10 Best College Football Predictions Against The Spread Week 5


10 best predictions for the big Saturday of college football. What games appear to be the best bets and best picks for the Week 5 games?

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Results So Far: 33-17-1

I'm just going to warn you, everything about this week's 10 best college football picks against the spread are ugly.

There are several problems with Week 5. It starts with not actually picking enough games against the spread.

I promise, next week I'll force myself to go with more games purely against the spread instead of all the point total selections among these ten.

I'm trying to do the world a solid. I can't unsee the vision for winning college football picks - or maybe it's the psychotic lack of REM sleep only a month in. There actually is a reason for going with more point total picks, though.

Unlike all the lopsided non-conference matchups early in the year, the games are a bit more even overall now that we're in conference play. In this bizarre season, everything went screwy last week and that's probably not going to change.

Teams are more tuned up now. Some have settled in, some have gone off the rails, and some - like USC - all of a sudden forget how to score. This is all taken into account.

And then there's the real ugly and sad part about this week's picks: catastrophic weather.

Please forgive just how gross it is to analyze college football spreads in relation to the human suffering and misery going on in Florida and other parts of the country right now.

So with all that …

Click on each game for the preview

10. Ohio at Kent State


I don't normally go over on super-high point totals, and it's a leap of faith here these two will all of a sudden going to show who they really are, but if this goes like it should, buckle up.

The Ohio defense has decided not to show up so far. It got hit by Florida Atlantic for 38 points, got rocked by Penn State and Iowa State, and last week got into a wild 59-52 shootout win with Fordham. Now comes the educated guess part …

Kent State's offense is about to show what it can do.

At Washington, at Oklahoma, at Georgia. It was tough for the Golden Flashes to do too much against those three, and the problem with the over could be that the defense wasn't totally miserable against them.

Nah. Ohio doesn't play any D, QB Kurtis Rourke is bombing away, and this should be easily played in the 30s for both sides.

9. Navy at Air Force


Army vs Air Force - that's when you go under no matter what (I'll show why when the time comes). On this …

I will admit to hesitating a little bit when this went up from 37.5, but whatever. Air Force might take care of the 38.5 all by itself.

The Navy defense hasn't been all that awful, but the 37-13 loss to East Carolina blew past 38.5 and so did last week's 23-20 win over East Carolina. That's fine. Any points the Midshipmen can provide will help the cause.

Air Force was missing parts and lost to Wyoming 17-14 in a weird Friday night road game. Other than that it hit 41 points in each of the other three games.

8. LSU at Auburn


What, exactly, has Auburn done so far to give you any confidence that it can score?

Oh sure, we all had a good time with the 42 it put on Mercer to open the season, but it struggled in the 24-16 home win over San Jose State, delighted a nation with the 12 it scored against Penn State, and needed overtime to get to 17 against Missouri last week.

LSU QB Jayden Daniels is expected to go, and there's reason to be nervous that LSU might throw 30ish on the board to make this close.

Night game, jacked up crowd, Auburn's defense hasn't been that bad …

This has the feel of an SEC Saturday night battle.


College Football Expert Picks, Predictions: Week 5

7. Indiana at Nebraska


It was a 50/50 call on which Enough is Enough team I was going to go with. I couldn't bring myself to go with Colorado finally coming up with a decent performance when it plays Arizona, but I do like this.

Nebraska is a team that needed a week off, and the break should work wonders before the home game against IU.

That, and the Indiana defense showed itself over the last two weeks.

Nebraska's offense couldn't get going against Oklahoma, but the 49-14 game went over 61. In this, Indiana's offense will help do its part.

The Hoosiers can throw, the Nebraska defense can't too anything against the run, and it should all add up to high-20s/low-30s in points from the road team.

Again, it's the IU defense that makes this the play. It couldn't stop Cincinnati QB Ben Bryant, it struggled against a WKU attack that's a shadow of its 2021 self, and now it's about to give up at least mid-30s to the rested Nebraska O.

And now, again, all forgiveness for trying to figure out this …

6. NC State at Clemson


I tweeted out early in the week to give this a good, hard look because the total didn't change after the forecast shifted, and it still hasn't.

It opened at 46, went down when it seemed like Clemson was going to get hit with windy and rainy conditions, and over the last 24 hours or so the situation went from sure-thing problems to the low-50s, little wind, and a slight chance of rain.

Now, this game could be played in my kitchen and these two defenses could still show up large and keep the score low. However, 43 just isn't that hard to hit considering Clemson is averaging 44 points per game.

Granted, the NC State defense has been a brick wall, and Clemson is loaded with NFL guys up on the D front, but again, the total is few points shy where it probably should be.

Speaking of Clemson and high-powered ACC shootouts (jump to the No. 1 pick) …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against the Spread No. 5: Arizona State at USC

5. Arizona State at USC

LINE USC -25.5

You think the struggles against Oregon State last week - a 17-14 Trojan win - are going to slow down the USC To The College Football Playoff Party Bus I've been driving over the last six months?

Well, yeah, they did. However, that doesn't mean it's coming to a complete stop, especially now that it's back home.

USC still has yet to turn the ball over, the defense has forced 15 takeaways in four games, and I'm not sold that Arizona State is all of a sudden going to settle in and start playing well two weeks after the coaching change.

This is a very, very prideful USC team. It seems to get it that there's a ton of work to do, and it helps that it's playing someone that can't take advantage of the concerns.

Everyone is running well on the Trojan front. Arizona State ran for six yards last week against Utah.

Arizona State isn't generating a lick of pressure - just two sacks in four games - the USC offense that hit 41 points in each of the three games before Oregon State should crank it all back up with a good balance, and …

The bus rolls on.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against the Spread No. 4: Washington at UCLA

4. Washington at UCLA

LINE Washington -3
ATS PICK Washington

As a colleague said to me last week, "never underestimate the ability of UCLA to underwhelm."

I didn't buy it, it was my No. 1 against the spread pick last week against Colorado, and all was right with the world.

However, the South Alabama game should've been a Bruin loss. All turned out fine against Bowling Green, but the start was shaky, and beating Alabama State was, well, beating Alabama State.

The team is playing well, though. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is hitting 73% of his throws, the running game is solid, and the defense is taking the ball away.

Yeah, all that, and it's 4-0 against a schedule full of lukewarm oatmeal.

Not that South Alabama isn't a good Sun Belt team, but when that's your best win - yeah, over the trip to Colorado - it's not inspiring.

Meanwhile, Washington rolled right through Michigan State and Stanford without a problem, it's all clicking, and in a lot of ways this has been one of the most impressive all-around teams in the country over the first month of the season.

So what's the problem? It's UW's first road game, and it feels like UCLA is overdue for one of those rise-up-and-rock performances it sometimes has under Chip Kelly, and …

Nah. If Washington plays like it did over the last few games, the three isn't a problem.

Oh yeah, and it also rolled 45-20 over Kent State, which is apparently the second coming of 1995 Nebraska after last week …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 3 Georgia at Missouri

3. Georgia at Missouri

LINE Georgia -28.5
ATS PICK Georgia

I couldn't believe the insanity that flowed from normally smart people after Georgia's 39-22 win over Kent State.

All of a sudden, Georgia was vulnerable.

All of a sudden, we have to reassess what we think of this team and its start to the season.

All of a sudden, Georgia doesn't appear to be the No. 1 team in college football, it has issues that need fixing, and on, and on, and on.

At no time were the Bulldogs in any real danger against the Golden Flashes.

It was a true unfocused letdown game that still turned into a 17-point win, and yet everyone suddenly forgot about the total annihilation of a strong Oregon team and the beatdown of South Carolina on the road to kick off the SEC slate.

But this is also about Missouri.

The Tigers played two decent teams so far. They got run out of Manhattan by Adrian Martinez and Kansas State in a 40-12 loss, and they lost in overtime against a punchless Auburn team 17-14.

Even if RB Nathaniel Peat had hung on to the ball across the goal line for the win, whatever.

The passing game didn't really work against K-State or Auburn, and now it's going to find itself and start winging it around against this team?

Go with this. Do you think Georgia will come close to hitting its average of 42 points or not? If so, then what are we doing here?

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 2 Michigan at Iowa

2. Michigan at Iowa

LINE Michigan -10.5
ATS PICK Michigan

You buying into all the fretting about the "Iowa is where top five teams go to die" thing?

Maybe you're freaking out a bit after Michigan struggled to get by Maryland last week.

Maybe you think the real Iowa is about to suddenly show up, come up with five takeaways, and Rob Houghtlin its way into a 12-10 upset over the Wolverines?

Maybe it's because Jim Harbaugh's 9-0 2016 team went into Iowa City and lost 14-13.

Maybe it's because it's the first road game of the year for Michigan, or maybe it's because the Iowa defense has allowed just 23 points in four games, or …

Maybe it's because the spread is a wee bit off.

Yes, Iowa has a killer defense. However, who did it stop? South Dakota State. It held Iowa State to ten points in a monsoon, it stopped Nevada 27-0 in a rain delay game that took all night, and it held the high-powered Rutgers attack under wraps in a 27-10 win.

The defense will do its part. It's not going to let this game get too out of hand, but remember, Michigan plays defense, too.

Iowa is still dead last in the nation in total offense. It's got no passing game, the ground attack is barely averaging 100 yards per outing, and no one in college football has come up with few first downs.

I'm actually not joking here - it's possible Michigan wins this game 11-0.

While we're on the topic of weather, all indications are that it'll be close to perfect out on Saturday - no crazy storms like there were for the first few Hawkeye games this season.

No, this won't be 42-3 like the 2021 Big Ten Championship. However, it's okay to think Michigan might really be that good again.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 1 Wake Forest at Florida State

1. Wake Forest at Florida State


Like the Clemson-NC State game, this is another one with a total that started higher, dropped after the threat of hurricane conditions early in the week, and then never moved back up.

There was talk of moving the game to Winston-Salem after it was originally feared that Tallahassee would be in the direct path of Hurricane Ian.

It was so scary early in the week that Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson said he wasn't going to bring his team down if there was any possible danger.

Classes stopped, the city started to buckle up, and then, fortunately - at least for that region of Florida - the storm went a different direction. Now it's supposed to in the 80s and sunny on Saturday afternoon.

But let's just say the weather had nothing to do with anything. The Wake Forest vs Florida State total should probably be in the mid-70s.

Let me put it this way. The Wake Forest-Vanderbilt game got to 70.

Let me put it another way. The Wake Forest-VMI game got to 64.

Let me put another way. The Wake Forest-Liberty game got to 73.

Let me put it another way. The Wake Forest-Clemson game got to 96.

Let me put it another way. Florida State QB Jordan Travis has been dealing so far. He's okay after the injury suffered against Louisville a few weeks ago, he cranked up 321 yards in the 44-14 win over Boston College, and the team is poised for another shootout.

So what's the problem? Why isn't this point total in the stratosphere?

The Florida State defense isn't bad. It held down Louisville, and that point total only got to 66. The point total in the LSU game only got to 47.

Maybe it's the 35-14 Wake Forest win over FSU last year, or the 22-20 win in 2019, or the FSU 38-17 win in 2018, or the 26-19 game in 2017, or the 17-6 game of 2016, or …

You get the idea. If you're a historical precedent type, stay away.

If you've seen how these two offenses are rolling, here you go.

Expert Picks
Week 5: College Week 4: NFL
Week 5 Game Previews 
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

Story originally appeared on College Football News


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