Week 3 Upset Alerts
September 12, 2018
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NCAAF Week 3 Upset Alerts
After coming out with a solid debut piece with this feature in Week 1, last week's results weren't as spectacular. The overall 1-2 ATS (0-3 SU) record from my three selections were not exactly pretty, but the bright spot is the big underdogs (20+) are now 2-0 ATS this season as I'm hoping to hit another one this week.
Yet, it's more about removing this “kiss of death” I've seemingly been putting on these smaller underdogs who are now 0-2 SU and ATS for me. This is the group where most of the outright ML winners should be coming from and to not have one yet is a little disappointing. But a new week brings new possibilities so let's get right to the plays:
Odds per - Sportsbetting.ag
Upset Alert #1: Underdogs in the +1 to +9 range
YTD: 0-2 SU; 0-2 ATS
Rutgers +2.5 over Kansas
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights hope their confidence isn't shot after the beating they took against Ohio State last week because nothing unexpected has really happened yet to derail what still could be a good season. Rutgers blew out Texas State as expected in Week 1, got their asses handed to them in Week 2 by Ohio State, and now have a great opportunity to beat a Kansas program that's historically always been bad and has already lost at home to an FCS school this year. Not sure how you can pass this up.
Kansas did find a way to bounce back with a 31-7 SU win as +3 road dogs in Central Michigan last week, but this is not a team that should ever be laying points to any other FBS program. Losing in OT to Nicholls State to start the year as nearly a double-digit favorite proved that that hasn't really changed in Kansas and the school is really just counting down the days until basketball season starts.
On the flip side, Rutgers may have gotten blown out last week, but catching 35 points the optics aren't as bad as just the box score make make it seem. This is still a team that can compete against middle-to-low level programs and Kansas is clearly in that group. Also, Rutgers actually did better vs Ohio State this year than they did a year ago (56-0 loss at home) and they found a way to bounce back with a 35-24 road win over Illinois in their next outing. A similar scoreline could be in store here as Kansas has not won more than three games a season since the 2009 campaign and off a 1-11 SU campaign a year ago, I don't see them getting to three victories in 2018 either.
Rutgers is on a 6-2 ATS run as a program after losing by 20+ points, and are 5-16 ATS after allowing 40+. With Kansas just 1-7 ATS after allowing fewer than 20 points, and 0-4 ATS after a SU win by 20+ points – which is definitely a rarity for the Kansas program – Rutgers should not only cover this spread but win this game outright.
Odds per - Sportsbetting.ag
Upset Alert #2: Underdogs in the +10 to +19 range
YTD: 1-1 SU; 1-1 ATS
Iowa State +17.5 over Oklahoma
This is not a game I'd go out looking to try and be the smartest guy on the block with a Iowa State ML wager here as Oklahoma should get SU win with all the athletes they have, but I'm taking all these points here with a Cyclones program that's always a tough out at home and pulled off arguably the upset of the year a season ago in this game.
Last year it was Iowa State's 38-31 win in Norman, Oklahoma that basically had everyone writing off the 2017 season for the Sooners in regards to a CFB Playoff berth. We all know that Oklahoma eventually got in to that game after running the table after this game, but losing outright as a -31-point home favorite has got to sting.
On the one hand, that puts the Sooners in a very attractive revenge angle spot this week against the Cyclones, but going out and looking for revenge, especially big, 17-point revenge on the road is not exactly ideal. It's the first road game for the Sooners this year which means it's the first true road start for QB Kyler Murray, and with junior RB Rodney Anderson now lost for the year, the Sooners roll into town without a lot of veteran experience in tow.
Meanwhile, Iowa State cannot afford to fall to 0-2 SU after losing the instate war with Iowa a week ago. The Cyclones looked like they had a few of those first game jitters in that Iowa loss (Iowa State's Week 1 game was postponed), as the offense got nothing done in the final three quarters. That shouldn't be a concern against an Oklahoma defense that isn't that good at all – they allowed nearly 30 to a bad UCLA team last week – and with the physical brand of defense the Cyclones play, there is a good chance this game potentially comes down to the wire again. Oklahoma's likely to pull it out but it won't be by more than two TD's.
Odds per - Sportsbetting.ag
Upset Alert #3: Underdogs in the +20 and above range
YTD: 2-0 ATS
Akron +21 vs Northwestern
After successfully fading Notre Dame a week ago after their big win over Michigan, it's back to betting against another Midwestern team, albeit this time from the Big 10 conference.
The Northwestern Wildcats were a very popular underdog in Week 1 against Purdue and managed to cash those tickets for bettors that week. But even those handicappers who were holding a Northwestern ticket that day had to be a little confused about the QB time share HC Pat Fitzgerald employed. Everyone came into the year hyping Clayton Thorson as a legit NFL talent and he can't even play a full 60 minutes in a season opener at a program like Northwestern? If that right there wasn't a sign that maybe plenty of those who are around Thorson every day don't buy into the hype surrounding him at all, I'm not sure what is, and it spells a lot of potential bad things happening to this program in 2018.
Thorson and TJ Green (former NFL QB Trent Green's kid) split time again in Week 2 at Duke, each getting throwing an INT and not really getting much of anything done. So chances are we see both QB's split time again this week against an Akron team that at least at face value to Northwestern's players shouldn't give them much trouble this week. But when you consider that neither of Northwestern's QB's have even thrown a TD pass this year, things could end up being much tougher than they would appear for Northwestern this week.
Akron may have caught a break with their season opener against Nebraska getting postponed as they were then able to open up 2018 with an easy 41-7 win over Morgan State. Akron was not expected to have any issues in that game (-42.5) and they really didn't. More importantly, it gave this team – especially on offense – a confidence boost right out of the gate this year and they'd love to parlay it into a road victory over a Big 10 program that's unsure about their own identity. Akron probably won't reach the finish line of that goal, but they should be able to keep it within three TD's.
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