College Football Week 5 Picks

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TwinSpires Staff

September 27th, 2018

This is a huge week for the top teams in college football. Clemson has a new starter, West Virginia is marching up the standings and Texas has cracked the rankings for the first time in years. Check out my 12 favorite College Football Week 5 picks! All games take place Saturday with lines subject to change.

#12 West Virginia Mountaineers -3.5 at Texas Tech Red Raiders Tough to look past the Red Raiders after the line opened at WVU -6.0 only to shrink to WVU -3.5. Are the Red Raiders good enough to stay close to West Virginia? Both teams have been deft against the spread, going a combined 6-1 ATS in seven games. A lot of the focus here will be on West Virginia's Will Grier, an outsider to win the Heisman. But he'll have to keep up with the top offense in the country. Texas Tech has averaged 621 yards per game, and are scoring 52.0 on average while allowing just 28.2. I'll take the points, sit back and enjoy this shootout.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Texas Tech +3.5

Syracuse Orange at  #3 Clemson Tigers -25.5 Syracuse has been a betting darling, storming out to a 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS record to begin the season. But there's palpable excitement regarding Trevor Lawrence, the new freshman sensation who will start at quarterback for Clemson. The Tigers have struggled to cover all season, but Lawerence is a much more explosive passer who is capable of turning the Tigers in to a juggernaut. Let's also not pretend like the Tigers don't remember what happened last year, when they lost 24-27 to Syracuse. It's time for revenge with a new leader under center.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Clemson -25.5

Tennessee Volunteers at #2 Georgia Bulldogs -31.5 Georgia’s only 2-2 ATS and haven't performed well against larger spreads, which means that the Volunteers should have a chance to keep this one closer than the -31.5 spread. But that's lofty thinking. The Volunteers are just 1-3 ATS this season and are reeling after a tough home loss to Florida.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Georgia -31.5

#22 Texas Longhorns -8.5 at Kansas State Wildcats Quietly sneaking back into the Top 25, the Texas Longhorns have gone 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS since the 29-34 loss to Maryland in Week 1. Kansas State always fights at home, but Texas’ defense held USC to 14 points in a big win and limited TCU to only 16 points in an even bigger win. Texas rolls.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Texas -8.5  

#15 Michigan Wolverines -14 at Northwestern Wildcats Michigan has a shot to climb further up the rankings by beating a Big Ten rival on the road in Week 5. Although Northwestern has had some good teams in the past, this isn’t one of them. The 34-39 loss to Akron at home in Week 2 tells us everything we need to know about how good this Northwestern team is. Michigan should win this by 30 points.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Michigan -14

Florida Gators at #19 Mississippi State Bulldogs -7.5 This line already already came down by a point and a half after Mississippi State embarrassed themselves against Kentucky. The Gators are coming off two wins where they scored 40+ points, so taking the points here feels like a gift. The Bulldogs are in for a steep fall from grace.

College Football Week 5 Picks:Florida +7.5

#24 Virginia Tech Hokies at #23 Duke Blue Devils -5 Tech obviously overlooked Old Dominion in the 35-49 loss, the most shocking this season. But, that doesn’t mean the Hokies bounce back with a solid effort against Duke like most college football handicappers believe they will. The line has been creeping away from Duke all week. Do we believe the early money or late money? I’m inclined to go with the late money.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Duke -5

#7 Stanford Cardinal at #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish -5.5 The line in Stanford at Notre Dame climbed 2 points after odds makers set the Irish as a -3.5 favorite. Stanford’s not 5.5 points worse than Notre Dame. The fact that the Cardinal are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 versus a team with a winning record only bolsters my conclusion. This one will be tight, but Notre Dame's public appeal and their home field advantage are inflating this line a bit too much.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Stanford +5.5

South Carolina Gamecocks at #17 Kentucky Wildcats -1.5 Kentucky simply feels like the hottest team in the country right now. There's a bit of letdown potential after they vanquished the ghosts of their past when they throttled Mississippi State, but it's hard to convince myself that South Carolina has a lot of potential here. The line has shifted all over the place, but it's still tight enough to warrant a play on the home team.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Kentucky -1.5

#4 Ohio State Buckeyes -3.5 at #9 Penn State Nittany Lions The most telling line in this game is the insanely bloated over of 70.5 points. This is going to be an incredible duel between Dwayne Haskins and Trace McSorley, a pair of Heisman hopefuls. The Buckeyes have owned this matchup the last five years, going 4-1 SU but the Nittany Lions are 3-2 ATS over that same stretch. Penn State will have some chances to really damage the scoreboard here, especially with Nick Bosa sidelined. This game is huge, and big games demand big choices so I'm taking Penn State to win straight up. After nearly losing to Appalachian State to open the season, Penn State has rocked their opponents. Ohio State will have their hands full. McSorley and the Lions are the highest scoring offense in the country with a blistering 55.0 points per game.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Penn State ML

Ole Miss Rebels at #6 LSU Tigers -10.5 Ole Miss could push the LSU Tigers in this because the Rebels average 42 points per game and that average includes only scoring 7 versus Alabama (it also includes them dropping 76 points against SIU). Trends go both ways in this game but the one that sticks out to me is Ole Miss going 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings at LSU. I’m taking the points.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Ole Miss +10.5

#20 Oregon Ducks -3 at California Golden Bears Stanford’s incredible 38-31 overtime rally to beat the Oregon Ducks in Week 4 shouldn’t have surprised any of us because the Ducks were 0-3 ATS before that game. Now 0-4 ATS on the season, the Ducks face a Cal team that beat BYU 21-18 and allows less than 20 points per game on average. Most of the action is leaning hard towards Oregon, and Justin Herbert is a definitive reason to back the Ducks, but I'm going the other way.

College Football Week 5 Picks: Cal ML

-by DS Williamson