Week 5 of the college football season features four clashes between teams ranked in the latest AP Top 25.
The SEC has a pair of hit games this weekend. No.2 Georgia meets No.8 Arkansas at noon in an unexpected top-10 showdown. Alabama’s No.1 hosts No.12 Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. ET in Nick Saban’s final installment against Lane Kiffin.
It’s in the same window as another top-10 showdown between No.7 Cincinnati and No.9 Notre Dame, a game with huge implications for the college football playoffs. Surprise Big 12 undefeated No.19 Oklahoma State and No.21 Baylor meet in prime time.
It’s the busiest weekend of the season so far and a chance to improve our record against the spread:
- Directly: 61-14 (17-3 in week 4)
- Against the spread: 32-43 (9-11 in week 4)
- Upheavals: 4-1 (1-0 in week 4)
With that in mind, a look at this week’s picks:
Week 5 chooses against the spread
Friday October 1
No. 5 Iowa (-3.5) at Maryland (8 p.m., FS1)
Taulia Tagovailoa led the Terps to a surprising 4-0 start, and they won the last home game against the Hawkeyes in 2014. Iowa, however, has not allowed more than 17 points in a game this season. . It’s more (48.5) is tantalizing, too.
To take: Iowa wins 31-26 and covers the gap.
No. 13 BYU (-8.5) at Utah State (9 p.m., CBSSN)
Jaren Hall (ribs) could return this week, but Baylor Romney has proven to be a capable backup against South Florida. The Cougars are 0-2 ATS as a favorite this season, and the Aggies have been in some cries. Utah State can also be loose with football.
To take: BYU wins 35-23 and covers the gap.
Saturday October 2
No.8 Arkansas vs. No.2 Georgia (-18.5) (12pm, ESPN)
The Bulldogs are 3-1 ATS this season and have allowed just 23 points. The Razorbacks are 4-0 ATS, and that includes two covers as an underdog. Georgia trailed Arkansas 7-5 at halftime last season before the Bulldogs opened the game. We think Arkansas can compete for four quarters in this one, even if it’s from a distance.
To take: Georgia wins 30-13 but does not cover the gap.
# 14 Michigan in Wisconsin (-0.5) (12h, FOX)
He’s a pick-em, and with good reason. Wisconsin suffered two losses and struggled in the passing game, but their run defense will put Michigan to the test. The Wolverines haven’t won at Wisconsin since 2001. Michigan are 0-12 S / U as an underdog under Jim Harbaugh since 2015. They break the streak in a strike.
To take: Michigan wins 23-20 in a UPSET.
Louisville at # 24 Wake Forest (-6.5) (12:30 p.m.)
The Demon Deacons are ranked, but the Cardinals have rebounded well after the season opener loss to Ole Miss. Malik Cunningham made the difference with another exceptional performance for the Cards on the road.
To take: Louisville wins 34-31 in a UPDATE.
No. 7 Cincinnati (-2.5) at No. 9 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m. NBC)
The Bearcats have the opportunity to claim a huge win on the road, and they will challenge the Irish with the combination of Desmond Ridder and Jerome Ford. The Irish, however, broke in the fourth quarter against Wisconsin and will again play an underdog.
To take: Notre Dame wins 27-24 in a UPSET.
UL-Monroe at Coastal Carolina # 16 (-34.5) (2:30 p.m., ESPN +)
If the Bearcats lose, then the Chanticleers will become the darling of the Group of 5. Coastal Carolina has been favored by double digits in every game, and they are 3-1 ATS. The Warhawks are 3-0 S / U in this series.
To take: Coastal Carolina wins 48-17 but does not cover the gap.
No. 12 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama (-14.5) (3:30 p.m., CBS)
The line didn’t move much and Ole Miss had an extra week to prepare for the Crimson Tide. This shootout between Bryce Young and Matt Corral should be fun. The Crimson Tides are 9-3 ATS with a disadvantage at rest in the CFP era, but we think a half-point hook is enough to take Ole Miss.
To take: Alabama wins 44-33 but does not cover the gap.
Oregon No.3 (-8.5) at Stanford (3:30 p.m., ABC)
It was the big Pac-12 game. The Cardinal was a random team, so the line jumped two points. It’s Oregon’s first game as a single-digit favorite, and they capitalize on it with another road victory.
To take: Oregon wins 31-20 and covers the gap.
No. 6 Oklahoma (-10.5) at Kansas State (3:30 p.m., FOX)
The Wildcats have won the last two games, and Oklahoma’s offense has remained neutral for the past two weeks. K-State just lost to Oklahoma State, but the Wildcats are 6-2 ATS as a home underdog under Chris Klieman.
To take: Oklahoma wins 33-24 but does not cover the spread.
No. 11 Ohio State (-15.5) at Rutgers (3:30 p.m., BTN)
The Buckeyes are second in the FBS with 559.3 yards per game, and the defense rebounded with eight sacks against Akron. Rutgers are an improved team under Greg Schiano, but the Scarlet Knights’ closest loss to the Buckeyes since joining the Big Ten is 22 points. Ohio State makes a statement to the rest of the Big Ten East.
To take: Ohio State wins 45-17 and covers the gap.
# 10 Florida (-8.5) at Kentucky (6 p.m., ESPN)
Kentucky are 4-0 and will try to beat the Gators at Lexington for the first time since 1986. The Gators are 1-2 ATS as favorites this season, but this is the first spread. single digit. The Florida defense made a difference late, and the Wildcats lost another heartbreak at home.
To take: Florida wins 28-24 but does not cover the gap.
Louisiana Tech at No.23 NC State (-19.5) (6 p.m., ESPN +)
NC State coach Dave Doeren will have to guard against the hangover game after beating Clemson, and it’s going to be tough. Louisiana Tech lost to Mississippi State and SMU by a combined three points. Take these points.
To take: NC State wins 30-20 but does not cover the spread.
Mississippi State at No.15 Texas A&M (-8.5) (7 p.m., SECN)
Mississippi State lost a pair of broken hearts to Memphis and LSU, and now they travel to face a team of Aggies looking to bounce back from a loss to Arkansas. Texas A&M has won the last two meetings convincingly, but it feels like aerial combat given the inconsistent infractions.
To take: Texas A&M wins 29-23 but fails to cover the spread.
No. 21 Baylor to No. 19 Oklahoma State (-3.5) (7 p.m., ESPN2)
Surprise Big 12 undefeated prime time games. The Bears lead the Big 12 with 273.3 rushing yards per game, and they’ll be motivated after losing 42-3 to the Cowboys last season. We always trust the home team in a coin toss game. Oklahoma State has won three one-scoring games this year. Make four.
To take: Oklahoma State wins 30-23 to cover the spread.
Indiana at No.4 in Penn State (-10.5) (7:30 p.m., ABC)
The Hoosiers beat Penn State in a 36-35 thriller last season, and it’s likely no one in Happy Valley has forgotten that. Indiana is entering a brutal part of the schedule, and it’s just not the same team as last year.
To take: Penn State wins 34-17 and covers the spread.
Western Kentucky at Michigan State No.17 (-9.5) (7:30 p.m., BTN)
Michigan State continues to surprise with running back Kenneth Walker III, and that line looks weak. The Hilltoppers are 3-0 ATS, but the defense is allowing for 224.7 rushing yards per game. The Spartans roll with that.
To take: Michigan State wins 35-20 and covers the gap.
Boston College at No. 25 Clemson (-15.5) (7:30 p.m., ACCN)
The Tigers are 0-4 ATS but remain double-digit favorites against Boston College, a team that had a double-digit lead over the Tigers at halftime last season. Boston College is 4-0 and will come to play with a lot of confidence. Everyone at ACC thinks they have a chance on Clemson until the Tigers blow someone up. We will have to wait another week.
To take: Clemson wins 31-24 but does not cover the gap.
# 22 Auburn at LSU (-3.5) (9 p.m., ESPN)
Auburn has to go through a trip to Death Valley at night, and it’s a place they haven’t won since 1999. It’s a lot of history to overcome, and LSU has picked up the pieces since the Week 2 loss. at UCLA. Who did Auburn’s program again?
To take: LSU wins 27-20 and covers the gap.
Arizona State at # 20 UCLA (-3.5) (10:30 p.m., FS1)
The Bruins have won the last two games, and it’s a game that could determine the winner of the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils have the best defense in the Pac-12, however, and Jayden Daniels learns of the loss at BYU. Stay late for this one. It will be worth it.
To take: Arizona State wins 31-30 in a UPSET.
No. 18 Fresno State (-10.5) at Hawaii (11 p.m., CBSSN)
The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS, and Jake Haener continues to garner more attention with every win. Hawaii has committed 11 turnovers this season and one assists attack. Fresno State crowns a fun week with late coverage.
To take: Fresno State wins 36-22 to cover the gap.