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MAKE THE CASE 🧑‍⚖️

September 23, 2023

Senior editor Max Meyer will be sharing his favorite moneyline underdog upset picks for both college football and NFL in weekend Hustle editions. So far, he’s up +1.48 units (3-4 record) and has two road underdogs he’s rolling with for Week 4.

SMU +210 at TCU [12 p.m. ET]
This is a tough SMU team, as it hung with Oklahoma for most of the game and has rolled in its two other contests. TCU’s pass defense is vulnerable, as we saw Colorado completely shred it in the season opener. The Horned Frogs 🐸 have allowed 14 pass plays of 20+ yards, tied for the 11th-most in the country.

SMU’s Preston Stone ranks eighth in EPA/play (expected points added) among all QBs and is tops in that metric among all Group of Five QBs. I trust him more than TCU signal-caller Chandler Morris, as TCU’s offense just isn’t the humming like it did with Max Duggan. The Horned Frogs are 32nd in yards per play this campaign compared to 14th last season. Morris goes up against a legit SMU defense that is tied for 13th in sacks per game (3.67) and ranks 15th in yards per play allowed (4.20).

UCLA +145 at Utah [3:30 p.m. ET]
The big question for this game is whether Utah QB Cam Rising makes his season debut. With the spread going from Utah -6 to Utah -3.5 yesterday, the market told us what it thinks. There have been reports this morning that Utah is trotting out Nate Johnson under center. Even if Rising does play, he’s coming off an ACL injury and won’t be a factor with his legs in his first game back. That’s trouble against a UCLA pass rush that is averaging 3.67 sacks per game (tied for 13th in CFB). If Rising doesn’t play, the offense hasn’t exactly been inspiring to start the season.

On the other side, UCLA’s offense struggled early on in its opener against Coastal Carolina but it certainly flipped a switch after putting in true freshman QB Dante Moore 🌟. Moore is averaging 12.1 yards per attempt, while transfers Carson Steele and J. Michael Sturdivant look like true impact players on offense.