Best Unders Bets For NCAAF Week 1

Malcolm Darnley
September 1, 2023 1:07 PM

In 2022, the Iowa Hawkeyes were a terrible offensive team, and I don’t throw the word terrible around loosely.

2022 – Iowa Hawkeyes Offense

2022 Stats2022 FBS Ranking2022 Average
Rushing Offense122nd(97.8 yards/game)
Passing Offense123rd(160.7 yards/game)
Total Offense129th(258.5 yards/game)

133 FBS schools are competing in football. Iowa was ranked 129th in offensive yards per game and still finished with an 8-5 record last year, including a Bowl win.

That feels like a minor miracle.

Many of us already know that college football has implemented some new rule changes for the 2023-24 season. These rule changes include running the clock after a first down, except in the last two minutes of each half.

Savvy bettors have realized these changes will result in teams running fewer plays per game, impacting a game’s overall score.

But what happens when these new rule changes collide with an offense that was already stumbling?

UTAH STATE vs. (25) IOWA – UNDER +43.5 | -112 – DraftKings

Iowa currently has many compelling storylines to follow. One is their woeful offense. Another is the job security of their offensive coordinator, who has a very interesting contract this year.

Hawkeyes OC Brian Ferentz is the 40-year-old son of Hawkeyes Head Coach Kirk Ferentz.

Brian was the OC last year when Iowa finished 129th in total yards per game. Some suggested nepotism when B. Ferentz was offered a contract to be OC again in 2023.

Of course, we would never imply such a thing.

Even though Papa Bear is the Head Coach, Ferentz Jr. was still burdened with expectations for his unit this year.

The new OC contract states that Iowa must score at least 25 points per game AND win at least seven games this season, or else Brian Ferentz will be removed from his coaching position.

In Cade We Trust – When Healthy

The Hawkeyes QB play wasn’t very good in 2022, with Spencer Petras getting the majority of snaps. But Iowa fans were excited this off-season when the transfer portal landed them former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara.

2021 McNamara vs. 2022 Petras

Year – PlayerCompletion %Passing YardsTDs | INTs
2021 – C. McNamara210-327 (64.2%)2,57515-TD : 6-INT
2022 – S. Petras157-281 (55.9%)1,7255-TD : 5-INT

A lot of variables impact a QB’s performance, including the personnel surrounding him – but Hawkeye fans were assuming an upgrade this year at the QB position.

Then, on August 13th, McNamara got hurt.

The former Michigan QB has recovered to the extent he is now listed as questionable for Saturday’s game. However, some quick research shows that even if he does play, McNamara won’t be 100%.

Deacon Hill, a transfer from Wisconsin, is listed as the Iowa back-up. Hill did not attempt a pass or start a game in his one year of college football with the Badgers.

With McNamara injured and questionable, I’m taking the Hawkeyes’ UNDER until OC Brian Ferentz proves he can score.

Buffalo vs. (19) Wisconsin – UNDER +54 | -112 – DraftKings

When we talk power football, grinding out first downs, three yards and a cloud of dust, or any other cliche about offenses designed to run the ball – it’s quite possible the Wisconsin Badgers come to mind.

In 12 games last year, Badgers starting QB Graham Mertz threw for more than 300 yards ZERO times.

Mertz eclipsed 200 yards in only six of the twelve games, playing a schedule that included Illinois St., New Mexico St., and Northwestern.

Just so you can reference those numbers, Mertz transferred to Florida and is the Gators’ starting QB this year. 

In one career game with Florida (a loss to Utah), Mertz threw for 333 yards.

Wisconsin Badgers Offense

Wisconsin Offense2022 Stats2021 Stats
Rushing Yards / Game176.3211.1
Passing Yards / Game180.9160.2
  • The Badgers averaged almost 40 rushing attempts per game over the last two seasons.
  • Wisconsin had more rushing yards than passing yards in those two years.
  • Wisconsin is not Quarterback U. of the North.

But this year, this Wisconsin team is not your Grand Daddy’s Badgers.

Wisconsin has hired Phil Longo to be their offensive coordinator. Longo is known for one thing: throwing the football A LOT.

The Badgers will unveil their version of the Wisconsin Air Raid offense against the University of Buffalo this week. Wisconsin has plucked former SMU QB Tanner Mordecai to lead their new attack.

I suspect Longo and the Badgers will get very good at throwing the football in time.

My UNDER +54 bet today is because this is the first time (in Wisconsin history, I believe) that the Badgers will take the field with an up-tempo, heavy-passing attack offense.

In Week 1, with a brand new offense, I’m taking the Bulls and Badgers to go UNDER their total while Wisconsin figures their new system out.

However, I will be excited to see how the Air-Raid Attack plays out in the Land of the Cheeses over time.

Find Your Best Parlay Odds

For those interested in parlaying our two selections above, there are a couple of options to look at.

Match UpFanDuelDraftKingsCaesars
Utah St vs. (25) Iowa+43.5 | -115+43.5 | -112+43 | -117
Buffalo vs. (19) Wisconsin+53.5 | -105+54 | -112+54 | -117
Parlay Odds+265+258+244
  • FanDuel is your best option, paying out at +265 for this little two-gamer if you are all about the biggest return.
  • If you are about getting the best number for your total, DraftKings is offering the Buffalo vs. Wisconsin game at +54 instead of +53.5. I believe that game opened at +54.5, and maybe that number exists out there as well.
  • If you play this parlay at Caesars, you have neither the best price nor the best numbers, and you haven’t shopped around for your Best Odds. So don’t do that for this bet.

Wishing you lots of drama and excitement with all your Week 1 – CFB bets.


About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.

chevron up