Sunday, August 14

College Football Upset Alert: Expert Picks for Week 5 Losers With Best Winning Odds

It’s been the year of surprise in college football, but here at The Underdog Challenge we’re still going to show off. Over four weeks, their beloved foursome are over .500 in the underdog pick to win outright. This, my friends, is not an easy task, however unpredictable the 2021 season may have been.

A reminder on how our contest is played: each expert picks three losers to win. If the loser checks, the expert scores as many points as the team was a loser through the betting line.

Here are our rankings for four weeks:

1 Bill bender 7-5 39
2 Bill Trocchi 6-6 39
3 Zac al-kateeb 7-5 36.5
4 Mike DeCourcy 5-7 24.5

To the inconvenience.

MORE: Week 5 Picks Against the Top 25 Games Spread

Lines courtesy of

Bill Bender, College Football Lead Writer

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

In our opinion, this is more of a release. Is Notre Dame a loser at home to a Group of 5 school? Cincinnati poses a challenge with Desmond Ridder and Jerome Ford, and the Irish need to find a reliable running game. Still, Notre Dame will make enough plays on defense and on special teams to pass the Bearcats, perhaps in overtime.

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

TCU (+5.5) vs. Texas

Texas doubled Texas Tech 70-35 in Week 4, and TCU lost in a rivalry game to SMU. Both teams are inconsistent, and that probably means another shooting is coming. Running backs Bijan Robinson and Zach Evans should have big games, but keep in mind that the Horned Frogs have found a way to win the last two games and six of the last seven.

Louisville (+6.5) at Wake Forest

The Cardinals have rebounded since their loss to Ole Miss on Labor Day. This is a fun quarterback battle between Malik Cunningham and Sam Hartman. Cunningham has scored at least two rushing touchdowns in every game this season. This feels more like a pitch, and it’s one of those ACC annoyances you can see coming.

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Mike DeCourcy, Senior Writer

No. 14 Michigan (+1.5) at Wisconsin

The power of Camp Randall is such that the Badgers are the favorites even though they have yet to give any real indication that they can pull off a win against a serious team from major colleges. They have been in the ring twice against great players (Penn State, Notre Dame) and each time they vanished like an ice cube in the sun when the fourth quarter rolled around. Wisconsin was outscored in those games by a combined score of 40-6. Granted, Michigan was worth nothing in the last 15 against Rutgers, but it’s different when you’re protecting an advantage.

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

There are two SEC matchups this week that this contest invites an entrant to consider: this one and the Arkansas-Georgia matchup in which the Dawgs are the 18.5 favorites. Although Arkansas has been great to date and seems to have a chance, the difference is that Georgia right now appears to be the best team in the nation, and Alabama is (reasonably given the overabundance of elite NFL-born talent) trying to reestablish himself as the preeminent power of the nation. Maybe The Tide will show they are back this weekend. And maybe Lane Kiffin will get me more than two touchdowns on points in the standings.

MORE: Arch Manning Headed to Tuscaloosa for Confrontation with the SEC | Lane Kiffin’s offense ready to challenge Bama

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

Let me take this moment to assure those following the contest that although I, as a rookie in the game who have not bet on a soccer game in over two decades, am close to .500 picking outright winners among the teams that hope they lose. – Sports gambling is not that easy. This deal is for fun. If there were real money at stake, I suspect my record would be between 0 and 12. That said, I suspect that the overwhelming pressure on the Bearcats to keep their college football playoff dream alive will be too much for them on the road against a very capable group. by Fighting Irish.

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DECOURCY: Brian Kelly lit the fire in Cincinnati, Luke Fickell built hell

Bill Trocchi, Senior Editor

Maryland (+3.5) vs. No. 5 Iowa

I’m going to try again: the house dog on a Thursday / Friday night. Syracuse did it last Friday, Louisville the week before. Now come the Terps, who may be the quietest 4-0 in the country. Maryland has wins over West Virginia and Illinois on the resume and Pro Football Focus has quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa as the highest-rated QB in the country. Iowa’s defense is obviously elite, but Friday night’s weird vibe might just be too much for a team still hoping to go on offense.

Charlotte (+11.5) at Illinois

Illinois already lost to a C-USA team at home (UTSA), and it’s just not looking good since beating Nebraska in Week 0. Quarterback Brandon Peters hasn’t lost his job yet, but since returning from a shoulder injury sustained against Nebraska, he is 24 of 52 for 285 yards, no touchdowns and eight sacks in two games. Meanwhile, Charlotte is 3-1 and quarterback Chris Reynolds has thrown for more than 300 yards twice. Illinois deserves to be the favorite, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see the 49ers steal one in what should be a quiet environment with the home start at 11am.

UConn (+14.5) at Vanderbilt

This does not bring me joy. I’m a commodore, and the Dores supported me in week 2 in the state of Colorado in this space. But that beating from Georgia last week is going to leave a hangover. UConn is showing signs of life, scoring their first points against FBS competition two weeks ago, and almost going into overtime last week against undefeated Wyoming. I think Clark Lea is the long-term answer at Vandy, but she has no chess pieces to work with in Year 1.

Zac Al-Khateeb, Content Producer

Maryland (+3.5) vs. No. 5 Iowa

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Friday games generally don’t bode well for visiting teams, especially when their next opponent (Penn State) is in the top five. But the Hawkeyes can’t look past an undefeated Maryland team that would love to add a big win to their résumé. The strength of this Iowa team has been its defense, producing three touchdowns and one safety this season, but it faces its toughest test of the year in Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. He has completed 75.5 percent of his passes for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he absolutely can score against the Hawkeyes.

No. 14 Michigan (+1.5) at Wisconsin

What does Michigan need to do to overcome its underdog status? Sure, the Wolverines couldn’t knock out undefeated Rutgers, but they nonetheless won 20-13 to start 4-0 for the first time since 2017. The next step is to beat a talented Wisconsin team whose two losses have come to undefeated Penn State. . and Notre Dame. Michigan hasn’t won at Madison since 2001, but a victory Saturday would go a long way toward reversing the narrative around Jim Harbaugh’s team. Look for Michigan, spurred on by a strong fast attack and a few timely pitches, to finally clear that hurdle.

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

What a two-week stretch for Brian Kelly, who became Notre Dame’s winningest coach of all time on Saturday and now faces his former Cincinnati team for the first time. Notre Dame needs to play better against the Bearcats than it does against the Badgers, but it has shown time and again this season that it can win close games. It may have taken 15 quarters, but the Fighting Irish finally put it all together in a 31-point explosion in the fourth quarter against Wisconsin. Kelly’s team will carry that momentum into their game against the Bearcats, coming off with another small win.

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