Last week I thought Houston’s offense could hang with SMU. I was wrong. The Mustangs hung 56 first-half points, and the Cougars just couldn’t quite keep up. Houston put up a good fight, but ultimately didn’t cover in a 77-63 loss. Enough about that game, though. You can read all about that barn burner right here.
This weekend’s slate wasn’t the most appetizing, especially with so many midweek games taking place. Still, there’s always value and winners out there when looking through the college football odds.
Hopefully we found one with this week’s Group of Five Underdog of the Week:
Navy (spread: +15.5, moneyline: +532) vs. No. 20 Notre Dame
The Midshipmen landed on our honorable mention list last week and came through against Air Force, who was a 7-point favorite. Now, Navy finds itself in another rivalry game that holds a ton of tradition, but that’s not the reason I’m backing the Midshipmen here. Notre Dame is coming off a massive victory over Clemson. It was a much needed win for a team that was ranked No. 5 in the preseason AP Top 25 and hasn’t met expectations. This is the ultimate let down spot for the Fighting Irish against an opponent that will show up to play.
Notre Dame’s strength on the offensive side of the ball is its rushing attack. Behind Audric Estimé and Logan Diggs, the Fighting Irish rush for 195.1 yards per game. They have 16 scores on the ground this season compared to 184 YPG and 14 touchdowns through the air. This sits well for Navy, whose 88 rushing yards allowed per outing rank seventh in the country.
Of course, the Midshipmen like to tote the rock as much as anyone, and their 236.9 rushing YPG are ninth most in the nation. Notre Dame allows over 125 rushing YPG. The clock will probably move quickly in this one, which typically bodes well for the underdog. Notre Dame’s physicality was on display last week and was a big reason for the upset over the Tigers:
I don’t think the physicality will be as much of an issue for Navy. I’ll ride with the team who is 5-2 ATS as underdogs this season versus the team that’s 1-4 as a favorite.
North Texas (spread: +6, moneyline: +179) at UAB
The Mean Green proved us right two weeks ago in a thrashing of Western Kentucky. They followed that up with a 52-14 win over FIU last week. That win doesn’t necessarily inflate the résumé, but it proved that UNT’s offense is still rolling. It currently ranks first in the C-USA with 503.8 YPG and is tied for first at 37.2 PPG.
UAB’s defense has been stout all season, and allow 346 YPG and 21.3 PPG, but it just gave up 44 points to UTSA in an overtime loss.
The Blazers will certainly come out eager after that defeat. Their rushing attack and defense could wear the Mean Green down, but six points as a favorite seems like a lot for a squad that’s 2-4 in conference play matching up against a team that’s 5-1 in the same league.
Army (spread: +9.5, moneyline: +270) at Troy
It’s only right we go with another military school on Veterans Day weekend. While Troy has been quietly one of the more impressive and consistent G5 teams this season, five of its seven wins have come by single digits, and four of those by one possession. Not only that, but the Trojans’ games have gone 3-6 to the under this year.
They grind out wins even though the game isn’t always as close as the score indicates. These trends lean in favor of the Black Knights, who can match the Trojans’ grit.
FIU (spread: +15.5, moneyline: +495) vs. FAU
The battle for the Don Shula Award. I don’t like that FAU is coming off a bye and a win over UAB two weeks ago. I do like that FIU has covered in three of its last four games and won two of those games as 6.5 and 13.5-point dogs. FIU may not win the Shula Bowl, but maybe they can keep it within two possessions.