College Football Teams on Upset Alert in Week 5
By David Hayes
College football's Week 5 lineup has all of the makings of an exciting slate, headlined by two AP Top-25 Poll matchups on the schedule for this Saturday.
After we saw our first top-10 teams stumble last weekend, between then-No. 7 Notre Dame's loss to No. 3 Georgia and then-No. 10 Utah fall against USC on the road, here's a look at the three teams that need to be on upset alert, both straight up and against the spread, in Week 5.
All college football betting odds and spreads are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.
1. No. 21 USC Trojans @ No. 17 Washington Huskies (-10)
It's been hard to knock USC when the chips have appeared to be stacked against the Trojans this season. After losing their star quarterback JT Daniels for the entire season in Week 1, backup QB Kedon Slovis and the Trojans stormed back from a 17-3 deficit to defeat then-No. 23 Stanford, 45-20, in Week 2. USC even lost its backup QB Slovis to injury in the first quarter to a concussion against then-No. 10 Utah in Week 4. Third-string arm Matt Fink still got the job done, leading the Trojans to an upset win over the Utes, 30-23. Given Washington's Week 2 upset loss to then-unranked Cal, 20-19, at home in Seattle, the Huskies have already shown us they're beatable at home. While this trip up north is USC's first road trip since losing, 30-27 (OT), to BYU in Provo, the Trojans have continued to surprise us so far in 2019.
2. Washington State @ No. 19 Utah (-6.5)
Washington State found itself on the ugly end of, perhaps, the most exciting college football game we've seen so far this season in a ,67-63, loss to UCLA in Week 5, featuring a 32-point, second-half comeback by the Bruins. However, head coach Mike Leach's Cougars have proven a tough beat in consecutive weeks. It's also hard to see a team whose QB passed for nine touchdowns in one game losing too many more matchups with that sort of offensive performance. Since 2015, Washington State has lost consecutive conference games only once, when the Cougars fell against back-to-back top-15 opponents in the final two weeks of the 2016 regular season. On the other side of this matchup, Utah seems to be heading in the wrong direction after losing star running back Zack Moss in its Week 5 upset loss to USC. Despite Utah's sustained success over recent years, Washington State has also dominated this series lately, winning four straight over the Utes since 2013.
3. Navy Midshipmen @ Memphis Tigers (-10.5)
Even with the rise of Memphis' football program in recent years, the Navy Midshipmen have had the Tigers' number since becoming American Athletic Conference (AAC) foes in 2015. Navy is 3-1 in its yearly matchups with Memphis since then and each of the last two games between these two has been decided by three of fewer points. While Navy hasn't proved itself on the road yet this year, the Midshipmen are outscoring opponents 97-17 on the year. Meanwhile, Memphis struggled at home against their toughest opponent of the year thus far in Ole Miss, defeating the Rebels, 15-10, in Week 1 as a home favorite.
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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.