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College Football Expert Picks: Our Staff’s 10 Favorite Bets for Week 5

Sep 29, 2018 2:03 PM EDT

Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports. PIctured: Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book

  • Our college football experts give their 10 favorite betting picks for Week 5 of the 2018 season.
  • We have all types of bets covered with a healthy mix of underdogs, favorites and over/unders.

Like the casual fan, we are excited about a pair of top-10 Week 5 college football matchups on Saturday night. However, as bettors, we know the entire slate deserves attention.

To help you narrow down the games that should make your final cut, we asked several of our staffers to give us their favorite college football Saturday bet for Week 5.

Regardless of your betting style or preferences, you should find something that catches your eye below or at least helps you make more informed betting decisions for Week 5.

Let’s get to it!

Let’s lead off with an early kick large favorite and then get into two afternoon underdogs that look to hold value. We will then finish up with our night card, including two over/unders. We will even hit on those two marquee top-10 primetime matchups.

*All odds for the picks pulled overnight on Sept. 28


Stuckey: Clemson -25.5 (vs. Syracuse)

Noon ET on ABC

On the surface, taking 25.5 points with the 4-0 Orange might look tempting to some, but this matchup between two undefeated ACC teams could get out of hand quickly.

Syracuse’s two most vulnerable position units are its offensive line and secondary. That’s not ideal against the best defensive line in the country and newly crowned starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The former 5-star, No. 1 overall recruit will also play behind an offensive line that has looked great this year, which is important against a solid Syracuse defensive front.

Clemson should be highly motivated for this early kick in Death Valley, as the Tigers will look to avenge an upset loss at Syracuse in 2017. I also get the feeling that head coach Dabo Swinney wants to lay the hammer down here after feeling his team isn’t getting as much love as it deserves on a national level.

With Lawrence under center, this team deserves as much respect as Alabama — and I think the Tigers show that to us early Saturday afternoon.

Ken Barkley: South Alabama +25 (at App State)

3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+

A number that is just WAY too big.

As a football nation, we haven’t really seen or heard much from App State since it scared Penn State in Week 1 — and for good reason. The Mountaineers dominated Charlotte, had a game canceled by weather and beat Gardner Webb by almost 70. Those results don’t really mean much at all, but it’s possible App State’s 3-0 ATS record has helped inflate this line a bit.

There actually is not a significant talent disparity between these teams, and South Alabama’s offense should score after analyzing this particular matchup. South Alabama has played Oklahoma State and Memphis already this season, which means their underlying metrics have not been inflated against poor competition — which you can see this early in the season.

The Jaguars were tied with Memphis at halftime and trailed by only four after three quarters.

In reality, South Alabama is probably a little better than what it’s put on film. In a meaningful conference game, the difference between these teams is being exaggerated. I love the underdog here.

John Ewing: Old Dominion +7 (at ECU)

3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3

Old Dominion upset No. 13 Virginia Tech as a 28.5-point underdog last Saturday, tallying more than 600 yards of offense en route to a shocking upset win. After a big win such as that one, a contrarian bettor’s first instinct might be to look to fade Old Dominion.

However, per Bet Labs, teams following a big offensive game (600 or more yards of offense) have actually been undervalued in their next game since 2005.

And if that team is a road underdog — such as Old Dominion — the against-the-spread win rate tops 60%.




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