College Football Picks: Capper's Sharp Eye Detects Valuable Plus Odds to Play in Week 9

Doug Upstone

Monday, October 26, 2015 12:02 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 12:02 PM UTC

This week's look at sportsbooks early releases for college football for a festive Halloween weekend will beg one question: what underdogs should be looked at to beat betting odds?

We have identified six teams that are catching points, and right now we have no clue if they will be receiving more or fewer digits when their games come around Saturday. And we are not even saying the college football odds are wrong (not many bad numbers on sides this time of year), just raising the question from public perception point of view if there is reason for football handicappers to think there is value for sports picks.


Washington State +15 Point Home Underdog vs. Stanford
In similar fashion to this week's opponent Stanford, Washington State suffered a horrific opening game loss (31-24 to Portland State as 31-point home favorites) but have come roaring back to be 4-2 SU and ATS. The Cougars have road upsets at Oregon and Arizona and also covered at Cal. The history is not good for the home teams at 3-7 ATS, but coach Mike Leach's squad is forth in passing in the country, which at least brings into play fourth quarter backdoor cover if not more.

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Georgia +3 Point Underdogs vs. Florida
The "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" is open for business again, (passing on being politically correct) and Florida all but wraps up the SEC East with a victory. The early line from seems correct, but we would not be shocked if the Gators received support to send them to -4. Two elements to consider: on offense, it appears to be about big plays with two strong defenses, and the Bulldogs are at 6.7 yards per play and Florida is at 5.5. However, in defensive yards per point, the Gators are 20th nationally and the Dawgs are 43rd.

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California +5.5 Point Home Underdog vs. USC
A lot of talk early last week about USC being upset at home by Utah, but late in the week all those placing bets for college football picks were on the Trojans, whose talent was on display in 42-24 victory as closing 6.5-point favorites. California was realistically not in the game with UCLA last week in a 40-24 whipping, and that improved the Golden Bears defense we thought we saw early in surrendering 33.2 points a game in last five contests. Cal is only 2-8 ATS versus the Men of Troy in last 10 and have to be better on defense and offense to generate upset.

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Temple +10 Home Underdogs vs. Notre Dame
For 7-0 Temple, this is the first time they and their opponent are both ranked playing in the same contest and it is only the ninth time the Owls have EVER faced a Top 20 foe. It is given that Temple has been sky high, and as home underdogs that can play defense, they would always seem to have a chance at more than a touchdown. The Owls are ninth in college football in total defense and eight in points allowed (14.6) and would seem to want to employ a similar strategy to Clemson, by jumping on Notre Dame early, smack them around to force miscues, and make them one dimensional.

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Vanderbilt +13.5 Point Road Underdogs vs. Houston
I understand Houston is 7-0 (5-2 ATS) and outscoring opposing teams by 27.9 PPG, but an SEC team (yes, it's Vanderbilt) nearly a two touchdown road underdog against a club not from a Power 5 conference? While we are genuinely impressed with the Commodores defense, as it has been exceptional in holding opposing teams to only 16.3 PPG, can you go on the road with the 120th ranked scoring offense at 18 PPG and expect to compete? Granted, the 'Dores did hold Western Kentucky to 14 points in the opener, but that was in Nashville.

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UL- Monroe +12.5 Point Road Underdogs vs. UL-Lafayette
This rivalry in the Sun Belt is one of my personal favorites. It does not matter who is better, be it by one point or 15. Consider the visiting team since 1997 is (are you ready?), 15-3 against the spread. Besides that being nearly impossible to comprehend, in the last dozen matchups the away team is 11-1 ATS, with NINE outright wins. You do not have to be a football savant to have UL-Monroe on your short list of plays this upcoming week.

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