NCAA Football Game Previews & Betting Market Report

Oct 1, 2022

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Oskeim Sports provides NCAA football game previews and free sports picks in Saturday’s college football card. Oskeim’s betting market report gives you the winning edge.

Bowling Green at Akron (+9) (-110)

Analysis: I had Bowling Green as one of the most improved teams in the nation entering the 2022 campaign, but the team continues to underperform under fourth-year head coach Scot Loeffler.  The Falcons are 8-25 overall under Loeffler’s leadership, including 1-3 this season despite leading the nation in returning production (84%; 18 returning starters).  Bowling Green’s Week 2 loss to FCS Eastern Kentucky (59-57, seven OT) epitomizes how far the program has deteriorated during Loeffler’s tenure.

The Falcons are 0-2 as favorites since the beginning of the 2020 season and their defense currently ranks 128th in both scoring defense and total defense despite having ten returning starters.  Starting quarterback Matt McDonald sat out last week’s 45-14 loss to Mississippi State but is expected to return against Akron.  The betting market reacted favorably to the news, but McDonald is averaging a pathetic 5.8 yards per pass attempt (114th out of 128 qualified quarterbacks) and 10.3 yards per completion (112th).

Akron has won just four games since the start of the 2019 season, but two of those victories have come against Bowling Green.  Akron defeated the Falcons 31-3 as a 2.5-point home favorite in 2020 and upset Bowling Green 35-20 as a 14-point road underdog last season.  The Zips are 33rd in returning production (71%; 16 returning starters) and first-year head coach Joe Moorhead used the transfer portal to further improve the roster (No. 71 in 247Sports Transfer Portal Rankings).

Moorhead was the head coach at both Fordham and Mississippi before serving as Oregon’s offensive coordinator in 2020 and 2021.  The veteran coach added high-ceiling receivers in Shocky Jacques-Louis (Pittsburgh) and Alex Adams (LSU), both of whom have made an immediate impact for the Zips.  Minnesota transfer Cam Wiley leads the team in rushing and operates behind an offensive line that boasts 96 career starters.  Moorhead brought in Anthony Wigan (Penn State) and Max Banes (Houston) to provide further depth upfront.

The value rests squarely with Akron as my math model only favors Bowling Green by 5.3 points and the Falcons are 5-11 ATS in their last sixteen conference affairs.  Akron also has a substantial advantage in special teams with a Pro Football Focus grade of 75.9 (60th).  Bowling Green’s 51.9 PFF special teams grade is 130th in the country.  Grab the points with the live home underdog and invest with confidence.

Virginia (+3) (-110) at Duke

Analysis: My math model only favors Duke by 0.45 points in this game and the Blue Devils are 0-7 SU and ATS in the past seven meetings in this series.  More alarming is the fact that Duke has lost 14 of its last 18 ACC games in which it has been favored, a span covering the past seven years.  Let’s also note that Duke is 3-6 SU and ATS in its last nine conference openers and has played a weak schedule consisting of Temple, Northwestern and North Carolina A&T.

Following back-to-back .500 seasons, Virginia made an excellent hire in Tony Elliott, who spent the past six seasons as Clemson’s offensive coordinator.  Starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw for a school-record 4,449 yards (65.2%; 31-10) last season but is off to a slow start in 2022.  However, the talented signal-caller is primed for a breakout game against a Duke stop unit that is ranked 80th in overall defense, per Pro Football Focus (PFF), as well as 82nd in pass coverage and 84th in pass rush.

In contrast, Virginia’s defense has played exceptionally well this season, posting a defensive grade of 83.9 (26th), per PFF.  The Cavaliers’ pass coverage grade of 89.9 is 13th-best in the country, while their tackling grade (78.9) is 15th-highest in the FBS.  With Virginia standing at 24-10 ATS in its last 34 games versus teams with a winning record, 6-1 ATS in its last seven conference games, and 5-1 ATS in its previous six October affairs, grab the points with the Cavaliers and invest with confidence.

NCAA Football Betting Trends & Nuggets for Saturday, October 1

  • Alabama has won just one of its past five road games by more than a field goal
  • Kentucky has won six of its past 13 games outright as an underdog. Four of those wins came as at least a six-point underdog.
  • Since 2019, Tulsa has been an underdog fifteen times. In those games, the Golden Hurricane have covered 13 and won four outright.
  • Justin Wilcox is 24-9 ATS as an underdog during his tenure as California’s head coach, including 13 outright wins.
  • Dating back to 2016, underdogs have covered 14 of 17 games between service academies, winning 10 outright.
  • Oklahoma State is 13-3 in games where the spread is priced between +3.5 and -3.5 points.  Since 2010, Mike Gundy’s teams are 12-2 away from home under these circumstances.
  • Iowa is 9-2 ATS against AP Top-5 ranked teams since the start of the 2008 season.
  • Kentucky is 15-5-2 ATS against AP-ranked teams since the start of the 2015 season.
  • Road favorites are 12-6 SU and 8-9-1 ATS in Big 12 Conference play since the start of last season.
  • Oklahoma State is 10-2 ATS as an underdog since the start of the 2018 season, the best such cover percentage in the FBS over that span.
  • Purdue is 19-7 ATS as a road underdog since the start of the 2014 season (8-4 ATS under head coach Jeff Brohm).
  • Kansas State is 12-5-1 ATS as a favorite under head coach Chris Klieman, the best cover percentage as a favorite in the Big 12 since the start of the 2019 season.
  • Oregon State is 10-2 ATS as a road underdog since the start of the 2019 season, the best cover percentage among Power 5 programs over that span.
  • Alabama is 18-6 SU and 12-12 ATS on the road versus AP Top-20 SEC opponents under head coach Nick Saban.

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