I went 2-3 on Group of Five best bets yet again last week, bringing my season-long record to 29-26. That’s not horrible, and I’d love to finish the season above .500.
I’m running out of weeks to secure a perfect 5-0 record, but I’m not ready to give up on my chase for a perfect weekend of picks. Who knows, maybe this is the week! Let’s take a look at the college football betting odds and find a handful of winners.
UAB -6 vs. North Texas
UAB (4-5, 2-4 C-USA) is nearly a touchdown favorite despite its losing record. While North Texas (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) has done well in C-USA action, the Mean Green aren’t quite as good as their record reflects. UAB, meanwhile, has five losses that have come by an average of 5.1 points.
The Blazers are better than their record suggests, and they have running back DeWayne McBride. He’s the best running back in the conference, and North Texas ranks in the bottom half of C-USA in rushing defense. I like the matchup, and I believe UAB is a superior team despite what each team’s record says.
New Mexico-Air Force, under 37.5
New Mexico (2-7, 0-5 MWC) has the second-worst scoring offense in the Mountain West, averaging just 16 points per game. Air Force (6-3, 2-3 MWC) leads the Mountain West in scoring defense (15.7) and rushing offense. I expect this game to feature minimal scoring, as Air Force will chew the clock with its triple-option attack, and New Mexico will flounder offensively. I could see Air Force winning 28-3, focusing on draining the clock in the second half.
JMU-ODU under 46.5
Old Dominion (3-6, 2-3 SBC) failed to score last week in a 12-0 loss to Marshall, and the Monarchs’ subpar offense is without star tight end Zack Kuntz for the rest of the season. Standout wide receiver Ali Jennings suffered an injury last week against Marshall, so he might not be 100% healthy.
JMU’s starting quarterback Todd Centeio suffered an injury before JMU (5-3, 3-2 SBC) played Marshall on Oct. 22, and the offense has tallied 22 points combined in the two games since. Centeio will likely play, but he’s not 100%. With important players for each team’s passing game injured, I expect plenty of punts and running plays Saturday afternoon in a low-scoring rivalry game.
Marshall +1 vs. App State
App State (5-4, 2-3 SBC) is 1-2 on the road this year with a disappointing loss to Texas State and a deflating loss to Coastal Carolina. The one win came at Texas A&M, which has struggled throughout the fall. Marshall (5-4, 2-3 SBC) is offensively challenged, but the Thundering Herd are at home, and they lead the Sun Belt in scoring defense. I think Marshall makes just enough happen offensively and leans on its stellar defense to grind out a home victory over the Mountaineers, who lead the Sun Belt in scoring offense.
UCF +1.5 at Tulane
It’s the game of the week in the Group of Five! Tulane (8-1, 5-0 AAC) is an incredible story, and I love the Green Wave’s success this season. The defense is much improved, and they’ve found ways to consistently win football games.
I also trust UCF’s program in this big spot and like that the Knights (7-2, 4-1 AAC) enter the game as the underdog. The expectations aren’t sky-high for UCF, which is still a solid 7-2 this season with nice wins over Cincinnati and SMU. UCF is a really good team, and I worry about Tulane handling the pressure of this game. It’s the first time Tulane will host a ranked team since 1949, and it’s in the mix for a New Year’s Six Bowl berth. It’s a massive game for the program and blocking out the hype will be a real challenge for Tulane.