College Football Week 5 Predictions: Best Betting Picks of the Week

Brett Ciancia is back with his best bets of the week in college football. Can Ole Miss cover against the Alabama powerhouse?
Brett Ciancia
Sat, October 2, 3:52 AM EDT

College Football Week 5 Predictions: Best Betting Picks of the Week

Ole Miss vs. Alabama

The over/under of 79.5 combined points is the highest ever for both schools. And if this game resembles their matchup last year, that high mark is certainly within range. The offenses are led by the top two SEC quarterbacks, Matt Corral and Bryce Young, who together combine for 26 passing touchdowns and just one interception.

Of course, Lane Kiffin brought his offense to Alabama in 2014 to help Nick Saban’s program modernize on that side of the ball. It clicked, and they went on to make the Playoff all three years and secured the 2015 national title.

The latest version of Kiffin’s offense has been unstoppable so far at Ole Miss. Their 647 yards against Alabama last year were the most the Tide have allowed in a game in school history.

Look for more of the same this time around. What was supposed to start 2021 as a defense-first roster, Alabama showed flaws against Florida two weeks ago and is far from their usual spot atop the national defensive rankings. Ole Miss should be able to move the ball and keep the scoreboard lit up.

While I won’t go all the way and predict the straight-up upset, 14.5 points is enough margin for Ole Miss to stay within.

Prediction Alabama 44, Ole Miss 34

Pick: Ole Miss +14.5 @ -110

Kentucky vs. Florida

The two major questions for Florida coming into 2021 were at quarterback and on defense. They were forced to find a replacement for Heisman candidate quarterback Kyle Trask, along with two first-round receiving weapons. On defense, 2020 was a rare down year for a program in Pick Six Previews’ top 10 defensive programs of the 2010s decade.

So far, so good. Dan Mullen has played two different quarterbacks but neither are a liability, and the bigger development has been a resurgence in their rushing attack which had been missing for years. They ran for 200+ against Alabama, an extremely rare feat. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has bounced back so far, and their 5-star athletes are flying around the field. I hate when the term “quality loss” gets thrown around, but I was impressed with Florida’s performance against Alabama enough to rank UF as the highest 1-loss team in my weekly FWAA Super 16 Poll ballot.

We know what we have with Kentucky. Mark Stoops has successfully built a program identity here with a smashmouth rushing attack, powerful offensive line, and stingy defense. Will Levis has already matched their entire 2020 passing touchdown number (7).

Kentucky is undefeated, but have not been able to pull away from inferior opponents.

Prediction: Florida 30, Kentucky 21

Pick: Florida -7 @ -110

Texas vs. Texas Christian

Through September, TCU is one of the most disappointing teams. I had high expectations for TCU – a veteran roster, strong offensive line, third-year starting quarterback, and their best receiver stable since that 2014 team that nearly made the inaugural Playoff. Further, Gary Patterson’s defense is an annual sure bet to be among the league defensive stats, and again featured multiple All-American candidates.

Instead, in their two FBS games, they allowed 34 points to Cal, and 600 yards to SMU. They allowed them to gain 7.8 yards per play, which would place TCU dead last in America.

Meanwhile, Texas seems like a whole new team after making the quarterback switch to Casey Thompson. In his start last week they dropped a 70 bomb on Texas Tech.

This is what Steve Sarkisian was hired for: a masterful offensive scheme to unlock the blue-chip talent that Texas has on its roster.

Speaking of yards/play, the Texas defense is near the national bottom as well, placing 112th of 130 teams. Look for the double play here: Texas to cover, and for the total points to go over.

In this matchup last year, I called for the over, and infamously we hit on that by TCU’s intentional safety as time expired. There is enough offensive firepower to avoid that slim margin this time around.

Prediction: Texas 42, TCU 34

Pick: Texas -4 @ -110

Pick: Total Points OVER 65

College Football Week 5 Predictions: Best Betting Picks of the Week

Ole Miss +14.5 @ -110

Florida -7 @ -110

Texas -4 @ -110

Total Points OVER 65 (Texas vs TCU)

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