College Football Moneyline Underdogs: LSU & Bowling Green Lead Week 7 Picks
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: LSU wide receivers Malik Nabers (8) and Jaray Jenkins (10).
For the fifth straight season on our college football betting podcast (now Big Bets on Campus), Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each week's slate.
After our first sweep of the year, the gambling Gods did not smile down on us last Saturday night with Stanford going down in one of the worst moneyline bad beats of the season. Oh well. Those will happen. Onward.
For Week 7, Collin will get us started at noon for a third straight week with a home conference pup, while I'm doing the same in prime time. If you're feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays just over 6-1 odds.
- 2018-21: 49-83 +4.1 units
- 2022: 4-8 +1.85 units
- Overall: 51-91 +5.95 units
Wilson: Bowling Green +220
|Miami (OH) Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Bowling Green Odds|
-110o / -110u
Many believed the injury to quarterback Brett Gabbert would take Miami (Ohio) out of the race for the MAC East division, but an upset victory over Kent State has given the RedHawks new life.
Backup quarterback Aveon Smith has been ultra-elusive on the ground over the past two games, racking up 16 missed tackles on 209 yards rushing. This has completely transformed the Miami offense, moving from the pass-heavy attack with Gabbert to a run-focused scheme.
However, teams now have tape on what Miami wants to do offensively with Smith. Plus, he has eight turnover-worthy plays through the air since taking over as the starter. If you take away his dual-threat ability, the results could get scary.
The good news for Bowling Green is it has the ability to get to the quarterback. That's pretty much its only strength on defense, which will help in this particular matchup.
For the season, the Falcons rank top-five nationally in sacks per game. Edge rusher Karl Brooks leads the way with 26 pressures, which puts him in the top 10 among all FBS defensive linemen. For all the flaws in Bowling Green’s defense, it can generate pressure to force Smith into key mistakes.
On the other side of the ball, quarterback Matt McDonald possesses a 14:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has cut his turnover-worthy play rate in half from his career number.
He will have opportunities to make plays through the air against a poor Miami secondary that ranks 130th in explosiveness allowed on passing downs. Its pass rush also ranks outside of the top 100.
Ultimately, this is a good spot to buy Bowling Green at home off of a blowout loss against a Buffalo team that overachieved last week.
Stuckey: LSU +120
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
I came away very unimpressed in Florida's victory over Missouri last week in what set up as a great situational spot. Without an early pick-six, the Gators could've easily lost outright. From a net Success Rate perspective, it was one of the luckiest wins of the weekend.
Meanwhile, LSU got thoroughly embarrassed in every phase at home against Tennessee, so I expect a spirited effort in a good buy-low spot for the Tigers.
They also have a few matchup advantages on both sides of the ball.
Unlike last week against a stout Tennessee run defense, the Tigers can lean on their ground game against a shoddy Gator run defense. Florida's defense sits outside the top 100 in both EPA per Rush and Rush Success Rate. That could spell success for an LSU rushing attack that ranks in the top 25 in both categories even if potentially shorthanded along the offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, LSU's defensive line can cause problems for Anthony Richardson, who still has accuracy issues. LSU's pass defense has been the weak link, but that's not something Florida can really exploit.
Lastly, following a straight-up loss, LSU head coach Brian Kelly is 25-16 (61%) against the spread. That includes a super impressive 14-6 (70%) ATS record as an underdog or favorite of a field goal or less, covering by an average of five points per game in this spot.