Five bad teams who are making great bets this college football season:
Florida Atlantic Owls (2-7 SU, 7-2 ATS)
This is probably the only place you’ve heard it, but the Owls are one of the hottest teams in the nation. They’ve covered seven straight spreads despite going 1-6 SU in those games. First-year head coach Carl Pelini is working on re-building a program that went 1-11 last year and is trying to find its feet with new systems in a shiny new stadium. Early games against tough competition Georgia and Alabama could be paying off, where the Owls got thrashed but covered huge spreads. Florida Atlantic lost to Southern Alabama in OT three games ago, beat a strong Troy squad two games ago and gave Navy all it could handle in a 24-17 loss last week.
This week: +16.5 at Western Kentucky
UNLV Runnin' Rebels (2-8 SU, 6-2-2 ATS)
The Las Vegas Sun said last week’s 35-7 victory over New Mexico resulted in a championship celebration in the locker room afterward. Now the Rebels aim to break a road losing streak of 20 games Saturday. They’re favored for the second straight game, so the cat is a bit out of the bag with this team. They play the three worst teams in the Mountain West to close out the season, so if they win this week they’re just going to be laying more points for the remainder of the season.
This week: -2 on the road at Colorado State
Tulane Green Wave (2-7 SU, 6-3 ATS)
The Green Wave are second worst in the nation at running the ball with a gag-inducing 38 yards per game. They rank 118th or worse in total defense, points allowed and rushing yards. That said, Tulane has two things going for it: the Wave can throw the football a little and they have a great kicker. Junior kicker Cairo Santos is 14-for-14 on field goals this year, 9-for-9 from beyond 40 yards and he set the school record with a 57-yarder last week. Tulane is finally a favorite for the first time this season.
This week: -1.5 at Memphis
Indiana Hoosiers (4-5 SU, 6-3 ATS)
Until last week, Indiana was the last team in the nation not to lose a fumble. The Hoosiers finally lost one, but it shows you that taking care of the football can win money at the ticket window. Indiana’s defense has been awful against respectable teams and its QB play hasn't done much to talk about either. But the Hoosiers have a talented running back in Stephen Houston and they get pressure up the middle on the defensive line with Adam Replogle and Will Matte.
This week: +7 at home vs. Wisconsin
Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5 SU, 5-3-1 ATS)
Out of all these teams, Pitt is the toughest to call a "bad team". But the Panthers have a losing record this season and they fell to FCS opponent Youngstown State to start the year. This might be a team to show some caution with, as it remains to be seen how Pitt will recoup from a devastating triple OT loss to Notre Dame and three of the team’s best players are facing assault charges.
This week: 3.5-point road faves at Connecticut