Wilson: My 6 Favorite College Football Betting Picks for Week 10
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joshua Kelly
Consider Week 10 the calm before the storm.
Next week, we get Tuesday and Wednesday #MACtion and Fun Belt games. The powerhouse AAC will join in on the party on Thursday night, while #Pac12AfterDark will continue on Friday.
The shape of every conference will be on the line five nights a week, but the biggest cloud in the impending college football storm has nothing to do with those conferences.
Nov. 9 brings a showdown of the top two teams in the nation, LSU and Alabama; they’re both on byes this week. The Westgate SuperBook posted a lookahead line of Alabama -7 with a total of 64.
Our Action Network power ratings suggest a line of Alabama -7 with a projected total of 69. That line has the assumption built in that Tua Tagovailoa is not only playing, but 100% healthy or the biggest game of the year. The quarterback suffered a high-ankle sprain against Tennessee on Oct. 19, and head coach Nick Saban said Tua is expected to go through the motions at practice this week.
Backup QB Mac Jones was 18 of 22 for three touchdowns in a victory against Arkansas. And if there is one area LSU can be beat, it is pass explosiveness. The Tigers rank 111th in opponent pass explosiveness, making Tua Tagovailoa’s ability get the ball down the field even more valuable.
Thankfully we still have a whole week of leaked practice sports from Tuscaloosa as the line will surely fluctuate through key numbers as more information is available.
As for Week 10 bets, I’ll be looking at sandwich spots and home underdogs to get tickets to the window.
Be sure and follow me in The Action Network App to get my bets on every Week 10 game, plus the Week 11 opening lines I bet on Sunday.
College Football Betting Picks for Week 10
Odds as of Thursday at 8 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Michigan vs. Maryland
- Spread: Maryland +21
- Over/Under: 56
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
One year ago, Maryland coach Mike Locksley was offensive coordinator for Alabama, preparing for LSU and an eventual College Football Playoff run. Josh Gattis, now offensive coordinator for Michigan, was also on the Tide staff.
Since they both left Tuscaloosa, it has been nothing but drama on who designed the offense and who called the plays for the Crimson Tide’s historic 2018 attack.
Maybe we’ll find out Saturday when Maryland meets Michigan.
Maryland is just 1-5 in its last six games. After starting the season with a blowout of an FCS opponent and Syracuse, the Terrapins have been blown out by Penn State, Purdue and Minnesota. Maryland has been shredded for several weeks, but Week 10 may be the first time the team is fully healthy.
Running back Anthony McFarland and left guard Terrance Davis are both back from injury, while quarterback Josh Jackson has an entire week of practice taking reps with the first team.
Not only is this a huge spot for Locksley, Michigan could find itself flat after two consecutive primetime games against Penn State and Notre Dame lead into this sleepy noon kick. The Wolverines will head into a bye week after this game, so health may play a bigger factor than running up the score.
If this game was in the Big House it would be a different story, but Michigan does not blow teams out on the road like it does at home. The Wolverines have covered just once in their past five road games.
Our projections make this game Michigan -19 giving value to Maryland at +21 or better.
Pick: Maryland +21 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Kansas State vs. Kansas
- Spread: Kansas +6.5
- Over/Under: 54.5
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
Have we found the ceiling for the new-look Kansas Jayhawks offense? In two weeks since naming a new offensive coordinator who quite literally wrote the book on RPO’s, Les Miles’ team was within a field goal of defeating Texas and pulled off an upset thanks to a Texas Tech lateral.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) October 27, 2019
The offense has gone for nearly 1,100 yards in those two contests with a combination of both ground and air explosiveness. The Jayhawks are one of most dangerous offenses in the nation, with explosiveness ranks of 27th in rushing and 18th in passing.
Enter Kansas State, who may be on hangover after an upset of Oklahoma thanks to a controversial onside kick.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) October 26, 2019
Whether Kansas State is still enjoying its win over the Sooners, the Wildcats struggle against teams that gain chunk yards on the ground. Chris Klieman’s defense is 128th in opponent rush explosiveness, which Jayhawks running back Pooka Williams Jr. can expose.
Kansas State does have a substantial offensive advantage in passing success rate with quarterback Skylar Thompson, but a rank of 126th in opponents yards per rush should allow Kansas to dictate the clock.
Pick: Kansas +6.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Army vs. Air Force
- Spread: Air Force -14.5
- Over/Under: 45
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
There is no doubt this Air Force team is pissed off. After a blowout victory of Utah State, the Falcons were immediately reminded that this is Army week.
Air Force has had a beef with Army football for years and it’s heated up in recent months, going beyond just winning the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. During the Black Knight’s acceptance speech with President Trump, Army head coach Jeff Monken had extra commentary about Air Force.
President Trump: "Air Force is tough. They've always been tough, coach."
Army coach Jeff Monken: "Not that tough."
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) May 6, 2019
There is plenty of motivation for Air Force, as Army has won this game the past two years. The Falcons were knocked out of the race for the top prize amongst service academies after the loss to Navy, but has plenty of motivation against a 3-5 Army team that may not make a bowl game.
The biggest issue with Army is the defensive front seven that ranks 100th in Line Yards and 97th in Stuff Rate. Those stats can be taken advantage of by an Air Force team that is running the triple option at its peak with a rank of No. 3 in time of possession this season.
The Air Force offense is sixth in Line Yards and first in Stuff Rate, which will severely limit the offensive possessions from Army. This could be a long day for the Black Knights in what should be a respectful run up of the score.
Pick: Air Force -14.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Wofford vs. Clemson
- Spread: Clemson -47.5
- Over/Under: 59.5
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: ACC Network
The reigning national champions are having a controlled scrimmage against in-state FCS program Wofford. But there are a few things to know about Wofford before you bet this thing.
The Terriers are a run-heavy team, going with a version of the triple option with three running backs on the field at a time. Dabo Swinney was quick to point out their offensive schemes and tough defense on the FCS level.
Wofford is also off a dramatic overtime victory with Chattanooga.
At the FCS level, Wofford ranks No. 2 in rushing and bottom four in passing offense. The Terriers will likely burn plenty of clock with the triple option, evident by their rank of second in time of possession in FCS. That is a bad formula against a Clemson defense that is No. 5 in defensive rushing success rate and just held a potent Boston College ground attack to 90 rushing yards.
The total of 59.5 is far higher than the projected total released by the Sagarin ratings. With Wofford’s attempt to grind with an option attack against the stellar Clemson rush defense, it isn’t far fetched to think the Terriers do not score.
Keep in mind Charlotte has a top 10 explosive rush attack and was limited to just 10 points earlier this season.
Assuming Dabo Swinney calls off the dogs against this in-state FCS school, this should should go under the current total.
Pick: Under 59.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Middle Tennessee vs. Charlotte
- Spread: Charlotte +3.5
- Over/Under: 64.5
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Trailing 35-21 against North Texas at the end of the third quarter last week, things looked grim for the home 49ers as a 4-point underdog.
But Charlotte had an amazing comeback led by three straight touchdowns, two of which came on explosive plays.
TOUCHDOWN TOUCHDOWN TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!! CHRIS REYNOLDS BREAKS THE SACK AND FINDS TUCKER IN THE ENDZONE WITH 18 SECONDS LEFT!!!!!
North Texas 38
4Q | :18 pic.twitter.com/EdJDxkGbsS
— 𝘾𝙃𝘼𝙍𝙇𝙊𝙏𝙏𝙀 𝙁𝙊𝙊𝙏𝘽𝘼𝙇𝙇 (@CharlotteFTBL) October 26, 2019
Charlotte now ranks No. 9 in the explosive rush and 37th in the explosive pass.
The 49ers now take on Middle Tennessee, which is also 3-5 and in survival mode to reach a bowl game. The Blue Raiders come off thrashing of Florida International 50-17 after trailing at halftime. Terrell West, Jayy McDonald and quarterback Asher O’Hara all had 100 yard rushing yards on soaked afternoon in Murfreesboro.
.@MT_FB QB Asher O'Hara scores his third TD of the day and goes swimming to celebrate! 🏊♂️🎉
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 26, 2019
Middle Tennessee may have taken advantage of a Florida International team that did not show up in the second half, but the season statistics do not support a repeat win.
The Blue Raiders defenders are 107th in rush and 113th in passing success rate, which should lead to plenty of big plays by Charlotte.
Middle Tennessee is dead last in sack rate, and bunch more defensive line statistics that suggest Charlotte and Benny LeMay will run wild.
Pick: Charlotte +3.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Colorado vs. UCLA
- Spread: UCLA -6.5
- Over/Under: 65
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: Pac-12 Network
We’ve been fans of UCLA the past few weeks because of defensive pressure and quarterback play. Dorian Thompson-Robinson went without interception against Arizona State, but was injured in the fourth quarter.
Even with an upgrade to probable, the Bruins are expected to continue to lean on the rush and star back Joshua Kelley.
Joshua Kelley WENT OFF tonight. 🔥
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) October 27, 2019
Colorado has a defensive rushing success rate rank of 124th, which should be exposed by UCLA.
With the ground game the focus for UCLA, the Buffaloes need to focus on finishing drives, which they haven’t done. Colorado is outside the top 100 in red zone points per attempt, but more importantly it is 107th in touchdowns per red zone trip.
Our Action Network totals projection come in at 55, giving value to the current number.
Taking a #Pac12AfterDark Under will not help ease your anxiety levels late on Saturday, but UCLA’s focus on running the ball and an incompetent red zone offense for Colorado have me on the under.
Pick: Under 65 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]