Top College Football Picks For Week 5: Three ATS Plays You Must Bet

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 3:23 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2015 3:23 PM UTC

I hit on two of my three top College Football picks against the betting odds last week: Boise State at -2.5 over Virginia and USC -5.5 over Arizona State. Missed on Auburn as a pick'em at home to Mississippi State. Here are my three Week 5 top picks.

No. 13 Alabama At No. 8 Georgia
I can't remember what it's like to bet Alabama as an underdog on college football picks because the Crimson Tide hadn't been one since the 2009 SEC Championship Game, in which they hammered Florida. The next 72 games, Alabama was favored by at least 2.5 points. Straight up in those games, the Tide were 62-10. Well, Georgia is a 2-point favorite here and is still taking the majority lean. It would be pretty shocking to see Nick Saban's club out of the national title hunt this early in the season. You have to give the quarterback edge here to Georgia's Greyson Lambert, the Virginia transfer. He is an obscene 33-for-35 in his past two games with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Alabama's Jacob Coker is more a work in progress. After not naming a starting quarterback prior to each of Alabama's first three games, Saban tabbed Coker as the Tide's starter for last week's game with Louisiana Monroe. He was just OK, completing 17-for-31 for 158 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. There were a  handful of dropped passes.

But really this is going to come down to which defense stops a Heisman Trophy candidate running back: Georgia's Nick Chubb and Alabama's Derrick Henry; Henry actually was first committed to Georgia but decommited during his junior year. Chub has had 12 straight 100-yard games, tying the school record of former Heisman winner Herschel Walker. Chubb is tied for first in the country with 19 rushes of 10 yards or more. Alabama ranks No. 4 nationally in allowing 56.8 rushing yards per game. Henry has 422 yards and eight scores on 67 carries this year. UGA is No. 25 against the rush, allowing 107.3 yards per game.

NCAAF Free Pick: Georgia -2 at BetOnline. The Tide are just 2-5 ATS in their past seven road games. Georgia is 5-2 ATS in its past seven in the SEC.

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No. 1 Ohio State At Indiana
The Hoosiers are 21-point underdogs on college football odds. That the top-ranked Buckeyes are unbeaten entering their Big Ten opener is expected. That Indiana is? Pretty surprising. It’ll be the first time the two schools have met without a loss between them since 1954. But I'm not sure how real the Hoosiers are. They rank No. 18 nationally in total offense at 522 yards per game and head coach Kevin Wilson is  a great offensive mind. But IU has beaten Southern Illinois, Florida International, Western Kentucky and Wake Forest -- and SIU only lost by one and Wake by seven. Southern Illinois also scored 47 points, so how many do you think Ohio State will put up? I also think the Buckeyes were a bit bored in the non-conference schedule after the Virginia Tech game and will arrive with plenty of focus to start conference play. OSU coach Urban Meyer stressed interior run defense this week in  practice after his team allowed 168 yards on the ground against Western Michigan last week. Indiana's Jordan Howard will provide an even bigger test on Saturday as he leads the nation with 675 yards rushing.

Indiana did push Ohio State to the near-limit last year in a 42-27 loss, but that was a trap game for OSU after a close win at Minnesota and ahead of the rivalry game with Michigan. The Buckeyes have the nation’s longest winning streak at 17 games, a 24-game winning streak in Big Ten regular-season games and a 19-game winning streak against Indiana.

NCAAF Free Pick: Ohio State -21 at Bodog. It has covered five of the past six at Indiana. The Hoosiers  have covered only two of their past nine Big Ten games.

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Oregon At Colorado
The Ducks are just 7.5-point favorites on most college football odds boards. Oregon fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 this week for the first time since September 2009 following last week's shocking 62-20 home loss to Utah. But Oregon's season isn't over. Yes, reaching the College Football Playoff is finished, but the Ducks can still win the Pac-12 and perhaps play in the Rose Bowl. We still don't know whether Vernon Adams, who was benched in the loss to Utah, or Jeff Lockie will start at quarterback in this one. But I still think online sportsbooks are overreacting to last week's loss. Colorado lost its season opener at Hawaii. Hawaii!  True, the Buffs are now on a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2008, but those wins were over UMass, Colorado State (in overtime) and Nicholls State. The Buffaloes are running the ball well at 272.0 per game, third in the Pac-12 behind Oregon. And run defense has been a problem for the Ducks. But the talent level here isn't close.

NCAAF Free Pick: Oregon -7 at 5Dimes. This might be my top pick of the year. The Ducks have covered the past four meetings.

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