Stuckey, Locky, Wilson: Week 3 CFB Moneyline Underdogs With Value
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hawaii QB Cole McDonald
- Don't forget about the underdogs when finalizing your Week 3 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 3, 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.
Let’s take a look at our trio of Week 3 moneylines, starting with a clash of two schools that are just under 5,000 miles apart. If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of all three pays over 25-1.
YTD: 3-3 +1.85 units
>> Sign up for The Action Network’s daily newsletter to get the smartest college football conversation delivered into your inbox each morning.
Stuckey: Hawaii +240 (at Army)
- Spread: Army -7
- Over/Under: 62
- Time: Noon ET
- TV channel: CBS Sports Network
Déjà vu. I’m going back to the Army fade as touchdown favorites at noon ET on CBS Sports Network. After this strategy cashed for us in Week 1, Liberty crashed against Army last week — but the Flames were one wide open completion away from cutting that margin to three before Army blew it open.
I’m still very low on this 2018 Army squad. The Black Knights did finish 10-3 last year, but they won only three games by more than seven points against FBS teams: UTEP, Air Force and Rice. Not exactly a gauntlet.
Look, I think the Black Knights will score at will with their triple-option attack against a putrid Hawaii run defense. However, I also don’t see how Army will get any stops against the Rainbow Warriors’ new “Run and Shoot” offense, which has looked indefensible over Hawaii’s first 3-0 start since winning 12 straight in 2007 before the Sugar Bowl loss to Georgia.
Army consistently struggles to defend prolific passing attacks, which makes sense considering it only ever practices against the triple option. Last year, Army’s defense rated 122nd against the pass, per Football Outsiders.
I simply think home-field advantage, travel and game time (6 a.m. Hawaii time) are being overvalued. Don’t forget that Hawaii traveled to Army in 2011 for a noon ET kick and jumped out to a 21-0 lead en en route to a 31-28 victory.
There was no slow start.
Yes, that was one game seven years ago. However, Hawaii’s offensive coordinator for that game was none other than current head coach Nick Rolovich.
And while not as drastic, Hawaii also won at Air Force (another service academy option team) in a 2016 game that had a 10 a.m. local Hawaii kickoff. The Rainbow Warriors led at halftime in that one as well.
In fact, Hawaii owns an 8-2 record vs. FBS service academies since 1999, including a blowout win as a 14-point underdog to Navy earlier this season. The Rainbow Warriors have defeated Army in all three previous meetings, averaging over 46 points per game.
I think this road trip later in the season would be torture for Hawaii, which will travel 38,578 total miles this season — over 12,000 more miles than the second-highest team (Navy). However, Hawaii is riding the high of a 3-0 start behind an energetic coach. I expect a team that I fancy as an underdog (not as a favorite) to be ready to go.
In a potential shootout that could be won by the last team with the ball, I’ll gladly take seven points and +240 on the moneyline. All it takes is one or two Army fumbles on option pitches, and Hawaii could be off to its first 4-0 start in more than a decade.
Collin Wilson: UAB +160 (vs. Tulane)
- Spread: Tulane -3.5
- Over/Under: 57
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Facebook
If you read my nine favorite college football bets of the weekend, you already know I love the Blazers. I think the wrong team is favored, as our most recent Action Network power ratings make UAB a 3-point favorite.
I think this line is an overreaction to UAB’s bad loss to Coastal Carolina last weekend. However, the Blazers (-8.5) were cruising along against Coastal’s triple-option offense before the zebras got involved. UAB amassed 15 penalties for 143 yards, which had head coach Bill Clark questioning the officials after the game.
Regardless, UAB can leverage last week’s experience against another triple-option team in Tulane.
While the knock on the Blazers coming into the season centered on their lack of offensive explosiveness, UAB has been fantastic on third downs in 2018 (54.17%). That spells trouble for a Green Wave team that ranks 121st (52.63%) nationally in third-down conversion percentage.
UAB has a much more experienced offense this year that should extend plenty of drives on third down against a suspect Tulane defense. Last week’s option experience is the cherry on top.
Ken Barkley: Purdue +200 (vs. Missouri)
- Spread: Missouri -6
- Over/Under: 65.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: Big Ten Network
This number is really too high thanks to an overreaction to what we’ve seen so far. Missouri actually isn’t that much more talented than Northwestern this season, and Purdue was about a pick-em with the Wildcats. Also, Purdue should have arguably won that game.
The Boilers (at right around 6-point underdogs) went to Mizzou last season and thrashed the Tigers 35-3, so the coaching staff certainly has a game plan that works. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock finished that game 12-of-28 for 133 yards with two interceptions and no scores.
I’m seeing an awful lot of respect being given to the Tigers and new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley after merely beating an FCS team and dispatching a Wyoming team with an offense that’s looked inept since Week 0 at home.
The Tigers’ offense has looked great so far, but against what caliber of competition?
Playing its third straight home game off two tough losses — with the last one more embarrassing than the first — Purdue should give whatever it has left in the tank. Just as a fun aside, Missouri has a date with Georgia on deck at home in Columbia next Saturday.