College football is so intertwined with the idea of rankings that you can sometimes lose track of the schools with little to no chance of making a meaningful bowl game. Sure, there are plenty of teams that can’t win on the field, but that does not mean they can’t make you money.
With that in mind, I decided to look at the best college bets this season from teams without a winning record. In order to make this list, the team needs to be at or below .500 straight up but with no more than one loss against the spread.
Without further ado, here are the best bets in college football you may be missing out on.
Temple Owls: 3-3 SU, 5-1 ATS
After Sportsbook the season with a 28-13 loss to Navy – despite being a 15.5-point favorite – Temple has been on a tear for bettors. In the span of their past five games, the Owls have either outscored their opponents by at least 25 points or have lost by just a touchdown.
Temple’s offense is good enough to average 33.0 points per game while their stringent defense is allowing just 22.7 points. The Owls are entering their toughest stretch of the season as UCF and USF – their next two opponents – are averaging 35.2 and 44.5 ppg respectively. If the defense can contain those potent offenses and Temple is spotted enough points, they could continue to be a good bet in the coming weeks.
Ball State Cardinals: 3-3 SU, 5-1 ATS
Ball State has constantly played tight games this season, as only one of the Cardinals’ games has been settled by more than 10 points. The team is average in pretty much every conceivable way. Though that sounds bad, it also means they keep games close and any time they are a dog, they are worth a look.
Ball State only has two more games this season in which their opponents have an average scoring margin greater than a touchdown – at Western Michigan and at Toledo. Outside of those two question marks, the Cardinals should be able to keep the rest close and likely squeak out some ATS wins.
Virginia Cavaliers: 2-3 SU, 4-1 ATS
Virginia has flourished as a dog this season, going 4-0 ATS when spotted points. Their season opened with a 17-point loss to Richmond despite entering the game as 13-point favorites. The ACC is very much a have and have-not conference when it comes to defense, which has led to Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert carving up secondaries.
That isn’t likely to change, as the Cavs face four teams with passing defenses in the lower half in the nation. You may want to avoid their games against Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech, as all three teams have passing defenses within the top 20 in the nation.