Most Underrated College Football Teams

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Kansas State running back DJ Giddens (31) runs between Baylor linebackers Matt Jones (2) and Jackie Marshall (35) in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Waco, Texas. Kansas State opens their season at home against Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 2.
(AP Photo/Jerry Larson)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Aug 21, 2023, 1:16 PM
  • Underrated college football teams include Alabama, Michigan, and Notre Dame.
  • Most underrated college football teams are disregarded for irrelevant reasons.

Regardless of sport, online sports betting markets generally produce a surplus of net losers and a scarcity of net winners. This is as true for bettors as it is for the teams themselves. 

If loads of teams regularly covered the spread, all it would take to be a successful bettor would be to identify them and bet them blindly every week.

But betting is rarely this simple, as market forces eventually catch up to successful teams. 

Random chance can yield positive ROI over the course of a single month, or even a single season. But when teams can establish a track record of excellent ATS returns over several years, that’s when you’re talking about a special trend that’s worth paying attention to. 

In summary: you’ll see a lot fewer teams here, on this list of underrated teams, than you will over on my list of the most overrated college football teams.

Most Underrated College Football Teams, Last Five Years ATS

TeamATS Record
Kansas State37-19-1
Washington State31-18-1
Tulane35-22
Notre Dame34-23-2
Louisiana35-24
Kentucky33-22-1
Oregon State32-21
Utah33-22
Penn State32-23-1
Minnesota31-21-2
Michigan33-23
Alabama34-25
Oklahoma State33-24
Western Kentucky34-25
Virginia31-23-1
Georgia Southern33-25
Navy32-24

College Football Teams Who Consistently Beat the Market Are Incredibly Rare

Over the last five years, about 12% of FBS teams posted 10% betting ROI or greater in the ATS market. Those are the teams listed above. 

What’s fascinating about this list is that several of the teams on it are known, public teams. Alabama, Michigan, and Penn State are all extremely popular, public teams that attract a huge volume of betting every week. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide isn’t sneaking up on anybody, yet they still consistently beat the market. That’s a compliment to the consistency of these top-level programs.

The more prototypical and expected underrated teams on this list are teams like Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, and Kentucky – teams that have successful head coaches and consistent season-to-season results, yet are overlooked by the media writ large as top programs. 

I mean, how many 10-win seasons does Mike Gundy have to produce before we start thinking of him as elite? (For the record, he’s produced seven since 2010.)


Below is an even shorter list: FBS teams that have sustained 10% ROI over the last 10 seasons.

Most Underrated College Football Teams, Last 10 Years ATS

TeamATS Record
Washington State66-43-1
Kansas State68-48-1
Temple67-47
Utah67-47-1
Navy67-48-4
Tulane67-48-2
Minnesota62-46-6
Liberty36-25-1

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.