Three best underdog bets for Week 10 on the college football schedule

Dec 26, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Liberty Flames quarterback Malik Willis (7) looks on during the second half against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers during the Cure Bowl at Camping World Stadium.
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Ricky Dimon

NCAAF· 3 weeks ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Everyone likes to be surprised in sports. Watching the expected happen over and over again is boring. Let’s certainly hope for some surprises in college football on Saturday, otherwise this particular slate could be quite stale. After all, there are a ton of matchups that look lopsided on paper—bloated spreads one right after the other. In fact, there is only one all-top 25 battle on the schedule (Auburn vs Texas A&M). So, which underdogs will spice things up by throwing wrenches into the equation?

Let’s take a look at some underdogs who can be expected to cover the spread or win outright.

Liberty Flames +9.5 over Ole Miss Rebels

The big story in this game is that Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze is the former boss of the Rebels and is returning for a revenge game. The Flames are 7-2 this season with losses only to Syracuse and ULM; the Rebels are 6-2 with losses to Alabama and Auburn. This should be a real battle. Freeze will try to show Ole Miss that it made a mistake firing him, and Ole Miss will try to prove it is better without him. Both teams boast incredible offenses. The Rebels average 39.1 points and 531.5 yards per game; the Flames average 37.4 points and 444.8 yards. Ole Miss and Liberty have possible Heisman Trophy candidates at quarterback in Matt Coral and Malik Willis, respectively. Coral has a 66 percent completion rate, 15 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions; Willis has a 67 percent completion rate, 21 TDs, and 6 INTs. The difference here is defense. Ole Miss’ defense is atrocious and allows on average 28.6 points and 428.1 yards per game; Liberty allows on average 17.8 points and 300 yards per game. Take the Flames, who are 6-3 ATS in 2021.

Check out our full game preview

Mississippi State Bulldogs +4 over Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas is sitting as a slight favorites at -4, but Mississippi State is the play here riding the hot hand. The Hogs’ once-promising season hangs in the balance as they sit with a 1-3 SEC record and haven’t played a conference game since Oct. 16, when they lost to Auburn 38-23. Mississippi State, on the other hand, is flying high on the heels of back-to-back wins over Vanderbilt and—much more impressively—Kentucky. The difference has been QB Will Rogers, who completed 36 of 39 passes in Mike Leach’s air raid attack during last week’s defeat of the Wildcats. Arkansas had a tune-up last weekend against Arkansas Pine-Bluff in which QB KJ Jefferson threw 4 TD passes. Of course, that is APB we are talking about; Mississippi State won’t be as generous. That’s not to say the Razorbacks can’t move the ball against SEC opposition, but can they move it well enough to cover this spread? Maybe not, because they will have to score a lot in order to do so. After all, MSU is fourth in the nation in passing offense at 371 yards per contest.

Check out our full game preview

Texas Longhorns +6.5 over Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State heads into this contest at 3-2 in Big 12 play after entering the 2021 campaign with conference title aspirations. Offensively, the Cyclones’ total numbers on the year aren’t bad but they have been way too inconsistent. It has basically been a boom-or-bust season for them, as they have put up 33+ points three times but have also failed to reach the 25-point mark on three occasions. For Texas, it’s been the Bijan Robinson show on offense. The sophomore running back has rushed for at least 125 yards in 5 of the last 6 outings and has 11 total touchdowns during this span. UT’s defense hasn’t been great this year, but it has been improving as demonstrated by giving up fewer than 240 yards passing in three of its last four. The last four Texas games have been decided by an average of fewer than 7 points. Three of Iowa State’s previous five contests have been decided by fewer than 7 points.

Check out all of our Week 10 college football predictions

At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.

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