The 2020 college football enters October with a full week of AP Top 25 action.
There are 16 games involving teams ranked in the top 25, and a pair of ranked matchups between SEC teams are the highlights on the schedule.
No. 13 Texas A&M travels to No. 2 Alabama in a game featured in the 3:30 p.m. time slot before the first top-10 matchup of the season between No. 7 Auburn and No. 4 Georgia. Only three matchups have spreads of fewer than 10 points for the weekend among Top 25 teams.
MORE: Week 5 CFP picture
Here’s a look at our track record this season:
Last week: 15-2 S/U, 9-8 ATS
Overall: 36-9 S/U, 17-21 ATS
Top 25: 26-4 S/U, 12-17 ATS
Now, a look at our picks against the spread for Week 5. As always, our point spreads are courtesy of BetOnline.Ag.
Week 5 picks against spread
- Louisiana Tech at No. 22 BYU (-24)
BYU is 2-0 ATS and put up 51.5 points per game in those games. Louisiana Tech averages 47.5 ppg but has a porous defense that will be exposed on the road. The Bulldogs are 6-3 ATS as a road underdog since 2018, and that’s too many points.
Pick: BYU wins 45-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- TCU at No. 9 Texas (-13)
The Horned Frogs lost a 37-34 shootout at Iowa State and had trouble running the football in their opener. That said, TCU has won five of the past six against Texas. The Longhorns win at home, but it’s typical Big 12 football.
Pick: Texas wins 38-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- N.C. State at No. 24 Pitt (-13.5)
The Panthers have failed to cover the past two weeks, but they are against a Wolfpack defense that allowed 43.5 points in its first two games. Get this before the spread clears two TDs.
Pick: Pitt wins 34-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Missouri at No. 21 Tennessee (-10)
Jeremy Pruitt is 1-1 against Missouri, and the Tigers pulled off an unexpected cover ATS in Eli Drinkwitz’s debut against Alabama. We like the Vols to win the home opener this time, but it’s a tough pick.
Pick: Tennessee wins 28-21 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- South Carolina at Florida (-18.5)
Florida has a legitimate Heisman candidate in Kyle Trask, and it’s easy to picture the Gators rolling against the Gamecocks in The Swamp. Will Muschamp is 1-3 against his former team, but the average margin of defense in the three losses is fewer than 10 points.
Pick: Florida wins 41-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 25 Memphis (-1.5) at SMU
The Tigers are back after dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak on the team, and they met the Mustangs in a rematch of last year’s 54-48 shootout. Expect this game to follow a similar pattern in a battle of veteran quarterbacks in Brady White and Shane Buechele. SMU has the advantage of playing three games, but we’ll make them prove it.
Pick: Memphis wins 44-41 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 17 Oklahoma State (-21) at Kansas
The Cowboys pulled out a last-minute cover ATS in a 27-13 victory against West Virginia last week. The offense still is finding its way without Spencer Sanders, who didn’t start against the Mountaineers. Fortunately, the Cowboys have an improved defense. SN is 0-2 picking the Cowboys this year, so feel free to stay away.
Pick: Oklahoma State wins 34-14 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- South Florida at No. 15 Cincinnati (-21.5)
The Bulls had two weeks to prepare after a 52-0 loss to Notre Dame, and they are up against a Bearcats team looking to make a run to the New Year’s Day Six. Cincinnati won a tight 20-17 nail-biter last year. This one won’t be as close.
Pick: Cincinnati wins 38-16 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 13 Texas A&M at No. 2 Alabama (-17)
The Crimson Tide have won the past six meetings in this series by an average of 24 points per game, and Nick Saban should be able to keep his team’s focus after some ugliness in mop-up duty against Missouri. Kellen Mond played well in the last meeting, but this Alabama defense is better. The half-point adds value.
Pick: Alabama wins 40-20 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 12 North Carolina (-13) at Boston College
The line jumped up 1.5 points from its original setting. BC has an up-and-coming coach in Jeff Hafley, but the Tar Heels present too many challenges on both sides of the football. Look for Sam Howell to get back on track.
Pick: North Carolina wins 34-17 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 20 LSU (-20.5) at Vanderbilt
The Tigers lost their opener, and there is a risk for a first-half hangover against Vanderbilt. That said, LSU still has enough talent to overwhelm the Commodores in the first half. Expect the defense to play with an edge if All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. returns.
Pick: LSU wins 38-10 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 18 Oklahoma (-7.5) at Iowa State
A pair of one-loss Big 12 teams will go at it in Ames. Iowa State bounced back from a Week 1 loss to Louisiana, and the Sooners were turnover-prone against Kansas State. The past four meetings have been decided by 10 points or fewer. That’s the line we are looking at.
Pick: Oklahoma wins 41-31 and COVERS the spread.
- Arkansas at No. 16 Mississippi State (-17.5)
We knew the Mike Leach experience would be fun in Starkville, but we had no idea that it would happen so fast. The Bulldogs have to handle that praise, but Arkansas will have trouble keeping up in the second half.
Pick: Mississippi State wins 45-23 and COVERS the spread.
- Tulsa at No. 11 UCF (-21)
The Golden Hurricane hung around with Oklahoma State in their opener, but UCF’s offense runs a little smoother. Look for the Knights to clean up some of the mistakes they made in the second half against East Carolina. Tulsa did beat UCF last season. It could be interesting.
Pick: UCF wins 43-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia (-6.5)
Georgia has quarterback questions, and it will be interesting if USC transfer JT Daniels sees his first action in a tough assignment against Auburn, which looked more consistent with Bo Nix in his sophomore season. The Tigers haven’t won in Athens since 2005, but this will be close.
Pick: Georgia wins 27-23 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Virginia at No. 1 Clemson (-30.5)
Clemson had a week off to prepare for a rematch of last year’s ACC championship game. Look for the Tigers to give Miami something to think about ahead of next week’s top-10 showdown. Clemson is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 conference games.
Pick: Clemson wins 49-14 and COVERS the spread.