Sport College football upset alert: Expert picks for Week 7 underdogs with best odds to win
LSU football lifts COVID-19 entrance protocols
Practically all virus-related restrictions for attending games are eliminated. Fans under the age of 12 no longer have to wear masks in outdoor spaces, but guests must still wear face coverings in the indoor portions of Tiger Stadium. "This is amazing progress," Dr. O’Neal added. "But the game is not over. This virus will surge again, and Louisiana must be prepared before it arrives yet again by getting vaccinated. The vaccines we have are safe and effective, and getting vaccinated is our best shot at defeating COVID-19."LSU says coronavirus hospitalizations in Louisiana have decreased by 80% over the past seven weeks.
Last week’s insanity included a big ole upset at No. 1, when Texas A&M suddenly found an offense and knocked off Alabama 41-38. None of us here saw that one coming, and pretty much no one outside of Jimbo Fisher’s family saw it coming either. But it was a wonderful scene, which included this gem of kicker Seth Small’s family agonizingly and then joyously watching the winning field goal.
Seth Small’s family watching him nail the game winning field goal vs Alabama. One of my favorite shots of the night.— Cam Worthy (@cameron_worthy)
We here at the Underdog Challenge do our best to identify the upsets for you, and we’ve done a fairly good job this year. A reminder on how the contest works: Each expert picks three upsets, and if the upset hits, the expert gets as many points as that team was an underdog.
Watch: Jim Harbaugh snubs ESPN's Molly McGrath on postgame interview
McGrath ended up interviewing Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara after the game instead. Harbaugh’s reason for avoiding the interview is unclear. Maybe he will argue that he thought he was just avoiding a fan or someone else on the field and did not realize it was ESPN’s reporter trying to interview him.That’s an unfortunate blemish for him despite his team improving to 6-0. Maybe he will end up apologizing like another famous head coach did.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.
Here are the standings after Week 6.
On to this week’s upsets:
Odds courtesy FanDuel.com
Bill Bender, Lead college football writer
Boston College (+3.5) vs. No. 22 N.C. State
Boston College has won four of the last six home meetings between these teams, and the Eagles have a strong running game behind Pat Garwo III that can limit the Wolfpack's possessions. The ACC is a fickle conference, and upsets happen every week. Here is another one in Chestnut Hill.
UCLA (+2.5) over Washington
UCLA has been up and down this season, but the Bruins have the best run defense in the Pac-12, and that should travel to Washington. The Huskies have won the last two meetings, so it’s a risky pick. But Dorian Thompson-Robinson gets enough in the pass and run games to keep the Bruins in Pac-12 South race.
Arizona QB Jordan McCloud out for season, to have surgery
Watch Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's five most improbable completions from Week 5 of the 2021 season, according to Next Gen Stats.
Virginia Tech (+4.5) vs. Pitt
The Panthers are generating hype around Heisman Trophy candidate Kenny Pickett, who has enjoyed a fantastic first half of the season. The Hokies are coming off a nail-biting loss to Notre Dame, but they remain 3-1 at home and have won the last two at Lane Stadium against Pitt.
Mike DeCourcy, Senior writer
Indiana (+3.5) vs. No. 10 Michigan State
This has not been the dream season imagined for the Hoosiers, but that’s partly because the schedule has been a nightmare. Their losses have been against three teams currently rated among the top seven teams in the AP poll, and two of those were on the road. That doesn’t truly relent with the Spartans, ranked No. 10 at 6-0, coming to Bloomington. But it does seem like a more manageable challenge. IU is being coy who will start at QB with Michael Penix Jr. recovering from a shoulder separation, but Jack Tuttle is experienced should he be called upon.
College football odds, lines, bets, predictions for Week 7, 2021: Proven model backing Iowa, Ole Miss
SportsLine's advanced computer model has revealed its top Week 7 college football picks and betsDerek Mason Vanderbilt
No. 12 Oklahoma State (+5.5) at No. 25 Texas
Here’s a debate to keep you going over your next cold beer (or, shall we say, a Diet Coke with light ice?): Which was a worse defensive performance in blowing a lead that seems impossibly secure, the Colts in Baltimore or the Longhorns in the Red River Showdown? Texas was so bad on D in the second half the Sooners could have installed a member of the band at QB and still rung up the necessary points to win. (OK, that’s not fair to Caleb Williams, who was brilliant. We’re making a point here). OK State has not been dynamic, and the Sooners needed to be to recover, but this is a bet on the Cowboys to control the pace of the game.
Virginia Tech (+4.5) vs. Pitt
Kenny Pickett has played better than a lot of quarterbacks with bigger names, and there seems to be no reason to believe he won’t continue that roll in Blacksburg. But the Panthers as a road favorite? They fail to cover more than half the time, and failing to cover in this circumstance more than likely means an L. The only offenses that didn’t damage the flimsy Pitt D were UMass and New Hampshire The rest of America outside New England seems to know how to get that done.
Oklahoma-Kansas game briefly halted due to power outage
Saturday’s game between Oklahoma and Kansas was halted due to a brief power outage in Lawrence. © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) talks with head coach Lincoln Riley. With just over ten minutes to go in the first quarter, Kansas Memorial Stadium lost power. All the scoreboards went down, prompting an official timeout. The succinctly stated reason was that “everything is off.” "Timeout on the field. Everything is off" pic.twitter.
Bill Trocchi, Senior editor
Syracuse (+13.5) vs. Clemson
I’m going back to the Friday night home-dog well. But there’s reasons for this. Syracuse went toe-to-toe with Wake last week, the ACC’s only unbeaten team, before losing in overtime after racking up 514 yards. It should be a good atmosphere in the dome for the Orange to repeat their Friday night home upset of No. 2 Clemson in 2017.
No. 19 BYU (+6.5) at Baylor
I predicted (correctly) BYU to get upset last week against Boise. Now, I’ve got the Cougars pulling off the upset at Baylor. BYU fumbled three times in its loss, but outgained Boise by 101 yards. Baylor has overachieved this season, but the only ranked team it has played (Oklahoma State) beat the Bears by 10 points.
Boston College (+3.5) vs. No. 22 NC State
Going with the home dog here in a matchup of two very even teams. Against Clemson, BC lost a very close game on the road, and NC State won a very close game at home. The Eagles are quietly humming along at 4-1 and have a real shot in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Zac Al-Khateeb, Content producer
Auburn (+4.5) at No. 17 Arkansas
Auburn can move the ball against a great defense. Arkansas struggles against a great offense. Neither the Tigers nor Razorbacks could be considered “great” following their losses to Georgia and Ole Miss in Week 6, respectively. But Auburn put up 300-plus yards against Georgia and was turned away at the goal line on what would have been the first first-half touchdown surrendered by the Bulldogs. The Tigers should have no issues scoring against a Razorbacks team that surrendered 52 points to the Rebels. If Auburn makes a couple timely defensive stops, it should come away with a win.
No. 12 Oklahoma State (+4.5) at No. 25 Texas
It’s hard to put faith in Texas, considering it had Oklahoma dead to rights before allowing a 28-7 lead evaporate and turn into an eventual loss. The Cowboys, conversely, haven’t looked overly impressive in 2021, but are coming off consecutive double-digit victories over ranked teams in No. 25 Kansas State (31-20) and No. 21 Baylor (24-14). Oklahoma State is also coming off a bye, a scenario that has yielded a 25-15 record under Mike Gundy since 2005. The Cowboys also have a 33-8 record with a rest advantage in that span. The Cowboys continue that positive trend to remain unbeaten.
No. 19 BYU (+6.5) at Baylor
Did BYU get caught looking ahead to future Big 12 opponent Baylor last week? It’s possible, considering the Cougars’ 26-17 loss to Boise State. But they did themselves no favors in losing three fumbles, throwing an interception and twice turning the ball over on downs. Look for Kalani Sitake’s Cougars to rebound with a fundamentally sound game against a good Bears team. Expect heavy doses of running back Tyler Allgeier (121 rushes, 642 yards) in a close upset by BYU in Waco.
Conference USA in negotiations to add three universities .
Connecticut, New Mexico State and Liberty are all in negotiations to join Conference USA.Conference USA was recently plundered by other conferences adding to their ranks. The American Athletic Conference replaced its upcoming losses by announcing that six Conference USA schools — UAB, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, North Texas, Rice and UTSA — would all be joining its ranks. Conference USA also lost Southern Mississippi and Old Dominion to the Sun Belt Conference.