College football odds, betting: Let's back the underdog in one of the biggest matchups of the year
Week 10 of college football has to be one of the best slates of the season. With just a handful of games remaining, some matchups hold some major implications for conference titles and beyond. Here’s what I like for Week 10.
Tennessee +8.5 and ML (+250) at Georgia
The Vols' offense is averaging 47 points per game with QB Hendon Hooker. He can scramble (338 rushing yards), escape the pass rush (just 12 sacks) and sling it (No. 1 in the country in yards per pass attempt). Georgia’s defense lacks a pass rush, ranking 117th in the country, and is down its best LB in Nolan Smith, who only has three total sacks in eight games. The Bulldogs allowed 8.5 yards per pass and 22 points to Kent State and 7.3 yards per pass and 20 points to Florida. This matchup is reminiscent of last year’s first game against Alabama. QB Bryce Young had three carries for 40 yards and 420 yards passing for Alabama in a 41-24 win in the SEC championship game. Forty yards may not seem like a high number, but they were yards that occurred when it mattered most.
LSU +13.5 vs Alabama
The Death Valley home crowd will be loud. The LSU Tigers have one of the best home-field advantages in college football and possess one of the best second-half defenses in the country. LSU has the seventh-best second-half defense in the FBS, limiting opponents to seven points per game in the second half this season. We saw how dominant of a defensive force the Tigers can be when they held Ole Miss to zero points in the second half two weeks ago.
Alabama struggles on the road — just 2-5 ATS in the last two seasons. Bryce Young had just one touchdown pass at Texas early in the season, completed 53% of his passes and had one interception against Arkansas before his injury, and of course Alabama had its first loss of the season to Tennessee on the road. Its only loss of the 2021 regular season was at Texas A&M. A lack of focus on the road is a concern, with the Crimson Tide producing 14 penalties per game one the road versus just five when playing at home.
Texas Tech +8 at TCU
The Horned Frogs are 106th against the pass. TCU allowed 10.9 yards per pass to backup Kansas quarterback Jason Bean and 7.9 yards per pass to Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel before he left the game because of injury. TCU’s defense has had fortunate opponent quarterback luck, facing backups against Oklahoma, Kansas, and Kansas State. Texas Tech has a top-10 passing attack, averaging 338 passing yards per game with quarterbacks Donovan Smith and Behren Morton, who have 18 touchdowns combined. TCU’s luck will run out.
South Florida at Temple under 51.5
The Temple Owls have a really good defense, especially at home. You can read my full reasoning for backing the under here.
Air Force at Army under 40.5
The Army Knights are bottom five in defending the run and now face the No. 1 rushing attack in Air Force. Air Force is first in rushing yards but averaging 4.9 yards per carry on the road compared to 5.6 when playing at home. Air Force is also 84th in red-zone attempts and barely cracks the top 50 for touchdowns scored. Air Force and Army are bottom 40 in plays per game, and both are top 10 in time of possession.
I looked back to see when Army had such a poor rushing defense. In 2019, it was bottom 30 in opponent yards per carry, and in 2017 it was bottom 10 against the run. In both years, neither matchup went over the 30-point mark.