College Football Week 5 Predictions

Last week: 9-11
Year to date: 38-41-1

Still under .500. I only made 3 real bets this week. I bet two units on Kansas State (-14), one unit on Kansas State money line, and one unit on Arizona (+24). I’ll call that a tiny, but very successful, little week.

Less talking, less thinking, more gut. That’s my new motto.

Thursday, September 27

Stanford (-7) @ Washington

I’m a big Keith Price fan, and the Huskies are usually pretty solid at home, but they have a banged up offensive line and that Cardinal defense will take advantage of that. I guess you could make the argument that this is a trap game, but they’ll have had a few weeks off to forget about their big win and focus on the schedule ahead of them.

Saturday, September 29

Ole Miss @ Alabama (-31) 

31 is a lot for any team – even Bama – to be favored in the SEC, but they haven’t won a game by less than this margin. Ole Miss’ defense isn’t very good, and their QB Bo Wallace will be playing his first ever SEC game. Expecting him to do really anything against Alabama in Alabama is a bit much to ask for. Still, I can’t get passed that 31 point number, even though Alabama has just been steamrolling every one.

Oregon (-28.5) @ Washington State

Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense has led to a lot of passing yards (313.8 a game) but not a lot of points, even against sub par competition (91st in scoring). I thought Arizona’s offense was good enough to score some points on Oregon, and I was wrong. A lot of that was turnover-related, but WSU is plenty prone to those as well. Oregon rolls again, BIG.

Florida State (-17) @ South Florida

You would figure by now that BJ Daniels would have taken the next step as a red shirt senior with 4 years of starting experience. That hasn’t quite happened. His TD numbers are up, but he’s still turnover prone and his completion percentage is quite shaky. Florida State’s supposed all-world defense (and I actually do think it is) was exposed last week, but USF doesn’t have a fraction of the offensive talent Clemson has. There’s no imminent danger on the horizons for the Seminoles, so I don’t see this being a “trap game” either. Too much offense and too much defense for this Big East foe.

Tennessee @ Georgia (-13.5)

I have picked every favorite to cover so far (edit: I have switched my Alabama pick), and that’s not changing. Suspended defensive starters Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree are expected to return on Saturday, and the additions figure to help the nation’s 30th best defense get even a little better. Tennessee’s defense has struggled itself to stop the big play this season, and Georgia figures to have the personnel to bust open a few big ones themselves. Georgia should be able to get pressure on Tyler Bray, and doing so should effectively slow the Vol attack.

South Carolina (-21) @ Kentucky

Now this could be a “trap game”. It’s been smooth sailing for the Gamecocks, but the three weeks after this give them a home game against Georiga, then road contests against LSU and Florida. That’s a brutal 3 game stretch. It really comes down to whether or not Kentucky QB Maxwell Smith can play in terms of covering. If he plays, I think they could keep it close enough. If he doesn’t, they have no shot at doing anything on offense, even if South Carolina is looking totally past them.

Baylor @ West Virginia (-13)

I think it’s about time to take an underdog. I really have no idea how good Baylor is or is not, but they have a real nice pass attack and a much better run game than WVU. Defensively we’ll find out how good they really are, but they will be able to score on WVU.

Texas(-2.5) @ Oklahoma State 

Texas RB Malcolm Brown

Texas plays defense, OK State does not. It will be rowdy in Stillwater, and that might pose problems, but I like Texas here. Ash has had a great start, especially in terms of ball protection, but he’ll be tested just a bit more on Saturday. I still don’t think this Pokes defense can do enough. And Malcolm Brown is a tank.

Ohio State @ Michigan State (-3) 

The over/under for this is 43.5, I would take the under on that in a heartbeat.  I’m still very reluctant about MSU’s offense, but their defense, Le’Veon Bell and the homefield advantage are enough to convince me that they can handle an inconsistent and flawed OSU team. The Spartan defense is easily one of the best in all of the country, and so long as they contain Braxton Miller somewhat effectively, I think they can stop that offense more often than not. The MSU front seven is very strong against the run, and if they can force Miller to have to throw it more than normal, they should have a wildly successful night.

TCU (-16.5) @ Southern Methodist

Southern Methodist has a horrific defense and very little offensive firepower. TCU should roll all over them, much like A&M and Baylor did.

Clemson (-9.5) @ Boston College

Important bounce back game for the Tigers, and I think they’ll be focused, even with GT and VT on deck. Too much firepower on that team for BC to handle.

Oregon State @ Arizona (-2.5)

Arizona snaps OSU’s 5 game win streak in Tuscon. Too much firepower (even though the Ducks shut them out).

Louisville (-2.5) @ Southern Miss

This line confuses me. Maybe I’m missing something? Yes, USM isn’t as bad as their 0-3 record suggests, and even though this game is out of conference, it’s too important for a 4-0 team like Louisville to take lightly. Louisville’s defense is really good, and USM’s offense can’t move the ball. Sounds like a pretty simple win for the Cardinals.

Wisconsin @ Nebraska (-13)

I really have no idea about this one. I’m leaning towards taking Nebraska to cover, but I’m much more comfortable playing the under 50.5. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

Boise State (-26.5) @ New Mexico

Boise should roll, but I feel safer taking the points and the home team. The Boise offense has struggled against much superior talent than they’ll face this week, but I still think it’s noteworthy. The Boise teams from recent memory would rout New Mexico, but this team doesn’t quite have that same ability for destruction.

North Carolina State @ Miami (-3)

Miami is coming off a tough, emotionally exhausting and hard-fought win against Georgia Tech. I’m not sure they’ll necessarily be overlooking NCST, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they can’t tap into the same sources they did last week to dog out a win here. They also have a huge nationally televised game next week against Notre Dame, something that’s certainly in the back of their minds.

Virginia Tech(-7) @ Cincinnati 

Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas is high on many draft boards, but hasn’t quite lived up to expectations

This will be played at FedEx stadium in Maryland, so it’s likely (certain) that VT will have more fans in attendance. I would take the Bearcats if it were being played in Cincinnati, but with such a young team and many players making their first roadtrip in their careers, I can’t see how they bring forth their best effort. They really impressed me against Pitt a few weeks back, but much of that was flukish. Virginia Tech is a more talented team, a team that can’t afford another loss, and probably will have the crowd on it’s side – even if the logos on the field say “Bearcats”.

Arizona State @ California (-2.5)

I love the trio of Zach Maynard, Isi Sofele and Keenan Allen, but it just hasn’t been translating into wins. Their schedule has been rough however, and ASU is not a great road team. Cal can’t afford to lose this one, and even though the ASU defense has been impressive, they’ll find a way to get scores. I like them at home.

Minnesota @ Iowa (-7.5)

How is a team that has shown a complete inability to score a touchdown favorite over a 4-0 team with probably more talent? This Gopher defense is pretty solid, and certainly the team as a whole is much improved from last year.

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