College Football Picks: Five False Favorites to Run Away From

Doug Upstone

Monday, November 23, 2015 3:16 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 3:16 PM UTC

The sportsbooks numbers are out for the last weekend of betting and when looking at the college football odds on the card early, I found certain games that has five-alarm fire written all over them.

The reasons are varied as I will explain, but in each case, at least from my perspective as a football handicapper, it's time to run from these favorites and consider the underdog or avoid these games all together for college football picks.

Here is an early week look at what caught my eyes with college football odds coming from Heritage.

Iowa -2.5 point Road Favorite versus Nebraska
As witnessed in the last couple weeks, the pressure on unbeaten teams or those fighting for seat at Final Four table can be enormous. Just this past weekend, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Houston all lost for the first time. The Hawkeyes have wonderful attributes like rushing for over 200 yards a game and being sound defensively. But Nebraska understands their place in all this, with a chance to ruin Iowa's perfect season, giving them two victories over unbeaten teams (Michigan State) and becoming bowl eligible, which would take the sting out of some very bitter losses this season. The Cornhuskers are off a bye week and the underdog has covered three straight in series.

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Utah -16.5 point Home Favorite versus Colorado
Since the end of October, Utah players had visions of reaching the Final Four or a New Year's Day Rose Bowl appearance. After suffering losses to USC, Arizona and UCLA, the Utes could be looking at Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl appointment, which needless to say is a massive comedown. Playing Colorado is hardly a rivalry to excite the Utah players and the Buffalos have been one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 since joining. While the Utes should cover with ease, football is still a game about emotion and energy,which Utah may be lacking.

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LSU -5 point Home Favorite versus Texas A&M
Another team similar to Utah is LSU and their situation is even worse. Kirk Herbstreit was among those singing the praise of the 7-0 Tigers just over three weeks ago. Now, LSU has lost three SEC games in a row and in decisive fashion, being outscored 99-47 and never coming close to covering spread either. Coach Les Miles job may depend on this game or possibly his fate has already been sealed in Baton Rouge where like at all SEC schools, winning is not enough. Just the fact LSU is only a standard home favorite versus a somewhat above average Texas A&M bunch tells you backing the Tigers for sports picks is treacherous at best.

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Wisconsin -2.5 point Road Favorite versus Minnesota
Badgers' fans are used to playing in big time bowls these days, but after losing at home to Northwestern, that is not going to happen. The Badgers defense has been very good all season, but it's offense scores just 26.2 points a game. These teams play for the Paul Bunyan Axe Trophy and the Badgers have to go on the road to face rival Minnesota, who needs a win to go to another bowl game and who last won the trophy in 2003. If motivation matters, Wisconsin could be in a heap of trouble.

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USC -3 point Home Favorite versus UCLA
Just a crazy year in the Pac-12 South where the winner of this contest will face Stanford, having three conference losses. But somebody has to win it, but backing the Trojans might require Tums before the game starts. After playing good in loss to Notre Dame with coaching change and handling Utah and California with relative ease, USC was beginning to look like crazy reality TV show. But non-covers versus Arizona and Colorado were red flags and the whipping they took at Oregon was frightening. The USC secondary looked so slow against Ducks pass catchers they were seldom in TV frame even on the big HD screens. With UCLA 22nd nationally in passing offense, do you want to load up on the Men of Troy?

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