The Composite's really gonna get an interesting workout this week.
Picking underdogs is nothing rare here, but picking them to win outright in the way that it is this week is interesting because it's not just 2.5-point underdogs—something explained by simple home-field advantage projections baked in the books.
Indiana (+5), Virginia Tech (+4), Hawaii (+5.5) and Boston College (+5.5) are all favored to win straight-up (SU). Whether they’ll do so, however, remains to be seen.
Only one of those teams is better than 37.5% Against The Spread (ATS) this season CB (57.1%). Indiana, one of the most disappointing teams SU, has only covered once.
Their opponents certainly play into the chances of the cover hitting. BC’s opponent, Syracuse, is an outstanding 7-1 Against The Spread (ATS) this season, but three of its covers have been within 3.5 points of the line. As for the other three: Maryland and Georgia Tech are 3-4 ATS and Utah State is 4-3, so none of those teams reliably cover.
Proceed with caution if you’re taking a swing on one of those teams.
Last Week: 30-23-0 (56%)
Season: 199-218-4 (47.74%)
Composite Best Bets
The process behind the picks is briefly explained in my Week 1 column. Most of the time, the computer spits out something within one or two points of the real line (and at that point, sharp plays and whale plays are what’s moving the line anyway). But if the computer gives something more than three points, it’s worth a second look.
-UCF (-10.5) over Temple
-Minnesota (-7.5) over Northwestern
-La Tech (-5.5) over Old Dominion
-Boise State (-2.5) over Colorado State
-Indiana (+5) over Maryland
-Miami (+9) over Pitt
-Virginia Tech (+4) over Georgia Tech
-Texas (+2.5) over Baylor
-North Texas (+2.5) over Rice
-Hawaii (+5.5) over Utah State
-Boston College (+5.5) over Syracuse
-Arkansas State (+9) over South Alabama
-Mississippi State (+1.5) over Kentucky
-SMU (+1) over Houston
-Ole Miss (+2.5) over Auburn
-UCLA (+6.5) over Utah
-Virginia (+2.5) over BYU
-Fresno State (+1) over San Diego State
The Big Dogs
-Troy (+18) over Coastal Carolina
-UMass (+36) over Liberty
-Colorado (+24) over Oregon
-Southern Miss (+13.5) over Middle Tennessee
-Texas Tech (+20) over Oklahoma
-Charlotte (+18) over Western Kentucky
More Betting & College Football:
Get fantasy and betting analysis in your inbox by signing up for the Winners Club newsletter: SI.com/newsletters