The picture is getting clearer after five weeks of the college football season. Top teams are starting to emerge and teams once thought to be contenders have fallen. Last week, UCLA and Ole Miss were the latest college football casualties. This week there are sure to be others it is just a matter of which teams.
As we look at the lines for this week, my picks pull from the state of Florida with a service academy and Big Ten matchup mixed in for good measure. While there is not a large amount of matchups pairing top 25 teams against each other, there are still solid games. This week’s picks consider which teams are in a letdown spot along with certain teams in need of redemption.
Here are this week’s best bets in college football:
1. Navy +14.5 Against Notre Dame
Notre Dame is coming off a heartbreaking defeat against Clemson. This is a perfect letdown spot for the Irish after an emotional loss. Navy is quietly 4-0 and has been blowing out inferior opponents. Notre Dame provides the most difficult test Navy has faced this year, but their option game gives the Irish fits each season.
Notre Dame ultimately comes out with the victory, but this one will be close in the fourth quarter. Expect Navy to provide Notre Dame with a scare and ultimately lose in a much closer game than Vegas expects.
2. Georgia -3 Against Tennessee
Both of these teams need a win. Tennessee is coming off two narrow defeats to Florida and Arkansas. Georgia was embarrassed by Alabama at home. The Bulldogs did not play well, but they were also facing an Alabama team that was an underdog for the first time in 72 games.
While Georgia played poorly this past Saturday, Tennessee is not Alabama. As desperate as the Vols are for a win, Georgia is the better team. They will be looking to take out their frustration in Knoxville. Look for the Bulldogs to cover the spread against Tennessee.
3. Florida State -9 Against Miami
Miami’s record may say 3-1, but this is not one of the better teams in college football. They are coming off a loss to Cincinnati and now have to head to Tallahassee to play a night game at Doak Campbell Stadium. The F+ ratings have Florida State as the eighth best team in the country and Miami all the way down to 50th.
The Seminoles have done just enough to stay undefeated with narrow victories against teams like Wake Forest. We have seen this sort of play from the Seminoles before against lesser opponents. Saturday night is a nationally televised home game under the lights against an in-state rival. Florida State will be ready and will roll to a double digit victory.
4. Florida -5.5 Against Missouri
Those that follow this weekly column know we have made the mistake of picking against the Gators in past weeks. According to OddsShark, Florida is 4-1 against the spread this season while Missouri is 1-4. The Gators may be the hottest team in college football right now and quarterback Will Grier is only getting better.
The F+ ratings have Florida at 16th with Missouri all the way down to 70th. The Gators are a much better team than the Tigers. Look for Florida to continue their winning ways and cover the spread against Missouri.
5. Wisconsin +1.5 Against Nebraska
Both teams enter this Big Ten matchup coming off losses last week. Nebraska sits at 2-3 with their lone wins coming against South Alabama and Southern Miss. Each time they have played a good team they have lost. Their latest loss was to Illinois this past Saturday.
Wisconsin lost narrowly to an undefeated Iowa team that is better than people think. Expect the Badgers to get back in the win column as things get worse for Nebraska fans. I like Wisconsin to win this game outright despite entering the game as a slight road underdog.