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Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to a game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP National Championship.
Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to a game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP National Championship. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images via AFP.

Despite being favored by at least two touchdowns in every matchup, Alabama has struggled mightily in four of its five true road games since the start of last season. Our Week 5 college football trends look at whether bettors can trust the Crimson Tide to cover at Arkansas this week.

With a massive college football weekend looming, it’s time to dive into the key betting trends to know for Week 5. As conference play continues to ramp up, there will be more and more history to examine on a weekly basis between familiar opponents. Our list extends from some of the marquee matchups to games that will be easily overlooked. 

As always, we warn bettors about the dangers of placing bets solely based on historical trends and data. That said, some of the trends that are specific to Week 5 matchups can help jumpstart a more thorough handicap. 

Here are our top five college football betting trends to know for Week 5 (all referenced odds via DraftKings Sportsbook).

Top College Football Betting Trends for Week 5

No. 1: Purdue vs. Minnesota

Purdue is a perfect 15-0 ATS in its last 15 road games against teams allowing less than 6.5 yards per pass attempt.

After blowing past Michigan State on the road last week, Minnesota is suddenly garnering some respect. The Golden Gophers are ranked in the AP Poll and are priced as 12-point home favorites against a Purdue team that has been anything but solid so far this season. 

It may seem daunting to take the Boilermakers plus the points on the road in this spot, but Purdue has thrived recently when facing stingy passing defenses. Coming into this game, Minnesota ranks seventh in the country allowing only 5.1 yards per pass attempt to opponents. 

Of course, the aerial attack is the bread and butter of Purdue’s offense. The last 15 games in which the Boilermakers went on the road against a defense allowing less than 6.5 yards per pass attempt, they covered the point spread every time.

In order for Purdue to continue this remarkable ATS streak, the status of quarterback Aidan O’Connell figures to be paramount. After missing last week’s contest due to an undisclosed injury, coach Jeff Brohm deemed the senior to be a game-time decision against Minnesota. Assuming that O’Connell suits up, the Boilermakers will be a very interesting underdog given how many points they are catching.

No. 2: Alabama vs. Arkansas

Alabama is just 1-4 ATS in its last five road games as a betting favorite.

Since Nick Saban took over as head coach in 2007, the Crimson Tide have certainly dominated against Arkansas. On the field, Alabama has won 15 straight meetings between the two schools. A 7-point home win last year snapped a streak of six consecutive double-digit wins. Given this recent dominance, it's no wonder why the Tide are laying 17.5 points ahead of Saturday’s clash in Fayetteville. 

That said, the trend we are focusing on here would seem to suggest that Arkansas has a shot. Since the start of last season, Alabama has been favored by at least 14 points in each of its five true road games. Contrary to what most might assume, betting against the Crimson Tide in those spots has been a very profitable endeavor. 

While ‘Bama did win four of those five games outright, the Tide covered the spread only once. Just how close have Alabama’s recent road games been? Well, three of the wins since the start of last year were by a margin of two points or less.

It was just three weeks ago that the Tide were fortunate to escape with a one-point win over Texas. If Arkansas can overcome the pain of last week’s heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M, perhaps the Razorbacks can become the next team to give the Crimson Tide a run for their money.

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No. 3: Wake Forest vs. Florida State

Wake Forest is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 road games against teams with a winning percentage of .800 or better.

One of the games between ranked teams on Saturday’s college football schedule is the ACC showdown in Tallahassee between Wake Forest and Florida State. This matchup has garnered plenty of attention from the betting community throughout the week thanks to a decisive line move in favor of the Seminoles. However, history suggests that Wake tends to show up in spots like this.

The Demon Deacons covered the spread in nine of their last 10 games on the road against a team with a winning percentage of .800 or better. Of course, FSU comes into this matchup with a 1.000 winning percentage at 4-0. 

Last week, Wake Forest suffered a gut-wrenching loss to Clemson in double overtime. While quarterback Sam Hartman and the offense were electric, the Deacons’ defense was a complete sieve. Having to now turn around and play on the road against a Florida State team that is bigger, stronger, and more athletic is a daunting task, to say the least.

The Seminoles opened up as 3-point favorites, but the market has since ballooned to FSU -6.5. This line move has transpired despite two-thirds of all ATS bets at DraftKings siding with the underdog. For as well as Wake Forest has performed as a road ‘dog recently, there are several hurdles that must be cleared in order for this trend to prove reliable on Saturday.

Check out all of our top college football Week 5 picks here.

No. 4: LSU vs. Auburn

The total has gone Under in 10 of the last 11 head-to-head meetings between LSU and Auburn played at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The annual battle of the SEC’s Tigers lands in the Saturday primetime window this weekend. Relative to the rest of the teams in the SEC West Division, Auburn appears to be a step behind this season. The ability of the defense to contain Jayden Daniels and the LSU offense figures to be key given how Auburn’s own offense has struggled so far.

If recent matchups between these teams serve as any indication, oddsmakers can’t set the game total low enough. Ten of the last 11 meetings played at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, cashed the Under. 

Given that the teams rotate home field every other year, this trend clearly goes back quite a ways. In 2000, a Nick Saban-coached LSU team lost to Tommy Tuberville and Auburn by the score of 34-17. Fast-forward to 2022 and the Battle of the Tigers now also features two head coaches with the same name, albeit spelled differently!

So far this season, Auburn has yet to score more than 24 points against FBS-level competition. T.J. Finley got benched in favor of starting Robby Ashford at quarterback last week. It hardly made a difference against Missouri. With both sets of Tigers possessing talented and physical defensive fronts, it would hardly be a shock to see another low-scoring affair at Jordan-Hare on Saturday night.

No. 5: Virginia vs. Duke

Virginia is a perfect 7-0 SU and ATS in its last seven head-to-head meetings against Duke.

Considering some of the other high-profile games around the ACC this weekend, the primetime matchup between Virginia and Duke probably isn’t at the forefront of most bettors’ minds. Well, we like to pull college football betting trends from all across a given Saturday slate. Virginia’s recent success in this annual series is simply too great to be ignored.

As members of the ACC Coastal Division, these two schools have continued to play every year even after the conference expanded and split into divisions. Not only have the Cavaliers beaten Duke in seven straight meetings, but they also covered the spread in each of those games.

This week, Virginia finds itself in the unfamiliar situation of being an underdog against the Blue Devils. The Hoos have been favored in four of the last five meetings. This probably isn’t a huge surprise given that Duke isn’t exactly known for its success on the gridiron. 

Since 2015 when this trend first began, Virginia has beaten Duke by at least seven points every year. The last three seasons have been particularly lopsided, including a 48-0 rout last year. The Cavs are down this season, but they still have a capable playmaker at quarterback in Brennan Armstrong. In addition, Duke is primed for regression after a surprisingly hot start.

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