Our Favorite Saturday College Football Moneyline Underdogs: All About the ACC in Week 3 (Sept. 19)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Boston College Eagles football team at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson offer their two favorite moneyline underdog picks for Saturday's college football action.
- Friends of The Action Network Colleges Podcast know that they hit on Arkansas State last week and nearly rounded up a perfect day before Tulane rallied against South Alabama.
- So, which two dogs are they backing today? Read on to find out.
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.
Despite missing eight starters, Arkansas State came through for me last week — thanks to the heroics of Jay Adams. And Collin almost made it a perfect day with South Alabama until Tulane made a furious comeback late in the game
As you can see from our combined record below over the past three seasons, hitting at a 38% clip has still turned a profit.
- 2018-19: 29-47 +4.00 units
- 2020: 1-1 +3.00 units
Let’s get into our two selections for Week 2: A pair of ACC matchups starting with a noon kick and finishing up in primetime. If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays around 11-2.
Check out our new CFB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.
Stuckey: Boston College +210 vs. Duke
- Spread: Duke -6
- Over/Under: 51.5
- Date: Saturday, Sep. 19
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: FSN
- Location: Durham, NC
I don’t like that Boston College hasn’t played a game yet with a new staff after such an unprecedented summer — especially against a team that played last week.
However, I do like the upside of Boston College this season, so think this is a worthy underdog moneyline parlay piece for Saturday.
Boston College brought in Jeff Hafley as its head coach this past offseason. I personally loved the hire of Hafley, one of the most brilliant defensive minds in college football. He should improve the defense dramatically with scheme changes alone, especially in the secondary where he specializes.
He has some returning experience and promising transfers to work with. The linebacker group is especially strong.
On the offensive side of the ball, BC did lose running back AJ Dillon to the NFL, but David Bailey can fill his shoes running behind an excellent offensive line that has a few potential All-Conference performers. The running game shouldn’t miss a beat.
It’s the passing game that I think could make a large leap in 2020 if Phil Jukrovec lives up to his potential. The Notre Dame transfer throws a beautiful deep ball and has all of the tools. He’s currently listed as the co-starter with returning starter Dennis Grosel, but he has the highest upside and should get the hardest look on Saturday even if both play.
I wasn’t overly impressed by Duke, which got off to a hot start against Notre Dame with a no-huddle offense but then died over the last three quarters. The element of surprise could also end up working in BC’s favor here as Duke doesn’t really know what to expect on either side of the ball — and isn’t even sure which quarterback will start.
Lastly, keep your eye on Jaelen Gill for Boston College. The former four-star recruit came with Hafley from Ohio State and has explosiveness for days. BC will find ways to get the ball into his hands and I think you’ll see him hit pay dirt.
There’s plenty of variance here with the new staff and questions at quarterback, but I’m a fan of both. So, I’m betting on the Eagles’ upside in their season-opener.
Wilson: Miami +114 vs. Louisville
- Spread: Louisville -2.5
- Over/Under: 65
- Date: Saturday, Sep. 19
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
- Location: Louisville, KY
Neither Western Kentucky nor UAB possessed the offensive firepower to challenge either of these ACC foes last week. The Blazers finished with zero explosive drives against Miami, while Western Kentucky had one explosive drive against Louisville.
The Hilltoppers only scored 21 points thanks to an average starting field position at the 40-yard line. Western Kentucky gained 222 hidden yards, a stat based on the starting field position differential and penalty yardage.
However, Western Kentucky did post a 45% success rate on passing downs with a brand new quarterback under center. There are still holes in this Louisville defense that Miami can exploit.
The handicap in this game comes down to which defense I trust more. And for me, the answer is Miami.
Both teams have premier dual-threat starting quarterbacks in D’Eriq King for Miami and Micale Cunningham for Louisville. Both players are more than capable through the air and on the ground. Whichever defense can more consistently contain the opposing QB in space will likely come out on top. I think the Canes have the better personnel in that regard.
In a game that should stay close throughout, King should be able to bust more plays against the Louisville front-seven. Cunningham can burn the Hurricanes secondary, but I think he’ll have a more difficult time getting through the Miami front-seven — as he did in last season’s 25-point loss.
Special teams could also play a major role. Miami has had issues in this phase in recent years, but the Canes have really addressed those weaknesses coming into the season. They now have a reliable kicker in transfer Jose Borregales, who hit a 25-yard field goal and drilled all four PAT’s against UAB. And Lou Hedley, who can boom balls, has added stability at punter. He averaged 47.5 yards on six punts against the Blazers.
Meanwhile, Louisville has many question marks on their special teams unit. The Cardinals had to replace a really productive kicker and punter coming into this season. We will see how the kicking game turns out, but the punting unit got off to a rough start with a fumbled snap and blocked punt last week. They also lost a muffed punt inside their own 10-yard line.
In a game with slim margins, a big special teams play could make the difference — and Miami has the edge on paper.
I’m ultimately trusting Miami’s offensive explosiveness, its superior front-seven and the Hurricanes’ edge on special teams. I’ll also be looking to bet a live over if we get a few stalled drives early on.