College Football's Top Underdogs - Week 10 of Upset Possibilities
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
Officially, we were 3-2 ATS last week, taking our record to an ever-improving 25-20 ATS. However, if you took our advice on Navy closer to the weekend, you should have at a winner on the Midshipmen as they anywhere from +22.5 to +23.5 against Notre Dame.
This week we have another weekday forecast for you, two from the Big Ten, one in the ACC and pooch in the desert.
All odds courtesy of
#313 Temple (+10.5) at #314 Central Florida (Thursday) These are the two lone unbeaten teams in the AAC East and something has to give. We know that Central Florida continues to be an outstanding squad for a second straight year and has a point differential of 26.3 PPG. Temple's season looked over after starting 0-2, both home losses. Playing at Maryland seemed like another defeat, but they dominated 35-14 and are 5-1 and 6-0 ATS since. The Owls average better than two turnovers a game and if they do that in Orlando, they are toast. But if Temple plays physical defense and keeps the game in the 20's, they will move to 9-1 ATS after five or more consecutive wins against the spread.
#323 Iowa (+2.5) at #324 Purdue Purdue's hot streak ran cold in a loss at Michigan State and they will have to match wits with another physical football team this week in Iowa. The Hawkeyes were going in for the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter at Penn State when a receiver made a mistake which led to an interception at the goal line. With a matchup versus Northwestern next and two winnable closing games, Iowa needs this victory to have a chance to win the Big Ten West. With the Hawkeyes 34-14 ATS off a road loss and 27-12 ATS, if it happened at conference school, Iowa wins outright.
#327 Syracuse at #328 Wake Forest (+5) Syracuse is 6-2 and credit coach Dino Babers for making that happen. Babers brought electricity back to Orange football and this year's crew is averaging 46.3 PPG. The Syracuse defense still has holes but the front seven generates turnovers and makes negative plays. But after a big win like they had over N.C. State, the 'Cuse might not be at an emotional pitch again. Remember, after battling Clemson for four quarters, Babers bunch played a sloppy game at Pittsburgh and lost. Wake Forest needs two wins for bowl eligibility and if you forgive the three points they scored against Clemson, in their other seven outings they are scoring over 37 PPG. The Demons Deacons can hang with the Orange and teams like Syracuse that outscore opponents by seven or more PPG, after allowing 31 points or more in three straight contests, are just 9-37 ATS.
#347 Michigan State at #348 Maryland (+2) Maryland is 11th rushing the ball in FBS football and they will face the top-rated run defense in the college football, which is Michigan State. While this sounds imposing, the Terrapins have methods to outflank the Spartans on the perimeter. With Maryland's speed, if they get to the edge, they are extremely fast. Being able to use jet sweeps and misdirections could have Michigan State's defense over committing, which leads to big plays for the Terps. The turtles biggest defensive weakness is against the run, something the Spartans are shocking bad at this year, listed 121st. With Michigan State having thoughts of Ohio State next, Maryland stuns the Spartans.
#379 Utah at #280 Arizona State (+7) Other than Washington State, Utah has been the best team in the Pac-12, winning and covering their last four encounters by a ginormous 23.7 PPG. So how does Arizona State hang with the Utes? It begins with confidence. The Sun Devils won their first road game of the season at USC last Saturday. While this is not a very good Trojans team, this is still a big deal for ASU. The Sun Devils also know how to beat Utah having done so 12 of their last 14 games, including last year at Salt Lake City 30-10 as 10-point dogs. We admit to laughing out loud when Herm Edwards was hired to Tempe, but the Utes will end up being happy to leave a three-point victory.
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