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MAKE THE CASE 🧑‍⚖️

September 8, 2023

Senior editor Max Meyer hit 2 of his 3 moneyline underdog upset picks last week to go up +2.68 units and he’s back for more. With the NFL season underway, there will now be two ML underdog picks, one for college football and one for NFL.

Texas Tech +195 vs. Oregon (7 p.m. ET)
The Pac-12 has looked invincible 💪, including Oregon dropping 81 points against Portland State. Texas Tech lost a wonky double-overtime game at Wyoming where the Red Raiders had a 5.4 to 4.1 edge in yards per play. But they come up on a contest that a couple Red Raiders have circled, specifically former Oregon QB Tyler Shough (TTU starting QB) and last year’s Oregon DC Tim DeRuyter (TTU DC). Shough gets a chance to carve up an Oregon pass defense that ranked 110th in passing yards allowed per game and 123rd in sacks per game in 2022.

They’ll go up against star signal-caller Bo Nix, though he has some major home/road splits in his career. They’re even more drastic when Kenny Dillingham (now Arizona State’s HC) isn’t his offensive coordinator, like he was last season and in his freshman campaign at Auburn. Those road struggles could be amplified in a raucous Lubbock atmosphere at night.

Steelers +115 vs. 49ers (Sun., 1 p.m. ET)
Did anyone else notice that this spread hasn’t budged off 49ers -2 even after Nick Bosa’s contract dispute ended on Wednesday? Hmmm 🤔. Brock Purdy is the Week 1 starting QB after suffering a UCL injury in the 49ers’ playoff loss to the Eagles. This is not the best matchup for Purdy’s return, as the Steelers defense ranked second in schedule-adjusted defensive efficiency with a healthy T.J. Watt last season. When Watt missed seven games due to injury, Pittsburgh was last in that metric.

On the flip side, there’s been a lot of optimism surrounding a Kenny Pickett Year 2 leap and his strong preseason didn’t slow that hype down. Mike Tomlin as a home underdog is typically a great time to back the Steelers, as he’s 13-4-3 ATS and 12-8 straight up in this situation in the regular season. Since 1970, those are the best marks for any head coach that’s been a home underdog at least 20 times.