College Football Moneyline Underdogs for Week 8: South Carolina, Ohio Highlight Top Plus-Money Bets
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
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.
Last week, we picked up our second sweep in the past three weeks. Big shout out to both Bowling Green and LSU for getting to the window. Let's keep the momentum going as we head into Week 8.
Oddly enough, for the second straight week, Collin will get us started in the afternoon with a home MAC team, while I'm once again rolling with an SEC underdog in prime time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
If you're feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays over 4-1 odds.
- 2018-21: 49-83 +4.1 units
- 2022: 6-8 +5.05 units
- Overall: 53-91 +9.15 units
Wilson: Ohio +128
|Northern Illinois Odds|
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
Give me Ohio at plus-money at home in what I see as a favorable matchup.
The Bobcats rank 38th in Defensive Stuff Rate. That's paramount against the run-heavy and slow Northern Illinois offense, especially with quarterback Rocky Lombardi returning from injury to run the zone read with backs Harrison Waylee and Antario Brown.
While NIU runs the ball at a top-20 rate nationally, Ohio sits on the opposite end of the spectrum. Led by quarterback Kurtis Rourke, the Bobs pass at a top-25 rate. For the season, Rourke has a 70% completion rate with 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions. His turnover-worthy play rate has also continued to trend down.
Ohio simply doesn't and can't run the ball, but that's not an issue against a Huskies defense that ranks in the top 20 in Rush Success Rate.
However, the NIU secondary is beyond suspect. Just take a look at some of these national pass defense rankings:
- 120th in Pass Success Rate
- 121st in Coverage
- 125th in Pass Explosiveness
- 128th in EPA per Pass
Those ugly pass-defense statistics explain why the Huskies' defense can't get off the field. On the season, they rank 117th in opponent third-down conversion rate. All of this spells trouble against a pass-heavy Ohio attack that ranks in the top 25 in Pass Success Rate.
NIU will surely get its points, but I don't see it getting many stops. I'll take the plus-money with the home underdog.
Stuckey: South Carolina +140
|Texas A&M Odds|
-110o / -110u
|South Carolina Odds|
-110o / -110u
Despite pulling off an upset at Kentucky, I still believe the Gamecocks remain undervalued in the market.
Their season-long defensive metrics are negatively skewed after dealing with injuries to eight defensive starters earlier this season.
However, a two-week break against Charlotte and South Carolina State allowed them to get much healthier (on offense too) prior to that victory at Kentucky. They should have even better health this week following their bye week.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M hasn't impressed me at any point this season. It got statistically outplayed in its only two FBS victories over Miami and Arkansas. Also, that home win over Miami looks much worse than it did at the time.
The Aggies did hang around against Alabama, but the Tide started a backup quarterback and tried to give that game away with multiple turnovers that led to short fields for A&M. The offense, now without its best weapon in Ainias Smith, remains extremely limited.
We'll see who ends up starting at quarterback with Max Johnson injured and Haynes King dealing with some bumps and bruises. Add in King's struggles, and Jimbo might roll with highly-touted freshman Conner Weigman.
Regardless of who lines up under center, I don't envision the Texas A&M offense lighting up the scoreboard on the road against a now-healthy South Carolina stop unit with promising early-down metrics.
On the other side of the ball, the talented but inexperienced Texas A&M defensive front just hasn't lived up to the hype.
For the season, the Aggies rank outside the top 100 in both Line Yards and Opportunity Rate. That could spell trouble against an underrated SC rushing attack. The Gamecocks rank in the top 30 in both EPA per Rush and Rush Success Rate, spearheaded by explosive back MarShawn Lloyd.
This also sets up as a potential sleepy spot for Texas A&M even with both teams coming off of a bye. With their season-long goals already washed away, the Aggies could get caught off guard in Columbia with undefeated Ole Miss up next.
Lastly, South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer owns a perfect 3-0 straight-up and against-the-spread record with extra time (8+ days) to prepare. In those three games, the Gamecocks pulled off outright upsets over Florida, North Carolina and Kentucky as 17.5-, 12.5- and 4.5-point underdogs, respectively.
Give me the home pups outright in front of a raucous crowd at Williams Bryce Stadium.