College Football Moneyline Underdog Picks for Week 3: James Madison, Florida Highlight Saturday’s Top Bets
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida running back Montrell Johnson Jr.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson are back to dish out their favorite moneyline underdog picks for college football Week 3.
- The duo picked a pair of prime-time pups, including a bet on Florida vs. Tennessee and James Madison vs. Troy.
- Read on for their full moneyline underdog breakdowns for NCAAF Week 3.
For the sixth straight season on our college football betting podcast, Big Bets on Campus, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each week's slate.
We already took a lap for last week's picks, as UConn and NC State were both total flops.
- 2018-22: 60-98 +8.3 units
- 2023: 1-3 +0.0 units
- Overall: 61-99 +8.3 units
For this week, Collin and I are rolling with a pair of prime-time dogs that both kick off at 7 p.m. ET.
If you're feeling lucky, a parlay of both pups pays out a little under 6-1 odds.
Stuckey: Florida +205 vs. Tennessee
The Vols head into the swamp looking for a win for the first time since 2003, and I think they may have trouble ending their current 10-game losing streak in Gainesville.
The Tennessee offense just can't seem to find any rhythm under new quarterback Joe Milton, who I've never truly believed in.
I expected this offense to take a major step back after losing four starters in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, but I didn't expect to see this level of inconsistency against the likes of Virginia and Austin Peay.
Last year's starting quarterback, Hendon Hooker, could efficiently hit all of the underneath routes that really open up Josh Heupel's offense. Milton has not been able to duplicate that efficiency in the accuracy department, which has caused issues for the offense against inferior competition.
It's not all on Milton, as the receivers have had drop issues, and the offensive line has yet to find its footing.
Tennessee will have a hard time running on Florida, so that should leave the task up to Milton to attack through the air. Ultimately, I don't trust him to constantly sustain drives in a hostile environment based on what I've seen from the offense to date.
Expect Milton to make a few key mistakes that will allow Florida to control the game flow and clock even more by leaning on the excellent running back duo of Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne against a vulnerable Vols stop unit.
The Gators will also now have a full-strength offensive line with the return of stud starting center Kingsley Eguakun, who started 26 games in a row on the interior before missing the first two of this season with an injury.
Wilson: James Madison +120 vs. Troy
This is not the same Trojan defense that we saw last season.
They have certainly missed the services of KJ Robertson and all-time FBS tackling leader Carlton Martial through two games in which they allowed 30 to Stephen F. Austin and 42 to Kansas State, which added on to the score anytime Troy threatened to cover.
The underlying metrics for the defense are a bit worrisome when you look under the hood at things like Havoc, pass rush and tackles for loss.
Even the Quality and Finishing Drives statistics suggest more struggles could be on the horizon, starting this week against quarterback Jordan McCloud, wide receiver Reggie Brown and running back Kaelon Black, who has averaged 3.7 yards after contact so far this season.
Meanwhile, quarterback Gunnar Watson has not looked great through the first two weeks with only three big-time throws to five turnover-worthy plays. The veteran signal-caller has a career-high 8% turnover-worthy play percentage so far in 2023. I think he really misses two of his primary targets from 2022, including Tez Johnson, who transferred to Oregon.
That should be welcome news for a James Madison defense that has struggled against the pass but has played rock solid against the run, so don't expect much from Troy running back Kimani Vidal.
Let's roll with the road Dukes in this conference clash where home-field advantage has meant less than any other conference over the past 20 seasons.