Every week I use this space to tell you what I think are some of the best bets going into the weekend. I’ll also include a surprise of the week, which will feature a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I choose to win outright. I’ll also give you choices about other games with potential College Football Playoff teams. Pretty much everyone is technically a CFP candidate this early in the season, so at least for the first few weeks I’ll be going with teams that are currently in the top 12 of the AP Top 25.
Unfortunately, we have our first week where the weather could affect teams’ ability to play their games as Hurricane Ian hits the East Coast. Teams have already started announcing alternate plans for their upcoming games, and you can follow the changes as they’re announced at this link here.
Last week I was back on my feet. My pick in week 4 was 2-1 with a near miss on the upset special, which now wins out outright 1-2, but has covered all three times. Here are this week’s picks.
Week 5 PicksNo. 17 Texas A&M in the state of Mississippi
Featured game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M wins games by taking out the opposition and hoping its attack can get enough points to win. The Aggies have an average score of 18-16 in their three FBS games so far. Now they are without their top receiver Ainias Smith, who is out for the season with a leg injury sustained last week. The Mississippi state offense hasn’t really been tested yet, but the Bulldogs only got 16 points on the road at LSU. The total in this game is going down, but it’s still too high. Choice: under 44.5″
Illinois in Wisconsin
Featured game | Wisconsin Badgers vs. Illinois Fighting Illinois
These are arguably the two Big Ten teams most committed to the running game outside of Minnesota. Only the Golden Gophers have walked the ball more than Illinois this season, while Wisconsin has the fewest passes of all the Big Ten teams. This may not feel quite like a match-up between service academies, but the clock should go fast and points will be hard to come by. Choice: under 43.5
Purdue at No. 21 Minnesota
Featured game | Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Sometimes one team only has the number of the other team. Such is the case in this series, where the Golden Gophers have won eight of the last nine. This time Purdue is confused and could be without the starting quarterback, running back, second best receiver and best defensive player. The Boilermakers are also one of the most penalized teams in the FBS and in particular their defense has already taken eight penalties with automatic first downs to keep opponents’ attacks alive. The Gophers are rolling and will likely continue that role this week. Choice: Minnesota -12
Angry of the WeekSan Diego State in Boise State
Featured game | Boise State Broncos vs. San Diego State Aztecs
This game contains two offenses that have a hard time. The Boise State offense has gotten so bad that the Broncos fired their offensive coordinator this week and their starting quarterback, Hank Bachmeier, entered the transfer portal. The Aztecs have yet to score more than 20 points against the FBS league, but they may not need to score much to cause a shock here. Dial: San Diego State +6, +222 ML
Other CFP Candidates
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 5, and which top-10 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all based on a proven computer model that has brought in more than $3,100 in profits over the past six seasons – and find out.