As the college football regular season draws to a close, volatility will be at its highest, leaving a few teams vulnerable for an upset.
We've been close multiple times this season, but let's see if we can get a sweep on one of our last tries. The underdog round robin is 22-25 straight up this season.
Iowa State (+145) vs. Oklahoma
While I believe this line is about right where it is, I think that there is several hidden variables trending in the direction of the Cyclones.
Oklahoma had been on a a tear before dropping a game to Baylor on the road in which coach Lincoln Riley turned back to Spencer Rattler to get the offense on track. That didn't work.
The offense was able to feast on Big 12 bottom feeders like Texas, TCU and Kansas, but struggled when playing an elite defense. Iowa State may not be the elite team we expected, but OU is also not a true CFP contender, and the Cyclones defense should shut down the Sooners like Baylor did.
On defense, OU will struggle with Breece Hall on the ground, but also Brock Purdy and the ISU passing game. Oklahoma is towards the bottom of the country in explosive pass defense and allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 65% of their passes.
I like the Cyclones to win this game and put the final nail in the coffin in a tumutulous year in Norman.
Missouri (+270) vs. Florida
Listen, when we get to the end of the season, motivation is key. Well, if you want to look at teams that have quit, let me point you towards the Florida Gators.
The Gators had a historically poor performance against FCS foe Samford last week at home and now hit the road to face a Missouri team that needs a win to reach bowl eligibility. They have two games to get one win, but all reports out of Columbia that this is the must-win to lock up a postseason game.
These are two teams in different headspaces, I'm going to take a shot on Missouri pulling the outright upset.
Virginia Tech (+230) vs. Miami
Yeah, I know, Virginia Tech fired coach Justin Fuente this week, but this is another team that may have a motivation advantage against their opponent.
While both teams need one more win to lock up bowl eligibility, Miami gets lowly Duke next week and the Hokies have to go to Virginia, a much tougher task.
Not to mention, the Hurricanes may have an emotional letdown after losing a last minute game to their rival Florida State last week.
On the field, Virgina Tech's defense should be able to counter the emerging Miami passing game well. The Hokies are 36th in overall success rate, and amongst the nation's best in defensive pass success rate, fourth best in the country. The Canes have attacked through the air with fill in quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, but this matchup won't suit their offense well.
On the other side, Miami's defense remains terrible at limiting explosive plays and tackling, outside the top 100 in all metrics. Va Tech may find success on the ground and catch Miami sleep walking.
Utah (-155) vs. Oregon
One of the marquee matchups this week and I'm all over the Utes.
Utah's front seven is as strong as any team in the country and will put a lot of pressure on Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown to win the game with his arm, which has been troubling on the road this season. He's thrown all four interceptions on the road this season and his completion percentage has dropped more than 11% from Eugene to the road.
I like Utah to run on a suspect Ducks rush defense (bottom half of the country in rush success rate) to set up the passing game with Cam Rising and win this game outright.
At -3 or less I like Utah, but I'm big on them winning this massive PAC-12 game in front of a rocking in Salt Lake City.
Oregon State (+130) vs. Arizona State
We go from fading an Oregon school to backing one.
Situationally, this spot sets up well for Oregon State, who has enjoyed a better than expected season at 6-4 on the year. The Beavers boast one of the best rush offenses in the country, top five in line yards and averaging more than five yards per carry.
They will face a poor tackling Arizona State defense that has been gashed on the ground all season long.
This will be a tough travel spot for the Sun Devils, who were in Washington last week in a chaotic game against the Huskies, returned home to Tucson, and now head back to Corvallis for another physical game.
OSU is 5-0 at home this season and I'll take a stab on the late night home dog.