Each week throughout the college football season OddsTrader scours the NCAAF odds board and highlights three of the biggest potential upsets.
These are underdogs that will not only cover the spread but are poised to pull the outright victory. Let’s see what we have this week!
- South Alabama ML (+220) at Bet365
- Northern Illinois ML (+278) at Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)
- Fresno State ML (+165) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)
Saturday, September 02, 2023 – 08:00 PM EDT at Yulman Stadium
- South Alabama quarterback Carter Bradley averaged 256.0 passing yards per game, completing 64.6 percent of his passes, with 28 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.
- South Alabama running back La’Damian Webb averaged 5.1 yards per carry and rushed for 1,058 yards, scored 13 rushing touchdowns, and caught 21 passes for 213 yards with two touchdown receptions.
- South Alabama was 10-3 SU and 8-5 ATS last season.
In the Last Season of…
Tulane had a tremendous 2022 campaign, winning the AAC title and stunning the vaunted USC Trojans, 46-45, in the Cotton Bowl. Not a bad way to wrap a year and one that had fans wagging their tongues, waiting to see if they can replicate, or even improve upon, their 12-2 record from last season.
We should also note that Tulane’s only two losses last season were the only two times they failed to cover the spread.
Therefore, it is easy to see why bettors are high on the Green Wave which is why the oddsmakers are giving us a gift with a very talented team in South Alabama getting a full touchdown at most shops.
The Jaguars were no slouch themselves last season, amassing a 10-3 straight-up mark and going 8-5 against the number. Unfortunately, the season ended on a down note as the Jags came out flat against Western Kentucky in the New Orleans Bowl and didn’t get their offense on track until the second half but by then it was too late. The Hilltoppers would go on to a 44-23 victory.
South Alabama hung tough with the Wave the last time these teams met in 2020. The Jaguars were tagged as 11 ½ point home dogs but kept it close, dropping a 27-24 decision. South Alabama has the luxury of plenty of returning players like their quarterback Carter Bradley and tailback dynamo La’Damian Webb.
Let’s take the points and the experience with South Alabama on Saturday night.
College Football Pick: South Alabama +7 (-115) at SugarHouse
College Football Pick: South Alabama ML (+220) at Bet365
Saturday, September 02, 2023 – 12:00 PM EDT at Alumni Stadium
- Boston College was 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS in their only three games as a favorite last season.
- Boston College ranked 122nd in scoring (17.8 PPG) last season.
- Northern Illinois ranked 82nd in scoring (27.3 PPG) last season.
Boston College was a good fade last season having gone 3-9 straight up and 4-8 against the number. They were a slow-moving target for the good teams and an opportunity for a victory for the weaker squads. The Eagles averaged just 17.8 points per game and surrendered an average of 30.3 points per contest.
On the flip side, Northern Illinois was certainly no juggernaut either as they posted an identical 3-9 SU and 4-8 ATS mark as Boston College. However, at least their offense had wheels, averaging 27.3 points per game while allowing 32.8 PPG.
So, here’s the deal. The Eagles were a sloppy club last season, averaging over two turnovers a game and although the Huskies weren’t a great team, they did take advantage of turnovers, forcing 17 last year which placed them 50th in that category.
There is no reason why BC should be nearly a double-digit favorite, and an outright upset would not surprise me. Let’s back Northern Illinois with the points and put a few bucks on the moneyline as well.
College Football Pick: Northern Illinois +9.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
College Football Pick: Northern Illinois ML (+278) at Caesars Sportsbook
Saturday, September 02, 2023 – 12:00 PM EDT at Ross-Ade Stadium
- Fresno State was 9-0 SU and 7-2 (66.6%) ATS over their final nine games last season.
- Purdue covered only 5 of their 13 games last season.
- Purdue turned the ball over 23 times last season, placing them 120th in the nation in that category.
The line opened at Purdue -6 but that number has tumbled all the way down to -3.5 in many shops. We can see the action is clearly on the road dog here and it is unfortunate we can’t get that earlier line but we can still find Fresno State +4 at various offshore shops.
Both teams will have portal transfers under center with Fresno State signing UCF transfer Mikey Keene while Purdue welcomed former Texas Longhorn, Hudson Card, to the fold.
As for Keene, in 14 appearances with the Knights, he completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,377 yards, 23 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He will be joining a team that went 1-4 over their first five games but after that, it all came together and they went undefeated the rest of the way, claimed the Mountain West Conference title, and dominated Washington State in the LA Bowl, 29-6.
On the other side, we see a team in Purdue that hired a defensive coordinator to be their head coach for the first time since 1982. This will be a paradigm shift for the Boilermakers and it will be interesting to see how long it takes this squad to embrace a defense-first game plan.
The line has tumbled for a reason and although we would have loved to have gotten Fresno State +6, we will take the +4 and toss a few bucks on the moneyline as well.
College Football Pick: Fresno State +4.5 (-108) at BetRivers
College Football Pick: Fresno State ML (+165) at Bet365