Upset Alert! Three-Pack of Dangerous Underdogs

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Rainman M.

Friday, October 13, 2017 4:36 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 4:36 PM GMT

Two ranked teams and the defending Pac-12 South champion are all on upset alert for various reasons in their games on Saturday around the country. 

Georgia Tech at No. 11 Miami

Miami is in a dangerous spot, coming off a last-second, emotional revenge victory against in-state rival Florida State. The Hurricanes are prime to suffer a letdown at home against unranked Georgia Tech. Travis Homer, who has yet to rush more than 8 times in a game against an FBS opponent, must replace injured running back Mark Walton, who had been averaging 7.6 yards per carry.  

Dual-threat quarterback Malik Rosier leads Miami's balanced attack. Rosier's poor 58% season completion is inflated by playing Bethune-Cookman and Toledo. Against Florida State's higher-ranked pass defense, Rosier completed just 43% of his passes.  Despite a regression in his run support, Rosier will try to improve his passing against a Georgia Tech defense ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed.

Georgia Tech's offense features a lethal option run attack that should succeed against a Miami defense which, led by a trio of sophomore linebackers, gave up 200 yards against Florida State's rush attack last week and 183 against Duke's the week before.

Miami consistently struggles against rushing attacks that are able to feature a multifaceted running game that also utilizes a mobile quarterback.  KirVonte Benson and TaQuon Marshall lead the Yellow Jackets' rush attack with over 5 yards per carry and 13 combined touchdowns.  Unlike Miami's previous opponents, the Jackets boast superior numbers in both third-down and red-zone conversions (second with 56.25% and 44th with 85.71%, respectively).

NCAAF Pick: Georgia Tech +6.5Best Line Offered: Intertops

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No. 21 Michigan State at Minnesota

The Spartans' spot is difficult, because since 2014 they are 0-3 ATS in the first half of their first game after playing Michigan. The Spartans tend to come out flat after playing what they consider to be the biggest game of their season. Their physicality and aggressive pursuit of the ball helped them against Michigan, but both should wane against a Gophers offensive line that is 2nd in sacks allowed per game, compared to Michigan's 112th.

Michigan State defeated their two conference opponents largely because the foes underutilized a talented rush attack. Minnesota, however, is a rush-first offense featuring running backs Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks. Both combined for over 200 yards and more than 5 yards per carry last week against a highly-ranked Purdue run defense. 

A superior Minnesota rush attack behind a healthy and improving line can follow Notre Dame's run-heavy recipe against the Spartans, and the Irish beat MSU easily.  The Gophers are ranked 11th in rushing the ball 68% of the time and 41st with 190 rush yards per game.  Minnesota is also ranked 34th in forcing turnovers, which is an area Michigan State has struggled with.

Free NCAAF Pick: Minnesota 1H +2.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Colorado at Oregon State

The spot for Colorado is difficult because it travels after having vowed last week not to lose another game but came up short in a deflating loss at home against Arizona. Colorado's performance on defense dropped significantly once its began facing conference opponents. Oregon State may be 1-5, but the Beavers had reasonable hope to build off of last season's successes.

The spot for Oregon State is positive because Coach Gary Andersen has departed. Andersen had a negative mindset toward his team that instilled a toxic culture in the locker room. With Andersen gone, Oregon State should play looser and rediscover its ability.

Last season, the Beavers gave nearly every visitor a difficult time and concluded the season with two home wins. This season, the Beavers have been tough in the first half, while Andersen failed to make proper halftime adjustments and then saw his team get decimated. Colorado is undersized in the defensive line and will be vulnerable to the bruising power of Oregon State running back Ryan Nall and of an offensive line that is supporting Nall's 5.5 yards per carry average and giving up few sacks.

Also note that Colorado has won just 6 of their last 24 games on the road SU. They have failed to cover 4 out of their last 5 because oddsmakers are still overrating them. The Beavers have been within a touchdown at the end of the first half in every home game thus far.

Free NCAAF Pick: Oregon State 1H +7Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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