Week 5 was the inverse of Week 4 results wise. Instead of getting bailed out by the best bet, we went a solid 3-2 including +125 underdog UCLA, but were weighed down by the best bet Ohio St failing to cover by a half point. Small net win though, unlike Week 4. The aforementioned UCLA and Utah -10 were never in serious doubt. LSU -8 was rockheaded given the series history, but the UVA-Duke over hit with over 10 minutes left, and OSU was doomed by two early turnovers gifting Rutgers points. It’s another loaded slate with plenty of games to build a winning streak on this week.
Bet 1: TCU at Kansas over 69 (-105) (11:00am CT Sat 10/8, FS1; all odds via PointsBet)
Weather report is clear. One of the best matchups of early overachievers college football has seen recently, so good ESPN Gameday is in town. TCU is favored by 6.5, and that’s the side I lean towards, but a back-and-forth high scoring affair (with a very possible backdoor KU cover) is the best play. At least one of these teams is getting to 40, and all it will take is a fairly competitive game to hit the over.
Bet 2: North Carolina +140 moneyline at Miami (3:00pm CT Sat 10/8, ESPN2)
Miami theoretically should have their act together off a bye following two straight losses, the latter to Middle Tennessee St at home. But at their core, I don’t think they’re good enough on offense to hang with UNC. This game two years ago (554 UNC rushing yards, 62-26 win) is too etched into my mind to give the U any benefit of the doubt. UNC is going to contend for the Coastal Division, and by Saturday night it should be clear Miami won’t.
Bet 3: Ole Miss at Vanderbilt over 61 (3:00pm CT Sat 10/8, SECN)
To be honest, it hadn’t even registered for me before researching this game that Vandy was Ole Miss’s annual SEC East crossover. More series history than I was expecting. Jaxon Dart and the Ole Miss passing game hasn’t clicked as well as hoped so far, with the running game leading them to their 5-0 start and top 10 ranking. Vandy provides them an opportunity to get that right, while putting up a few touchdowns of their own, especially off a bye. This could easily be a tight game before some late scores, or Vandy could even hang with them. But it’s not going to turn into a puntfest.
Bet 4: North Carolina St -3 (-110) vs Florida St (7:00pm CT Sat 10/8, ACCN)
Must win game for NC St after giving Clemson a good game for three quarters. FSU also enters off a loss, at home to Wake where they dug a deep 21-point hole. Norvell is definitely making progress, but with a home date vs Clemson next week, it will be tough to get fully focused here. NC St has won 4 of the last 5 in the series and they must defend their home turf in this divisional game. NC St’s strong run defense will make FSU one dimensional leading to a tough day for Jordan Travis.
Best Bet (2 units): Texas -9 (-107) vs Oklahoma (11:00am CT, ABC)
This isn’t your father’s Oklahoma through five games, and it’s even less reminiscent of Brent Venables Clemson defenses. The determinative factor here is Dillon Gabriel’s absence. It looks like Quinn Ewers will return, but even if it were Hudson Card, it wouldn’t be a very fair fight. Rivalry games like this have a reputation for being played tight, but there were plenty of blowouts in the decade and a half preceding Tom Herman at UT. Texas has too many weapons with a healthy QB1 to not see them pour it on a wounded rival who’s won the last four straight in the series.
Last week: 3-2, +0.04. Season: 5-5, -0.17 units.