There is nothing I love more than betting on college football underdogs. Taking the points offers less risk, but nailing an underdog to win outright just feels good. On a 7-2 run of betting moneyline underdogs, here’s what I like for Week 3.
Michigan State +6, +195 ML at Miami
Through two weeks, we’re seeing a different Spartans offense compared to last year. In 2020, Michigan State was a one-dimensional passing team with a good run defense. So far, the Spartans are a one-dimensional run team with a good run defense.
Running back Kenneth Walker has five scores and over 300 rushing yards with a 10.7 average per carry. He rushed for 264 yards against Northwestern on just 23 carries.
The Hurricanes have faced two tougher opponents in Alabama and Appalachian State but have allowed 150 average rushing yards to opponents and ranks 64th in the country in run defense. Facing a vulnerable linebacker unit, we get to see if Walker is the real deal.
The matchup to watch is my favorite go-to: the Spartans' pass rush vs. Miami's offensive line. Michigan State has six total sacks, four of which came against Northwestern. Miami QB D’Eriq King has been sacked six times in two games. Quarterback pressure wasn’t a strength of Michigan State last year, so we’ll see if this defensive line can keep things rolling.
I keep waiting for King to flash that consistent greatness he showed at Houston, but behind this offensive line that allowed 26 sacks last year and looks to be the same this year, I’m not sure we’ll see brilliance this week if Michigan State keeps up the pressure.
Nevada at Kansas State +2, +105 ML
Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson will miss time after suffering a knee injury against Southern Illinois last week. Why I’m not worried: Kansas State is 112th in passing yards after being ranked 107th last year. Through 1.5 games played, Thompson has thrown zero touchdown passes but two interceptions.
The Wildcats' offense is run-first with RB Deuce Vaughn. He accounts for four of the seven total team scores, while rushing for 244 yards in two games. Nevada allowed 153 rushing yards to Cal and 5.7 yards per rush.
Nevada quarterback Carson Strong is fantastic. I enjoy watching him and expect to see him drafted into the NFL. However, his touchdown splits are a concern. When playing at home: 19 touchdowns. When playing on the road: eight touchdowns. Strong did throw an interception in Week 1 at Cal, which could come into play here. K-State has produced nine sacks and intercepted three passes. I’ll take a Wildcats team that is 12-4 straight up at home in the last three seasons, and 7-2 ATS as a home underdog under head coach Chris Klieman
Northwestern at Duke +3, +130 ML
This could be deja vu for both the Wildcats and the Blue Devils. Northwestern played Michigan State in Week 1 and lost 38-21, giving up 326 rushing yards and 8.8 yards per carry.
Duke suffered a 31-28 loss to the Charlotte 49ers, producing 352 rushing yards and eight yards per rush, but allowing 324 passing yards and an ugly 10.8 yards per completion.
This game is a similar matchup for both in that Northwestern’s loss was against a run-heavy Michigan State team and Duke’s loss was against a pass-heavy Charlotte team. Who wins? Turnovers will be key. The Blue Devils had two fumbles, one at the goal line in their Week 1 loss. If they hold on to the ball, they should win.