Upset Alert! Big Favorites Going Down in Week 13

Rainman M.

Friday, November 24, 2017 4:17 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 4:17 PM UTC

Diversify your betting card with two double-digit underdogs who have a legitimate shot of winning SU.

Georgia Bulldogs vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  

Georgia Tech (5-5) hosts intrastate rival No. 7 Georgia (10-1) at Noon ET. Georgia is favored by 11. Tech needs to win to clinch bowl eligibility.

Georgia is a very public choice to cover because of the psychological phenomenon called recency bias, according to which we tend to overemphasize the significance of recent results. 
Georgia Tech is coming off a humiliating blowout loss against Duke, while Georgia is coming off a blowout win at home against lowly Kentucky.

The Yellow Jackets’ last loss means nothing for capping this game. Both of their ATS losses have come as strong favorites on the road, where they tend to play down to their competition. Duke, with its up-tempo, spread offense with a running quarterback, was also a bad match-up for the Jackets’ relatively slow and nonathletic linebackers.

Stronger competition tends to bring the most out of Georgia Tech, who was a play away from upsetting Miami on the road, beat then-ranked #17 Virginia Tech at home and lost to then-ranked Tennessee in double overtime. The Jackets are 3-0-1 ATS against ranked competition,

Stylistically, Georgia is drastically different from Duke and more similar to the teams that Tech has succeeded against. Georgia’s offense is slow-tempo, carries a smash-mouth mentality and a quarterback who looks to pass first.

Tech can finally field its key defensive players on a weekly basis. Brant Mitchell was the team’s leading tackler before his injury and has 20 tackles in his past 2 games, including a sack in the win against Virginia Tech.  The experienced junior leads the defense as middle linebacker. Safety AJ Gray, who also returned from injury against VT, is third on the team in tackles and first in interceptions. Both players were missing in the upset loss at Virginia while Mitchell’s injury allowed Miami to come back and win. 

Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart is historically unproven in planning against the triple-option attack, which is the Jackets’ offensive style. In 2011, as Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Georgia Southern ran for 302 yards. Last season, Georgia Tech achieved the upset. The closest kind of offense that the Bulldogs have faced this year would be Auburn's run-pass option, which produced 40 points against them. 

TaQuon Marshall and KirVonte Benson lead the Jackets with over 1000 yards each. The third option, Qua Searcy, averages 7 yards per carry. The Jackets are undefeated at home.

Free NCAAF Pick: Georgia Tech +11.5Best Line Offered: Bovada[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3187795, "sportsbooksIds":[999996,123,180,93,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]


Colorado Buffaloes vs Utah Utes 

Utah (5-6) hosts Colorado (5-6) at 10 PM ET. The Utes are favored by 10.5. Both teams need to win in order to clinch bowl eligibility.

Utah, since 2014, under their current Head Coach, is 0-6 ATS in the first half after facing a ranked opponent. They consistently struggle to concentrate on their next unranked opponent. Utah is coming off a heartbreaking loss against No. 18 Washington. They likely feel emotionally let-down after the Huskies scored 10 points in the final minute to win. 

The last time in which this betting scenario applied to Utah was when they lost the first half 16-0 against Arizona State after barely losing at No. 13 USC the week before. The Utes gave up 205 rush yards on 4.5 yards per carry to Arizona State’s 84th ranked rush attack. The Utes’ run defense is vulnerable against teams who are devoted to running. The Utes are 1-4 SU in conference games decided by a touchdown or less because the opponent doesn’t have to abandon the run game in close games. In their two blowout losses, Arizona State and Oregon ran at least 17 more times than they passed. Utah is allowing 175 rush yards per game against conference opponents.

Phillip Lindsay is Colorado’s workhorse who averages 20+ carries per game. Colorado is 4-1 SU when he rushes for more than 100 yards. The small but surprisingly physical and versatile Lindsay is also a threat catching the ball.

Utah’s pass defense is also vulnerable to explosive aerial attacks. In back-to-back weeks, Washington State's Luke Falk and, for the first time this season, Washington's Jake Browning amassed over 300 passing yards in helping their respective team score over 30 points. The Utes rank 55th in passing yards allowed. 

Colorado quarterback Steve Montez, since his disastrous performance against Washington State in which his status as the team’s starter was called into question, has achieved three consecutive 300-yard passing games. He exceeded California’s average opposing passing yards allowed by 111 yards, Arizona State’s by 71 and USC’s by 125.

Montez benefits from having a healthy Shay Fields. The speedster is always a big-play threat and leads the team with 13.5 yards per catch. His teammate Bryce Bobo leads the team with 58 receptions and 640 yards. He is well-sized, strong and hard to stop after the catch.

The bane of Colorado’s pass attack is protection. Montez’s worst games have come against teams who apply significant pressure. All 5 of his interceptions against Pac-12 opponents came against teams in the top 40 in sack percentage.  Conversely, 9 out of his 12 touchdowns came against teams outside the top 50 in sack percentage. Utah ranks 96th in the category.

The last 6 games between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less. Colorado’s offense will lead its upset bid.

Free NCAAF Pick: Colorado 1H +7Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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