NCAA Football Week 11 Top Underdog Picks

Posted by Peter Boysen on November 10, 2016 in

Some of the biggest surprises in sports betting come in college football; after all, putting your money in the hands of kids in their late teens and early twenties can lead to some huge surprises. Let’s take a look at some teams that the books view as underdogs — but who we like to come out ahead of the line and make you some cash. As always, the home team is listed in all caps.

NCAA Football Week 11 Top Underdog Picks


IOWA (+21.5) over Michigan (Saturday, 7:00pm ET)

Iowa has fallen off the table this year, after riding an undefeated regular season to the Big Ten title game a year ago. Their 5-4 (3-3 Big Ten) record means that they could fail to qualify for a bowl game, as their last three matchups include Michigan, Illinois (on the road) and Nebraska. On the road, the Hawkeyes have played dreadful ball, losing to Penn State by 27 and to iffy Purdue by 14. At home, although Iowa also has two losses, they have not lost by more than 8 points, and that was to Wisconsin. So when Michigan comes to town, I like Iowa to employ that grinding, clock-chewing offensive style to control the pace. I also like their physical defense to keep Michigan from scoring quickly, so I like Iowa to stay within that three-touchdown spread.

MEMPHIS (+3.5) over South Florida (Saturday, 7:00pm ET)

The Memphis Tigers have been an enigma all season long. They demolished Southeast Missouri State, Kansas and Bowling Green by a combined score of 155-27. However, they took a 14-point loss at Navy and then a 29-point shellacking at Tulsa. Things looked grim, but then they went down to Dallas and absolutely dismantled an SMU team that had run then-#11 Houston off the field, 51-7. So they face a USF team that has a slightly better record but struggled to put away AAC basement dweller Connecticut and lost at Temple. Given that this game is in Memphis, and given the recent uptick in Memphis’ play — particularly on defense — I like the Tigers to prevail here.

Tulane (+24) over HOUSTON (Saturday, 3:30pm ET)

Let’s look at Houston’s last four games: lose to Navy by six, beat Tulsa by seven, lose to SMU by 22, and beat UCF by 7. Tulane has yet to win a conference game, but they stayed within four of SMU and 10 of Memphis — and seven of Navy. Houston has lost all of their motivation after dropping out of the playoff race, and you can see it in their lack of defensive intensity. You can’t beat a team by 24 points without that passion on the defensive side of the ball, so even though Houston comes out of the bye for this game, I don’t see them beating the Green Wave by that many points.