College Football Underdog Picks: Our Two Favorite Moneyline Bets for Week 3
Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chevan Cordeiro.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson explain their favorite spots for money-line underdog plays in Week 3.
- The experts are eyeing Memphis vs. Mississippi State and Hawaii against San Jose State.
- They go into detail on those picks below.
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.
Unfortunately, we struck out last week. I’ll take the blame for the call on Troy, but Collin deserved better fate with East Carolina, which led 14-0 before a pick 6 late in the first half gave South Carolina life. The Pirates went on to lose 20-17 on a field goal as time expired in a game they trailed for a total of zero seconds.
We are on to Week 3 where we have two home pups, with the latter in a time slot that should please some of you out there.
- 2018-20: 39-67 +5.1 units
- 2021: 1-3 -1.7 units
If you’re feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays right around 6-1 odds.
Wilson: Memphis +135
- Spread: Mississippi State -3
- Over/Under: 64
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
- Location: Memphis, TN
Head coach Mike Leach will make the short road trip to take on a Memphis team that has put up 97 combined points against Nicholls and Arkansas State. Memphis ranks in the top 15 in Big Play Rate, Tempo and Havoc Allowed.
Despite losing quarterback Grant Gunnell to surgery, the offense hasn’t missed a beat with freshman quarterback Seth Henigan, who just threw for 400 yards and five TDs against Arkansas State with zero turnover worthy plays. In 11 pressured dropbacks, his Adjusted Completion Percentage actually jumped up to 87%. Impressive stuff.
Meanwhile, I’m not entirely sold on the Mississippi State Air Raid. The Bulldogs rank 123rd in third-down conversion percentage at only 23% on 21 attempts. Lets not forget that box score against NC State had a little fraud in it, as they benefited from three turnovers, including an interception at the Miss. State five-yard line and a fumble that was later turned into a touchdown. The Bulldogs were out-played but got a few bounces and I think the market has rewarded them too much here.
The Memphis defense isn’t anything to write home about. The Tigers just gave up 680 yards and 50 points to Arkansas State in a wild shootout win, but they do run a 3-3-5. That’s paramount against an Air Raid.
And maybe Miss. State gets caught peeking ahead a bit to LSU and overlooks these Tigers. I’ll roll with the home team here.
Stuckey: Hawaii +200
- Spread: San Jose State -6.5
- Over/Under: 60.5
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
- Time: 12:30 am ET
- TV: FS1
- Location: Honolulu, HI
Let’s go to the island for this week’s moneyline underdog in a game that will kick after midnight on the East Coast on national television. A degenerate’s delight.
San Jose State will benefit from having a bye week prior to this one, much like it did last year when it had three weeks off (thanks to two cancellations) before visiting the Rainbow Warriors. San Jose State won that game 35-24 after jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Spartans closed as only 2.5-point favorites for that December, Mountain West showdown, but now they are laying right around a touchdown with two similar teams.
I had questions about this San Jose State offense coming into the season after it lost star wide receivers Bailey Gaither and Tre Walker, who both declared for the NFL draft. Those still remain after SJSU could only put up seven points against a USC team that got shredded by Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee in his first career start.
The Hawaii secondary can match up here to limit Nick Starkel and the passing attack. San Jose State will likely have plenty of success on the ground, and its defensive line may create some havoc on the other side of the ball, but this line is just too high. Hawaii is just a different animal at home, which is on campus this year, and I think the offense can build on some of the momentum from the second half of last week’s loss at Oregon State. Some growing pains were expected as the offense adjusted to a new coordinator, but there’s a lot of talent on that side of the ball.