Favorite College Football Underdog Moneyline Picks: 2 Bets for Week 4
Edward Diller/Getty Images. Pictured: Bailey Zappe.
- Florida Atlantic takes on 2-1 Air Force on the road.
- Meanwhile, Western Kentucky tries to pull the upset over the Big Ten's Indiana at home.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson preview both matchups and explain why the moneyline could be the play.
For the past three seasons on our college football betting podcast (now Big Bets on Campus), Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each Saturday’s slate.
We split last week for a small profit with Memphis and Hawaii. Collin has carried the load so far, so it’s time for me to start pulling my weight in 2021.
For Week 4, we are rolling with a pair of primetime Conference USA underdogs. What could possibly go wrong?
- 2018-20: 39-67 +5.1 units
- 2021: 2-4 -1.35 units
If you’re feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays a bit over 9/1 odds.
Stuckey: Florida Atlantic +170
- Spread: Air Force -4
- Over/Under: 54
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 25
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: FS2
- Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Florida Atlantic actually now has an aerial attack thanks to a few key skill-position transfers and former Miami quarterback N’kosi Perry.
The Owls should feast against a vulnerable Air Force secondary that just allowed 457 passing yards (and 629 total yards) in a home loss to Utah State. FAU will have a distinct speed and athleticism advantage on the outside when they spread the Falcons out.
On the other side of the ball, the Florida Atlantic rush defense statistics (125th) looks hideous, but those are skewed by the first game of the season against Florida’s vaunted attack. And who could blame them for not being ready for Anthony Richardson, who ripped off a 70-plus scamper en route to 160 yards on the ground on just seven carries.
The Owls bounced back nicely against their next two opponents:
- Georgia Southern had 38 carries for 139 yards (3.7)
- Fordham had 18 carries for 29 yards (1.6)
That first matchup is the most noteworthy since Georgia Southern runs a varied triple-option attack. FAU also faced the Eagles last year, so the defense will have plenty of familiarity with defending Air Force’s unique offensive style. That’s critical.
The altitude is always a concern for opponents in Colorado Springs if Air Force dominates time of possession, but I’m still comfortable siding with the Owls here in a battle of the birds.
Wilson: Western Kentucky +280
- Spread: Indiana -9
- Over/Under: 62.5
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 25
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: CBSSN
- Location: Bowling Green, KY
There may not be a better situational spot on the board for an underdog upset than Western Kentucky.
Western Kentucky, which will come off of a bye week, will host Indiana in Bowling Green in a proverbial sandwich spot for the Hoosiers, who will make this trip in between two games against two ranked opponents in Cincinnati and Penn State. Don’t be shocked if IU comes out flat for this one.
The Hilltoppers generated a second half comeback that came up just short at Army two weeks ago despite failing to stop the triple option. Quarterback Bailey Zappe defined explosiveness and efficiency, doubling the national average in two-plus first down drives and tripling the national average in explosive offensive possessions.
This new look offense has clearly paid dividends, as WKU now ranks first in the nation in third-down conversion percentage and passing offense. They have enough offense to get this done against an Indiana team that is really struggling on the offensive side of the ball.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen was quoted saying his defense could not get off blocks in third and long situations last week against the Bearcats. That’s a recipe for disaster against a potent Western Kentucky offense. And while Indiana has an extremely talented defense, it ranks outside the top 75 in coverage and finishing drives, which should excite a Hilltoppers offense that ranks in the top 20 in finishing drives.
Western Kentucky does leave plenty to be desired defensively, but are we sure Michael Penix Jr. can capitalize? I’m not sure if he’s still hurt or just off, but something is wrong with the offense. The Hoosiers rank 126th in expected points on passing plays and 103rd in rushing success rate. Those numbers may not be good enough to fully exploit Western Kentucky in a horrible spot for IU.