Week 5 College Football Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Picks for Saturday Evening, Including UCLA vs. Arizona State (October 2)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Arizona State Sun Devils.
- Saturday night is here, which means it's time to make some more money.
- Our college football experts broke down five games for the late slate, including UCLA vs. Arizona State and Fresno State vs. Hawaii.
- Check out all five breakdowns and picks below.
You’ve been waiting for this moment all week. Now, we’re finally here. Welcome to Saturday night.
College football’s week 5 slate is an incredible one, and it doesn’t slow down when we get to the later games. Just ask out college football experts.
They picked out five games from the late slate as their favorite bets of Saturday, including Penn State vs. Indiana, Auburn vs. LSU, and UCLA vs. Arizona State. And of course, it had to include the nightcap of Hawaii vs. Fresno State on the island.
So, sit back and enjoy some more college football. It’s time to win some money.
Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 5
Our Top Picks for Saturday Evening
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for games kicking off at 7 p.m. ET. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific pick discussed in this article.
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Looking for Our Top Picks for Saturday Afternoon?
Check our our staff’s top five college football best bets for the afternoon slate:
UAB vs. Liberty
UAB hosts Liberty in its brand-new stadium on Saturday after seven straight road games dating back to last season. This is the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Both teams are 3-1 on the season.
UAB suffered a defeat earlier in the season to No. 2 ranked Georgia. Liberty lost a close matchup last weekend against Syracuse, 24-21
Liberty dual-threat quarterback Malik Willis is off to a strong start this season, totaling 1,092 yards in total offense and 14 touchdowns through four games. Behind Willis, the Flames rank 38th in the nation in Offensive Success Rate.
Defensively, the Flames rank 14th nationally in scoring defense, allowing only 15.3 points per game.
Liberty’s defensive success this season should be taken with a grain of salt. The Flames’ only Power Five matchup so far this season was against a Syracuse team that ranks 60th nationally in scoring offense.
Additionally, Liberty has a strength of schedule of 107th nationally, per Massey Ratings.
UAB QB Dylan Hopkins has completed 74% of his passes this season, throwing for 501 yards and seven touchdowns. Hopkins’ favorite target is TE Gerrit Prince, who ranks fifth nationally with five receiving touchdowns.
UAB ranks 46th nationally in Offensive Success Rate.
The Blazers rank 51st in scoring defense, allowing 20.8 points per game. I believe this ranking is inflated, given a season-opening shutout of a Jacksonville State FCS squad and only one Power Five matchup so far this season.
Given the competition that both of these teams have faced, the total is too low in this game. Both teams are efficient on offense, with Success Rates inside the top 50.
Defensively, I look to the total Havoc rankings and see UAB and Liberty ranking 97th and 43rd, respectively.
Willis is going to be able to slice-and-dice a Blazers defense that isn’t generating much Havoc.
UAB will look to do whatever it takes to open their new stadium with a win against a Flames defense that still needs to prove themselves.
Pick: Over 49.5
No. 4 Penn State vs. Indiana
By Alex Hinton
I can make the case that losing to Indiana last year ruined Penn State’s season.
The Hoosiers were gifted an OT win after quarterback Michael Penix Jr. scrambled, dove for the pylon, and was granted the game-winning two-point conversion — even though he was clearly short.
Penn State ultimately lost its first five games before finishing 4-5, while Indiana used the momentum from the opening-night win to go 6-2.
Entering this year’s matchup, Penn State is rolling while Indiana has regressed.
Penn State is fifth in the country in the SP+ rankings. Penn State ranks eighth in SP+ defensively and 12th in scoring defense. The Nittany Lions have been flying around on defense and have forced seven turnovers in the first four games.
Indiana has turned the ball over seven times in its four games, including six interceptions from Penix. I would be surprised if Penn State does not come down with at least one pick.
New Penn State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has quarterback Sean Clifford playing the best football of his career. Clifford is averaging 9.7 yards per attempt, completing 71.7% of his passes and has eight touchdowns against two interceptions.
Clifford has been carrying the Nittany Lions on offense this season, and he will be the best quarterback on Saturday.
Penn State will be entering this one with revenge on its mind and is the better team overall. Penn State has won the last meetings in Happy Valley, and I expect the Nittany Lions to roll again.
Pick: Penn State -12.5
No. 22 Auburn vs. LSU
By Doug Ziefel
We may not know who’s going to start at quarterback for the Auburn Tigers, but it may not matter.
Whether it is Bo Nix or T.J. Finley, Auburn should be able to get the job done against an LSU defense that is 90th in passing yards allowed.
If the passing game struggles, Auburn will be able to run the ball. The Tigers have one of the most efficient rushing attacks in the nation, led by Tank Bigsby, who’s averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
Add that to LSU being even worse against the run than it is against the pass (103rd in rushing yards allowed), and Auburn should have no trouble moving the ball.
Not only is LSU outmatched, but it’s also overrated. Remember earlier in the season when it gave up 470 yards to the “Sissy Blue Shirts.”
LSU was not any better against its other Power Five opponent either. The Mississippi State Bulldogs hung 486 yards on them. Without some early turnover luck and a handful of big passes, the Tigers would’ve lost. They almost blew a 28-10 fourth-quarter lead, but hung on to win by three in the end.
Simply, Auburn is the better team and LSU’s home field advantage is discounted by its lack of advantages on the field.
Our PRO Projections make this spread less than 1. Count on Auburn to cover the number as it may just win outright.
Pick: Auburn +3
Arizona State vs. No. 20 UCLA
Let’s go late night and roll with the team I have rated higher by about a field goal catching 3/3.5.
Yes, UCLA has a dynamic rushing attack, but ASU is even better in that department, especially now with the return of DeaMonte Trayanum — who had over 100 yards on just 15 carries last year against UCLA and is critical in short-yardage situations.
The Sun Devils also have the more talented overall defense even after losing a couple of pieces along the defensive line.
Throw in the fact that UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was dealing with a shoulder injury on his throwing arm, and it could be a long night for the UCLA offense if he’s not at 100%.
I think Herm Edwards and company get revenge on the road for last season’s home loss to UCLA in which they outplayed the Bruins, who scored a TD in the final minute to pull it out.
Pick: Arizona State +3
Hawaii vs. No. 18 Fresno State
Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener has been terrific this season, playing hero ball in a narrow loss at Oregon and an upset win at UCLA.
He’s third in the country in yards per game with 368, ranks second in the nation with 15 touchdowns and he’s completing 73.1% of his passes.
Haener has a ton of weapons at his disposal, highlighted by stud receiver Jalen Cropper, who leads the country with eight receiving touchdowns. Receiver Josh Kelly and running back Ronnie Rivers help round out one of the best offenses in the Group of Five.
This offense should light up a Hawaii defense that ranks 112th in pass defense and 116th in preventing Finishing Drives.
As good as this offense has been, it’s actually the defense that makes me love this play so much.
Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro has been inconsistent and has thrown seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Bulldogs’ defense has been great this season, ranking 26th in Passing Success Rate. Fresno held both Oregon and UCLA under 400 total yards of offense.
Fresno State ranks 14th in the country in Havoc rate on defense and will be able to feast on a weak Hawaii offensive line that ranks 102nd at preventing Havoc.
With no fans allowed to attend games on the island, I’m not expecting much home field advantage for the Rainbow Warriors and will back the Bulldogs to cruise in this one.