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Ryan’s Ramble: Alright alright alright...

We’ve got a big week of games ahead of us. Check out some picks and previews for week 5 in college football.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Texas Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 was a big one here at Ryan’s Ramble, posting a 9-2 overall record as well as cashing a 5-team parlay for +275 odds. I guess this makes up for my horrid week 1 outing, but we don’t need to speak of that any more, it’s in the past; all I see is green now.

To think I considered taking Oklahoma -28… dodged a bullet on that one!

Last week was full of exciting games and upsets. Some of the most notable include Kansas State taking down 3rd ranked Oklahoma 38-35 in Norman and Mississippi State stunning defending national champions LSU in Death Valley. In my opinion, Mike Leach is one of the top offensive head coaches in the country and I’m excited to see what he will bring to the SEC. A few games such as TCU vs Iowa State, Pittsburgh vs Louisville, and Texas Tech vs Texas went down to the wire as well.

The vibes are riding high right now, ever since week 1 we’ve been on a steady incline into the green. I’ve made a lot of picks this week… and I mean a lot. I plan to ride this wave of confidence for as long as I can; as a wise man once said, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

There are a lot of great matchups I’m looking forward to in week 5. Alabama vs Texas A&M, Georgia vs Auburn, and of course Texas vs TCU to name a few. I am a big fan of this week’s spreads all across the board. I don’t want to get ahead of myself… but these oddsmakers may have granted us a golden opportunity this Saturday.

Week 5 is here. Let’s go:

All odds are taken from Friday, 2:00 p.m. CST based on DraftKings sportsbook

Game 1: Missouri @ Tennessee

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Tennessee -13, Mizzou +13
  • O/U: 48.5
  • Money Line: Tennessee -530, Mizzou +390

Pick: Mizzou +13

Why: Mizzou didn’t look amazing in week 1, but when you consider the fact that Alabama loves to embarrass teams early in the season it wasn’t too bad. All things considered, losing to Bama by 19 isn’t the worst thing in the world and if the Tigers can keep it within 3 possessions against the Crimson Tide, they can definitely manage to keep it within 2 against Tennessee. In fact, the Tigers won the 2nd half against Bama 16-10 and showed some real potential. I really like the Tigers defense in this matchup. They only gave up 111 rushing yards and 3.3 YPC vs an infamously dominant Alabama rushing attack. Not to mention the Volunteers offense went 1-12 on 3rd downs a week ago. I can’t say whether or not Mizzou will pull out a win in Knoxville, but I can tell you they have potential to compete all 4 quarters.

Game 2: TCU @ Texas

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Texas -10.5, TCU +10.5
  • O/U: 62
  • Money Line: Texas -455, TCU +335

Pick: TCU +10.5

Why: I try to avoid betting on my favorite teams as much as possible to avoid any bias in my picks, but this spread is very appealing. You’ve probably heard it a million times in the past week, and you’ll hear it again: TCU is 6-2 against Texas since joining the Big 12. Not to mention in 2019, 6 of TCU’s 7 losses came by 7 points or less. The Horned Frogs are experts at keeping games close even if it doesn’t always go their way. I also like this spread due to the situation UT is in. The Longhorns are coming off a sweaty 63-56 overtime win against Texas Tech, and will most likely be putting their attention towards a Red River Rivalry matchup in week 6. I wouldn’t be surprised if they slipped up at home this weekend. This is the first real defense Sam Ehlinger and the UT offense will face this season and I am expecting this game to turn into a battle of possession. Back the Horned Frogs to keep it close this Saturday in Austin, Matthew McConaughey’s got nothing on me.

Game 3: South Carolina @ Florida

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Florida -16.5, South Carolina +16.5
  • O/U: 57.5
  • Money Line: Florida -670, South Carolina +480

Pick: South Carolina team total over 20.0

Why: Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is the real deal, this pick has nothing to do with the Gator’s ability to score on offense rather their inability to stop scoring on defense. Florida lost a few key players from their highly rated secondary last season, and it showed against Ole Miss last week. They gave up 227 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions to Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore. Because of this, I’ll be looking out for Gamecock receiver Shi Smith, who caught 10 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee last week, to exploit the Gators defense. I don’t think South Carolina has a shot at winning this game as it would be near impossible to keep up with this Gator offense, but I do expect them to put up a decent amount of points in the process.

Game 4: Baylor @ West Virginia

  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Spread: Baylor -2.5, WVU +2.5
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: Baylor -135, WVU +115

Pick: West Virginia +2.5

Why: I think West Virginia is majorly undervalued in this home matchup against Baylor, I’m surprised they are underdogs at all. Other than a dreadful 20-7 2nd quarter, West Virginia hung with Oklahoma State on the road for the majority of the game. Their offense didn’t put up as many points as expected, but that shouldn’t be a problem against a lackluster Baylor defense. West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege has looked solid through the first two games, but the star of the show has been the Mountaineer rushing attack. Baylor on the other hand had a slow start last week but came out with a 33 point victory against Kansas, big whoop… This game will be a real test that defines these programs this year, and I think West Virginia takes a slight edge. I’m tempted to take the Mountaineers money line at +115, but I’ll play it safe with a 2.5 point cushion.

Game 5: Texas A&M @ Alabama

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Alabama -18, A&M +18
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: Alabama -1667, A&M +850

Pick: Alabama (1Q) -3.5

Why: Alabama has a tendency to get off to a hot start, proven by last week’s 14-0 1st quarter and 28-3 first half against Mizzou. Meanwhile the highly rated (for some unknown reason) Texas A&M squad struggled in their home opener against a measly Vanderbilt team, scraping by with a 17-12 victory. To the Aggies credit, they could have been keeping a few tricks up their sleeve for their big time matchup this week. It seems like Bama followed suit as they played a slow-tempo offense in the 2nd half only putting up 10 points after a dominant first half. I am expecting the Aggies to get off to a slow start in Tuscaloosa and for Bama to continue the trend of dominating first halves. If you really think about it, 3.5 points in nothing; a touchdown and a few defensive stops and we’re golden.

Game 6: Texas Tech @ Kansas State

  • Kickoff: 2:30 CST
  • Spread: K-State -2.5, Texas Tech +2.5
  • O/U: 64
  • Money Line: K-State -135, Texas Tech +115

Picks: Kansas State -2.5

Why: By golly those Wildcats have gone and did it again! Kansas State took down the 3rd ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman 38-35 last week in a nail biter. Texas Tech’s game last week also went down to the wire as they fell 63-56 in overtime to Texas. Tough break for the Red Raiders considering they were up by 15 with 3:00 left in the game. Typically, I’d be weary of betting on teams coming off a huge upset win but the Wildcats proved last year they can keep their poise as they won the game following beating Oklahoma in 2019 38-10. Tech has got to be heartbroken after that OT loss at home to an inter-state rival, and I expect a low morale to follow them into Manhattan this week. It’s hard to picture the Wildcats starting the season 0-2 at home, back K-State to win by at least a field goal.

Game 7: North Carolina @ Boston College

  • Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: UNC -14.5, BC +14.5
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: UNC -670, BC +460

Pick: Under 54

Why: The Tar Heels haven’t played a game since September 12, the longest layover of their 2020 season. Because of this, I expect them to come out to a slow offensive start similar to their first half performance against Syracuse in game 1. Boston College isn’t exactly known for their offense, rather they are known for their physicality. This will be a different kind of game for the Tar Heels this week, and as long as the Eagles can contain quarterback Sam Howell in the 1st half everything should pan out fine for the under.

Game 8: Virginia Tech @ Duke

  • Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: VT -13, Duke +13
  • O/U: 54
  • Money Line: VT -530, Duke +390

Pick: Virginia Tech (1H) -7.0

Why: Virginia Tech looked really good in their season opener against NC State, especially their offense. The Hokies put up 495 yards and 45 points last week and averaged an astounding 7.7 yards per carry on the ground. Something to note in this matchup is Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker is expected to be back in action after sitting last week due to COVID-19 complications. Duke looked to be decent in their season opener against Notre Dame, but since then it’s been quite the opposite; a 20 point loss to Boston College and an 18 point loss to Virginia. The offense hasn’t been able to get much going, and I don’t see that changing against a veteran Hokie defense. Back the Hokies to cover early on in this game. Another play I would consider is to split the first half spread with the full game spread (-13) to combine for a larger play with less risk.

Game 9: Western Kentucky @ Middle Tennessee

  • Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: WKU -7, MTSU +7
  • O/U: 53
  • Money Line: WKU -250, MTSU +200

Pick: Western Kentucky -7

Why: MTSU snuck away with a backdoor cover last week against UTSA with 1:10 on the clock. Other than that, the Blue Raiders haven’t had much going for them. Remember when I thought MTSU would cover the spread against Army in week 1? Me neither. I learned my lesson and I’m riding with the Hilltoppers this week. Western Kentucky showed some potential against a solid Louisville team on the road in their season opener. Honestly, that’s all the evidence I need to bet against an MTSU team that has shown me nothing substantial thus far in the season. It might not be pretty, but the Hilltoppers will get the job done on the road and win by at least one possession.

Game 10: Navy @ Air Force

  • Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Navy -6.5, Air Force +6.5
  • O/U: 47
  • Money Line: Navy -250, Air Force +200

Pick: Under 47

Why: Betting the under isn’t always as fun as rooting for tons of points on the over, but in this matchup it just makes sense. Air Force and Navy ranked 129th and 130th out of 130 FBS teams last season in passing play percentage. The clock is going to get eaten up faster than a Tesla’s 0-60; perfect for the under. In the last 15 years, unders on games between 2/3 of the service academies have gone an impressive 35-9-1. Believe in the triple option to cover the under this weekend. Note that this is the Falcons first game of the year, and as we’ve learned in previous weeks, teams opening the season against a team that has already played a a game have struggled. This might cause for Air Force to get a slow start offensively.

Game 11: Arkansas @ Mississippi State

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Miss. State -17, Arkansas +17
  • O/U: 69
  • Money Line: Miss. State -910, Arkansas +600

Pick: Mississippi State team total over 42.5

Why: Mike Leach, K.J. Costello. That’s all you need to know.

Game 12: Auburn @ Georgia

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CST
  • Spread: Georgia -7.5, Auburn +7.5
  • O/U: 44
  • Money Line: Georgia -305, Auburn +240

Pick: Under 22.5 (1H)

Why: I couldn’t go by this week without getting in on this top 10 matchup, and based off the way these teams played last week I’m taking the first half under. Both teams got off to slow starts offensively last week, Georgia’s game had a first half total of only 12 and Auburn’s game was similar with a first half total of 15. It helps that Georgia is a rush first offense so I expect the defenses to be competitive early on. If this pick ends up hitting, look to live bet the over as both of these teams typically perform better in the second half. I’m excited to see the first big SEC battle of the year this Saturday.

Hammer time pick of the week: Alabama (1Q) -3.5

  • ROLL TIDE BABY! Trust in Nick Saban and the football gods for this hammer pick of the week to cash. Lock it in while you still can.

Waluigi’s why not pick(s) of the week: Georgia State -2.5, Arkansas State @ Coastal Carolina o65

  • Not much to say here, there is a reason I call it the “why not” pick of the week. I’m trusting my gut feeling on these ones.

Purple Rain Parlay of the week: Virginia Tech -530, Mizzou +13, Florida -670, Kansas State -135 (+360 odds)

  • Risk 1 unit to win 3.6

Well as you can see, there’s a reason we call it Ryan’s Ramble. Hopefully my explosion of words can turn into an abundance of wins.

I am sending positive vibes to you and all of your college football picks this weekend. #BeatTheBookie

List View:

  • Missouri +13
  • TCU +10.5
  • South Carolina (tt) o20.0
  • West Virginia +2.5
  • Alabama (1Q) -3.5, Hammer time pick of the week
  • Kansas State -2.5
  • North Carolina @ Boston College u54
  • Virginia Tech (1H) -7
  • Western Kentucky -7
  • Navy @ Air Force u47
  • Mississippi State (tt) o42.5
  • Auburn @ Georgia (1H) u22.5
  • Georgia State -2.5, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Arkansas State @ Coastal Carolina o65, Waluigi’s why not pick of the week
  • Parlay: VT -530, Mizzou +13, Florida -670, K-State -135 (+360) — Purple Rain parlay of the week