Underdogs Against the Spread continues to hand out winners inside the Group of Five.
The first two games of Week 12 were easy calls. The Temple Owls should have never been a home underdog, and predicting them to win outright was a no-brainer. That same goes for Navy only being a 7-point underdog at Notre Dame. That game was over quick as the Fighting Irish led 45-3 at half.
No one expected the Rice Owls to win outright at Middle Tennessee State, but the Blue Raiders have been a mess all season long. The Owls have kept many games close, and finally got their first win of the season.
Arkansas State and Cincinnati were never close to getting near the spread as both needed points in the final minute to get a win. The Bearcats trailed the entire game until a game-winning field goal as time expired, but the result dropped them two spots in the College Football Playoff rankings. The impact in that is Cincinnati fell behind Memphis in the rankings, and the highest-ranked team will represent the G5 in a New Year’s Six bowl.
We have reached the time in the season in which most teams are deep in conference play - except for the mighty SEC, which features five games against FCS foes that are sure to bump their strength of schedule - and the winners get tougher to find. That does not mean the sportsbooks left us with nothing to fire away at.
Last Week: 2-3
2019 Record: 32-25-3
*All lines are according to Bovada and are accurate at the time this article is published
BYU Cougars (-40) vs. Massachusetts Minutemen
You keep hammering a good (or bad) trend when you see it. UMass is 1-10 ATS this season, and their victory over winless Akron is the only time they have covered the spread this season. It is the last game of the year for the Minutemen and after all they’ve been through this season, it’s hard to imagine them getting fired up for this game. It also does not hurt that BYU has scored 42, 31 and 42 points the last three weeks against much better opponents.
South Alabama Jaguars vs. Georgia State Panthers (-10)
The Panthers have been up-and-down all season long starting with the win at Tennessee to start the year, only to get crushed by Western Michigan the following week, but they have been competitive for the most part. The same cannot be sad for the Jaguars. They have lost by 10 or more points seven times this season, with an average of 22.3 points in those seven losses.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. UAB Blazers (-5)
It was only a week ago that the Bulldogs were flirting with the potential of making it into the top 25. but a lot has changed since. Louisiana Tech suspended starting quarterback J’Mar Smith and wide receiver Adrian Hardy for two games, and Aaron Allen, who started in Smith’s place last week, could be a game-time decision with an injury. On the flip side, the Blazers have not lost at Legion Field since their return to football and field an underrated defense.
Memphis Tigers (-14.5) vs. South Florida Bulls
USF burned us in a identical spot last week, but unlike Cincinnati, the Tigers offense is clicking. Memphis has too many weapons for the Bulls to contain, led by Kenneth Gainwell. The trends are in the Tigers favor as well as USF is 6-13 ATS in their last 19 conference games and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. Expect this to be a 20-plus point blowout as USF’s offense has not been able to muster up much all season.
Nevada Wolf Pack (+14) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs got off to a terrific start to the season, but haven’t been the same team since Mountain West play started. They’ve lost their last two home games as favorite, are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games and 2-6-1 in their last nine games overall. Nevada had a bye last week, but the last time we saw them in action, they knocked off San Diego State, the same team that limited Fresno State to seven points last week.
Check back with us next week for more and let me know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter. Until next week, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!