Week 5 of the college football season features four matchups between teams ranked in the latest AP Top 25.
The SEC has a couple of very successful matchups this weekend. No. 2 Georgia meets No. 8 Arkansas at 12 pm in an unexpected top-10 showdown. No. 1 Alabama welcomes No. 12 Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. ET in the latest installment of Nick Saban vs. Lane Kiffin.
That’s in the same window as another top-10 showdown between No. 7 Cincinnati and No. 9 Notre Dame, a game with huge college football playoff implications. Surprise The 12 undefeated No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 21 Baylor meet in primetime.
BENDER: Georgia climbs to No. 1 in playoff photo | Conclusions from week 4
This is the busiest weekend of the season so far and a chance to improve our record against the spread:
- Directly up: 61-14 (17-3 at week 4)
- Against the spread: 32-43 (9-11 at week 4)
- Inconvenience: 4-1 (1-0 in week 4)
With that in mind, a look at this week’s picks:
Week 5 Picks Against Spread
Friday October 1
No. 5 Iowa (-3.5) at Maryland (8 p.m., FS1)
Taulia Tagovailoa has 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. That above (48.5) is also tempting.
Choose: Iowa wins 31-26 and COVERS the spread.
No. 13 BYU (-8.5) in Utah (9 p.m., CBSSN)
Jaren Hall (ribs) could return this week, but Baylor Romney proved to be a capable backup against South Florida. The Cougars are 0-2 ATS as favorites this season, and the Aggies have been in for some screaming. The state of Utah can also be on the loose with soccer.
Choose: BYU wins 35-23 and COVERS the spread.
Saturday 2nd October
No. 8 Arkansas at No. 2 Georgia (-18.5) (12 p.m., 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 at a distance.
Choose: Georgia wins 30-13 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 14 Michigan at Wisconsin (-0.5) (12 p.m., FOX)
It’s a pick-em, and for good reason. Wisconsin has two losses and has struggled in the passing game, but its running defense will put Michigan to the test. The Wolverines haven’t won at Wisconsin since 2001. Michigan is 0-12 S / U as an underdog to Jim Harbaugh since 2015. They break the streak on a losing streak.
Choose: Michigan wins 23-20 in a UPSET.
Louisville at No. 24 Wake Forest (-6.5) (12:30 pm)
The Demon Deacons are through, but the Cardinals have recovered very well from their season-opener loss to Ole Miss. Malik Cunningham sets the difference with another standout performance from the Cards along the way.
Choose: Louisville wins 34-31 in a TURN.
No. 7 Cincinnati (-2.5) at No. 9 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m. NBC)
The Bearcats have a shot at a big victory on the road and will challenge the Irish with the combination of Desmond Ridder and Jerome Ford. However, the Irish erupted in the fourth quarter against Wisconsin and will play as the losers again.
Choose: Notre Dame wins 27-24 in a TURN.
UL-Monroe at No. 16 Coastal Carolina (-34.5) (2:30 pm, ESPN +)
If the Bearcats lose, then the Chanticleers will become the favorite in 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.
Choose: Coastal Carolina wins 48-17 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 12 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama (-14.5) (3:30 pm, CBS)
The line hasn’t moved much, and Ole Miss had an extra week to prepare for Crimson Tide. This shootout between Bryce Young and Matt Corral should be fun. The Crimson Tide are 9-3 ATS with a rest disadvantage in the CFP era, but we think the half-point hook is enough to take Ole Miss out.
Choose: Alabama wins 44-33 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 3 Oregon (-8.5) at Stanford (3:30 pm, ABC)
This used to be the big game on the Pac-12. The Cardinal have been a hit or miss team, and the line has jumped two points as a result. This is Oregon’s first game as a single-digit favorite, and they build on it with another victory on the road.
Choose: Oregon wins 31-20 and COVERS the spread.
No. 6 Oklahoma (-10.5) at Kansas State (3:30 pm, FOX)
The Wildcats have won the last two games and Oklahoma’s offense has been stuck in neutral for the past two weeks. K-State is coming off a loss to Oklahoma State, but the Wildcats are 6-2 ATS as a local underdog under Chris Klieman.
Choose: Oklahoma wins 33-24 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 11 Ohio State (-15.5) at Rutgers (3:30 pm, BTN)
The Buckeyes are second in the FBS with 559.3 yards per game, and the defense rebounded with eight sacks against Akron. Rutgers is an improved team under Greg Schiano, but the Scarlet Knights’ closest loss to the Buckeyes since joining the Big Ten is 22 points. The state of Ohio makes a statement to the rest of the Big Ten East.
Choose: Ohio State wins 45-17 and COVERS the spread.
No. 10 Florida (-8.5) at Kentucky (6 p.m., ESPN)
Kentucky is 4-0 and will be looking to beat the Gators at Lexington for the first time since 1986. The Gators are 1-2 ATS favorites this season, but this is the first single-digit difference. Florida’s defense makes a difference late and the Wildcats lose another heartthrob at home.
Choose: Florida wins 28-24 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
Louisiana Tech at No. 23 in North Carolina State (-19.5) (6 p.m., ESPN +)
NC State coach Dave Doeren will have to guard against the hangover game after beating Clemson, and that will be tough. Louisiana Tech lost to Mississippi State and SMU by a combined total of three points. Take those points.
Choose: NC State wins 30-20 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
State of Mississippi at No. 15 Texas A&M (-8.5) (7 pm, SECN)
Mississippi State lost a pair of heartthrob to Memphis and LSU, and now they travel to face an Aggies team looking to bounce back after a loss to Arkansas. Texas A&M has won the last two meetings convincingly, but this feels like a dogfight given the inconsistent offenses.
Choose: Texas A&M wins 29-23 but DOES NOT COVER the margin.
No. 21 Baylor at No. 19 in Oklahoma State (-3.5) (7 p.m., ESPN2)
Surprise Big 12’s undefeated 12 in prime time. The Bears lead the Big 12 with 273.3 rushing yards per game, and they will be motivated after losing 42-3 to the Cowboys last season. We continue to rely on the home team in a coin toss game. Oklahoma State has won three one-score games this year. Make it four.
Choose: Oklahoma State wins 30-23 and COVERS the spread.
Indiana at No. 4 Penn State (-10.5) (7:30 pm, ABC)
The Hoosiers beat Penn State in a 36-35 thriller last season, and it’s likely no one in Happy Valley has forgotten about that. Indiana enters a brutal part of the schedule, and this just hasn’t been the same team as it was last year.
Choose: Penn State wins 34-17 and COVERS the spread.
Western Kentucky at No. Michigan State 17 (-9.5) (7:30 pm, BTN)
Michigan State continues to surprise with star running back Kenneth Walker III, and this line seems low. The Hilltoppers are 3-0 ATS, but the defense allows 224.7 rushing yards per game. The Spartans stick with it.
Choose: Michigan State wins 35-20 and COVERS the spread.
Boston College at No. 25 Clemson (-15.5) (7:30 pm, ACCN)
The Tigers are 0-4 ATS, but remain double-digit favorites against Boston College, a team that held a double-digit advantage over the Tigers at halftime last season. Boston College is 4-0 and will enter playing with great confidence. Everyone in the ACC thinks they have a shot with Clemson until the Tigers knock someone out. We will have to wait another week.
Choose: Clemson wins 31-24 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
No. 22 Auburn at LSU (-3.5) (9 p.m., ESPN)
Auburn must endure a trip to Death Valley for the night, and it’s a place where it hasn’t won since 1999. That’s a lot of history to get over, and LSU has made up the pieces since the Week 2 loss at UCLA. Who made the Auburn schedule again?
Choose: LSU wins 27-20 and COVERS the spread.
State of Arizona at No. 20 UCLA (-3.5) (10:30 pm, FS1)
The Bruins have won the last two meetings, and this is a game that could determine the winner of the Pac-12 South. However, the Sun Devils have the best defense in the Pac-12, and Jayden Daniels learns from the loss at BYU. Stay up late for this one. Will be worth.
Choose: The state of Arizona wins 31-30 in a UPSET.
Fresno State No. 18 (-10.5) in Hawaii (11 p.m., CBSSN)
The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS, and Jake Haener continues to receive more attention with each victory. Hawaii has committed 11 turnovers this season and one failed passing attack. Fresno State tops off a fun week with a late cover.
Choose: Fresno State wins 36-22 and COVERS the spread.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.