Upset Alert (at Least to Cover): Hello, Wyoming, Virginia and Iowa

Rainman M.

Friday, November 3, 2017 3:41 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 3:41 PM UTC

We aren't saying the three schools listed below will pull outright upsets on Saturday, but they are good bets to at least cover the spread. 

Colorado State at Wyoming

The hype has faded from Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, who at the end of last season was touted as a Top-10 NFL Draft pick. But the decline in passing numbers is not his fault. Wyoming lost its top two running backs and top three wide receivers.

The faded hype creates betting value for Wyoming.  Against weaker secondaries, Allen does not suffer so much from the loss of surrounding talent. He is an elite playmaker who can buy time to pass with his legs and use his arm strength and accuracy to fit passes into tight windows on any part of the field. 

Allen's greatest flaw is his overconfidence. Especially against strong secondaries, he'll force balls into windows that are too tight and get intercepted. Four of his 6 interceptions came against Top-50 secondaries. His recent surge in performance stems both from facing weaker competition and from the return of top receiver James Price, who finally gives Allen a weapon with the speed and acceleration to quickly separate himself from defensive backs and the body ability to make difficult catches.

Colorado State ranks 96th in opposing quarterback rating and does not force many interceptions. Against FBS opponents, Wyoming is 3-0 ATS when Allen does not throw an interception and 3-0 ATS when Allen throws for 200+ yards.

Free NCAAF Pick: Wyoming +3Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Georgia Tech at Virginia

Sometimes games don’t play out the way that they should on paper. The more talented team does not always cover.

Georgia Tech carries the mentality of having something to prove. As a result, the Jackets mentally invest more into games against ranked opponents and then struggle to derive motivation in their next game against an unranked opponent. 

Dating back to 2016, Georgia Tech is 0-3 ATS in the first half against an unranked underdog after having just played a ranked opponent the week before.  Two of those teams, Virginia last year and Wake Forest this year, even led at halftime. FCS Jacksonville State led 7-3, until Georgia Tech took the lead at the very end of the first half.

In those games, Georgia Tech ended up dominating the second half. The Yellow Jackets are more talented than each of those teams. But their lack of motivation was apparent in the first half and there have been no exceptions to this psychological trend since the Jackets became resurgent in 2016.

Free NCAAF Pick: Virginia +6 First-Half LineBest Line Offered: Heritage

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No. 3 Ohio State at Iowa

Emotionally speaking, Ohio State is in a dangerous spot. The Buckeyesare due for a letdown after having achieved a massive comeback in order to defeat then-No. 2 Penn State at home. It will be easy for them to be complacent against a vastly lesser-ranked opponent. 

Iowa has earned the reputation of being a spoiler. The Hawkeyes had won 3 games in a row at home vs. top-5 opponents until Penn State beat them on the last play of their September affair. The key to Iowa's success has been to ramp up the defensive intensity: dating back to 2015, Iowa has held its last 4 Top-10 opponents to 21 points or fewer at home. The look for Ohio State will also be intense in a raucous stadium draped in blackout gear.

Offensively, Iowa possesses a balanced attack with quarterback Nathan Stanley, who has only thrown 4 interceptions in 228 attempts, and running back Akrum Wadley, whose speed, elusiveness and big-play ability in the open field makes him NFL-caliber. Iowa has the tools for a major upset: home field with nothing to lose, an opponent ripe for emotional letdown, senior leadership on defense, balance and big-play ability on offense.

Free NCAAF Pick: Iowa +18Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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