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College Football Week 7 Upset Picks: Virginia and Nebraska Are Underdogs with Value

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Oct 9, 2019 · 8:40 PM PDT

Nebraska Cornhuskers starting QB Adrian Martinez
Nebraska starting QB Adrian Martinez is listed as questionable for Friday's Week 7 matchup with the Minnesota Gophers. Photo from Big Ten Network (YouTube).
  • Week 7 of college football has some extremely live ‘dogs
  • UVA vs. Miami and Nebraska vs. Minnesota are two games with upset potential
  • Find my two best upset picks for Week 7, below

The slate for Week 7 is ripe with upset potential. There are two games, in particular, that stand out: No. 20 Virginia vs. Miami and Nebraska vs. Minnesota.

Virginia vs. Miami (FL) Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Virginia (#20) +2.0 (-105) +115 O 44 (-110)
Miami (FL) -2.0 (-115) -135 U 44 (-110)

*All odds taken 10/09/19

No. 20 Virginia has been listed as road underdogs when they visit Miami in Week 7 (Friday, Oct. 11, 8:00 PM ET). The Cavaliers are coming off a bye week following a 35-20 loss to Notre Dame in Week 5.

Miami lost 42-35 to Virginia Tech in Week 6, despite being two-touchdown favorites. The Hurricanes had a whopping five turnovers and were outgained 563-337 by the Hokies. Miami has is sub-.500 (2-3) through five games for the first time since 2011.

Hurricanes Reeling

Miami is listed as a favorite over Virginia due to name and reputation. This is not a team playing good football right now. The Hurricanes were down 28-0 at the half in Week 6 and gave up 40 points to an outmatched Virginia Tech team that was blown out by Duke at home the previous week.

The Hurricanes are turning to QB N’Kosi Perry in Week 7 with starting QB Jarren Williams day-to-day. Perry threw for 422 yards and four TDs against the Hokies after entering late in the first quarter as the backup, but it was only his second appearance of the season.

Perry had a very inconsistent 2018 campaign, completing just 50.8 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.

I’m eager to see what Perry can do as a starter after his strong outing against Virginia Tech, but I’m not confident in betting on him to continue that success against a Virginia team that ranks top-20 in total defense.

Miami is 4-12 since 2017 against Power Five opponents and has to face a well-rested, one-loss UVA team.

Cavaliers Coming Off Bye Week

Virginia had a bye week to work on some of things that led to their only loss of the season so far in Week 5 against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have looked excellent this season, and Virginia was able to outgain them and keep the game within reach.

UVA committed five turnovers against Notre Dame and needs improved play from the offensive line, which allowed QB Bryce Perkins to be sacked eight times.

It’s a battle of two strong defensive teams in this one. I see Bronco Mendenhall finding a way to protect his QB better and Perkins building off a strong first half against Notre Dame. Look for Virginia’s defense, which has racked up 24 sacks this season, to create all kinds of havoc for the once-and-future Miami QB Perry.

Bet UVA

Miami’s season is trending in a bad direction and it could spiral out of control with another loss. Virginia is 2-0 in ACC play, while the Hurricanes have lost both their conference games. The Cavaliers have been the better team this season and they will pull off the upset at Hard Rock Stadium.

Pick: Virginia (+115)

Nebraska vs. Minnesota Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Nebraska +7.5 (-110) +240 O 49.5 (-110)
Minnesota -7.5 (-110) -290 U 49.5 (-110)

Nebraska will travel to Minnesota on Saturday (Oct. 12, 7:30 PM ET). Minnesota is off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 2004 after they defeated Illinois 40-17 in Week 6.

Nebraska bounced back from a blowout loss against Ohio State in Week 5 with a 13-10 victory over Northwestern in Week 6. The Cornhuskers are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play.

Will Adrian Martinez Play?

Nebraska starting quarterback Adrian Martinez was injured against Northwestern last week, but he could be healthy for Saturday’s big game. Backup QB Noah Vedral did well in relief against the Wildcats, but a healthy Martinez gives the Cornhuskers a great chance of pulling off the upset.

Martinez played a huge role in Nebraska’s 53-28 victory over the Gophers in 2018. The Cornhuskers QB went 25-for-29 for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 125 yards and an additional TD. Martinez hasn’t been his best this season and is due for a big performance.

Gophers Due for Loss

Minnesota may be undefeated this season, but they won each of their first four games by one possession. They haven’t had to face a good defense yet and could be in for a tough night against a solid Nebraska defense. The temperature in Minnesota is expected to be in the mid-30s with a good chance of rain or snow.

Nebraska proved their ability to handle these type of conditions when they prevailed over Michigan State last season. The Cornhuskers earned a tight 9-6 victory in snowy and chilly conditions.

Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan is having a great season, but he’s already been sacked 16 times. Nebraska’s defensive line has been solid this year with 16 sacks of their own. They can win this game by making big-time plays and creating all kinds of chaos in the backfield.

Bet on Nebraska

The Cornhusker offense is due for a big game. Minnesota’s defense is giving up 27.2 points per game, and that includes surrendering over 20 points to poor South Dakota State and Georgia Southern teams.

Martinez has been inconsistent this season, and I think the pressure from Vedral’s strong play leads to the starting QB having his biggest game of the season. If he’s in the lineup, I like the Cornhuskers chances.

Pick: Nebraska (+240)

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