Week 9 (or whatever we’re calling it these days) brought some upheaval to our top 10 with Clay’s favorite team Michigan dropping from #8 to no longer relevant in the wake of their outright loss as a three touchdown plus favorite. Oklahoma instead takes their spot after a dominating win on the road in Lubbock where they more than exceeded oddsmaker’s expectations. The Cincinnati Bearcats showed off at home in a revenge spot against Memphis, proving why they very well might be the best Group of 5 team in the nation as we welcome them inside our top 10
North Carolina and SMU make the article as well, one for the right reason and the other for the wrong one. We also find ourselves entrenched in Big Ten West football for a best bet when we look to bounce back from last week’s unfortunate series of events.
Bet the Board Top 10 Week 10:
1.) Ohio State
5.) Notre Dame
SMU has the record to belong in the Top 25 at 6-1, but when you dig into this team’s overall body of work you’ll see why we don’t believe the Mustangs are worthy of their #18 spot in the AP poll. Let’s start with a lousy strength of schedule, where SMU checks in at 90th out of 137 teams. The lone blemish on their record (a 42-13 drubbing at the hands of Cincinnati) was against the only team we have rated anywhere close to the top 35 on their schedule. They’ve won two games by the skin of their teeth, at Tulane and home vs. Memphis, both by 3 points. They’ve already lost their best offensive weapon in WR Reggie Roberson Jr. to a torn ACL, and his absence was clearly felt when they stepped up class against the elite Bearcats defense. However the big struggle for SMU right now is on defense, where they rank outside the Top 60 in defensive efficiency, allowing an average of 33.1 ppg (that’s when you remove the 50-7 victory over FCS opponent Stephen F. Austin). Bottom-line, this team is grossly overrated and will continue to be so, but don’t share that with pollsters only concerned with their gaudy W/L record.
Underrated: North Carolina
Although the Tar Heels dropped their second game of the season last week at Virginia (and somehow falling out of the Top 25), we still rate this team much higher than their current public perception. UNC is led by QB Sam Howell, whose powerful passing attack generated an incredible 15.9 yards per pass attempt in the loss to UVA! 15.9!!! In their other loss at Florida State, North Carolina outgained the Seminoles by over 120 yards and picked up 11 more first downs during the game. The Tar Heels have a Top 10 offense, and while the defense has struggled a bit, it still ranks inside the Top 50 in overall efficiency, which would list them as favorites against 90% of D-1 college football. The betting market is slowly catching up to the strength of the Tar Heels this week, with Mack’s boys moving from -9.5 to -10.5 in a Tobacco road show down at Duke.
Best Bet: 379 Nebraska +4 (-110)
We’ve seen Nebraska play only one time this year, and it was a blowout loss at Ohio State that had Ryan Day apologizing for a late “garbage time” touchdown. That being said, there was enough in that game that caught our eye and prompted us to pull the trigger for their trip to Evanston. Nebraska actually outrushed Ohio State on a yards per carry basis, 5.8 to 4.5, and at halftime Nebraska trailed by only 10 before the game truly got away. We saw the Cornhuskers take considerable money against Wisconsin (even pre-COVID news) early in the betting cycle of that game, but unfortunately for many professionals with tickets on Nebraska, that game was cancelled. HC Scott Frost talked this week about his kids playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, and he knows that despite the chaos COVID-19 has caused this past week, his team will be ready to go. Meanwhile on the other sideline, Pat Fitzgerald talked about the “4th quarter war” his team was in on Saturday against Iowa, and how he’s hoping his team can recover fast enough for their divisional matchup with Nebraska. The signals line up for a Saturday upset, and we encourage readers to back the Red at +3 or better.