Stuckey & Wilson: 2 College Football Moneyline Dogs to Bet on Championship Saturday
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
- Don't forget to sprinkle some moneyline underdogs into your college footballs picks on Championship Saturday.
- Our college football experts give their two favorite moneyline underdog bets for Saturday.
As we do each week on The Action Network Colleges Podcast, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs on Saturday’s college football slate.
It’s Championship Saturday, which we all better embrace with only one FBS game on the docket next weekend.
After another split last weekend, Collin is going with a Power 5 underdog this Saturday while I’m covering the Group of 5. If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays a juicy 8-1.
- 2018: 16-28 +3.95 units
- 2019: 13-15 +4.05 units
Odds as of Friday night and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Stuckey: Louisiana +190
- Spread: Appalachian State -6
- Over/Under: 56
- Location: Boone, NC
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: ESPN
I thought the line of ULL -1.5 at home was about right when these teams met earlier this season. I have these two teams rated pretty close, with a slight edge to App State. So, with this game in Boone, I think this line should be closer to -3 or -4 than -6, based on my numbers.
And, yes App State did win that game by 10 but ULL was right there the entire way and had everything possible go wrong. The Ragin’ Cajuns were stopped on a fourth-and-goal, dealt with a few questionable calls and made a few questionable coaching decisions late in the game.
App State did a tremendous job slowing down the machine-like ULL rushing attack that leads the nation with 6.6 yards per carry, but ULL should get its yardage on the ground behind a tremendous offensive line and break a few more explosive runs against a defense that has struggled in that department all year.
I think the improvement of quarterback Levi Lewis, who’s coming off his best career game, will force the Appalachian State to respect the pass much more this time around.
I’ve been higher on ULL than the market the past two seasons (and even during the preseason when I took a shot on the Cajuns to win the Belt at 13-1) and the market seemingly hasn’t caught up to head coach Billy Napier, who’s a cool 18-7 ATS (72%) in his young career, covering by almost a touchdown per game.
Also, don’t forget that App State will be without one of its most dynamic receivers in Connor Sutton (who had two catches for 58 yards in the first meeting). The Mountaineers are still deep at receiver but his presence will hurt in a matchup of two defenses that rank in the top 20 in pass efficiency.
This is impossible to predict, but don’t be surprised if you see some turnover regression from App State, which has only lost two fumbles all year (fewest in nation).
App State has owned this series, but this is too many points to give to a rock solid ULL team that continues to be a covering machine. And don’t forget about special teams, where the Ragin’ Cajuns should hold the edge.
Also, keep in mind that true road dogs in conference championship games are 14-5 ATS since 2005, covering by an average margin of over a TD, which includes Louisiana’s cover last year in Boone.
Pick: Louisiana +190 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Wilson: Georgia +210
- Spread: LSU -7
- Over/Under: 56
- Location: Atlanta, GA
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
The two best units in the nation clash in a quarterfinal game (at least for Georgia) for the national title.
The LSU offense against the Georgia defense will be a delight to watch for college football fans and bettors alike as the Tigers passing game coordinator Joe Brady takes on one of the best defensive minds in college football, Kirby Smart.
The Bulldogs rank first in the nation in defensive finishing drives, allowing just 3.55 points on average to opponents visiting the red zone. Georgia also sits in the top 10 in opponent 3rd down conversions, passing touchdowns and yards per play. LSU may not see a more efficient defense in the College Football Playoff.
While the Georgia defense should provide Joe Burrow with his stiffest test of the season, I think this game will be decided on the other side of the ball for each team.
LSU has recently regrouped on the defensive side of the ball, holding Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss to just 13 total points in the first half. The Tiger defense ranks in the top 20 in success rate defensively — in addition to ranks of 14th and 19th in defensive havoc and opponent red zone scoring, respectively.
Coach O’s team’s renewed interest in defense could be an issue for Georgia, especially in the first half when the Dawgs won’t have the services of their top two receivers. Lawrence Cager, Georgia’s leader in receptions and yards is doubtful for the remainder of the season after surgery. And George Pickens, the Bulldogs second leading receiver, is suspended for the first half after an unsportsmanlike penalty for fighting with Georgia Tech.
Add in D’Andre Swift dealing with an injured shoulder and you can expect offensive coordinator James Coley to use plenty of two tight end sets with motion previously not on tape.
Georgia has been methodically slow in its offensive game plans this season. Conservative play calling and lack of explosiveness are the primary reasons the Bulldogs consistently find themselves in passing downs. It’s reasonable to ask if old school SEC football can beat the new-age aerial attack that LSU features.
But I think Smart may have held plenty of tricks In the bag specifically for this game, which they’ve been itching to get back to after last year’s heartbreaking loss in the SEC championship.
Keep in mind that Kirby Smart has been money in second halves since his arrival in Athens and the 2019 season has been no different. The only team to score more points than Georgia in the third quarter this season is Murray State. This should be a chess match through the first half as Joe Burrow and Clyde Edwards-Helaire find an offensive rhythm.
I ultimately expect the elite Georgia defense and special teams to keep this close throughout, giving the Bulldogs a real shot at pulling off the upset in front of what should be a heavy contingent of Bulldogs fans.
Pick: Georgia +210 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]