While my underdogs were good in week 9, my favorites failed me in college football. It was a rare week of below .500 handicapping, but this week offers some solid matchups to exploit.
Here's the week 10 college football picks featuring the three best underdogs that will cover the spread.
Overall: 34-20 ATS
Underdogs: 18-9 ATS
Syracuse (+4.5) at Florida State
It's tough to judge these kinds of games, featuring a team that is supposed to be far more talented than the other. Out of all the variables, I do know one thing — the Orange are going to play hard and keep this within one score.
Of Syracuse's four losses, only one has not been within one score and that was a nine-point loss at LSU. The Orange could make an argument for one of the toughest schedules in the nation, already facing Clemson, North Carolina State, LSU and Miami.
The Orange are 1-3 against that competition, but they battle in those games and that should help them against a lifeless Florida State team.
While Syracuse has shown fight, the Seminoles have given up on the season. Florida State is just 2-6 this year, with two consecutive losses to Louisville and Boston College.
Both teams struggle to move the ball consistently, so this game will come down to defense and the will to win. Right now, Syracuse wins in both of those categories and should keep this game close. — Go Against The Chalk with Syracuse
Oklahoma (+3) at Oklahoma State
Is Oklahoma State's defense really that much improved? The Cowboys looked good against Texas and Baylor on defense, but reverted back to their old selves against West Virginia, Texas Tech and TCU.
And while Oklahoma's defense has been leaky several times this season, they seem to make stops when necessary.
The reason why I like the Sooners more is the consistency on offense. Oklahoma State hasn't always been a juggernaut on that side of the ball this season. Oklahoma has, including a win at Ohio State.
The Sooners register 8.1 yards per play on offense, the best mark in college football this season, even better than Oklahoma State's 7.4 yards per play. In the last three games, that disparity has grown even more, with the Cowboys going for just 6.5 yards per play, and the Sooners going for 7.6 yards per play.
This will be close, but the Sooners still have a talent advantage. I trust Oklahoma's offense more and the defense's ability to make a stop when necessary. — Go Against The Chalk with Oklahoma
Maryland at Rutgers (+2)
This game means more to Rutgers. And in college football, that matters.
The Scarlet Knights haven't been somewhat relevant for years. With three wins and a possibility at a bowl game in November, I expect Rutgers to win this one outright.
The Terrapins don't do much on the defensive side of the ball, which lines up perfectly for the Scarlet Knights, which can't move the ball well. Rutgers stays in games by keeping the ball away from the opposition. Maryland just so happens to have the worst third-down percentage in the Big 10, which should give Rutgers opportunities at playing keep-away.
The Scarlet Knights have enough on defense to keep Maryland frustrated. This will be close, but I expect Rutgers to pull out the win. — Go Against The Chalk with Rutgers
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH