NCAAF Upset Games for week 1
The Bruins are coming off a disappointing 3-9 season in 2018. They head east as the Power 5 favorite according to the latest Football Power Index. The problem is that they play in Week 1 on the road in Cincinnati. The Bearcats were a win away from playing for the American Athletic Conference title last year and finished a very respectable 11-2. Head coach Luke Fickell returns six starters on offense led by dynamic quarterback Desmond Ridder (6-4, 215).
Cincinnati had the seventh-best scoring defense in the country in 2018 and returns five starters from that unit. UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, known for his explosive offenses, didn’t have one last year. The running game was iffy at best and the passing game not much better. Dorian Thompson-Robinson should start at quarterback and operate Kelly’s more traditional attack.
The Bruins were absolutely awful on defense last season ranking 100th or worse in rushing, total, and scoring defense.
Playing at home and on national television with the opportunity to add a Power 5 win to their resume, Cincinnati gets a season-opening win over the Bruins… Cincinnati 27, UCLA 17.
College Football Weekly Betting Lines and Odds
2018 College Football season
Week 14 Upset Games:
#24 Duke (9-2) @ North Carolina (6-5)
One of college football’s nicest surprise stories of this season has been the performance of head coach David Cutcliffe’s Duke Blue Devils. After consecutive league losses to Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, Duke has won seven straight and is enjoying its most wins since 1941.
After winning a nail-biter at Virginia Tech and then starting slow but prevailing against N.C. State and Miami, the Blue Devils did it again last week at Wake Forest. Now, they must travel to in-state rival North Carolina, which has five in a row, including last week’s 80-20 win over Old Dominion. Duke’s luck runs out and UNC makes it six straight… North Carolina 28, Duke 24.
Week 13 Upset Games:
#4 Baylor @ #10 Oklahoma State
The scoreboard will light up in this one. The nation’s best offense, Baylor, squares off against another prolific offense in Oklahoma State. But, it may be the defenses that are the key to who gets a hold on the Big 12 conference title.
For all the hype the offense gets, the Bears’ defense is just as good. They are seventh in the nation in scoring defense yielding just 17.4 points a game. The Cowboys are pretty good themselves giving up just 19 points a game, good for 14th in the nation. OSU will have to slow down Baylor and QB Clint Chelf is going to have to deliver like he did a week ago in a 38-13 win over Texas. Chelf was 16-for-22 for 197 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed 10 times for 95 yards and two more scores. For the first time this season, the Bears will face a four-quarter challenge – and they will fall…Oklahoma State 41, Baylor 38.
Week 12 Upset Games:
#16 Michigan State (8-1) @ Nebraska (7-2)
Michigan State has very quietly gone 8-1 and, if not for an anemic offense, could very well be unbeaten as it heads toward a Big Ten Legends title and ultimately, a meeting with Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game. As ESPN’s Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friends.” Nebraska, fresh off its victory over Michigan, has something to say about who wins the Legends division.
The Cornhuskers, without QB Taylor Martinez, went into Ann Arbor and mauled the Wolverines, 17-13. RB Ameer Abdullah rushed for 105 yards and the Nebraska defense held Michigan to negative 21 yards rushing. The Spartans have the nation’s best defense giving up just 210 total yards per game. If the Huskers can run the ball like they did against Michigan and play great defense, they will pull the sweep of the Michigan schools and capture the Legends division title…Nebraska 17, Michigan State 14.
Week 11 Upset Games:
#25 Notre Dame (7-2) @ Pittsburgh (4-4)
The last five meetings between these two traditional rivals have all been decided by six points or less. Two have gone to overtime. Pitt was 4-2 until it had to face the spread option attacks of Navy and Georgia Tech on successive weekends.
Notre Dame struggled, but did beat Navy a week ago. None of that matters when these two get together. Consider the last two times the Irish have visited Heinz Field, they needed a field in the second overtime to get a win in 2011 and got beat 27-22 in 2009. Notre Dame will struggle and Pitt needs to win to make a bowl bid possible…Pitt 24, Notre Dame 21.
Week 10 Upset Games:
No. 11 Auburn (7-1) @ Arkansas (3-5)
After starting the season 3-0, the Razorbacks have lost five in a row, the last four to ranked teams. They were beaten in their last game, two weeks ago, 52-0, by top-ranked Alabama. They welcome their fifth-straight ranked team to Fayetteville this weekend in Auburn. Gus Malzahn has the Tigers playing well after a disastrous 2012. Auburn had an easy go of it last week in a 45-10 win over Florida Atlantic.
Arkansas had two weeks to prepare. Alex Collins (797 yards rushing) and Jonathan Williams (612) spearhead the Razorbacks’ running game that will have to keep the ball away from a potent Tigers’ offense. Arkansas is 107th in scoring and 113th in passing offense, but somehow finds a way to salvage their first season under new coach Brett Bielema…Arkansas 27, Auburn 20.
Week 9 Upset Games:
Penn State (4-2) @ Ohio State (7-0)
Ohio State will put its 19-game winning streak on the line as it entertains Big Ten rival Penn State in a prime-time national telecast Saturday night. The Buckeyes have won their first three conference games but have not been impressive in any of them. Last week against Iowa, Ohio State trailed 17-10 at the half before playing an inspired second half. The Nittany Lions will have to deal with the versatile Braxton Miller, who has 831 yards passing and another 335 on the ground.
The Buckeyes’ running game also features Carlos Hyde (443 yards) and Jordan Hall (438) and has helped OSU rush for 280 yards per game. Penn State counters with a freshman QB, Christian Hackenberg who has thrown for 1,672 yards and 11 touchdowns. All-everything WR Allen Robinson has 43 catches for 705 yards. Head coach Bill O’Brien’s offense will need to be sharp against a stingy Buckeyes’ defense. Penn State has won only two of the last five meetings with Ohio State…but they have both been in Columbus…Penn State 17, Ohio State 14.
Week 8 Upset Games:
#24 Auburn (5-1) @ #7 Texas A&M (5-1)
New head coach Gus Malzahn has turned things around at Auburn where the Tigers are right back in the thick of the SEC race. They are in need of a marquee win, though, and this one could be it. They catch the Aggies right after a tough win over Ole Miss and before a two-game stretch featuring Vanderbilt and UTEP.
The Auburn defense will have to find a way to limit QB Johnny Manziel. Malzahn has quietly assembled the nation’s seventh-best rushing attack (287 yards per game) and, should the Tigers be able to keep the ball away from Manziel and the Aggies, will be able to pull the upset…Auburn 42, Texas A&M 38.
Week 7 Upset Games:
#12 Oklahoma vs. Texas
It’s the annual Red River Rivalry game to be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The 108th meeting of the game is sure to be a sellout and 12th-ranked Oklahoma is sure to be the favorite. The Sooners have won the last three meetings, the last two by a combined margin of 118-38. Oklahoma is playing great defense (13 points per game) and has solved their QB problems by going with junior Blake Bell, who completed 20-of-31 passes for 152 yards and ran 14 times for 61 more in a 20-17 win over TCU last week.
Texas has gone through its share of turmoil once again with the firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after an embarrassing loss to BYU in week two. There have been questions about head coach Mack Brown as well, yet still the Longhorns have managed to win two straight games. They are primed for a big, signature win to get them back on track as one of the nation’s elite programs…Texas 35, Oklahoma 27.
#5 Stanford @ Utah
Utah entertained 12th-ranked UCLA last Thursday and just about wound up with the upset before falling, 34-27. QB Tyler Wilson has thrown for 1,406 yards, but is also pretty good at running the zone read. The Utes have several offensive weapons including RB James Poole and WR Dres Anderson. Utah welcomes fifth-ranked Stanford which is coming off a 31-28 win over Washington. The Utes may be able to catch the Cardinal looking ahead to showdowns with Oregon State and then Oregon…Utah 27, Stanford 24.
Week 6 Upset Games:
Arkansas (3-2) @ #18 Florida (3-1)
Arkansas has not beaten Florida since Ronald Reagan was president. The Razorbacks last beat the Gators in the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl and have lost eight straight to Florida since. Arkansas is coming off a 45-33 loss to Texas A&M last week. New head coach Bret Bielema’s offense has run for over 200 yards in all five games this year. Freshman RB Alex Collins is sixth in the nation in rushing. The Gators, however, have the nation’s No. 1 defense against the run, yielding just 53.5 yards per game. It’s difficult to win at The Swamp, but expect a low-scoring defensive battle…Arkansas 13, Florida 12.
#3 Clemson (4-0) @ Syracuse (2-2)
It would be the biggest upset of the young season, should the Orange pull it off. The Orange defense has played well recently against big-name quarterbacks. Syracuse beat West Virginia and Geno Smith in 2011 and last year upset 11th-ranked Louisville, 45-26, and QB Teddy Bridgewater. Clemson features their star QB Tajh Boyd in an offense that 43 points and almost 500 yards per game. The Orange have beaten a ranked opponent in four consecutive seasons. This would be five…Syracuse 37, Clemson 31.