There was a minor stumble last week in my under the radar picks with only one winner. I will not be deterred, though, since that happens when wagering on sporting events. Still, winning two-thirds of my picks since the season started has me in a good position as we move to Week 6 of the campaign. There are things you can’t account for when betting, emotion being one of them. That played a role in one of my setbacks last week. Apparently Utah State was unhappy and although the Aggies lost at BYU the game was much closer than most anticipated.
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If you want proof that the so-called experts aren’t always right you can look at the national rankings. Seven teams dropped out of the top-25 with losses last week with the biggest disappointment being Texas AM. The Aggies were No. 6 in the preseason poll and disappeared after a big loss to unranked Mississippi State. Three undefeated teams – TCU, UCLA and Kansas – entered the rankings for the first time.
There’s always movement in the polls with teams going in and out over the course of a season, but a single game is more predictable. Still, those get missed as well. The under the radar picks look at games that oddsmakers may have overlooked or lines that are askew. I miscalculated just how bad FIU and New Mexico State are offensively backing the OVER in that matchup. Two of the worst teams giving up points pitched a second half shutout in what was a 21-7 FIU victory. Oh well. I did back Duke -2.5 in its matchup with Virginia and earned one win with the Dookies easily covering 38-17. So it’s on to my Week 6 under the radar picks looking to add to the bankroll.
Buffalo Bulls at Bowling Green Falcons ( O/U 54.5 )
Last week’s narrow 31-28 win over Akron as a 9-point favorite may have tainted the spread for this contest. After playing some stiff competition over the first month it may have been a breather for Bowling Green and as they acclimate to a more subdued MAC schedule we should see how good they can be. After dropping their first three games Buffalo has roared back scoring 74 points in wins over Eastern Michigan and Miami, Ohio. I’m not backing a winner in this game but we have two defenses that give up a lot of points. Add in some competent offensive play and I’m liking the OVER. Giving up 45 points to UCLA and Mississippi State isn’t alarming, but watching E. Kentucky go for 59 and Akron 28 has me questioning the Falcons. Buffalo gives up over 31 points and 418 yards. The teams have had shootouts in the past cashing the OVER in three straight and four of the last five encounters.
Akron Zips ( +11 ) at Ohio Bobcats
It’s just a coincidence that I’m staying in the MAC for another pick. When more than half the teams are 2-3 it allows for some craziness to ensue. Akron has had some awful teams in the past going 3-27 in the previous three seasons. They have only one win this season but at least they’ve been competitive against non-Power Five squads. I’m going to eliminate games against Michigan State and Tennessee where the Zips were outscored 115-6 and instead focus on their matchups with more like teams. They did need overtime to beat St. Francis (PA) in the opener but we’re seeing this club make strides under Joe Moorhead and I’m jumping on them and the points in this game. The Zips covered the 26-point line in a 21-12 loss to Liberty in Week 4 and nearly upset Bowling Green last week, falling by three as a 9-point dog. They have an active dual-threat in D.J. Irons and can exploit an Ohio defense that has cracks.
Iowa Hawkeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini ( O/U 34.5 )
I don’t know if we’re going to see a college football game with a total this low all season. We’re not seeing one this week with the 34.5 points for this Big Ten matchup the lowest on the board so far. It’s easy to see why the number is where it is. Iowa is last in the conference and 122nd nationally averaging 16.4 points. They went three quarters without scoring a point until erupting for a pair of touchdowns in a 27-14 loss to Michigan last week. Illinois wrecked a decent Wisconsin defense for a 34-10 win last week getting three touchdowns from Tommy DeVito and 139 rushing yards from Chase Brown. In favorable conditions I can see this game going OVER the total and there’s a good chance it gets that high even if things are rough since both clubs like to run the football.
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