Videos by OutKick
By: Todd Fuhrman
It was moving day on Saturday for our Bet the Board Top Ten with a brand new top team in the country (our friend Joel Klatt would be proud). Two things have become apparent through 8 weeks; first…it’s become impossible to ignore the freight train that is the Ohio State Buckeyes and second (and maybe more importantly) the precipitous drop off experienced by the Alabama Crimson Tide because of Tua’s injury. Remember, this isn’t a coach’s poll; this is who we power rate as the Top 10 teams in the country right now this minute in their current form.
We wish a fond farewell to Wisconsin as well since the Badgers tumbled out of the Top 10 with a brutal loss at Illinois where they were as high as a 31-point favorite. Utah becomes the beneficiary, even with QB concerns, sliding back in at the #10 spot. This week, we’ll focus on a why a popular mid-major is extremely overrated and a familiar Pac-12 member yet again makes our undervalued classification.
Bet the Board Top 10 Week 9:
1.) Ohio State
8.) Penn State
Overrated: Appalachian State
Undefeated Appalachian State now resides in the AP Poll at #21 and #22 in the Coaches poll after their 52-7 home victor over UL Monroe. Everyone seems to love the “little guy” in college sports. However gambling doesn’t allow for sentimentality and we’re not buying the hype at this point on the Mountaineers. No question, App State is the class of the Sun Belt conference and there won’t be many tests on the schedule but that’s the point. App State has faced a schedule outside the Top 70 in difficulty yet are only a +0.9 net yards per play. The defense is mediocre at best, ranking 71st in overall defensive efficiency. Unfortunately, this unit won’t be tested until they get to play South Carolina, who, while just 3-4 and unranked, will be significant favorites in that particular matchup. Appalachian State is a perfect example of why the “polls” are irrelevant when analyzing the betting market. They don’t sniff our Top 25 while fitting just nicely inside our Top 50.
Underrated: USC Trojans
We’ve discussed USC before; they continue to be underrated even after a thorough pounding of Arizona 41-14. Remember, a week prior USC covered at Notre Dame with a true freshman quarterback recovering form a severe concussion. That was a game where USC was a net positive +8% in overall success rate. Yes, USC is only 4-3 and their coach is squarely on the hot seat but the Trojans have faced a Top 10 schedule of opponents, are a net +0.7 yards per play, and still are in charge of their own destiny as it pertains to a Pac-12 title game birth. USC is Top 45 in both offensive (Top 15) and defensive efficiency. Their young QB Kedon Slovis and this talented receiving core are really starting to click making them a dangerous out going forward. We’ve already seen some support for the Trojans this week on the road at Colorado, moving from -12.5 to -14 at FoxBet.com. It gets a bit easier for USC coming up but not by much as they still have to take on Oregon (home) and travel to both Arizona State and Cal.
Best Bet:  Charlotte +4.5 (-110):
The 49ers opened up +3, moved out to +5 across the screen before we saw some professional money enter the market taking this number back down to the +4.5/+4. Charlotte has had a disappointing start to the season, dropping their last 4 (three of them coming on the road), and now return home to face the Mean Green of North Texas. These teams are similar in the fact that their strength lies on the offensive side of the ball. Charlotte has an edge in yards per pass attempt (7.7 to 7.2) and on the ground where they average 5.3 yards per rush compared to the Mean Green’s 4.8. Despite the slow start this Charlotte locker room is upbeat and multiple players have been quoted saying how much energy this team still has knowing the opportunities that lie ahead. The current market number implies North Texas would be more than a 10-point favorite at home in this spot and that feels a bit inflated based on the metrics produced by these teams. Charlotte is the perfect buy low candidate, and similar to buying stocks, this is when we want to buy. This number should continue to drop, so grab the +4.5 and cheer in the college version of the 49ers!