Week 1 College Football Moneyline Underdogs: Bet Old Dominion & South Florida to Win Outright?
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: USF wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr.
For the fifth straight season on our college football betting podcast (now Big Bets on Campus), Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each week's slate.
We start things off in 2022 with a pair of pretty decent-sized home underdogs — one on Friday night and the other on Saturday afternoon.
- 2018-21: 49-83 +4.1 units
- 2022: 0-0 +0.0 units
If you're feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays just over 13-1 odds.
Wilson: Old Dominion +220
|Virginia Tech Odds|
-105o / -115u
|Old Dominion Odds|
-105o / -115u
After five straight wins to close the 2021 season, Old Dominion will kick off a new season against a new-look Virginia Tech team.
Monarchs head coach Ricky Rahne elected not to play the pandemic season shortly after he was hired, creating a true Year 0 in 2021 for the former Penn State offensive coordinator.
Led by quarterback Hayden Wolff, Old Dominion did not disappoint by making a bowl after seemingly working off some of the rust early in the season.
Virginia Tech is under new management, as Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry takes over a fluid roster from a transfer portal perspective. Quarterback Grant Wells joins from Marshall after an up-and-down season with the Herd.
The Hokies are a mystery at the offensive skill positions and across a defense that will count on multiple additions from the transfer portal.
Expect Rahne to know exactly how to scheme for Virginia Tech after spending multiple years facing Pry’s defense while both were at Penn State. With Boston College on deck, the Hokies may have spent minimal time preparing for an ODU team that ended 2021 sizzling.
Plus, you never know what you’re going to get with the enigmatic Wells, who ODU saw last year in an overtime loss on the road.
Pick: Old Dominion ML +220
Stuckey: South Florida +340
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Let's get a little crazy on Week 1 and roll with a double-digit underdog. I like that there are factors here that create a high amount of variance, which is preferable for a larger underdog.
- BYU is loaded with experience on both sides of the ball. However it could be without its top two receivers, Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua, who have been held out of practice in recent weeks due to injury.
- USF will also hold the weather advantage in the Florida humidity, which BYU simply doesn't get in Provo. That could be especially problematic in the first game of the season. For what it's worth, BYU has just a 1-8 record in the state of Florida in program history. That includes a loss here in 2019 as a favorite in quarterback Jaren Hall's first collegiate start.
- South Florida has the chance to be one of the nation's most improved teams. The Bulls return as much experience as any team while also bringing in some impressive hauls in the transfer portal. That includes new starting quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who beat BYU last season.
From a matchup perspective, BYU doesn't really generate a lot of pressure with their defensive front and preference to frequently drop eight. That group also struggled against the run last year.
Bohanon should have plenty of time to exploit some plus-matchups in space against the BYU defense.
Pick: South Florida ML +340