College Football Picks: 2 Moneyline Underdogs Picks for Week 13, Including SDSU & Sam Houston
Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The San Diego State Aztecs.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson are back with their top moneyline underdogs for Week 13 of the college football season.
- Their picks for Saturday are on San Diego State vs. Fresno State and Sam Houston vs. Middle Tennessee.
- Check out both college football moneyline underdog picks for Week 13 below.
For the sixth straight season on our college football betting podcast, Big Bets on Campus, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each week's slate.
Fortunately, we picked up our second sweep of the season last week with a pair of underdogs in games involving service academies.
With only two of these left, including bowl season, let's close the season strong.
- 2018-22: 60-98, +8.3 units
- 2023: 10-14, +3.10 units
- Overall: 70-110, +11.4 units
This week, Collin and I are rolling with a pair of Saturday home underdogs who will be playing their final game of the season.
If you're feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays 6-1 odds.
Wilson: Sam Houston +150
For the newest team in FBS, Week 13 will be a Super Bowl of sorts for Sam Houston, which would like to cap off its inaugural season at the top level of Division I with a home victory.
While the NCAA doesn't allow teams transitioning to FBS to participate in bowl season and conference championship games, those were never realistic goals for the two-win Bearkats.
However, a recent hot streak is a signal that they have certainly not quit on the season.
There has been plenty of progress under head coach K.C. Keeler with four conference losses by a single possession. Sam Houston finally scored its first victory over Kennesaw State, then picked up another win against Louisiana Tech in Week 11.
Then, most recently, the Bearkats may have played their best game of the season against bowl-bound Western Kentucky, losing on the final play of the game as a double-digit underdog.
The Bearkats are once again underdogs in their regular-season finale, this time against a 4-7 Middle Tennessee team that failed to meet expectations this season and has nothing to play for here.
The defense for Sam Houston is the strongest unit in this game, specifically against the pass, which is critical against an MTSU team that can't run the ball. The Bearkats rank 27th in coverage and 15th in tackling, per PFF.
That should serve them well against a pass-first team MTSU offense led by quarterback Nicholas Vattiato, who has nearly as many turnover-worthy plays as big-time throws.
Not only does Sam Houston have the defensive advantage, but its red zone efficiency continues to rise in the back half of the schedule, another signal of improvement.
Look for the first-year FBS program to head into the offseason with a small upset victory over a potentially flat Blue Raiders bunch.
Pick: Sam Houston ML +150
Stuckey: San Diego State +175
Let's roll with another "State" team that isn't really a state with the San Diego State Aztecs.
First off, this has to be a huge letdown spot for Fresno State, which has already locked up bowl eligibility. The Bulldogs now essentially have nothing to play for after getting upset at home last week as a three-touchdown favorite by New Mexico.
That devastating loss eliminated them from Mountain West Championship contention just two weeks after controlling their own destiny.
Not only could Fresno come out completely flat, but I just have never been impressed with this Bulldogs team that benefited from a number of fortunate one-possession wins earlier in the season.
Conversely, San Diego State should come out with full motivation in its final regular-season game after a disappointing 3-8 campaign. Why? Well, it's the final game on the sidelines for beloved head coach Brady Hoke, who will retire after this game.
I expect the Aztecs, who have lost four of their six league games by one possession, to give a spirited effort, especially after losing in heartbreaking fashion at Fresno State last season when the Bulldogs rallied in the fourth quarter to essentially eliminate the Aztecs from the division race.
From a matchup perspective, San Diego State sports one of the worst rush defenses in the country. However, Fresno State doesn't really run it at a high rate and doesn't have much success when it actually decides to hand it off.
If you look at SDSU's schedule this season, which has been tougher than Fresno's, it has been blown out by elite rushing teams (UCLA, Oregon State, Air Force) due to that porous run defense that ranks fourth-worst in the country in Rushing Play Success Rate.
However, in all of their other games, the Aztecs have held their own.
Lastly, it's worth mentioning that Fresno State lost starting left tackle and best offensive lineman Jacob Spomer to a season-ending injury earlier this month. Then, his backup got hurt, which forced Kingsley Ugwu into the mix last week against New Mexico, which did not go well, to say the least.
That's especially bad news since the left guard situation also leaves a lot to be desired. Fresno should likely get Mikey Keene back at quarterback this week, but he may not be fully healthy.
Regardless, this is a favorable matchup for the SDSU defense against a Fresno team that still has some looming negative regression.
On the season, the Bulldogs rank in the top five nationally in both fourth-down conversion percentage and turnover margin thanks in large part to an FBS-low one fumble lost in 11 games.
Lastly, for what it's worth, during his time at San Diego State, Hoke is 11-4 ATS (73.3%) in Mountain West play as an underdog of three-plus points.
He's also gone 29-14-1 ATS (67.4%) in conference play after a straight-up loss; only former Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder has been more profitable in that situation over the past two decades.
Pick: San Diego State ML +175
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