The college football season moves into Week 9 with the stakes getting higher. It’s almost November, and you can feel the pressure building in what has been an uncertain season. It’s a situation ripe for upsets and there are a few which leap to the forefront on the day before Halloween.
Let’s take a look at the game for handicappers that betonline:
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Florida State Seminoles at Clemson Tigers
Odds: Clemson -10
This is the upset of the week. Clemson probably should be favored based on how bad Florida State has been, but if you have seen Florida State play, the Seminoles have a measure of talent on offense. They can move the ball.
It’s their defense, which usually breaks down. FSU can score. Given how bad Clemson’s offense has been under quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, it’s easy to envision a game in which Clemson struggles the whole way, and Florida State’s offense makes a late play to win.
Clemson barely beat Boston College at home earlier in the season, and Boston College was driving in the Clemson red zone at the end of regulation, trailing by six points with a chance to pull the upset. Boston College’s quarterback, Dennis Grosel, was a former walk-on.
Florida State has much better quarterback talent than what Boston College had to offer. A close game with Florida State’s offense winning late is a realistic scenario.
Michigan Wolverines at Michigan State Spartans
Odds: Michigan -4.5
The Michigan Wolverines have had trouble with the Michigan State Spartans in recent years. Coach Jim Harbaugh has not dominated Michigan State the way many hoped and expected he would. Michigan State and coach Mel Tucker beat Michigan on the road last year.
Michigan State might be an underdog, but it is playing at home this year and will have total belief that it can win this game. Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara is not a good deep-ball thrower.
Michigan State will be able to be aggressive on defense, loading up the tackle box to stop the run and forcing Michigan to make deep throws downfield. Michigan is not equipped to play that kind of game on offense.
Michigan State has shown an ability to win ugly, and it will do the same thing here against a Michigan team which is unbeaten, but which has hardly dominated the opposition in 2021.
Iowa Hawkeyes at Wisconsin Badgers
NCAA Odds: Wisconsin -3.5
This is a low-scoring game in the making. The total is under 38 points if that gives any indication of what sportsbooks think. Neither Iowa nor Wisconsin have especially strong quarterback play.
This is a game in which the team that makes big plays on defense or in the kicking game will win. It’s an old-fashioned throwback game that will bear no resemblance to the modern pass-happy games with spread offenses and video-game scores that have proliferated in college football.
Both defenses are excellent, but Iowa has shown an ability to get more takeaways. That will be the difference for the Hawkeyes in Madison. Under might be the best option for college football picks.