Stuckey & Wilson: 2 College Football Moneyline Underdogs to Bet in Week 9
Mike Carter, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio
- Don't forget to sprinkle some moneyline underdogs into your college footballs picks for Week 9.
- 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.
Welp, we lost the race. After going 1-1 in each of the first seven weeks, it was only a matter of time before we either went 2-0 or 0-2. And unfortunately, the latter occurred last week. Onward.
For Week 8, Collin will get us started with a noon kick. while I’m going back to the state of Tennessee — this time in primetime. If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays a little under 6-1.
- 2018: 16-28 +3.95 units
- 2019: 7-9 +2.6 units
Stuckey: Michigan State +180 (vs. Penn State)
- Spread: Penn State -5.5
- Over/Under: 43
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
Almost eight years ago to the day, my friends and I took an RV from Philadelphia to East Lansing for a huge showdown between Michigan State and undefeated Wisconsin that brought College Gameday to town. It was Kirk Cousins vs. Russell Wilson (my friend’s cousin played for Sparty.)
I had a bet on Michigan State +7 that night and felt phenomenal with the crowd going wild when Sparty took a 31-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
Well, not so fast. Russell Wilson came storming back (sound familiar?) with two touchdowns in the final eight minutes to tie the game 31-31.
The crowd was stunned. But at least my +7 couldn’t lose (as long as we could avoid a disaster in triple overtime.)
But then on the final play of regulation, Kirk Cousins dropped back for a last gasp Hail Mary and completed one of the more improbable throws you’ll see. A miracle completion.
But oh no….it was called short at the 1!
But wait…it’s under review!
The ref comes out and signals touchdown! Game over and pandemonium ensues.
That was a fun memory. And we might need that kind of finish to finally put a finishing nail in the coffin of Penn State, which keeps finding ways to win despite being outplayed.
Well, those fortunate PSU wins are creating value in the market in a game I make a coin flip. Plus, this is probably the best situational spot of the weekend.
Sparty is coming off a bye, which was much needed for a beat up team that needed to heal up and get healthier (especially along the offensive line).
Meanwhile, Penn State is coming off two straight close, emotional wins against Iowa and Michigan. The Nittany Lions ended up pulling out both but were very fortunate to do so as they were outplayed by Iowa and Michigan.
This is a tough ask for a young Penn State team against a very experienced Michigan State squad that should come out refreshed and focused after a disappointing start to the season. The Spartans still feature one of the best defenses in all of college football.
Their defensive front should dominate the line of scrimmage against a vulnerable Penn State offensive line, forcing Sean Clifford to beat them through the air. And I don’t think he can keep up this charade any longer.
Just like I did eight years ago in East Lansing, I’m putting my faith in head coach Mark Dantonio as a home dog to pull off the upset against an undefeated top 10 team.
Pick: Michigan State (+180) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Wilson: UCLA +135 (vs. Arizona State)
- Spread: Arizona State -3.5
- Over/Under: 54.5
- Location: Pasadena, CA
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: PACN
UCLA entered the Stanford game with a season total of nine sacks. When the final whistle blew in that game, the Bruins had 16.
They also added four pressures, seven passes defensed and 11 tackles for loss. Yes, Stanford was down to its third-string quarterback and had injuries along the offensive line, but it was nonetheless an impressive and dominating effort.
And on the other side of the ball, the offense gashed the Trees on the ground and through the air. Its just a much more competent unit with Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center. DTR finished with three total touchdowns — two of which went to primary target Kyle Phillips, who had 10 catches, 100 yards and those two scores.
The Sun Devils should certainly have more success than they did last week against Utah. After all, they do rank 18th in pass explosiveness, and will face a UCLA defense that sits in the bottom 10 nationally when it comes to defending big plays.
ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels may hit some deep balls, but the offensive line is progressively allowing more sacks as ASU’s depth is tested. And UCLA can carry over some of that momentum on defense from the Stanford game into this week.
Prior to that comprehensive victory over Stanford, UCLA had struggled for many reasons, including their problems with allowing Havoc. The Bruins are one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country in that department, having allowed 50 Tackles For Loss. However, that might not be an issue against a poor Arizona State defensive front.
The Sun Devils just don’t get much pressure from their base 3-3-5. They’re ranked 102nd in Sack Rate, and that number falls all the way to 128th on Passing Downs.
Look for continued balance and a clean box score from Dorian Thompson-Robinson, as these two teams are heading in different directions in the South division.
Pick: UCLA +135 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]