Coastal Carolina’s struggles continued last week against Georgia Southern.
Grayson McCall tossed three interceptions, leading to 21 points for the Eagles. This included a pick-six in the third quarter that gave GASO a 30-21 advantage in the 38-28 defeat.
McCall hasn’t looked like a three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year this season. I thought last week’s game would get the Chanticleers on the right path, but it didn’t, and they didn’t cash as the Group of Five Underdog of the Week.
This week we’ll roll with a team that’s already on the right path (featuring college football betting odds via BetMGM).
Place College Football Wagers at BetMGM
Marshall (spread +6.5, moneyline +202) at North Carolina State
The Thundering Herd’s win over Old Dominion last week wasn’t too convincing, which I think is having a slight impact on this line.
Marshall let ODU hang around for most of the contest and only won by six as 14.5-point favorites. The Monarchs are better than their 2-3 record, however, and have been competitive against a pair of Power 5 teams this season, while nearly defeating Wake Forest. NC State also lost to newly-ranked No. 25 Louisville 13-10 last week and the Cardinals are 5-0.
Still, I think these two squads are closer to even than the spread suggests even given the home-field advantage edge. Marshall currently ranks second in the FBS, allowing just 143 passing YPG. The Wolfpack rank second to last in the ACC, passing for just 194.2 YPG.
This might change with NC State announcing that MJ Morris will be the new starting QB this week, replacing Brennan Armstrong who has struggled this season. Not an ideal pass defense to get thrown into the fire against for Morris, although he showed some promise last season prior to getting injured. It’ll be the second consecutive week where a QB has gotten its first start of the season against Marshall. The Herd picked off ODU’s Jack Shields three times last week.
Expect the Wolfpack to instead try to exploit the Marshall rush defense, which gives up 193 YPG on the season. NC State hasn’t had the greatest rushing attack either, so nothing too scary.
The home team has failed to cover the spread in these last two matchups, and NC State is 0-4-1 against the spread in 2023. The Herd are 3-0 as an away dog under Charles Huff and have covered in their last four road games.
Tulsa (+4, +160) at Florida Atlantic
The Golden Hurricane seems to be on the rise and received some love in our Group of Five Top 25 poll. Meanwhile, FAU hasn’t looked the greatest and didn’t cover in its first three games before finally finding some sort of life against Illinois last week.
Tulsa has the worst pass defense in the AAC but has played against Michael Penix Jr. and Dillon Gabriel this season. Those outings skewed the stats and should help the Golden Hurricane prepare for its conference slate.
Since 2016, Tulsa is 5-1 ATS in games played in Florida and is 2-0 ATS on the road this season.
Akron (+5.5, +170) vs. Northern Illinois
This line quickly shifted in favor of the Huskies once it opened. Maybe they’re getting back to form after last week’s 35-33 loss to Toledo, but I need to see more out of them based on the struggling start they’ve had to the season.
These are the two worst defenses in the MAC so far, and the Huskies haven’t been great against the pass. DJ Irons has proven again he can sling the rock and has two receivers in Shocky Jacques-Louis and Alex Adams that average 78 and 77 receiving YPG.
These two should have a ton of success for a Zips team that has already played in four one-possession games this season.
ODU (+1.5, +105) at Southern Miss
Not exactly the biggest underdog, but we’re still getting plus-money on the Monarchs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this line moves to even or ODU is even favored by Saturday morning.
Like I mentioned above, ODU has been competitive so far this season against much better teams than they’re facing this week. Southern Miss is just 1-4 on the season and 1-4 ATS. Their cover was a 40-14 win over Alcorn State as 20-point favorites.
The Monarchs are just the better team here. Take them at this price while you can.