Three Underrated CFB Games to Bet
Will Texas have quarterback Sam Ehlinger for this week’s game at Baylor? That's just one question for our three most underrated NCAA football games to bet this week.
The true freshman is in the concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury during the Longhorns' 13-1T0 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday. He is being called day-to-day for now.
“If you want to be successful with football betting, a balanced approach and analysis is in order.” Says Strauss. “If you make your picks based mostly on an injury report, you often shortchange yourself and purchase a disadvantage.”
Here are three somewhat under the radar NCAA football games I recommend betting on in Week 8: Toledo-Ball State, Tulane-Memphis, and Arkansas-Ole Miss.
Toledo at Ball State – Thursday 7PM ET
Opening NCAAF Lines: Toledo -26
Not often you see a team getting 26 points at home in a conference game – this is from the Mid-American Conference. What has happened to Ball State?
Injuries to QB Riley Neal and several other keys have turned a 2-1 opening into a 2-5 record. The Cardinals are 0-3 in MAC play in which they have been outscored 142-15 and lost to the spread by 96.5 points.
The past two games were against middleweights Akron and Central Michigan, and they still got trashed a combined 87-12.
Ball State has not scored a touchdown since Sep. 23 at Western Kentucky. That equals a scoring drought of 12 quarters, 43 drives, 235 plays and 184 minutes and 50 seconds of game time.
"Fragile football team right now," Coach Mike Neu said. "As much as I hate to admit it, we are struggling to overcome some of the injuries. It's not for a lack of want-to. Guys are working hard. But we're dealing with some things that are uncharacteristic of our football team — some of the penalties, some of the mistakes."
Toledo (6-1) is usually one of the MAC’s best teams and is again. It comes off a 48-21 wipeout of Akron. QB Thomas Woodside threw for 304 yards and five touchdowns vs. the Zips.
Woodside completed 17-of-24 passes, including eight of at least 20 yards. He completed passes to 10 different receivers, including three different receivers who caught TD passes in the first quarter.
Woodside recorded the 14th 300-yard passing game of his career. It is the fourth time in his career he has had at least five touchdown passes in a game. He was the MAC Player of the Week.
Tulane at Memphis – Friday 8PM ET
Opening NCAAF Lines: Memphis -10.5
Why aren’t the No. 24 Tigers bigger favorites than this? They come off an epic 42-38 over a good Houston team last Thursday night. Memphis didn’t score a single point in the first half.
That hadn’t happened since Oct. 13, 2012, back when Justin Fuente was in his first year as head coach.
Memphis trailed by scores of 17-0 and 24-7 and 31-14. The program had been 0-59 in games in which it trailed by 17 points before Thursday.
The win improved the Tigers to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the American Athletic Conference. With its last two victories over Navy and Houston, Memphis now owns the tie-breaker with both if the division is decided in that fashion at season's end.
The win was Memphis' first in Houston since 2005.
Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson threw for a school-record 471 yards and one touchdown. He accounted for 465 of the team's 501 total yards (471 passing/-6 rushing).
In addition, Patrick Taylor Jr. rushed for a program- record four touchdowns, including his final one with 5:14 left to put the Tigers in position to finish the comeback.
Last year, Memphis won 24-14 at Tulane. Darrell Henderson had two long touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Henderson turned a screen pass from Ferguson into a 46-yard scoring play late in the first half to give the Tigers a 13-7 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter he went off right tackle and cut to the sideline for a 45-yard run that made it 24-7.
Arkansas at Mississippi – Saturday 12PM ET
Opening NCAAF Lines: Ole Miss -5
Why would I like Arkansas in this game even though the Hogs are the only 0-4 team in the SEC West and 2-5 overall? Because, the Rebels can’t play in a bowl game, so they have little motivation.
And now their best player is done for the season.
That player, Shea Patterson, was the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country in 2016. Patterson, a sophomore, has been one of the bright spots in what has been a forgettable season so far for the Rebels.
Patterson completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He will miss the remainder of the season with a torn knee ligament.
Patterson tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Saturday night's 40-24 loss to LSU. JUCO transfer Jordan Ta'amu completed 7 of 11 passes for 78 yards against LSU and will start against the Hogs.
Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke said Ta’amu is a great athlete and the Rebels’ offense should continue to click with him at the helm running and throwing the ball: “That’s one of his strengths — he can really run,” he said. “He’s a very, very good athlete.”
Arkansas center Frank Ragnow will miss the remainder of the regular season with a high-ankle sprain, coach Bret Bielema said on Monday. Ragnow, a preseason All-SEC selection, injured the ankle during Saturday's 52-20 loss to Auburn.
Arkansas likely needs to win four of its final five games to avoid missing a bowl for the first time since Bielema’s first season in 2013.
The Razorbacks went 3-9 that season and had enjoyed steady improvement under Bielema until the end of last year.
Take Toledo, Memphis and Arkansas in a minor upset. Patterson was that vital to Ole Miss.