During the college football season, the Stadium staff will provide weekly betting picks and advice in this roundtable. Here are our thoughts on the Week 10 slate.
Note: Ben and Nate will discuss all of their college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
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Alex Symonds, Stadium Senior Producer: UAB (+100) over UTSA.
UAB lost a crucial game in the Conference USA race last week to FAU and unless we see some real chaos, the Blazers won’t make the league title game like we’ve come accustomed to. However, UAB can still play spoiler against league leader UTSA this week when the Roadrunners come to Protective Stadium. The Blazers have the best defense in C-USA, leading the league in opponent’s ppg and total defense, and should be able to slow down Frank Harris and a UTSA offense that averages 35.6 ppg.
This handicap hinges on who plays quarterback for UAB, as Dylan Hopkins didn’t play vs. FAU last week due to a concussion, while backup Jacob Zeno struggled to connect with receivers on third down in the loss to the Owls. However, Hopkins did travel with the team last week, signaling to me that he should be ready to go against UTSA.
Ben Wittenstein, Stadium Social Media Producer: Baylor +3.5 over Oklahoma.
Are we sure Oklahoma is good? Has Oklahoma shown they can be more than a field goal favorite over anyone? This is a team that barely escaped Kansas with a backup QB, and only beat a bad Iowa State team — who outgained them, by the way — because they won the turnover battle. Baylor has had its fair share of issues, but they have the talent and physicality to more than handle the Sooners. Baylor’s defensive line will give Oklahoma issues all game, and they should be able to pass all over the Sooner defense. Give me the Bears in this one.
Nate Jacobson, Stadium Sports Betting Analyst: James Madison +7.5 over Louisville.
Louisville is coming off an upset win against Wake Forest, where they forced six turnovers in the third quarter alone (eight total in the game). Next week the Cardinals have a trip to No. 4 Clemson, so this matchup now becomes a “sandwich” game for Louisville with them facing the best team in the ACC next week.
James Madison has been a pleasant surprise in their first season on the FBS level after being an FCS powerhouse. Getting to face an ACC team on the road is a huge chance for this Sun Belt program to make a statement, especially since the Dukes are ineligible to participate in postseason play in their transition season. The only hold up with betting on James Madison is the health status of QB Todd Centeio. Based on the early-week line move in this game from +10, I’m guessing he plays and would give Jame Madison a chance to win on the field.
AS: California +21.5 over USC.
Betting against USC and this eye-popping offense scares me, but Cal coach Justin Wilcox is a defensive wizard and has thrived as an underdog throughout his tenure in Berkeley (8-3 against the spread as an underdog since 2020). This is the first time Lincoln Riley has faced off with a Wilcox defense as a head coach, and I’ve got a feeling the Cal coach will unveil a new wrinkle or two to throw off Caleb Williams. In addition, USC has a quick turnaround to a Friday night game after this one wraps, so I’m hopeful the Trojans will have no problem sitting on a late lead and running clock.
BW: Under 50 in West Virginia vs. Iowa State.
For whatever reason, whenever Iowa State plays this season, points go to die. They’ve had three games with a combined score of 25 or less, and have only scored 25 or more points themselves twice (against Ohio and Southeast Missouri State). Iowa State also hasn’t been part of a game that’s gone over 50 points since Sept. 24 against Baylor.
And it’s not like it’s from an unadjusted market, as ISU is 6-2 on the under this year. The numbers and season history suggest a lower scoring affair, so as long as this number remains 50 or higher, I’ll bet on the under.
NJ: Clemson -3.5 over Notre Dame.
I believe the last two results for both Clemson and Notre Dame create a great betting opportunity. Two weeks ago, Clemson closed as a 14-point home favorite to an undefeated Syracuse team. The Tigers turned the ball over four times and escaped with a 27-21 victory. Despite the close margin, Clemson was clearly the better team and would’ve won by more if not for Syracuse’s 90-yard fumble return for a touchdown when the Tigers were on the verge of taking a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
Last week, the same Syracuse team hosted Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish took some late money to close as a one-point favorite. On the first play of the game Notre Dame had a pick-six, Orange QB Garrett Shrader left the game early with an injury and the Fighting Irish won 41-24. The recency bias against Syracuse has driven the line down and leads to value on Clemson off the bye. Notre Dame has been a bad home team this season with an 0-4 mark against the spread in South Bend, including two outright losses as huge favorites against Marshall and Stanford. I’ll have something on Clemson Saturday and will increase my bet if I can get -3 on the Tigers.
AS: Iowa (+150) over Purdue.
I’m still hurting from my San Diego State moneyline ticket going up in flames last week when the Aztecs blew an 11-point lead by giving up multiple scores to Fresno State in the final 1:09. Let’s take a deep breath and move on *deeply inhales and exhales*.
Alright, now that that’s behind us let’s back another team with an awful offense and a nasty defense in Iowa! Purdue has a massive Big Ten West clash against Illinois next week and may be looking ahead to that rather than fully focusing on a team they’ve beaten four of the last five seasons. I’m covering my eyes and backing the very ugly Hawkeyes.
BW: Maryland (+165) over Wisconsin.
I was a little surprised to see this line open at Wisconsin -5.5, as Maryland has been rolling and now they’re getting QB Taulia Tagovailoa back after an injury. Wisconsin has certainly been better since relieving Paul Chryst of his duties, but they’ve still had issues defensively, especially with their sub-par pass defense.
Both these teams are coming off a bye, so there’s no advantage there, but Maryland has simply been the better and more consistent team this season. The Badgers being at Camp Randall certainly helps, but Maryland is one of the few underdog teams this week who I think have a solid shot to pull off the upset.
NJ: Memphis (+140) over UCF.
UCF is coming off a huge win over Cincinnati where they needed a touchdown in the final minute to win. I want to fade Gus Malzahn’s team off that emotional victory as they travel to face a competent Memphis team. Money has driven this line from +6 to +3.5 because the Knights will likely start backup QB Mikey Keene after John Rhys Plumlee left the Cincinnati game with an injury. I like betting against UCF after a big win and backing a Memphis team off the bye.
AS: Auburn +12.5 over Mississippi State.
This game opened at Mississippi State -10 on Sunday and moved out to -14 on Monday after Auburn fired Bryan Harsin around lunch time. I usually bet teams that have just fired their coach, but I don’t know if I have the guts to back the Tigers in this spot.
Not only did Harsin get the axe, but new athletic director John Cohen also moved on from offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau and took more than five hours to name Cadillac Williams the interim coach. If this move was made Saturday night or Sunday I’d probably eagerly grab the points with the Tigers, but with all this chaos affecting the practice and game-planning schedule, I’m going to stay away.
BW: Alabama -13.5 over LSU.
Nick Saban and Alabama after a bye? Oh boy, does it sound too good to be true. It’s a perfect situation. Yet, it’s on the road and at night in Baton Rouge against a mobile QB that gives defenses fits. Didn’t Bama just play a road game in a hostile environment against a multi-faceted QB? Oh yeah, they did, and we know how that turned out.
I know Saban gets his team ready after bye weeks, but I can’t bet on Bama until I see some improvement in their defense. I also need their o-line to perform a bit better. There are simply too many questions for me to back the Tide as almost a two-touchdown favorite.
NJ: Georgia -8 over Tennessee.
Tennessee closed as a 8.5-point home underdog to Alabama just three weeks ago. Having a chance to lay less than that against a Georgia team at home — who might be better than this version of Alabama — is attractive. However, this Tennessee team might be one of the best in the country and the numbers just can’t catch up to the Volunteers. I’ll be tempted to bet on Georgia if they get down to -7, but I’ll try my best to just stay away and enjoy the game of the season.