College football upset alert: Expert picks for Week 5 underdogs with best odds to win


It has been the 12 months of the upset in faculty football, however we right here at The Underdog Challenge are nonetheless going to brag. Through 4 weeks, the one you love quartet sits above .500 in choosing underdogs to win straight up. This, my mates, is not any straightforward activity, irrespective of how unpredictable the 2021 season has been.

A reminder on how our contest is performed: Each knowledgeable picks three underdogs to win. If the underdog comes by means of, the knowledgeable will get as many factors because the group was an underdog by way of the betting line.

Here are our standings by means of 4 weeks:

1Bill Bender7-539
2Bill Trocchi6-639
3Zac Al-Khateeb7-536.5
4Mike DeCourcy5-724.5

On to the upsets.

MORE: Week 5 picks against the spread for Top 25 games

Lines courtesy of

Bill Bender, Lead faculty football author

No. 9 Notre Dame (+1.5) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati

This is extra of a toss-up in our opinion. Notre Dame is a house underdog towards a Group of 5 college? Cincinnati poses a problem with Desmond Ridder and Jerome Ford, and the Irish want to discover a dependable working sport. Still, Notre Dame will make sufficient performs on protection and particular groups to slip previous the Bearcats, maybe in extra time vogue.

BENDER: Will Luke Fickell be Notre Dame’s next coach?

TCU (+5.5) vs. Texas

Texas doubled up Texas Tech 70-35 in Week 4, and TCU misplaced in a rivalry sport to SMU. Both groups are inconsistent, and that possible means one other shootout is coming. Running backs Bijan Robinson and Zach Evans ought to have large video games, however be mindful the Horned Frogs have discovered a method to win the final two conferences and 6 of the final seven.

Louisville (+6.5) at Wake Forest

The Cardinals have rebounded because the loss to Ole Miss on Labor Day. This is a enjoyable quarterback battle between Malik Cunningham and Sam Hartman. Cunningham has scored no less than two speeding TDs in each sport this season. This feels extra like a toss-up, and it is a kind of ACC upsets you possibly can see coming.

Mike DeCourcy, Senior author

No. 14 Michigan (+1.5) at Wisconsin

Such is the facility of Camp Randall that the Badgers are favored although they’ve but to give any actual indication they’ll pull off a victory towards a critical major-college group. They’ve been within the ring twice towards big-timers (Penn State, Notre Dame) and every time light like an ice dice within the solar when the fourth quarter arrived. Wisconsin was outscored in these video games by a mixed rating of 40-6. OK, so Michigan wasn’t price a darn within the ultimate 15 towards Rutgers, but it surely’s completely different if you’re defending a lead.

No. 12 Ole Miss (+14.5) at No. 1 Alabama

There are two SEC matchups this week that this contest invitations a participant to contemplate: this one and the Arkansas-Georgia matchup by which the Dawgs are favored by 18.5. Although Arkansas has been terrific to date and would appear to have an opportunity, the distinction is that Georgia proper now seems to be the nation’s best team, and Alabama is (moderately, given the overabundance of elite expertise birthed to the NFL) making an attempt to reestablish itself because the nation’s preeminent energy. Maybe the Tide will present they’re again this weekend. And possibly Lane Kiffin’s going to get me greater than two touchdowns price of factors within the standings.

MORE: (*5*) | Lane Kiffin’s offense ready to challenge Bama

No. 9 Notre Dame (+1.5) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati

Allow me to take this second to guarantee these following the competition that although I, as a playing novice who hasn’t wager a football sport in additional than twenty years, am darned close to .500 choosing outright winners amongst groups which can be anticipated to lose – sports activities playing is nowhere close to that straightforward. This deal is for enjoyable. If there have been actual cash on the road, I think my report could be someplace round 0-12. That stated, I think the overwhelming stress on the Bearcats to preserve alive their College Football Playoff dream will probably be an excessive amount of for them on the street towards a really succesful bunch of Fighting Irish.

DECOURCY: Brian Kelly lit the fire at Cincinnati, Luke Fickell built an inferno

Bill Trocchi, Senior editor

Maryland (+3.5) vs. No. 5 Iowa

I’m going for it once more — the house canine on a Thursday/Friday night time. Syracuse pulled it off final Friday, Louisville the week earlier than. Now come the Terps, who will be the quietest 4-0 within the nation. Maryland has wins over West Virginia and Illinois on the resume and Pro Football Focus has quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa as the best graded QB within the nation. Iowa’s protection is clearly elite, however the bizarre Friday night time vibe may be an excessive amount of for a group nonetheless ready to get away offensively.

Charlotte (+11.5) at Illinois

Illinois already misplaced to one C-USA group at house (UTSA), and easily has not appeared good since beating Nebraska in Week 0. Quarterback Brandon Peters has not misplaced his job but, however since coming back from a shoulder harm suffered towards Nebraska, he’s 24-for-52 for 285 yards, with no touchdowns and eight sacks in two video games. Meanwhile, Charlotte is 3-1 and senior QB Chris Reynolds has thrown for over 300 yards twice. Illinois deserves to be favored, however it might not be a shock to see the 49ers steal one in what must be a quiet ambiance with the 11 am native kickoff.

UConn (+14.5) at Vanderbilt

This brings me no pleasure. I’m a Commodore, and the Dores got here by means of for me in Week 2 at Colorado State in this space. But that bludgeoning from Georgia final week goes to go away a hangover. UConn is exhibiting indicators of life, scoring its first factors towards FBS competitors two weeks in the past, and almost getting to extra time final week towards unbeaten Wyoming. I consider Clark Lea is the long-term reply at Vandy, however he has no chess items to work with in Year 1.

Zac Al-Khateeb, Content producer

Maryland (+3.5) vs. No. 5 Iowa

Friday video games sometimes don’t bode properly for visiting groups, particularly when their subsequent opponent (Penn State) ranks within the high 5. But the Hawkeyes can’t look previous an undefeated Maryland squad that might love to add a marquee victory to its resume. The energy of this Iowa group has been its protection — producing three touchdowns and a security this season —  but it surely faces its hardest check of the 12 months in Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. He has accomplished 75.5 % of his passes for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns, and may completely rating towards the Hawkeyes.

No. 14 Michigan (+1.5) at Wisconsin

What does Michigan want to do to overcome its underdog standing? Sure, the Wolverines couldn’t put away beforehand undefeated Rutgers, however nonetheless gained 20-13 to begin 4-0 for the primary time since 2017. The subsequent step is to overcome a gifted Wisconsin squad whose two losses have come to undefeated Penn State and Notre Dame. Michigan hasn’t gained in Madison since 2001, however a victory on Saturday would go a great distance in reversing the narrative round Jim Harbaugh’s group. Look for Michigan — spurred by a robust rush assault and a few well timed throws — to lastly clear that hurdle.

No. 7 Notre Dame (+1.5) vs. No. 9 Cincinnati

What a two-week stretch for Brian Kelly, who grew to become Notre Dame’s all-time winningest coach on Saturday and now faces his former Cincinnati group for the primary time. Notre Dame wants to play higher towards the Bearcats than it did towards the Badgers, but it surely has proven repeatedly this season it will probably win shut video games. It could have taken 15 quarters, however the Fighting Irish lastly put all of it collectively in a 31-point fourth-quarter explosion towards Wisconsin. Kelly’s squad will carry that momentum into its sport vs. the Bearcats, coming away with yet one more slim victory.

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