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Three College Football Teams I’m Looking Forward to Betting as Underdogs

Three College Football Teams I’m Looking Forward to Betting as Underdogs

Please let there be a college football season. Please let there be a college football season. Please let there be a college football season.

Like you, I’m hopeful that not only will sports make a return to 2020 but that football, both NFL and NCAA seasons will play out in some form or fashion. All we can do is hope and until someone says, “nope, not gonna happen,” I’m doing what I can to prepare for a fall season of betting.

There’s nothing I love more than betting underdogs. You’ll find me not only taking the plus points on a spread but oftentimes, I’m also taking the plus moneyline. There are three teams right now that I think have the potential to be good underdog teams in the 2020 season either in the form of hitting the OVER on season total wins or at least showing an improvement from 2019 and wrecking some havoc on competition as underdog plays in weekly games.

Army Black Knights

Season Win Total: OV/UN 6.5 (-110)

Closing Game: Army (+4.5, +100) at Navy

Betting on military teams in college football brings so much joy to my life. There’s just something about the triple option that makes me go wild, in a good way. But Army could be seeing a transition come 2020.

After finishing the 2019 season 5-8, the squad missed out on bowl eligibility for the first time since 2015 when the Black Knights went an abysmal 2-10. The next three seasons after, however, went 29-10. Injury plagued this team and they’ll be looking to return healthier to attempt a complete turnaround from last year’s season.

Why Army Could Be Good Underdogs

Kelvin Hopkins Jr. did a great job of replacing quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw was a stud on the run rushing for over 1,700 yards in his final year. Hopkins rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2018 and was expected to do great things in 2019 and looked to fit that bill after a 24-21 loss in double overtime to Michigan but an early season injury led to a rotation of quarterbacks the rest of the year.

Enter Jabari Laws and Christian Anderson. Both experienced injuries of their own but not before showcasing sparks of talent. In Week 3, Laws jetted his way into the end zone with a 41-yard run for a touchdown. Then in November, he went on to produce the second longest rush for an Army quarterback in its 129-year program history, pulling off an 83-yard rushing touchdown. Aside from his running abilities, Laws had an 80 percent completion on just 20 total attempts.

Laws wasn’t the only one doing good things. Anderson threw an 80-yard bomb against Morgan State. He had just 23 attempts on the season but if these two can enter fall 2020 healthy and stay healthy, the potential is there for both to be dual threats on the run and long-range passing ability. They got stomped on by Navy 31-7 in their season closer and will face Navy again in their final game in December.

Ole Miss Rebels

Season Win Total: OV (-145)/UN 5.5 (+125)

Odds to Win West Division of SEC +3300

Opening Game: Mississippi at Baylor, PK -110

Oh, man I love me some Ole Miss. Every year this is a feisty team that can turn out and wreck your week. The Rebels had a 4-8 season but in six of their eight losses, lost by 11 points or less. Four losses were by 7 points or less, including their season closer where they had the opportunity to tie the game against Mississippi State to force an overtime but a missed 35-yard extra point caused them to lose by just one point. This was after a wide receiver was penalized for celebrating a touchdown by pretending to urinate like a dog. Ole Miss, ya’ll.

Well, now they’ve got a new head coach in Lane Kiffin. In his first season coaching Florida Atlantic in 2017, he turned that team around from a 3-9 record to 11-3, including its first bowl appearance since 2008. In his three-year stint, Kiffin recorded a 27-13 overall record going 5-7 in 2018, and 11-3 in 2019. Ole Miss has not had a winning record since 2015 when the Rebels went 9-3 and have gone 20-28 since.

Why Ole Miss Could Be Good Underdogs

Kiffin is regarded as one of the best quarterback developers in college football and now he’s got three to work with, all with different abilities. John Rhys Plumee is a runner. He had a poor 52 percent passing completion and just four touchdowns but had over 1,000 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns.

Matt Corral started in four games but wasn’t impressive with four touchdowns to three interceptions. Would be sophomore quarterback Grant Tisdale is a bit of a wild card. He played just one game and that was against Alabama. He had two passing attempts, two completions, and one touchdown. Mid-season he entered the transfer portal but changed his mind after coaching turnover. It’s too early to tell whether he’ll get the starting gig but looking at his high school highlights, I’d definitely want to see more of him, especially under Kiffin. C’mon Kiffin, let’s see what you can do!

Charlotte 49ers

Season Win Total: OV (-170), UN 4.5 (+150)
Odds to Win East Division of C-USA: +2000

The who now? I know. You’re wondering why a C-USA team would make my list. Because they are fun! The 49ers were on a four-game losing streak before going on a 5-0-win streak to finish the season 7-6, to earn its first bowl bid in program history. Before getting stomped by Buffalo 31-9 in the Bahamas Bowl, they celebrated its first winning season since entering the FBS in 2015. And they celebrated hard! Club Lit was in full effect.

Why Charlotte Could Be Good Underdogs

Head coach Will Healy has been compared to Dabo Sweeney, as a “motivator” and “brand-builder.” We’ll see if he can produce again in his second year coaching but at least he’ll have quarterback Chris Reynolds returning to improve on his sophomore season. This kid can throw. He had a 62 percent completion, over 2,5000 passing yards, and 22 touchdowns.  

The team’s newest addition: MAC star running back Tre Harbison who transferred from Northern Illinois after losing three-year start Benny LeMay to the Cleveland Browns. He’s rushed for over 2,300 yards at NIU and 16 total touchdowns and at 5’11” and 215 pounds, Harbison is a solid ground-and-pound power back who could fill LeMay’s shoes nicely. If the 49ers can improve even just slightly on defense, they could post back-to-back winning seasons.

The potential is there for these teams to play underdog roles week-after-week in the fall. If the time calls for it, they may be good plus-point plays to take with plus moneyline opportunities worth firing.