Miller: My Favorite Under-the-Radar College Football Bets, Including Rice-UAB
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: UAB coach Bill Clark
- Kyle Miller covers betting odds and angles four under-the-radar games on Saturday, October 5th.
- One of the games that caught his attention is Army-Tulane, which opened with a spread of Tulane -1 but now sits at Tulane -2.5.
Everyone will have their eyes on Iowa-Michigan and Auburn-Florida this weekend, but don’t forget that there’s plenty of value to be had in games involving smaller-conference teams.
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 put yourself in a good position to fire and 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 four, so let’s get to it.
Miller’s Favorite College Football Bets, Week 6
Odds as of Thursday at 11 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Tulane at Army
Spread: Tulane -2.5
Time: 12 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Tulane has been one of the darlings of the college football betting community this season and for good reason. Wille Fritz has his guys playing extremely well after switching up his offense and going with more of a spread attack. This week they face a unique challenge as they head to West Point to take on Army.
The Black Knights struggled against an underrated Rice team to start the year but took Michigan to the brink in Week 2. Overall, this Army team has been about what I expected this season: a typical ball-control offense and a really, really good defense.
Tulane’s offense has been good but it’s fueled by explosive run plays. The biggest strength of the Army defense has been limiting chunk runs from opposing teams. The Green Wave offensive line has been dominant, but the Army D-line that it’ll face should be up for the task as both units rank in the top 40 in line score.
At the end of the day it’s all about stopping runs and controlling the line of scrimmage when you’re facing Army. Tulane currently ranks 81st in line yards and 86th in stuff rate along their defensive line this season. That, in conjunction with my power ratings making Army a small favorite, has me on the Black Knights as a dog.
The Pick: Army +2.5
Troy at Missouri
Spread: Missouri -24.5
Time: 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Missouri was one of my favorite teams coming into the season and it’s done nothing to change that. Kelly Bryant has been pretty efficient and this defense is a top-10 unit in the country in my opinion. I have no expectation for Troy to win this football game, but I just feel like this number is too big in a midseason non-conference game.
Troy is going to be able to move the ball against this elite defense because it has a very good offense in its own right. It ranks 28th in both yards per play and explosive play percentage while coming in 32nd in offensive efficiency. Quarterback Kaleb Barker has a 65% completion percentage and a 13-2 TD-INT ratio so I trust him to take care of the ball.
There’s no doubt that Missouri will score some points in this one against Troy’s subpar defense, but I know Troy won’t quit and has the firepower to get a late backdoor cover if need be.
I make this game Missouri -19 so I’m happy to take Troy at any number 24 or above. It might not be pretty when Missouri has the ball, but look for the Troy offense to score enough to cover this number.
The Pick: Troy +24.5
Arkansas State at Georgia State
Spread: Arkansas State -7
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Arkansas State lost its starting quarterback prior to last week’s matchup against Troy but it didn’t miss a beat. Layne Hatcher was once an Arkansas State commit before flipping to Alabama at the last minute. After one season in Tuscaloosa, Hatcher is back at Arkansas State and has become the quarterback of now instead of the quarterback of the future.
Last week, in his first collegiate start, Hatcher went 25/35 for 440 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Red Wolves to a road victory. He may not have the experience of Logan Bonner, but Hatcher is every bit as talented.
The injury bug has hit Arkansas State harder than most teams in the beginning of the year, but it should get star running back Marcel Murray back for this one.
Georgia State has one of the worst defenses in the entire country so I’m not expecting Arkansas State to get stopped very much in this game. I make this game Arkansas State -14.5, so look for Hatcher and the Red Wolves to run away with it in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon.
The Pick: Arkansas State -7
Rice at UAB
Spread: UAB -9.5
Time: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
I’ve got to say, I didn’t expect to be suggesting a Rice play this season, but here we are. The Owls have looked like somewhat of a competent football team in 2019, covering four out of the five numbers so far.
UAB, on the other hand, seems to have taken a significant step back from its magical season last year. I’ve dropped the Blazers more than almost any team in the country in my power ratings as they just don’t seem like the same team at all.
Rice quarterback Wiley Green looked completely back last weekend as he took Louisiana Tech to overtime, and this seems like a team that’s starting to turn the corner while I have some serious questions about UAB.
This game features two disgusting offenses, so I’d certainly look at playing the under, but I think taking the points with the Owls is the better play. It’s not going to be fun, but hold your nose and take Rice this week.
The Pick: Rice +9.5