Never a doubt.
Sam Houston made it look easy while covering as last week’s Group of Five Underdog of the Week. Not only did the Bearkats cover the eight-point spread, but they led wire-to-wire in a 42-27 victory over Louisiana Tech.
Good for the Bearkats that they finally secured their first win over an FBS team since leaving the FCS.
Like Sam Houston, this week’s selection has had a rough season but hasn’t shown any quit. We’ll see if they can make it two winners in a row (featuring college football betting odds via BetMGM).
Place College Football Wagers at BetMGM
East Carolina vs. Navy Prediction: ECU (spread +2.5, moneyline +116) at Navy
After back-to-back bowl berths, 2023 has been quite the downfall for the Pirates. Prior to last week, their only win of the season came against Gardner-Webb.
But that’s why the Pirates are this week’s G5 dog — they’re playing their best football of the season.
They’ve covered the spread in their last three games and lost to Tulane 13-10 two weeks ago. Staring at a 1-7 record, ECU could have closed up shop and checked out of the season. Instead, its proven that there’s still something to play for:
Behind Andrew Conrad’s five field goals, the Pirates downed FAU 22-7 and should ride that wave into this week against a team ECU matches up well against.
Navy’s strength is its rushing offense, which averages 205 yards per game, but ECU’s rush defense has been one of the bright spots of its season. The Pirates allow just 114.3 yards per game on the ground, which ranks second in the AAC.
Both squads struggle to score and rank last and second-to-last in total offense, and in the bottom three in scoring offense. I don’t see much offense in this one with the Over/Under listed at just 32.5 points.
Despite its struggles, ECU is still 5-5 against the spread this year and 4-4 as an underdog. The Midshipmen are 1-3-1 at home and 1-4 as a favorite ATS.
The visiting team has won these last three meetings, and the combined difference in those games is 10 points — two three-point games the last two seasons and a four-point game in 2020.
ECU is 14-6 as a road dog in five years under head coach Mike Houston.
App State vs. JMU Prediction: App State (+8.5, +260) at James Madison
Laying a bet against the No. 1 team in our Group of Five Top 25 is scary. That’s why the Mountaineers landed in the honorable mentions list.
Like the Dukes, App State has been dominant the past few weeks and may have finally started to find its footing after a rough start to the season. The Mountaineers are still in the race for the Sun Belt championship, so I think that’s enough motivation in itself to come out strong.
Not saying the Mountaineers will win this game, but I think they can keep it within one possession with what’s at stake. This is probably the toughest test for the Dukes since beating Troy in Week 3.
App State is 2-0-1 ATS as an underdog this year.
Nevada vs. Colorado State Prediction: Nevada (+11.5, +350) at Colorado State
Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell meets his former team for the second time. Last year, the Rams got the best of the Wolf Pack. The Rams will probably win again, but both of these squads are trying to finish the season strong and avoid the bottom of the Mountain West standings at season’s end.
Nevada’s offense has struggled all year to get things going, but the CSU defense isn’t anything to be afraid of. I can see the Wolf Pack putting up a fight in a game where they’re being overlooked.
Temple vs. UAB Prediction: Temple (+7.5, +245) at UAB
Temple isn’t very good. UAB isn’t much better.
Preparing for Navy’s defense takes some time, and UAB didn’t handle it the best in last week’s 31-6 loss. Now, they have to shift gears and prepare for a pass-heavy Owls team.
I think Navy may have worn down the Blazers, and Temple quarterback E.J. Warner will be able to find some success through the air against the Navy defense. Warner leads the AAC with 302.9 passing yards per game.