College Football's Top Underdogs - Opening Weekend
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
If you are looking for underdogs each week in college football, for the rest of the regular season we got you covered. We offer no promises about records, but rest assured these are well-researched and the author will be using his money to back these selections.
Let's get rollin'.
8/30 - #135 Northwestern +1.5 at #136 Purdue - The Big Ten made a deal with networks to play games on days other than Saturday's, which will bring them in even more money. The winner of this game stays in contention for the bridesmaid spot behind Wisconsin in the Big Ten West. QB Clayton Thorson is loved by NFL scouts for his arm and demeanor. He's coming off a major injury, but limited reports have his mobility in good form. Northwestern is the bigger stronger team and is 8-3 ATS (6-5 SU) at West Lafayette and under coach Pat Fitzgerald, they are a sharp 27-15 ATS as road underdogs.
9/1 - #171 Northern Illinois +10.5 at #172 Iowa - Iowa for years was money during the nonconference part of the Hawkeyes schedule when coach Kirk Ferentz was doing his predecessor Hayden Fry imitation. But those days are gone with Iowa just 13-18-1 ATS in the role the last seven years. NIU's been down a bit the past three years with QB injuries but Marcus Childers fits their system. The offensive line is always tough and on defense, the Huskies are strong in the trenches and in the secondary. With NIU 13-4 ATS as a road underdog of 7.5 to 14 points recently, Iowa escapes by 8.
9/1 - #193 Washington +2 vs. #194 Auburn - There is a lot of talk about the strength of the SEC, especially at the top these days, with several weaker clubs a couple rungs down. There is a presumption since this game is in SEC territory (Atlanta), it will be like a home game for the Tigers. But Auburn has just one O-Line returning and if they push a very good Washington defensive front around, they would be an upset. The Huskies secondary is again oozing talent and playing in the Pac-12, they see plenty of exceptional pass receivers. No question the pressure is on Washington to stand up for the conference and it's time for QB Jake Browning to have a breakout performance.
9/1 - #206 Wyoming +2 hosting #205 Washington State - Washington State is not New Mexico State, but Wyoming showed right away what kind of defense they have, permitting one score with 76 seconds remaining when leading 29-0. The Cougars have to break in a new quarterback and have just four offensive starters back. Coach Mike Leach's team will move the ball because they always do, but look for Wyoming to force turnovers and turn those into points. With the Cowboys 16-6 ATS at home after out-gaining opponent by 125 or more total yards in their previous game, expect a minor upset in Laramie.
9/2 - #218 LSU +3.5 vs. #217 Miami-FL. - More than one sportsbook has Ed Orgeron as their first coach fired in 2018. New LSU quarterback Joe Burrow could not get playing time at Ohio State and transferred to the bayou. Take those two giant chips on people's shoulders and add in a strong running game and a defense that is only lacking in-game experience and we might have an upset brewing. Orgeron likes to meddle a bit, but he has high-priced assistants he just needs to leave alone and get his Tigers ready to play. Orgeron, either as a head coach or an assistant, always performed best when the least was expected from his squads. LSU can win this game and remember, the half point hook could be very important.