Every Thursday during the college football season, I'll be picking the 10 best games of the week against the spread, plus one upset special. Here are my picks for Week 5.
Last week ATS: 4-7
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Stanford at Washington (-3.5)
Huskies QB Jake Browning could exploit a Stanford secondary missing both starting cornerbacks. An overlooked storyline: Cardinal FB Daniel Marx is out as well. As long as Washington handles the big stage, it should score a huge win.
Pick: Washington 24, Stanford 20
Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsJennifer Nicholson
Texas (+2.5) at Oklahoma State
For all the criticism facing Texas’ 62nd-ranked defense, Oklahoma State’s has been even worse, checking in at 98th nationally (6.0 yards per play). And whereas the Cowboys are one-dimensional, Texas can both run and pass.
Pick: Texas 42, Oklahoma State 28
Getty ImagesCooper Neill
Miami (-7) at Georgia Tech
This is actually Miami’s first game against a Power 5 foe. Mark Richt largely dominated the Yellow Jackets while at Georgia; that should continue here.
Pick: Miami 27, Georgia Tech 14
Wisconsin (+10.5) at Michigan
It’s unrealistic to think Michigan will run all over the Badgers’ thus-far suffocating defense, but Wisconsin won’t make enough plays on offense to pull this one off.
Pick: Michigan 26, Wisconsin 22
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North Carolina (+11) at Florida State
Tar Heels QB Mitch Trubisky is completing nearly 75 percent of his passes with 10 TDs and 0 INTs. He could have a field day against FSU’s struggling defense. But Dalvin Cook may also run for 300 yards on UNC’s horrendous rush defense.
Pick: Florida State 52, North Carolina 44
Tennessee (-3.5) at Georgia
This could have been a trap game for Tennessee, but Georgia may be without star RB Nick Chubb, and the Vols’ pass rush will be too much for Dawgs freshman Jacob Eason.
Pick: Tennessee 28, Georgia 20
APRogelio V. Solis
Oklahoma (-3.5) at TCU
Both teams’ defenses will perform better than they did against their respective non-conference opponent, but the Sooners, fresh off a bye week, should still find plenty of success in the passing game with Baker Mayfield.
Pick: Oklahoma 34, TCU 30
Louisville at Clemson (+2)
It’s hard to pick against Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals with how dominant they’ve been, or to put much confidence in Clemson’s struggling offense. But the Tigers’ defense is legit, and I just have a hunch that Deshaun Watson will come out and play like his 2015 self in front of the home crowd.
Pick: Clemson 34, Louisville 30
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Arizona State at USC (-10)
As badly as USC is struggling, and as explosive as ASU has looked at times on offense, it’s just hard to imagine the Trojans falling to 1-4. The Sun Devils rank 118th nationally in pass defense (9.0 YPA). Juju Smith-Schuster goes off.
Pick: USC 38, Arizona State 24
Navy at Air Force (-7.5)
The Falcons are racking up 360 rushing yards per game while holding their opponents to barely 50 on average. I like their chances against the Midshipmen.
Pick: Air Force 30, Navy 21
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Upset Special: Kansas State (+3.5) at West Virginia
K-State’s defense is pretty darn good. Here’s a chance for Bill Snyder’s team to catch the Mountaineers at the right time coming off the BYU game in Maryland.