College Football's Top Underdogs - Week 5 of Upset Possibilities
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
We have an interesting collection of potential upsets this week. Some involve regional nonconference clashes. Others are conference games and at least one team is looking to rebound off a loss, though not the underdog in each case.
All odds courtesy of
#127 Temple (+13) at #128 Boston College Since losing to Villanova in the opener, Temple has regained momentum and is playing closer to what was expected. Defeating Maryland and Tulsa the last two weeks proves the Owls are back on track. Boston College was sailing along and its offense was averaging over 50 PPG. The Eagles figured to reach 4-0 since Purdue was competitive but could not win. Instead, the B.C. offense was stifled, held to 13 points and 229 total yards. Maybe Boston College comes out firing, yet, Temple is 11-3 ATS after two or more wins against the spread the last three seasons and I see them falling in the 7 to 10 point range.
#149 Utah at #150 Washington State (+2) Washington State was sent out by sportsbooks as a 1.5-point favorite, but after baking awhile, they came out of the oven at +2. No question a case could be made for Utah, who is 16-7 ATS off a home loss and 6-0 ATS in road games when playing against a team with a winning record. But if you have seen the Utes, they still lack a consistent passing offense, which is to their detriment. This Cougars offense can still wing it and they are No.2 nationally in passing. And Washington State seems to be an improved defensive squad. With Mike Leach teams 14-4 ATS after scoring 31 points or more in two straight games, it's the Cougs by 7.
#169 Southern Miss (+27.5) at #170 Auburn Under Gus Malzahn, Auburn is not known for stability. They often play to the level of competition and are not thought of as tough-minded. Malzahn's best Auburn squad was his first, which was 75 percent Gene Chizik recruits from the prior years. In his time at Auburn, Malzahn is 10-16-1 ATS in non-SEC contests and 5-13-1 ATS when favored by 20 or more points. Southern Miss has a long history of facing big-time opponents (this goes back to the Brett Favre days when he beat Alabama and Auburn in the same year) and they have covered the number the last three times against the Tigers. The Golden Eagles are No.9 in passing in the country and an inferior team that can throw and score always has a shot to cover when catching large points. This game opened at 29.5, thus, be patient and see if we can catch over +28 for a better value.
#193 Florida (+9) at #194 Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen was an assistant at Florida, took the Mississippi State head job and now is running the Gators football program. Something else these two SEC schools have in common is they were both upset by Kentucky this month. With or without Mullen, the Bulldogs still have that issue of losing a game when they are supposed to win. At home Miss. State is 6-18 ATS after two contests where they forced one or fewer turnovers. Losing to Kentucky seems to have the Gators' players listening more intently to Mullen and they are off two impressive victories, though the competition was not top shelf. Know this, road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points in the first half of the season, after going over the total by more than 21 points in their previous game, are 27-7 ATS since 2014.
#199 Florida Atlantic at #200 Middle Tennessee (+3.5) Florida Atlantic did not have the defensive personnel or the offense to have a sustained attack against Central Florida and they lost by 20. Based on perception, the Owls don't look a whole lot different than last year at this point, but being C-USA champs, bettors are paying closer attention to them. To this point, the FAU offense is not quite as good and neither is the talent on defense. Middle Tennessee's had two weeks to prepare for this game after being destroyed at Georgia in their last outing. The Blue Raiders are 18-9 ATS after a loss by 21 or more points and 6-2 SU against FAU at home. Middle Tennessee outright.