College football predictions: Take two underdogs, one favorite

Raise your hand if you’re interested in betting on a team that just lost to lowly Colorado? My guess is there aren’t many hands in the air.

Cal is coming off an embarrassing loss on the road to the Buffs as 16-point favorites. However, being a double-digit favorite isn’t a good spot for the Golden Bears. Cal is just 8-15 ATS as a favorite under head coach Justin Wilcox. However, the Bears have thrived in the underdog role, going 22-9-1 ATS (71 percent). That record jumps to 16-3 ATS (84.2 percent) when Wilcox’s team is getting at least seven points, like it is on Saturday.

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Washington hasn’t been the same team away from home. In its two road games against UCLA and Arizona State, Washington is 0-2 and has allowed a total of 85 points in those losses. The Huskies were also favorites in both of those games.

Cal coach Justin Wilcox
Cal coach Justin Wilcox
Getty Images

This feels like a great time to buy low on a team that’s been money as an underdog, especially at home where Cal is a perfect 6-0 ATS under Wilcox when catching a touchdown or more. Take the points with the Golden Bears.

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The pick: Cal +7.5.

Duke (+10) over MIAMI

Duke is coming off a tough loss to in-state rival North Carolina where the Blue Devils allowed a touchdown in the final seconds. While that’s always concerning, the market is still overvaluing a Miami team that’s been average at best this season.

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The Hurricanes stopped a three-game slide with a 20-14 win over an awful Virginia Tech squad. However, the victory was far from impressive. Miami’s offense managed just 20 points against one of the worst defenses in college football and the sloppy play continued with a ridiculous 17 penalties.

Duke has been much more competitive than most people thought in head coach Mike Elko’s first season but the betting market still isn’t showing the Blue Devils much respect. The road team has covered four of the last five in this series. I like that trend to continue.

PENN STATE (-5.5) over Minnesota

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I had Penn State last week but the Nittany Lions got steamrolled in Michigan, allowing 418 rushing yards. The Wolverines’ dominant performance is even more impressive when you consider Penn State entered the game with a top-five rush defense.

Betting on College Football?

The Nittany Lions looked so bad last Saturday, I think it’s creating some value with them this week at home against reeling Minnesota. The big story here is Golden Gophers starting quarterback Tanner Morgan is unlikely to play with a head injury. We saw the number start to climb back up towards Penn State on Friday after early money came in on Minnesota. If Morgan is out, the Gophers will likely turn to redshirt freshman Athan Kaliakmanis.

Penn State is already one of the toughest places to play in college football and it will be a White Out on Saturday night. With an inexperienced quarterback under center, I’ll fade a Minnesota team that comes in on a two-game losing streak.

Last week: 1-3. LSU (W), Utah (L), Texas (L), Penn State (L).
Season: 11-11-1

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