College Football Moneyline Underdogs: 2 Plus-Money Bets for Week 9
Jack Gorman/Getty Images. Pictured: The Texas A&M Aggies.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson each select one top moneyline underdog for Week 9 of the college football season.
- Will Syracuse and Ole Miss both lose two straight games?
- Our experts explain in depth below.
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.
Last week, we picked up our third sweep in the past four weeks after Ohio and South Carolina both got to the window. Let's break out the brooms again in Week 9.
For this week, we are rolling with a noon road pup and a third straight SEC underdog in primetime. Nothing too crazy with a pair of short prices.
If you're feeling lucky, a parlay of both pays right around 3.5-1.
- 2018-21: 49-83 +4.1 units
- 2022: 8-8 +7.73 units
- Overall: 55-91 +11.83 units
Stuckey: Notre Dame +120
|Notre Dame Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
I'm fading Syracuse in a potential letdown spot after a hard-fought loss at Clemson. That result essentially ended its hopes of reaching the ACC title game and any wild dreams of a College Football Playoff berth.
Headed into last week, I was very skeptical of the Orange.
They barely pulled out home wins over a bad Virginia team (which went 1-for-3 on fourth down and missed both field goal attempts in a two-point loss) and a beat-up Purdue squad that had close to an 80% post-game win expectancy.
Then, Dino Babers' group didn't do anything to appease my doubts in Death Valley. Despite covering in a six-point loss, Syracuse got outgained, 450-291, in total yards but benefited from a 4-1 turnover advantage, including a fumble return for a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame has been a tough nut to crack with very inconsistent week-to-week results, which isn't too surprising for a very young roster and first-time head coach. However, the Irish have at least performed very well in three games away from South Bend:
- Hung around at Ohio State.
- Thoroughly outplayed BYU on a neutral site.
- Dominated North Carolina on the road.
From a matchup perspective, Notre Dame can lean on its ground game here. Its offensive line, which ranks in the top 25 nationally in almost every run-blocking metric, should control the line of scrimmage against the Syracuse 3-3-5 defense that ranks outside the top 115 in both Rush Success Rate and EPA per Rush.
On the other side of the ball, the Orange should have success on the ground, but their struggles in pass protection could result in costly negative plays on passing downs against a Notre Dame defense that ranks 14th in Sack Rate.
Additionally, Notre Dame holds a major advantage in the penalty department. I'd also imagine the Irish will eventually get a few takeaways; they currently have the fewest in the country.
Lastly, since 2005, no team has turned a larger profit against ranked opponents than the Irish. Over that span, they're 35-20 against the spread (63.6%) against ranked foes, including 12-3 since 2018 and 2-0 this season.
I think they add another cover to that resume and get the outright road victory against a fairly overrated Syracuse squad.
Wilson: Texas A&M +110
|Ole Miss Odds
-110o / -110u
|Texas A&M Odds
-110o / -110u
There are questions surrounding the Texas A&M quarterback situation due to injuries. However, I don't think it matters who ultimately gets the start under center in this particular matchup. The Aggies can still ultimately lean on their ground game.
Plus, this is more of a fade of the Rebels, who are also dealing with a number of injuries. Fatigue could also come into play for Ole Miss in its ninth game in nine weeks without a bye, including three road contests over the past four weeks.
Meanwhile, I'm sure Texas A&M will enjoy playing in front of its raucous fans in its first home game since Sept. 17.
Additionally, I just think the market is still overvaluing Ole Miss after it started out hot against a very favorable schedule.
Don't be surprised if quarterback Jaxson Dart, whose turnover-worthy play rate has been on the rise, makes a game-changing mistake in a hostile environment here.
Lastly, defensive coordinator DJ Durkin could be a valuable resource for Jimbo Fisher after holding the same position over the previous two seasons under Kiffin. I'm not sure that same advantage works the other way since Durkin now runs a different scheme in College Station.
I'll take the short home dog in a game where I believe the wrong team is favored.