We went a nice 2-1 in Week 5 with our straight up upset picks, highlighted by Cincinnati beating Virginia Tech at a juicy +225! We also scored with Oregon State +123 over Arizona, losing only with Minnesota. Let us now hope for more good things in Week 6.
UPSET #1: West Virginia (+7) +210 vs. Texas – West Virginia is coming off of a wild 70-63 win over Baylor where quarterback Geno Smith had more touchdown passes (8) than he did incomplete passes (6) despite throwing the ball 51 times while passing for 656 yards! He can have success here vs. the Longhorns also with some help from the running game, which produced 151 rushing yards vs. Baylor while going mostly unnoticed. The Mountaineers should be able to run again here vs. the 89th ranked Texas run defense that is allowing 4.8 yards per rush, setting up Smith for another huge passing game.
On the other side of the ball, West Virginia has actually been stout against the run allowing only 2.8 yards per carry, so we like the Mountaineers to put Texas quarterback David Ash in a position where he has to win this game on his own, something that he has not yet been asked to do during his much improved sophomore season.
UPSET #2: Purdue (+3) +130 vs. Michigan – This line seems based more on perception than performance so far. Purdue is 3-1 both straight up and ATS, with the Boilermakers’ only loss being by a narrow 20-17 score on the road at Notre Dame, a loss that looks better which each passing week as the Irish move up the polls. Purdue has been solid on both sides of the ball, averaging 42.5 points and 463.5 total yards on offense while allowing only 353.2 yards and a commendable 20.7 points per game on defense. Even more impressively, the Boilermakers are averaging 5.8 yards per play overall while allowing 4.9 yards per snap on defense.
The Wolverines are a disappointing 2-2 and they have looked worse on both sides of the ball than the team that lost two games all of last season and beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Denard Robinson is still a dangerous dual threat, but for whatever reason, his throwing accuracy is down this year as he is completing only 54.5 percent of his passes. Unfortunately for Michigan, he may be forced into quite a few third-and-long passing situations as Purdue ranks 22nd in the country in rushing defense while allowing just 3.3 yards per carry.
UPSET #3: Texas Tech (+5) +175 vs. Oklahoma – Oklahoma had national title aspirations this season, so one must question the Sooners’ psyche with those hopes almost certainly dashed with an unexpected 24-19 home loss to Kansas State in their last game as 15½-point favorites. Things will not be easier for Oklahoma this week on the road in front of what should be a raucous crowd in Lubbock against a vastly improved Texas Tech defense.
In fact, the 4-0 Red Raiders currently lead the nation in total defense allowing only 167.5 total yards per game after limiting Iowa State to 189 yards in a 24-13 road win last week, and the Raiders are allowing a microscopic 3.9 yards per pass attempt, which is bad news for Landry Jones and Oklahoma’s pass-happy attack.