College Football Picks: My 2 Favorite Under-the-Radar Bets for Week 14
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Connor Slomka
Everyone will have their eyes on Ohio State-Michigan and Alabama-Auburn this weekend, but don’t forget that there’s plenty of value in some of the weekend’s less heralded games.
The lines often aren’t as sharp and there aren’t as many eyes on the games. If you know personnel mismatches, coaching staffs and advanced stats for Group of Five teams, you can make some money.
Every Saturday, I’ll be putting out a few of my favorite bets in some under-the-radar games.
This week I’ve got two, so let’s jump in.
College Football Picks, Week 14
Odds as of Friday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Southern Miss at FAU
- Odds: FAU -9
- Total: 55
- Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: NFL Network
This game has major conference championship game implications as both Southern Miss and FAU are in the hunt to win their divisions. I’m expecting both teams to be locked in and focused for this one. The biggest question mark is the availability of some key Southern Miss players.
Starting quarterback Jack Abraham and two starting offensive linemen left the game against Western Kentucky and all three should be good to go for this one.
The Golden Eagles could also get electric slot receiver Jaylond Adams and running back Trivenskey Mosley back for this game as well. This will provide a huge boost to an already elite G5 offense.
Additionally, Southern Miss may be without its best defender, Racheem Boothe, after he left the game last week and didn’t practice this week.
The Southern Miss offense has seen a really surprising turnaround after last year’s team relied heavily on its defense. This year, the Golden Eagles have an efficient and highly explosive passing attack and that will be a big problem for FAU.
FAU’s defense has been solid all season, but is very susceptible to big plays through the air. Expect Abraham and his great receiving corps to pick FAU apart in chunks all down the field.
Even with Boothe, Southern Miss’ defense has been average at best. It ranks in the top-40 in both passing and running success rate, but gives up a ton of explosive plays, especially in the passing game.
Weather is a major factor when you get this late in the season, but we’re in good shape in this one. That’s the final piece to the puzzle that results in me playing the over in this important C-USA game.
Pick: Over 55 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Army at Hawaii
- Odds: Hawaii -2.5
- Total: 55
- Time: Saturday, 11:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
This fun matchup of complete opposites features a couple of huge advantages for one side. Let’s start with the weather in this one as it’s a major factor in how I’m betting the game.
Temperatures on the island will be in the mid-70s, but the wind is expected to be sustained at 20-mph throughout the game with gusts much higher. That’s going to affect the team that passes the ball on almost every play much more than the triple-option team. Army won’t be fazed by the wind or rain because it will be moving the ball on the ground steadily down the field.
Outside of the wind, Army has major advantages in their running game. The Black Knights rank fourth in the country in rushing success rate and Hawaii is 110th in defending it.
Army isn’t known for chunk plays on the ground, but if the Knights were every going to get them it’d be against Hawaii.
Finally, there’s a huge discrepancy between Army’s offensive line and Hawaii’s defensive line. Expect the Black Knights to own the trenches and dictate the tempo and style of play in this game.
Hawaii has an excellent offense but has shown some warts recently, scoring just 21 and 14 points in the last two games. Last week’s game against San Diego State had very similar circumstances with the weather and contrast in styles of play.
The big difference is that the Rainbow Warriors had full motivation to reach the Mountain West Championship Game when they took down the Aztecs. Now that they’ve clinched their spot in that game, they won’t be motivated to play their best game in a meaningless matchup against Army.
Facing the triple option is not the time that you want to have a motivation disadvantage. Take Army and the under in the last late night-chase game of the season.
Pick: Army +2.5 and Under 55 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]