College Football Upset Alerts: Eyes On Clemson, USC, Air Force Saturday

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
college football upset week 9

With significant conference matchups and historic college football rivalries lining up, upset alerts litter the Week 9 slate. Four teams, in particular, have tricky scheduling spots that I’m looking at for this week. This article outlines underdogs of at least 10+ points that get their opponent in difficult scheduling situations. More so in college football than the NFL; letdowns, lookaheads, and rest advantages affect favorites. Let’s dig into the upset alert picks for Week 9 from the best college football betting sites.

Last week’s upset alerts went a perfect 3-0 ATS, pushing the underdogs outlined in this article to 16-9-1 with three outright victories. We’ll make the case, and you decide if you want to make the picks on the moneyline or in your pick ’em pools. Compare college football odds from the best sports betting sites below with these upset candidates.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 9 UPSET ALERTS

Browse odds from the best college football betting sites throughout this article. Click to place a wager on any of the games.

Clemson at NC State, 2:00 p.m. ET

Dabo Swinney and Clemson come off an emotional overtime loss at Miami last week. However, it’s not back to the friendly confines of Death Valley – Clemson hits the road to play NC State in Raleigh. The Wolfpack also carry a rest advantage, coming off their bye week without the added burden of travel. To make matters worse for the Tigers, they have a big game with Notre Dame on deck, adding a potential lookahead spot.

NC State last upended Clemson in Raleigh in 2021 as 10-point underdogs.

USC at Cal, 4:00 p.m. ET

I’ll be honest; I’ve had this game starred on the schedule since June. While USC has come up short of expectations, particularly in the last few weeks, this still sets up as one of the trickiest scheduling spots in the country.

The Trojans just dropped a massive blockbuster against Utah in an emotionally charged shootout. It took a last-second failed conversion to seal the deal. In the hours following, social media was flooded with questions about whether Caleb Williams should even play again this season and rather sit out for the NFL Draft. Head coach Lincoln Riley missed practices this week with a reported illness. The vibe around the USC program is bleak following their second straight loss rather than with rebound optimism.

The remaining three games on USC’s schedule include Washington next week, at Oregon, and then their crosstown rivalry with UCLA before a possible Pac-12 Championship – one of the more difficult stretches in the 2023 season.

Did I mention Cal comes off a bye?

Air Force at Colorado State, 7:00 p.m. ET

Military academies hang their hats on focus and discipline. It’s rare to feature one in a tricky scheduling situation given that, historically, the coaching staffs keep their players focused on the immediate goal ahead. They also hang their hats on the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. Last week, Air Force beat Navy on the road. Next week, they face Army in Denver – a win that would seal the trophy for Air Force for the second straight year.

But before Air Force can hoist that trophy, they have to travel two hours up I-25 to face Colorado State. The Falcons are on a six-year win streak over the Rams. However, they also find themselves in the middle of a tough stretch of schedule, including four straight games away from home.

Bonus Upset Alert: Cincinnati at Oklahoma State

Cincy is just a underdog at Oklahoma State, so they don’t perfectly fall into the criteria for this article.

The Bearcats travel to Stillwater for America’s Greatest Homecoming (actual name!). The Pokes have Bedlam looming large in the window next week – a potentially final edition that brings as much disdain and vitriol as it ever has. Although Oklahoma State has improved dramatically in recent weeks, there’s very little chance that Mike Gundy hasn’t at least started Bedlam preparations. This is an upset I think goes beyond the point spread – Cincinnati could spring an outright upset.

Granted, Cincy hasn’t been playing very good football lately. This is dependent on Oklahoma State coming out flat and looking ahead.

More College Football Upset Alerts: Underdogs With Rest Advantages

  • Vanderbilt () at Ole Miss: Vanderbilt heads into their game at Ole Miss coming off their bye week while Ole Miss returns home from a trip to Auburn.
  • Kentucky () vs. Tennessee: Kentucky comes off their bye week at home while Tennessee finishes a back-to-back road trip that included Alabama last week.
  • Purdue () at Nebraska: The Boilermakers come off a bye while Nebraska plays their second straight opponent coming off a bye.
  • Kansas () vs. Oklahoma: The Jayhawks come off their bye to handle Oklahoma, who just had a scare against UCF.
  • Colorado () at UCLA: Colorado comes off their bye week while UCLA returns from a trip to Stanford.
  • UMass () at Army: UMass comes off their bye week and handles Army coming back from a 62-0 beating at LSU. Army last had a bye in Week 4.

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