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AUBURN, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Malcolm Johnson Jr. #16 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown during their game against the Alabama State Hornets in the third quarter of play at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama. Michael Chang/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Michael Chang / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The No. 22 Auburn Tigers are a classic contrarian NCAAF pick for Saturday’s matchup with the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions. What’s better than beating the spread? Beating the moneyline – when your team is an underdog.

We’ve already cashed in two big ML bets with our college football picks. First, the Penn State Nittany Lions (+190) in Week 1, and the Iowa Hawkeyes (+170) in Week 2. It was the right thing to do, and a tasty way to do it.

Auburn Tigers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 07:30 PM EDT at Beaver Stadium

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Here comes another moneyline opportunity for Week 3. Penn State will be hosting the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, and this time, we’ve got Auburn as +200 puppies over at (visit our Sportsbook Review).

Surely that’s a bargain price for a ranked SEC team, especially one that plays in the shadow of top-ranked Alabama. And No. 2 Georgia. And No. 7 Texas A&M. I could go on.

SWAC Attack

You know what comes next: the scientific method. ESPN’s Football Power Index has the Nittany Lions (2-0 SU and ATS) winning this matchup 62 percent of the time; that’s the equivalent of –163 according to the one gambling calculator to rule them all, the SBR Odds Converter.

My goodness. No wonder the very early consensus reports show full support for Auburn (also 2-0 SU and ATS) on the moneyline. It’s easy to see why Auburn would be under-rated at this point – aside from the fact that they’re Auburn.

While Penn State earned their two wins over Wisconsin (–5.5 at home) and Ball State (+23 away), the Tigers were busy beating up on Akron (+37 away) and Alabama State (+49.5 away), the latter representing the SWAC, who represent the FCS. In the wise words of Baruch Spinoza, whoop-dee-frick.

Respect Is Due

Of course, what works against those minnows might not work against one of the top teams in the Big Ten. But the advanced stats suggest that both these teams come into Saturday’s matchup highly under-valued.

The SP+ rankings have Penn State ranked No. 7 in the FBS after two games, with Auburn not far behind at No. 11. Take that, Texas A&M (No. 13).

The Pick

As well as the Lions have performed up to this point, they have yet to face a quality offense – and their own offense still has some bugs to work out with Sean Clifford at quarterback.

Neither of those issues was exposed with Auburn, who was absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball against their cupcake opponents, although QB Bo Nix did take a back seat to the ground game.

We’ll learn a lot more about both these teams once they’ve faced each other, but at this price in the college football odds market, the Tigers are the easy choice for your Week 3 NCAAF picks.

Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NCAAF Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.