College football picks against the spread: How to bet Week 10’s biggest games

Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) throws the ball against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) throws the ball against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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College football picks against the spread
Clemson running back Travis Etienne (9) /

College football picks against the spread for Week 10’s biggest games, including Florida-Georgia and Clemson-Notre Dame.

It was a major letdown when Clemson was forced to announced that Heisman Trophy candidate Trevor Lawrence would be missing the team’s top-five matchup with Notre Dame. The two teams come into this matchup looking to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff, barring any other major upsets. Now, there’s major doubt about how much this game means for either team.

However, another game with major implications is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. Georgia and Florida head to Jacksonville with a lot of outstanding storylines around the game. Georgia’s quarterback situation continues to be top of mind. Florida’s team is still dealing with COVID-19 cases. Both teams are ranked in the Top 10 despite coming into the game with a loss. The Gators brawled with Missouri last week, which overshadowed a huge win on the field.

There are a total of four Top 25 matchups. They come in four different conferences. This is going to be one of the most fun weekends on the college football schedule.

These are just two of the 18 Top-25 matchups this week. Major implications in just about every conference, including the Pac 12 which opens its season this weekend. This marks the last of the Power 5 conferences to start, as they attempt to make up ground with zero teams in the Top 10. Seeing the likes of Oregon and USC trying to make noise in the Top 25 is just a fun addition to a crazy season.

The schedule starts with two interesting matchups on Friday. There are some fun upsets possible on the schedule. Either way, there is money to be made on the college football schedule this week.

All lines are taken from the William Hill Sportsbook.

College football picks against the spread for Week 10

No. 25 Liberty at Virginia Tech (-14.5)

This one might have a lot of bettors scratching their heads. A ranked team is giving more than two touchdowns to an unranked team? Virginia Tech can score points in bunches, which has to be scary when looking at this from 30,000 feet, but this has “name recognition” written all over it. Oddsmakers expect those who bet with their gut to pick the team they’ve heard of, which is disproportionately going to be Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, Liberty already has an ACC win (against Syracuse, but still). This isn’t going to be a Liberty win, but it will be respectable.

Pick: Liberty (+14.5)

West Virginia at No. 22 Texas (-7)

West Virginia is a team that is the typical Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One week, they come out and destroy a ranked Kansas State team. The week prior, they have no shot against a bad Texas Tech team. Meanwhile, Texas just took down Oklahoma State in overtime. Sam Ehlinger is pulling these games from out of nowhere, but the WVU defense is too much for Texas to overcome. This is a really fun moneyline play (+180), but to be safe definitely take the points. This one started as  Texas -11, and it plummeted. There’s a reason big money is coming in on the Mountaineers (it’s the defense).

Pick: West Virginia (+7)

Arizona State at No. 20 USC (-10.5)

The first Pac 12 matchup on the list brings one of the most intriguing teams in the conference into the spotlight. USC always gets the benefit of the doubt because of its history, but with Kedon Slovis under center, anything is possible. This one is going to come down to the quarterbacks. Slovis is facing someone just about as talented in Jayden Daniels. Slovis won’t hit 30 touchdowns again, but he will put up big numbers. However, 10.5 is too many points. Daniels will keep it close until the end.

Pick: Arizona State (+10.5)

Kansas at No. 19 Oklahoma (-38)

The oddsmakers are really testing the “how many points does it take to get people to bet on a bad team” theory here. Oklahoma has been much better as of late, putting up 62 points on Texas Tech last week. Kansas has basically thrown in the towel after running back Pooka Williams opted out of the season a few weeks ago. It’s a lot of points, but Spencer Rattler with go off in the first half, and the Sooners’ backups can mop up enough in the second half to push this to the over.

Pick: Oklahoma (-38)

No. 18 SMU (-18.5) at Temple

Last season when these two teams met, SMU quarterback Shane Buechele accounted for six touchdowns. It was a phenomenal performance by the then-junior quarterback. He’s having an even better season this year. Temple has been competitive in some games, but they seem to lose big to good teams. This will be no different.

Pick: SMU (-18.5)

Baylor at No. 17 Iowa State (-13.5)

Baylor has been downright bad in Dave Aranda’s first season. There was hope quarterback Charlie Brewer was able to keep things afloat, but he hasn’t even been mentioned in the national conversation after taking his team to the Big 12 Championship last season. This matchup falling under 14 points for Iowa State is crucial. The Cyclones can score, but they will give up some points. They should be able to put up a 14-point win here, but it will be close to the line.

Pick: Iowa State (-13.5)

UMass at No. 16 Marshall (-44.5)

UMass is one of the very worst teams in all of college football. Marshall is having one of its best seasons in recent memory. This obviously only comes down to points. Can Marshall score enough to get past 45 points? This comes down to math. UMass went 2-13 on third down last week. They threw two interceptions. These are the types of stats that lead to a huge loss. Go for Marshall.

Pick: Marshall (-44.5)

South Alabama at No. 15 Coastal Carolina (-16.5)

Coastal Carolina has been really good this season. They are 5-1 against the spread this season. They just put up 51 points on Georgia State last week, one of the biggest wins in the country this season. However, South Alabama has been competitive themselves, going 4-2 against the spread this season. The issue is they we’re able to cover the last two times they were the underdog. Coastal Carolina is too much better than its opponent to bet against them. It feels like too many points, but in reality, it’s much more likely the Chanticleers cover over anything else.

Pick: Coastal Carolina (-16.5)

No. 14 Oklahoma State (-10.5) at Kansas State

Kansas State is coming off a drubbing at the hands of West Virginia. The Wildcats went from ranked 16th in the nation to completely unranked. Oklahoma State also lost, ruining their faint dreams of making the College Football Playoff. Both these teams are still very in the race to make the Big 12 Championship Game. The Cowboys are more talented, but weirdly Kansas State has been the underdog in every Big 12 matchup except the one against lowly Kansas. They’ve won three of those four games outright. Go with the home team and the points.

Pick: Kansas State (+10.5)

No. 23 Michigan (-3.5) at No. 13 Indiana

Michigan is still getting too much respect. Indiana is a really good team, and despite being lucky to cover against Rutgers thanks to a called back lateral play, they are still 2-0 against the spread. Michael Penix and Joe Milton are obvious the keys under center. Michigan’s playcalling was brutal last week, and it kept Milton from making enough plays against Michigan State. This is just Michigan money coming in, and Indiana isn’t getting the love they deserve.

Pick: Indiana (+3.5)

Stanford at No. 12 Oregon (-10.5)

The top-ranked team in the Pac 12 is the Oregon Ducks. They are replacing Justin Herbert, who’s slinging it better in the NFL than it seemed he was doing in college. It’s so early in the season, and there were lessons to be learned when other conferences played their first game of the season. Anything can happen in these games. On paper, one would hope Oregon has the right pieces to win. Gabe Reid and Kyu Kelly are both missing from the Stanford defense this week. This feels like a classic stay away, but for now take the points.

Pick: Stanford (+10.5)

No. 11 Miami (-9.5) at NC State

The first of two major Friday matchups has the Miami Hurricanes looking to get back into the Top 10. Miami is looking for its third-straight win after Clemson destroyed them. D’Eriq King is and always was going to be the key to this offense. He’s a human swiss-army knife. NC State is a good team in its own right. They lost to North Carolina its last time out, but its record of 4-2 can’t be ignored. This comes down to points, as Miami seems like the likely winner. 9.5 seems like two points too much. The Wolfpack should cover here in a close matchup.

Pick: NC State (+9.5)

No. 9 BYU (-2.5) at No. 21 Boise State

This is one of the underrated matchups of the weekend. Friday night at 9:45 p.m. Eastern, two of the best Group of Five teams face off. BYU has been absolutely electric on offense. Boise State has a quarterback question, as Hank Bachmeier could miss this game. Jack Sears was really good against Air Force filling in, and the USC transfer can absolutely perform against the BYU defense, but keeping up with the BYU offense is another story. The Cougars won by blowout in every game but won, which was still a touchdown win. It’s too much for this iteration of the Broncos.

Pick: BYU (-2.5)

No. 7 Texas A&M (-7.5) at South Carolina

Texas A&M has struggled against the spread so far this season, going 2-3 when bettors put their money behind the Aggies. South Carolina has literally never beaten Texas A&M, losing all six matchups since 2014. Kellen Mond has been playing really well for Texas A&M, as Jimbo Fisher is trying to show his growth after three years as the program’s head coach. This is not a game where they can afford to take their foot off the gas. That extra half-point is unfortunate, but even with it it’s a confident choice.

Pick: Texas A&M (-7.5)

Houston at No. 6 Cincinnati (-11.5)

Houston has had a frustrating season, having matchups canceled or postponed for multiple weeks to start the season. The Cougars also lost its two biggest matchups of the season so far (vs. UCF and BYU). Not only did they lose, but it wasn’t close (average of a 19.5 point loss). Cincinnati rolled over Memphis last week after many were picking them to lose straight up. This isn’t the Cincinnati team of old. There are a lot of variables here, including the possibility of a letdown for the Bearcats after a big win. Might be worth skipping this matchup, but for now, go with the favorite.

Pick: Cincinnati (-11.5)

Rutgers at No. 3 Ohio State (-38)

Full disclosure, there is no line on this on William Hill. Since Rutgers joined the Big Ten, Ohio State has won every matchup by an average of 46.5 points. This is apparently a different Rutgers team led by Greg Schiano. They won their first Big Ten game already this year, and they were close to covering against a good Indiana team last week. Ohio State is much, much better than the Scarlet Knights. However, 38 points is a lot to put up. Still feels like Rutgers has nobody to stop Justin Fields, and this will be a classic stat padding.

Pick: Ohio State (-38)