Two offensive plays was all it took for Southern Miss to take a 14-0 lead over ULM last week.
The Warhawks came out flat and were never able to recover, failing to cover the spread as last week’s Group of Five Underdog of the Week. Interestingly enough, ULM’s only score of the game also came on a one-play drive.
It was a change from the competitiveness we had seen from them the past two weeks.
We have yet to cash the Underdog of the Week in consecutive weeks now, so hopefully we can get on the right side of college football betting odds and close out the regular season strong with consecutive winners.
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Sam Houston (spread +7.5, moneyline +260) at LA Tech
I’m not sure there’s been a team this season that has had as much bad luck as the Bearkats.
That, matched with their inability to close out games, has created a brutal introduction to the FBS ranks. Sam Houston finally won its first game last week by edging out Kennesaw State. Even though they’ve been on the wrong side of things all season, they’ve been able to keep games within reach.
They’re 3-3 against the spread as an underdog and would be 4-2 if they didn’t lose by a touchdown to Jacksonville State in double-OT as 6.5-point dogs. Actually, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the Bearkats should even be 3-7 this year and sitting with the same record as Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs’ wins have been less than impressive and their current four-game losing streak has completely changed the tide for their season. While the Bearkats have suffered a much worse season thus far, they’ve still battled in each game. I don’t know if the Bulldogs will carry that same type of fight.
SHSU’s offense hasn’t been great this year, but its defense has been respectable. It currently ranks fourth in CUSA in scoring defense and fifth in total defense.
On the other end, LA Tech’s passing defense ranks first in the league and its rush defense ranks last with 212.8 yards allowed per game. The Bearkats rushing offense also ranks last (83.4 YPG). Still, I expect them to try and rush the ball against the Bulldogs which will slow the game down.
This is a large spread for a team that’s on a four-game losing streak going up against a squad that has nothing to lose.
ODU (+13.5, +410) at Liberty
This is a legitimate question:
It’s pretty much been a breeze for the Flames this season, but ODU has not been fazed against the top teams in the Sun Belt.
The Monarchs are 6-1 ATS as an underdog and 3-1 ATS on the road. I’m sure they’d like to secure another quality win and need to win two of the final three to secure bowl eligibility.
At this point, the Flames are playing for the G5 bid in the NY6 bowls since they have already secured a spot in the CUSA title game.
Give me the Monarchs to come out swinging in this odd, late season non-conference tilt.
Arkansas State (+11.5, +360) at South Alabama
These teams’ seasons have gone in opposite directions than what we expected early in the year.
The Red Wolves have already surpassed their preseason win total, and the Jaguars cannot surpass their 7.5 total with only four wins.
South Alabama QB Carter Bradley is likely out of this contest and the Jaguars offense didn’t look great without him last week, only putting up 10 points. Meanwhile, the Red Wolves are playing some of their best football over the past month.
Arkansas State is 7-2 as a road dog in the past two seasons.
Rice (+14.5, +500) at UTSA
Another game with an absent QB impacting the spread.
Rice QB JT Daniels is doubtful for this contest, which is why the spread has shifted in favor of the Roadrunners.
Still, the Owls’ last two losses — to SMU and Tulane — came by a combined eight points. Even without Daniels, I don’t know if they lose by more than two TDs.
Rice is 6-0 ATS as an underdog in 2023.