NCAA Football

5 Possible Week 10 College Football Upsets

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5 Possible Week 10 Upsets

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to evaluating teams, the NCAA basketball selection committee has got it right.

In its criteria for picking teams to the 68-team field, the term trending is now a big consideration. The panel weighs heavily how a team trends, up or down, for its last 10 or so games of the season as part of the selection process.

In football, we've reached Week 10 of the season and how a team is trending should be considered a big part of trying to break what had been a very impressive run by the Las Vegas Sports Books this season.

Consider the Temple at SMU game last week as a case study of Vegas’ instincts being remarkably right the first time. The line opened with the Mustangs favored by 10, a line the bettors saw as skewed, driving it up to 13 at kickoff. SMU won, 59-49.

It wasn't the first time Vegas nailed a point spread and probably won’t be the last. One of the keys to winning against that kind of formidable competition is to find an underdog trending upward or at least one playing a favorite trending downward.

The teams who have trended upward over the last few games are mostly favored this weekend, including Missouri and Cincinnati, but finding a couple of favorites who are trending downward or an underdog who is trending upward is just one method of beating the odds.

Here are five underdogs who can be considered trending upward this week:

Mike Gibson, a two-time APSE award-winner for Best Sports Story and Best Sports Feature, is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. South Florida Over Houston

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the host Bulls, a 17-point underdog, lost to Louisville last week, they are trending upward based on wins the prior two weeks. Plus, Houston has covered only once this season and that was last week in a 49-14 win at reeling Rutgers. We're betting the Cougars get a little full of themselves and the Bulls of coach Willie Taggart are able to keep this one relatively close.

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4. Army Over Air Force

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Cadets are a surprising 13.5-point underdog, even though this is on the road. Army is a team that played Stanford relatively tough in a 34-20 loss and return two defensive starters who sat out the last game. Plus, the Falcons are 1-7 on merit, with their only win coming over Colgate of the FCS Patriot League. Army wins this game outright.

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3. Wake Forest Over Syracuse

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Demon Deacons are the classic example of a team coming on strong. They have won two out of the last three and that would have been three of three if not for a Duke Johnson touchdown run for Miami in the final minute last week. As a 3.5-point underdog, even in the Carrier Dome, the Demon Deacons win this game by double digits.

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2. Navy Over Notre Dame

Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

The Middies have given the Irish fits in the past and they seem to have just the kind of team to do that this year. Even though they lost last year's opener, 50-7, to the Irish that was a different Notre Dame team and this is a different Navy team, having come off a 24-21 win over Pitt. The 17 points is way too high and if Purdue can take the Irish down to the fourth quarter, so can Navy.

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1. Arkansas St. Over South Alabama

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

When you want to beat the odds, one of the best recipes is to pick an obscure game few care about. This is one of those games because South Alabama is not good enough to be favored by 3.5 points and Arkansas State, which owns a 48-24 win over Idaho, is not that bad. (By comparison, ranked Northern Illinois could only beat Idaho, 45-35.) When two Sun Belt teams are 3-4, a good rule of thumb is always pick the team getting the points and we have the Red Wolves in this one.