Stuckey & Wilson: 2 College Football Moneyline Underdogs to Bet in Week 13
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: David Cutcliffe
- Don't forget to sprinkle some moneyline underdogs into your college footballs picks for Week 13.
- Our college football experts give their two favorite moneyline underdog bets for Saturday.
As we do each week on The Action Network Colleges Podcast, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs on Saturday’s college football slate.
Well, after finally hitting both two weeks ago, like most of our picks last week, our moneyline underdogs went up in flames. Time get back on the horse for Week 13.
For this week, we are each rolling with two off-the-radar underdogs that must win out to get to six wins and bowl eligibility. If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays over 6-1.
- 2018: 16-28 +3.95 units
- 2019: 11-13 +3.25 units
Wilson: Kent State +140
- Spread: Ball State -3.5
- Over/Under: 68
- Location: Kent, OH
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: ESPN+
These teams are heading in separate directions. Kent State has the hot hand, playing the role of comeback kids behind second-year head coach Sean Lewis.
Two weeks ago, the Golden Flashes were stuffed on a last-minute two-point conversion attempt to force overtime against Toledo. That dropped them to 3-6 on the season, which meant they’d have to win out for a shot at a bowl.
Well, things looked dire last week with Kent State trailing 27-6 in the fourth quarter against Buffalo. But miraculously, Kent State tallied 24 consecutive fourth-quarter points to steal an improbable 30-27 victory and keep the bowl eligibility dream alive.
Meanwhile, Ball State has lost three games in a row to Ohio, Western Michigan and Central Michigan. The Cardinals held fourth-quarter leads against the latter two before suffering gut-wrenching losses.
After what we’ve seen in recent weeks, the scariest scenario for Ball State today may be a second-half lead in a game that pits two 4-6 teams fighting for the postseason.
The Action Network projection makes this game a PK, so there is certainly line value to back up the Kent State momentum.
Ball State quarterback Drew Plitt has 16 touchdowns to just two interceptions on the season and should find success against a Kent State defense that ranks 116th in opponent passing success rate.
However, I fully expect Kent State to find success on offense as well in what should be a back-and-forth affair. The Golden Flashes sit in the top-50 in Passing Success Rate and Rush Explosiveness — two areas in which Ball State struggles.
And don’t be surprised if the special teams unit has a say in this game in Kent State’s favor. SP+ has the Golden Flashes special teams at 11th in the country while the Cardinals are 104th. Keep an eye on the punting: Kent State is top-10 in opponent punt return yards to Ball State’s rank of 124th.
Pick: Kent State +140 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Stuckey: Duke +210
- Spread: Wake Forest -7.5
- Over/Under: 50
- Location: Winston-Salem, NC
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ACCN
Like Collin, I’m backing a 4-6 team that needs to win out to get to bowl eligibility.
But the motivation goes much further than just a potential shot at the postseason. Duke was absolutely embarrassed by Wake Forest last season (in Daniel Jones’ final home start) by a score of 59-7.
As a result, the Blue Devils have had this game circled since last season. Plus, they were also embarrassed last week against Syracuse, so I expect a bounce-back game from a prideful Duke defense.
The Duke offense isn’t pretty but neither is the Wake Forest defense. And more importantly, the Wake offense is now a shell of its early season self after losing its top two wide receivers in Sage Surratt and Scotty Washington. Considering the Demon Deacons can’t run the ball (116th in rushing success rate), I don’t expect them to be able to exploit a vulnerable Duke run defense.
Meanwhile, the Duke secondary is a strength (top 20 in Passing Success Rate) and should contain a completely undermanned Wake Forest passing attack.
Trust in head coach David Cutliffe to have his troops ready in a great situational spot and a favorable matchup. For what it’s worth, Cutcliffe is 40-26-2 as an underdog of two touchdowns or less in his career. Only Brian Kelly has been more profitable in that situation among active coaches.
Pick: Duke +210 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]