My underdogs hit a bit of a bump last week. Three of five teams covered against the spread but only one team, East Carolina, won outright. That brings the overall underdog record to 14-5 ATS (+8.5 units) and 12-7 outright (+11.85).
As we get deeper into the season, lines are becoming more sharp. This is why it’s important to bet within your bankroll. Here’s what I’ve got for this week.
All lines fromBetMGM.
West Virginia (+3, +120 ML) at Baylor
The Mountaineers are now 0-6 on the road since last season. Preseason I talked about fading West Virginia on the road and that’s proven to be a reliable trend. However, WV has been competitive in away games this year, losing by six to Maryland and just three to Oklahoma.
Against Maryland, West Virginia had two turnovers, and against Oklahoma, the WV defense held Spencer Rattler to seven yards per completion, one yard below his season average, and held OU to just over 300 yards of total offense, also below its season average.
I may have backed Baylor at home against Iowa State as seven-point underdogs, but I did not like what I saw in the Bears’ 31-29 win. ISU outgained Baylor 480 to 280 yards, passing for 8.4 yards per completion and controlling the time of possession by 12 minutes. What did in the Cyclones? They had four red-zone trips that resulted in field goals.
Strength of schedule could really come into play here, as well. Baylor has faced two teams with a combined 2-7 record and its opposition is 10-9 overall. West Virginia has faced four teams with a combined record of 16-3.
This could be a good spot for the Mountaineers to break their road-game losing streak.
Oklahoma vs. Texas (+3.5, +140 ML)
Red-zone scoring is the reason for Texas being my best bet this week.
Now, I’ll throw in how terrible Oklahoma’s defense is, ranking bottom 30 in passing defense and allowing a non-passing team in Kansas State to throw for 320 yards. The Texas offense right now centers around RB Bijan Robinson, but Casey Thompson can pass and it all started in last season’s Alamo Bowl. This year, Thompson has a 71 % completion rate, averages 9.3 yards per completion, and has nine passing touchdowns. This is the biggest test for an Oklahoma squad that has yet to defeat a team by more than one score this year.
UTSA (+3.5, +145 ML) at Western Kentucky
You have a 5-0 team in UTSA, facing off against a 1-3 team in Western Kentucky. Something I never thought I would say: The Hilltoppers lead the nation in passing yards. Quarterback Bailey Zappe has thrown for 365 yards or more in his three FBS games this season.
With such a potent offense, why is WKU 1-3? Another thing I never thought I’d say: The Hilltoppers have a terrible defense — bottom 15, in fact. They allowed 339 rushing yards to Army, 500 total yards to Michigan State, and 500 total yards to Indiana. The Hilltoppers have no pass rush and are bottom three in takeaways.
UTSA RB Sincere McCormick has rushed for over 100 yards in three of five games played, while QB Frank Harris has passed for nearly a 70 percent completion rate. The Roadrunners’ balanced offense can contend against one of the worst defenses in the FBS. Plus, UTSA’s touchdown strength comes via rushing, which bodes well against Western Kentucky, which has allowed just two passing touchdowns but given up 11 scores on the ground.
UTSA may have a bottom 30 passing defense, but it’s already defeated a potent Memphis passing team.
LSU (+3, +145 ML) at Kentucky
This is purely a situational spot. The Wildcats are coming off beating Florida 20-13 last week as eight-point underdogs, marking only the third time Kentucky has defeated Florida in 35 years. The other two times were in 2018 and 1986. That is why you saw the fans storm the field.
The win also pushed Kentucky to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEC. It’s only the sixth time UK has started a season with five straight wins. The last time was in 2018, when the Wildcats went on to lose three of their next five games and finished 10-3.
Meanwhile, LSU is coming off a home loss to Auburn. Buy low, sell high? Situationally, it makes sense, especially because Kentucky faces Georgia next week.
Long-shot, double-digit underdogs to consider
Georgia at Auburn (+15.5, +525 ML)
The preseason odds had Georgia as 9-point favorites. The opening line was 14 and it’s since been bet up. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Bo Nix at home is a different player. In three seasons, he has a higher completion rate, higher passing average, more touchdowns, fewer interceptions and fewer sacks at home than when traveling. The same concept applies for the Auburn defense.
With Nix at home, Auburn is 13-2 and 10-5 ATS and lost to Georgia by seven at home in 2019. Stetson Bennett may get the start again for Georgia if JT Daniels is a no-go. Keep in mind, Bennett has faced UAB, entered the games against South Carolina and Vanderbilt as a backup when Georgia was already up 40-6 and 35-0, respectively, and had only 72 passing yards against Arkansas.
Wisconsin at Illinois (+10, +305 ML)
This is only an option if Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz plays — he currently is listed as questionable.
Michigan generated 13 points from Wisconsin turnovers in its 38-17 win. The Badgers are fourth worst in the FBS in giveaways. It’s a legit problem. Illinois may not be a threatening team, but it is top 40 in takeaways. It’s a benefit to have Mertz to bet against.