College Football Picks: CFB Week 5 Odds, Predictions and Best Bets

College Football Picks: CFB Week 5 Odds, Predictions and Best Bets

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

College Capper: College Football Bets for Week 5

College Football Week 5 has plenty on intrigue as conference play is in full swing across the country. With Oklahoma losing last week, the Oklahoma State-Baylor game sets up as one of the most important Big 12 games of the season. Alabama travels to Arkansas in what will be a tough road test and the Clemson-NC State showdown has massive ACC implications Saturday night. Our cappers break down their five best bets from this weekend's action. 

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Chris' Picks

I guess I should just stop questioning this start and take pride and confidence in it. Another winning week last week puts me at an unsustainable 64.0 percent mark for the year. I won't get over Clemson not covering for a while, but when we win the week thanks to Temple, Tulsa and Navy...we celebrate and move on. This is the second straight week where I've struggled to find an edge, and knowing I'm due some regression, tread lightly. Or don't and we'll keep taking them down!

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Houston (-2.5) vs. Tulane (Friday)

Safe to say this hasn't been the start to the season the Cougars expected, but their goals can remain in front of them with conference play opening. That means this game is a must win. The stats aren't overly favorable here, but I'm not impressed with Tulane's body of work. Sure, they upset Kansas State, but have otherwise only seen Massachusetts, Alcorn State and Southern Miss, losing the last of those. I think we'd have jumped over this line preseason if told it would be this low, so I view it as a buying opportunity.

Washington  (-2.5) at UCLA (Friday)

Loyal readers are probably going to notice I'm targeting for or against the same teams, which seems increasingly risky the more weeks we have game action. But this just seems like a huge step up in class for the Bruins, who barely beat South Alabama, and otherwise have smashed Bowling Green, Colorado and Alabama State. I remain fully in on this Washington offense and QB Michael Penix. I don't love the Husky defense, and expect UCLA to get theirs and make this a tad uncomfortable. But Washington is more battle tested and will prevail over the long haul.

Kentucky (+7) at Mississippi

I liked the Wildcats Sunday night at (+4), all of the money is coming in on them, but the line has moved to (+7) now? Something seems very off and for that I'm concerned. But I'll stay the course with my initial lean. It seems like a role reversal on all fronts; Ole Miss is struggling to pass, dominating on the ground while UK has an NFL prospect QB and no rushing attack. The latter should be bolstered by the return of Chris Rodriguez, and simply, I haven't seen enough from Ole Miss to trust them with the growing number. The odd line movement causes a pause on a money line play, but it's also increasing the odds.

East Carolina (-7.5) vs South Florida

Shop around, as I've seen this in the 7-10 point range, but I ultimately don't think it will matter. I was successful going against ECU last week, but take that loss to Navy with a grain of salt; the Midshipmen just have ECU's number. This is a terrific spot for the Pirates to bounce back. USF can't stop the run, at all, allowing 6.42 yards per carry. ECU averages 5.36 per carry. They should have their way and look more like the team that battled N.C. State in the opener. And that doesn't factor in this game being moved to Boca Raton from Tampa due to Hurricane Ian, which surely has altered the Bulls' prep and focus.

Central Florida (-3) vs. SMU

My initial reaction on this was to take the Mustangs, and that was largely based on the fact that I don't believe in John Rhys Plumlee's passing ability even minutely. But after looking a little deeper, I'm not sure he's going to need to pass. The Knights have the nation's fifth-ranked rushing offense, averaging 275.5 ypg, while SMU ranks 107th in stopping it. Not surprisingly, UCF ranks 35th in time of possession, while SMU is 124th, possessing the ball a little over 25 minutes per game. That's going to force them to be perfect offensively to keep up. And UCF has a pretty decent pass defense. The Mustangs will score, but UCF will score more.

Last week: 3-2; season 16-9

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Another rough week and now that perfect 3-0 week to start the season has been washed away, but there's still a lot of time left in the season to turn this around, and oddly enough, even after a bad week, I'm full off confidence when looking at the slate this weekend. I know, it didn't help me much this past week, but it's usually a good sign when you like the picks you're making.

The quick and brutal recap goes as follows…the lone win turned out to be quite an easy one, well, it took a long time to go final, but Wake Forest was within the number for most of the 2nd half and only something crazy in OT would have prevented a win, luckily that didn't happen. Now for the losses, the first came on Friday as Syracuse got out to a big lead, but fell flat in the 2nd half and let Virginia back in the game. For those keeping track, Virginia hasn't fixed its problems on offense yet. The Georgia game was really frustrating because the Bulldogs did not show up and it was apparent from the start. I should have seen that coming as who gets up for Kent State? North Carolina started fast but absolutely fell apart in the 2nd half and I'd say MSU didn't show up, but I don't it would have mattered if the Spartans did show, the Gophers are that much better than Sparty right now.   

All lines courtesy of

Minnesota -12 vs Purdue

It's always dangerous to flip sides as a reaction to a bad loss, but I think it's justified in this case. A couple reasons why, one not only did the Gophers win and cover this past week at MSU, but they absolutely dominated that game. While MSU doesn't have a great team this season, it does have a team about the equivalent of Purdue. Purdue is 2-2 this season, but three of their four games have been within four points, which means that record could be vastly different. The problem this week is that QB Aidan O'Connell might not play and if he's the motor behind this offense. Overconfidence is the only thing standing in the way of another Gopher blowout this week.    

Texas Tech   +8 at Kansas State

If this game were being held during bowl season it would be called the "Hangover Bowl". It's going to be a battle of which team can come back down to Earth first as each team picked up big wins this past week. KSU's win was bigger of course, but don't underestimate the importance of Texas Tech's win at home against Texas this past week. There's no way to tell if either or both of these teams will struggle to get past their wins this past weekend, but a couple things are pushing me towards Texas Tech. The first is the point, 8.5 is a lot for a team to cover against a legitimate foe, just a week after such a big win on the road. Second, KSU's offense is built on the ground game and that's where the Red Raiders thrive on defense, allowing under 100 yards per game.                   

Iowa +11 vs Michigan

What do we know about Michigan right now? The Wolverines have beat up on some bad competition and the only real team they've faced to this point, they struggled with. Now, they have every right to get better, but the team that beat Maryland this past week is not going into Iowa City and beating the Hawkeyes by double-digits. Iowa has many issues on offense, there's no denying that, but their defense is legit. Iowa is going to turn this into an ugly contest and no one does ugly like Iowa. Michigan can score on bad teams, but I'm expecting the Wolverines to struggle on offense this week, which will make covering this number very difficult.

Over 60 Arkansas vs Alabama

My initial lean on this game was to take the points with Arkansas and while I do like that play, I think the over is the best play here. What scared me off of the Hogs a bit is their pass defense, which is surrendering nearly 300 yards per game. Guess what Alabama does about as good as anyone in the land? Yep, the 'Tide is going to get everything they want through the air in this one, which means Arkansas is going to have to score to stay within the number, but if you take the over, you don't need quite as much from Arkansas to win that play. Arkansas will put up a fight early and it might even stay within the number, but either way, there should be plenty of points scored and this total isn't outrageous.   

Duke   -3 vs Virginia

Duke finally suffered its first loss this past week at Kansas, but to the Blue Devils' credit, they fought hard against what looks to be a pretty good Kansas team. As mentioned earlier, Virginia also fought hard this past week in a loss at Syracuse, but also as mentioned earlier, the Cavalier offense is not back on track and I'm wondering if they'll ever get back to where they were last year. If that's the case, then I don't see how the Cavs will stay within the number here because Duke can score plenty of points. Both teams are surrendering just under 20 points per game this season, but while Virginia is scoring less than 20 points per game on offense, Duke is over 34 points per game.   

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Be sure to check out our college football custom rankings and our player rankings cheat sheet for up-to-date season-long rankings, as well as our college football weekly rankings to help guide your lineup decisions. During the season, our college football DFS optimizer and value report are powerful tools to help build DFS lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. 

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Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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