Finally, some big upsets came through last week in our college football picks and that was just what the doctor ordered for us going 4-and-2 on the week and calling the biggest upset of all as TCU beat Oklahoma State.
With the winning week, our record on the year is tied up at 12-and-12 which is just fine as we now get into conference play with quite a few intriguing games coming up.
As always we have upsets for days for you, and after getting good results on road underdogs last week we’ve mixed things up this time around.
Off we go!
Picks of the week
New Mexico State +17 at Arkansas
Arkansas has been a bit of a disappointment so far this year as the team's offense just hasn’t taken that next step. Granted the NMSU Aggies won’t be a test comparable to TCU a few weeks back, but this won’t be a blowout either.
New Mexico State shouldn’t be taken lightly as their passing offense is for real, ranking ninth in the nation with 353 passing yards per game. That’s all thanks to quarterback Tyler Rogers who can sling it around, and the main reason why they’ve played both Arizona State and Troy tough this year.
Even on the road, the Aggies aren’t a cupcake and with a spread over two touchdowns, this looks like a sound bet here. One that even our numbers agree with as Arkansas is favored by -5 in one metric and -0.5 in another.
Colorado +7.5 at UCLA
You gotta love that half point in this contest as UCLA just hasn’t put anyone away aside from Hawaii earlier in the year, and coming off back to back losses anything over a touchdown is begging to bet against the Bruins.
Colorado hasn’t been up to their 2016 standards or even the offensive expectations they had this season, but they’ve always played the Bruins tough. Even before the Buffs were back to respectable in 2014 UCLA needed double overtime to win by a field goal, while back in 2015 Jim Mora’s boys won by 4 at home.
Now that the Buffs actually have talent you best believe this will be a close contest and +7.5 is simply too appealing to pass up.
Massachusetts +6.5 versus Ohio
Finally, a home underdog as the winless Minutemen face off against the 3-and-1 Bobcats. This game is suggested by our metrics who favor UMass primarily because of their much tougher schedule thus far; having just lost to Tennessee by 6 points and Temple by 8, both much more talented squads that they managed to play tough, and both losses coming on the road. Massachusetts might not be a great team but they’re moving in the right direction.
While the Bobcats might have three W’s on the year but the one time they were tested on the road they lost to Purdue by 23, and last week they squeaked 27-20 to Eastern Michigan.
They’re simply not as good on the road and against a Massachusetts team that’s due for a win, I like our chances. The Minutemen also have the best player on the field in tight end Adam Breneman who leads the team in receiving yards.
Big Game Hunting
Virginia Tech +7.5 versus Clemson
The Tigers third best defense in the country squares off against the Hokies sixth best, in a game at Lane Stadium one o fate harder venues to play in for an away team.
The Hokies aren’t just coaching and scheme either, their defense is loaded with NFL talent particularly in the back seven, meaning it’ll be an especially taxing game for Clemson’s passing attack - the teams weakest spot.
The Hokies offense is averaging 40 points per game and is very balanced, posing an interesting test for Clemson's elite defense.
Of course, betting against the Tigers and their high-level 'D' is risky, but that’s just what you get when you go big game hunting.
The Hokies look like a different team so far this season and only lost to the Tigers by a touchdown a season ago, with their formidable home field advantage they’ll have a shot.
Mississippi State +9 at Auburn
This is amongst the most intriguing games of the weekend. The Bulldogs have been up and down after a big win over LSU two weeks ago and a loss to Georgia this past weekend, while Auburn’s had question marks on offense but they’ve been superb defensively. Both programs are 3-and-1 going into the week with both their losses coming against ranked opponents - Auburn lost to Clemson.
At Auburn, the Tigers deserve to be favored, but -9 points for that offense is very tricky. They just don’t blow teams out and with the Bulldogs unique attack and talented backfield, even a straight-up upset could be possible as these teams are fairly evenly matched. Give us Nick Fitzgerald and his crew to get back on top.