sudden byes last week as a result of Hurricane Florence. I ultimately think that unforeseen break favors Marshall, as it caused much more disruption with NC State.
Additionally, Marshall head coach Doc Holliday is one of the nation’s best coaches when he has extra time to prepare for an opponent. Look no further than his bowl success and his 7-2 ATS record after a bye week since 2012. I’m also very low on this NC State defense, which ranks 127th in rushing efficiency and 130th in opportunity rate — albeit in a very limited sample size.
The Wolfpack do have a reliable, experienced quarterback in Ryan Finley, but the offensive line has struggled, and Marshall plays stingy pass defense, ranking 13th in defensive completion percentage. Throw in some rain in the Charleston forecast, and the Herd should control the line of scrimmage and have a great shot at pulling off this minor upset.
Ken Barkley: Bowling Green +215
- Spread: Miami Ohio -6.5
- Over/Under: 54.5
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
These are two teams that haven’t covered a closing number yet this season.
Bowling Green will have a luxury it generally doesn’t have in a football game: a coaching advantage! RedHawks head coach Chuck Martin has an absysmal 5-18 record in one-possession games during his time in Oxford, Ohio.
Not only is Miami’s staff quickly moving down the list of the worst in history for its poor record in close games, but the RedHawks may also be without their two best skill players by far. Top wide receiver James Gardner is out for the season, and starting RB Kenny Young is listed as questionable.
Miami is on back-to-back travel, having gone to Minnesota last week, and the Falcons are playing their third straight home game. Even without the Miami Ohio injuries, this Bowling Green roster has just as much talent.
I’ll take the Falcons on their field in their conference opener in a game that my numbers have as much more of a coin-flip than the line implies.