Stuckey & Wilson: Best Week 10 College Football Underdogs to Bet on the Moneyline
Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Image. Pictured: Notre Dame QB Ian Book vs. Clemson in 2018.
Each week on The Action Network Colleges Podcast, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each Saturday’s college football slate.
We’ve hit a little bit of a dry spell here over the past three weeks, so it’s time to get back on track with a pair of home pups.
- 2018-19: 29-47 +4.00 units
- 2020: 5-11 +0.59 units
If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays 6-1 odds.
Wilson: Georgia Southern +140
- Spread: Troy -3.5
- Over/Under: 53
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 7
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN3
- Location: Statesboro, GA
The heavy lifting for Troy will come on the defensive side of the football. Following a Halloween beatdown of Arkansas State, the Trojans defense must now switch gears to defend the triple option.
Two key defensive metrics to focus on for teams facing the triple option is Line Yards and Rushing Success Rate, and Troy ranks outside the top 30 nationally in both. Troy’s defense was built to stop a team like Arkansas State with its strength in the secondary, as evidenced by ranking No. 4 in the country in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.
Meanwhile, Georgia Southern will benefit from a few extra days of rest and preparation after a Week 9 victory over South Alabama. Its triple option attack is led by a stout offensive line that ranks 11th in Line Yards and fourth in Stuff Rate. That suggests the Eagles should control the line of scrimmage and convert on a high frequency of short-yardage situations in order to keep the sticks moving against a Troy defense that isn’t a great tackling unit.
Also, unlike Troy, the Eagles rank top 30 in Finishing Drives on both sides of the ball. That’s especially important in a game where Georgia Southern should eat clock and limit the overall number of possessions.
Georgia Southern also ranks in the top 20 nationally in Passing Success Rate. That should come in handy against a Troy team that throws on 56% of its snaps. The Eagles should also have the advantage at the point of attack, as you can see from the chart above.
After getting embarrassed three straight seasons against Troy, I like the Georgia Southern seniors to get it done here.
Stuckey: Notre Dame +195
- Spread: Clemson -5.5
- Over/Under: 50
- Date: Saturday, Nov 7
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC
- Location: South Bend, IN
This top-5 ACC showdown is the game of the week and will likely have College Football Playoff implications. Although, even with a loss, I think we’ll see Dabo Swinney’s bunch back in the semifinals if they simply run the table and beat Notre Dame in a rematch in the ACC championship. The Tigers would then have the more recent win over Notre Dame and the Committee would recognize that Trevor Lawrence didn’t play in the first meeting.
Getting back to this game, I do think there is about a 4-5 point drop-off between Lawrence and freshman DJ Uiagalelei, who will be making his first career road start. This is also a Clemson team that just doesn’t have as dominant of a receiving group as we’ve seen in the past few years.
Yes, it still features the best back in the country in Travis Etienne, but Notre Dame boasts an extremely formidable run defense. The Irish defensive line ranks No. 2 in Stuff Rate and No. 11 in Line Yards. I think they can hold their own here.
On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame has a very experienced quarterback in Ian Book and one of the most talented offensive lines in FBS. There are questions on the outside after the losses of Cole Kmet and Chase Claypool to the NFL, but I think Book and the ground game can do enough against an undermanned Clemson defense. Not only did Will Venable’s unit lose a bunch of NFL talent, they’ll be without a few key starters on Saturday. It wasn’t Lawrence’s fault that Boston College put up 28 points in the first half last week.
I make this line Clemson -3, so I’ll gladly roll with the Irish here as close to 2-1 home dogs. I think this one comes down to the wire.
For those interested, here’s my weekly round robin parlay of underdogs and short favorites:
- Notre Dame
- Georgia Southern
- Oregon State
- Florida State