Five Underrated Teams For 2016 That Are Worth A Look

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 6:52 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016 6:52 PM UTC

College Football is less than two weeks away and it's time to look for some value. While the Alabama Crimson Tide top the list as the betting favorite to win the National BCS Championship, there are other schools that are underrated and have some value. Let's take a look at this list.

Nebraska at +15000 with BetOnline
These are very steep NCAAF odds for a consistent winner as the Cornhuskers find themselves out of the AP Top 25. Senior quarterback, Tommy Armstrong Jr. will get his final opportunity to make an impression on the NFL scouts. Armstrong is a double threat quarterback that can make the necessary pass and also run with the football. He'll need to cut down on his interceptions if Nebraska has a chance to crack the top 25.  

Last season, Armstrong Jr. threw for over 3000 yards with 22 TD's and 16 INT. Armstrong did play well in the Foster Farms Bowl last season in a 37-29 victory over the UCLA Bruins in which he threw for 174 yards and 1 TD and also had 76 yards rushing with a TD. Eliminating turnovers and not forcing the ball will be a key to Armstrong Jr's success.

This is a team with a win over Michigan State in which Armstrong Jr. threw for over 300 yards last season and one noticeable aspect of Nebraska is that they were competitive in every game played. Five of their losses were by 5 points or less and their worst loss was by 10 points; a game in which Armstrong Jr. didn't play, therefore there's a ton of room for improvement as this is a school that landed 5 -4 star recruits in ESPN's top 300 Recruits for 2016, led by defensive back Lamar Jackson. Jackson is one of the best defensive backs in the nation coming out of high school and can play many positions.


Iowa Hawkeyes at +50000 with Bovada
This is a Hawkeyes team that's ranked 17th in the AP Poll and won their first 12 games of the season last tear, before a tough 16-13 loss to Michigan State and then getting blown out in the Rose Bowl by the Stanford Cardinals. Quarterback C.J. Beathard enters his senior season also looking to impress and he's a perfect fit for this Iowa team who possess a strong defense. Beathard isn't going to make mistakes as his 17 TD's and 5 INT's indicate from last year.

Beathard will have experienced running backs to hand off the ball to in Leshun Daniels Jr. (646 yards, 8 TD) and Akrum Wadley (496 yards, 7 TD). Wadley played in limited action and could have a breakout season. Beathard's favorite target in Matt VandeBerg (703 yards, 4 TD) also carries a lot of experience. With a defense that's even better than the offense, this team is "sneaky good" and possess a weak schedule.


Miami Hurricanes at +12500 with Sports Betting
It doesn't matter where "The U" plays, as long as they have star quarterback Brad Kaaya behind center, this will be a team to be that will be effective. Kaaya is projected highly where the NFL is concerned and for good reason. Playing big against the top schools is what Kaaya does and his 405 yards, 3 TD performance in a tough 29-24 loss to Florida State is indicative of just how good Kaaya can be. He's going to have to be just as effective as teams such as Florida State and Notre Dame are on the schedule. Kaaya will also have that "safety blanket" in 1000 yard rusher, Joseph Yearby. 

Miami loses their top receiver, Rashawn Scott, to graduation, but Stacy Coley has proven that he's up for the task as his best game of the season last year was a 139 yards performance against Florida State. The Canes are definitely an undervalued ncaaf pick for this season.


Texas Longhorns at +60000 with at William Hill
The quarterback position will be up for grabs between Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes as this is a Texas Longhorns team that only had 9 receiving touchdowns last season, but Texas did their homework and has a huge recruiting class coming in with 14 -4-star recruits on ESPN's Top 300 Recruit List. Twelve of the four-star recruits all come straight out of the state of Texas, led by outside linebacker, Jeffery McCullough (2nd ranked OLB in the nation), 3rd ranked wide receiver, Devin Duvernay, and 2nd ranked safety, Brandon Jones. Texas did recruit a quarterback in Shane Buechele (243rd overall).

Junior running back, D'Onta Foreman (754 yards, 5 TD) will be back and Foreman at 249 pounds, will be tough to take down. Expect Heard to keep his job as he's a double threat, but there's a ton of young talent looking to take over this team and it's just a matter of how well will the new freshman gel with the rest of the team?


Michigan State Spartans at +5000 with William Hill
Losing quarterback Connor Cook is a major blow, but 5th-year senior, Tyler O'Connor will get a major opportunity with a team that possesses a big-time running back in L.J. Scott (699 yards, 11 TD's) and a team which is always ranked near the top in the nation defensively. That said, L.J. Scott will see a ton of more opportunities and I look for him to have a breakout season as there will be a definite downgrade in the passing game.

Expect the defensive line of players such as Malik McDowell and Demetrius Cooper to make a major impact this season. Leading tackler, Riley Bullough, who is a 5th-year senior, will play a major role in a very deep Spartans linebacking corp. This team will be dangerous despite not having Cook.

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