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College football Week 4 upset watch: Army set to go 3-0 against Cincinnati

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

September 25th, 2020

It's the weekend that many college football fans and sports bettors have been waiting for, as the SEC kicks off its season this Saturday. The ACC and Big 12 both are well underway, and we have an idea how many of the teams in those conferences are playing. As such, we have some spreads that look ripe for upset winners.

Let’s look at this week’s biggest potential upsets to help you build your bankroll.  

#23 Kentucky at #8 Auburn

Sat, September 26 2020, 4:00 PM

Auburn Tigers

Spread

-7.5

Moneyline

-290

Total

O 50

Kentucky Wildcats

Spread

+7.5

Moneyline

+230

Total

U 50

It feels weird to say that Kentucky is involved in arguably the best game of the SEC’s opening weekend, but it is 2020 after all. The Wildcats will take their terrific defense to the Plains as they face off against Auburn, in a game where both teams have questions on the offensive side of the ball.

Kentucky returns last year’s original starter Terry Wilson, whose knee injury disrupted the season and saw WR Lynn Bowden Jr. move behind center and lead the SEC in rushing yardage. The Wildcats return most of their starting squad, including a solid stable of running backs, and one of the best offensive lines in the nation. They will need better production from the passing game this year, but Wilson has shown at times that he can air it out.

Kentucky's defense will look to slow down Auburn’s offense, led by QB Bo Nix in his second year. He started and ended last season well, but was poor in-between. New offensive coordinator Chad Morris will look to help build some consistency, and he has plenty of weapons around Nix to work with. The Auburn defense will have to replace quite a bit of production lost to the NFL, but they have recruited well and should see little drop-off.

Kentucky’s defense will keep them in this game, but this all comes down to Wilson. If he can replicate what he showed two years ago against Florida and Louisville, the Wildcats could very well come away with the upset win and build on a terrific 2019 campaign.

#24 Louisville at #21 Pitt

Sat, September 26 2020, 4:00 PM

Pittsburgh Panthers

Spread

-3

Moneyline

-140

Total

O 55

Louisville Cardinals

Spread

+3

Moneyline

+115

Total

U 55

Louisville makes their third appearance in as many weeks, but this time they are the underdog looking to spring the slight upset. The Cardinals had a slow first half start offensively, but it was their defense that let them down against Miami, giving up multiple big plays in the second half. That shouldn’t be an issue against Pitt, whose offense is not as explosive as the one possessed by the Hurricanes, and struggled at times against the Orangemen.

Where Louisville should have an advantage is on the offensive side of the ball, as Pitt’s defense was bailed out last weekend by Syracuse not capitalizing on multiple chances in the first quarter. Their defensive numbers are somewhat misleading, and I expect Louisville to move the ball much easier than Pitt’s first two opponents were able to. If their defensive line is not able to contain or pressure Malik Cunningham, the Cardinals should score more than enough points to take home the win.

West Virginia at #15 Oklahoma State

Sat, September 26 2020, 7:30 PM

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Spread

-6.5

Moneyline

-255

Total

O 51.5

West Virginia Mountaineers

Spread

+6.5

Moneyline

+205

Total

U 51.5

It took second-half heroics from a true freshman third-string quarterback for the Cowboys to overcome Tulsa last weekend. The competition gets tougher this week, as the Mountaineers of West Virginia come to town. Oklahoma State has defeated them five consecutive times, but with the questions surrounding their offense this might be the weekend the streak ends. Even if Spencer Sanders is able to go, his ankle injury will severely limit his mobility. Chuba Hubbard had a poor game by his lofty standards, rushing for just 93 yards on 27 carries, and will need to be much better for them to win.

West Virginia rolled to an easy win against Eastern Kentucky, and will look to have another strong rushing performance after having two different running backs go for 123 yards each. They also threw for more than 200 yards, which gives them a solid balance that will be needed against a strong front four for Oklahoma State. If the Mountaineers’ offensive line is able to hold up and allow them to put up points, they might be able to do just enough to outscore the Cowboys in a tight one.

#22 Army at #14 Cincinnati

Sat, September 26 2020, 7:30 PM

Cincinnati Bearcats

Spread

-13.5

Moneyline

-535

Total

O 45

Army Black Knights

Spread

+13.5

Moneyline

+390

Total

U 45

Our longest upset chance of the weekend comes from an unlikely source. Army has stormed out of the gates to open the season, averaging nearly 40 points per contest in defeating Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe while allowing just one touchdown in total.

QB Christian Anderson has played very well in his first two starts (although he has only had to throw seven times), and Army’s powerful triple-option is averaging more than six yards per carry and nearly 400 yards per game.

They will be tested much more thoroughly by Cincinnati and quarterback Desmond Ridder, who looked good in their win against Austin Peay. The Bearcats have lost only five times in the last two seasons, but we all know how difficult the triple option can be to defend. Given they allowed twenty points in their opener, the defense can obviously be taken advantage of. If they are unable to force the Black Knights into passing situations, we could easily see Cincinnati fall on Saturday. 

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