College Football Picks, Predictions for Week 5 Include Fading Kentucky and Backing Texas State

After a phenomenal Week 4 slate, Week 5 may not have the national intrigue over “marquee matchups,” but there is some money to be made in this weekend’s slate. Our Week 5 picks and predictions look at the entire college football weekend, including a Friday night delight in the ACC.

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Week 5 College Football Picks and Predictions

Last Week: 4-3-0 (0.571)
This Season: 17-18-0 (0.485)
Overall Record: 98-102-3 (0.490)

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All lines are via Draft Kings Sportsbook. You can find the best available odds from sportsbooks all over the country below as well.

Louisville -3.5 (-110) vs. NC State +3.5 (-110)

The Louisville Cardinals have started out hot at 4-0 on the season. Jack Plummer made the right decision to transfer back to Jeff Brohm’s offense. He has taken a positive step forward this season, but most of that concerns his weapons.

Jamari Thrash has been an absolute dynamo this year.

After a really successful season at Georgia State in 2022, Thrash came to Louisville and has been one of the most explosive receivers in the nation with 400 yards and five touchdowns on just 19 catches.

The Cardinals have been explosive on offense this season with two games of 56 points and another of 39.

The NC State Wolfpack has a nice record, but their performance hasn’t reached the same level. When they brought in Brennan Armstrong as a transfer to pair him back with offensive coordinator Robert Anae, they had hoped to invoke the 2021 Virginia Cavaliers.

It hasn’t happened the same way they wanted.

Armstrong has struggled to lead a cohesive passing game over the first four games. They are netting 0.128 EPA/pass, which is only 52nd in the nation, and that epitomizes the offense. It’s semi-effective, but kind of meh.

The defense is what is hurting the Wolfpack. Led by linebacker Payton Wilson, they are struggling, especially against the rush, allowing 0.021 EPA/rush, ranking 93rd in the nation. The Cardinals’ offense is second in the nation in offensive EPA/play while being first in passing EPA/play.

That margin is going to be too much for the Wolfpack, as they aren’t explosive enough to take advantage of the Cardinals’ defense.

Bet: Louisville -3.5 (-110)

Florida +1.5 (-110) vs. Kentucky -1.5 (-110)

After the Florida Gators‘ Week 1 performance against Utah, there wasn’t a lot of positivity surrounding the program. Truth be told, the penalties alone in the game cost the Gators the game.

Quarterback Graham Mertz has been better than expected for the Gators. He has led them to three consecutive wins and been a very efficient passer. The Gators also get back dynamic freshman Eugene Wilson III after a bruised collarbone injury against Tennessee.

The running game of the Gators has been a mixed bag. They have been explosive in the run game, but it’s also stalled drives, including against Charlotte last week where they went 1/5 in the red zone.

The Kentucky Wildcats are in an interesting spot. They come into this game undefeated at 4-0 with three cupcake games and a 17-point win over Vanderbilt. The offense, led by new starting quarterback Devin Leary has been fine, but they haven’t been explosive as of yet.

Tayvion Robinson and Barion Brown haven’t helped the offense take the next step in the passing game as most thought they would.

The key to this game will be on third and fourth down. The Gators are second to last in the nation at converting those, and Kentucky’s defense has been poor at allowing them. The winner of that battle is likely to win the game.

With Florida getting Wilson back, this is their chance to make a statement in the SEC East.

Bet: Florida +1.5 (-110)

Kansas +16.5 (-110) vs. Texas -16.5 (-110)

The Kansas Jayhawks have quite the history against the Texas Longhorns over the past few seasons. Two years ago, they beat them 57-56 in double overtime and barely lost 50-48 in 2019. The Jayhawks come to Austin not just to play but to win.

This isn’t your ordinary Jayhawks team. That doesn’t exist anymore.

Lance Leipold has us and the entire country thinking differently about the Jayhawks’ football program. It starts with quarterback Jalon Daniels and running back Devin Neal. Those two are the catalysts of the offense in achieving a top-five overall success rate.

The defense will have problems with an explosive but inconsistent Texas offense. Quarterback Quinn Ewers has flashed elite-level quarterback play, but the consistency has not been there one bit. They have plenty of weapons on the outside, especially in Xavier Worthy and J’Tavion Sanders, but any sort of stability just hasn’t happened.

The defense has been the saving grace for the Longhorns this season. They have been dominant on the defensive front led by Byron Murphy II. The Longhorns’ defense are third in success rate, third in EPA/play against the pass, and 13th in EPA/play against the run. It will be a tough ask against a Jayhawks offense that utilizes a lot of misdirection.

If the last three games in Austin have told us anything, it’s that Kansas will keep it really close. I don’t expect them to win, but they will be within two scores easily.

Bet: Kansas +16.5 (-110)

Oregon -27 (-110) vs. Stanford +27 (-110)

Will this be a letdown game for the Oregon Ducks? Last week, they didn’t just hand Coach Prime Deion Sanders his first loss in the FBS; they annihilated them 42-6. The charade of the mascot rocking the hat and sunglasses was the cherry on top.

The offense was doing everything you could have asked of them. Bo Nix was finding receivers open on all three levels of the field. Troy Franklin and Tez Johnson kept making plays, and Bucky Irving looked explosive out of the backfield. The defensive line relentlessly attacked a depleted Buffaloes defensive line and hounded Shedeur Sanders.

The Stanford Cardinal are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Arizona last week by a single point where they did a really good job of preventing the Wildcats from moving the football. When it comes to moving the ball against the Ducks, it’s going to be tough sledding.

The Ducks are phenomenal against the pass but struggle against the run, and the Cardinal offense struggles mightily in throwing the football.

This will be a tough game for Stanford to cover, and if the USC game has taught us anything, they won’t be able to do it. Take Oregon and give the points.

Bet: Oregon -27 (-110)

Iowa State +20 (-110) vs. Oklahoma -20 (-110)

The Iowa State Cyclones have had an up-and-down season. They lost multiple starters due to a gambling scandal and lost to both Iowa and Ohio before barely scraping out a win against an Oklahoma State team arguably in worse shape than they are.

Rocco Becht and Jaylin Noel have found a connection on offense. However, the consistency on offense is struggling. They are only averaging 82.25 rushing yards per game, and the advanced metrics don’t like the offense. The defense is still solid for the Cyclones, as they have held all four opponents under 28 points, with three of them at 20 or less.

The Oklahoma Sooners‘ defense under Brent Venables is much improved. They are allowing just 8.5 points per game, while the offense is scoring at a high clip of 45.75 points per game. Now, it’s not quite that simple, especially since they slaughtered Arkansas State 73-0 in week one.

Dillon Gabriel looks more comfortable in Jeff Lebby’s offense and leads a relatively balanced attack, and they have stayed efficient throughout. The passing game has the ability to be explosive, but they thrive in the short/RPO game.

Iowa State has made a habit of upsetting the Sooners, but they have done most of their damage in Ames. With this game in Norman, the Sooners will take this game easily.

Bet: Oklahoma -20 (-110)

Texas State -5.5 (-110) vs. Southern Miss +5.5 (-110)

Texas State had quite the ride against Nevada last week. They struggled early, getting down 17-0 before racking up 35 consecutive points. They were set to cover a 17-point spread against the Wolfpack before they got a garbage-time touchdown with a minute left in the game.

Head coach G.J. Kinne has this team firing on all cylinders. Quarterback T.J. Finley hasn’t been the most consistent passer, but his arm talent has helped the Bobcats hit some deep shots. The running game is the catalyst of this offense, with Calvin Hill and Ismail Mahdi toting the rock.

Southern Miss has struggled this season. The offense has scored less than 18 points per game against FBS competition, while the defense has allowed nearly 44 points per game. They just aren’t a good football team this year, and Frank Gore Jr. isn’t bailing them out like in years past. The Bobcats should roll pretty easily.

Bet: Texas State -5.5 (-110)

South Carolina +12.5 (-110) vs. Tennessee -12.5 (-110)

The South Carolina Gamecocks showed out in a big way against Georgia, not just covering the spread but leading them at the half and keeping the game close throughout.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler hasn’t been super consistent this year, but some of that has to do with his poor offensive line play. When he has been protected, Rattler has been great at attacking the intermediate levels of the field, especially when targeting the emerging Xavier Legette.

What happened to the Tennessee Volunteers? They have struggled massively on offense since week two against Austin Peay. They couldn’t sustain anything consistently, but they could still muster an explosive play or two which kept them in the game longer than they should have been.

Joe Milton is just not a good quarterback. He can’t throw it accurately in the short and intermediate levels of the field. It’s so bad that talk about five-star true freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava will get louder and louder over the next few weeks.

South Carolina beat a much better team 65-38 last year and can do it again. Don’t just look for the Gamecocks to cover, but they should be able to win this game.

Bet: South Carolina +12.5 (-110)

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