Week 6 was a relatively quiet one for underdogs, but we know that’s not the norm in college football. Week 7 should bring some more action as the race to the College Football Playoff begins to heat up. Which underdogs should you include in your bets this weekend?
College Football Week 7 Underdog Betting Picks
Illinois (+6.5) vs. Minnesota
Illinois didn’t look dominant by any means in Saturday’s 9-6 win over Iowa, but Bret Bielema’s team is 5-1 – ranked for the first time since 2011 – and easily beat Wisconsin on the road two weeks ago.
Minnesota is expected to have star RB Mohamed Ibrahim back for this game. The Golden Gophers admittedly should be better with him on the field, but his absence was only one of many troubling trends in Minnesota’s 20-10 loss to Purdue last time out. Tanner Morgan threw 3 interceptions, and Minnesota gave up too many yards on the ground.
This game could be Chase Brown’s arrival to the national stage. The Illinois running back is the FBS leading rusher with 879 yards this season and has made 100+ yard games routine. Along with a defense that has been utterly dominant over the last month (19 points allowed over the last four games), the Illini probably shouldn’t be such a home underdog against Minnesota. Illinois +6.5 or even Illinois moneyline (+210) both look solid.
NC State Moneyline (+150) vs. Syracuse
NC State goes into the building formerly known as the Carrier Dome looking to knock off undefeated Syracuse, and they have a good chance to do it. The Wolfpack have been too inconsistent all year, disappointing offensively even in wins, but QB Devin Leary has a track record of success and is capable of a big day.
As fun of a story Syracuse is, close wins over Purdue and Virginia shouldn’t be enough to cement the Orange as ACC contenders. Running back Sean Tucker, often the heartbeat of the offense, averaged less than 3.0 yards/carry in each of his last two games against power-five opponents. NC State has had a tough time slowing down mobile quarterbacks, which could be a problem against Garrett Shrader, but the Wolfpack have held up fairly well against running backs. If they can slow Tucker down, Syracuse’s offense could be in for a challenge it hasn’t yet seen.
Tennessee (+7.5) vs. Alabama
I don’t think we can talk about underdogs this weekend without mentioning Tennessee. The Volunteers average more yards per game than all FBS teams and are 2nd in points per game with 46.8.
After Alabama looked vulnerable at home against a Texas A&M team with an unimpressive offense, the Tide absolutely have a chance to lose this game on the road – yes, even with Bryce Young back in the fold. As we learned in last year’s game against Auburn and this year’s matchup with Texas, it’s possible to slow Young down – especially in a tough road environment.
Tennessee +7.5 is probably the better play than Tennessee moneyline (+235), considering Alabama has won these close games when Young has been shaky, but an outright win that could vault Tennessee into the playoff picture is very much in play.
Arizona (+14) vs. Washington
The Wildcats didn’t deliver against Oregon, losing 49-22, but no one has been stopping the Ducks since their ugly loss to Georgia. The same can’t be said for Washington. After a 4-0 start that vaulted QB Michael Penix Jr. into the darkhorse Heisman conversation, the Huskies have dropped two straight and surrendered 85 points in the process.
This promises to be a high-scoring game, one Washington should win but probably won’t run away with. Even after a disappointing showing against Oregon, I like what I’ve seen from Arizona’s offense. Jacob Cowing looks like one of the nation’s top receivers, and the Wildcats’ top two running backs are both averaging north of 5.0 yards/carry.
A Washington defense that has struggled in both facets of the game may have its hands full, at least to the point that Arizona is able to cover the two-touchdown spread.