College football’s Week 10 slate offers plenty of value, so I divided my picks into situational plays, line-value plays and a best bet of the week.
Combine the three plays that I previously discussed with the seven games I’m about to break down, and we fittingly have 10 games worth betting in Week 10.
22 Boston College (-2) at Virginia Tech
Boston College faces a tough scheduling spot when they play Virginia Tech this week. The Eagles are coming off a 27-14 win in the emotional Red Bandana Game and host No. 2 Clemson next week at home.
Virginia Tech has had a very up-and-down season and is reeling from a 49-28 home loss against Georgia Tech last Thursday. The win from Boston College and loss by Virginia Tech is the main reason that the Eagles are road favorites in Blacksburg.
But Virginia Tech has nine days to prepare for this game, and Justin Fuente is too good of a coach not to have his team ready for this matchup. I expect a letdown from the Eagles and a Hokies win at home.
Louisiana Tech at 18 Mississippi State (-23)
It’s odd to see a program like Mississippi State playing a non-conference team in early November. Keeping that in mind, I think the unique scheduling spot favors Louisiana Tech for several reasons…
- Louisiana Tech will be motivated to play against an SEC team due to the fact that many of their players are from the Southeast and were overlooked by SEC programs during recruiting,
- Louisiana Tech won’t be intimidated by Mississippi State because they played at LSU in September, and
- Mississippi State is coming off a huge home win against a ranked Texas A&M team and could get caught looking ahead at their upcoming showdown with Alabama.
This perfect storm for Louisiana Tech should result in the Bulldogs covering the 23-point spread.
16 Iowa at Purdue (-2.5)
Iowa goes on the road for the second straight week and the fourth time in the last five weeks with a trip to West Lafayette to face Purdue. The Hawkeyes are recovering from a tough loss against Penn State in which they squandered an early lead and then fell short of completing a comeback of their own.
Purdue, who dropped their opening three games by a combined eight points, is much better than their record indicates at 4-4. Two weeks after their program-defining win against Ohio State in primetime, I like Purdue to get the win at home and keep their dream of winning the Big Ten West alive.
14 Penn State at 5 Michigan (-10.5)
Penn State hung on to beat Iowa last week and survived at Indiana two weeks ago. These were two physical games for Penn State – especially for their defense. The Nittany Lions’ defense was on the field for 100 plays against Indiana and faced 88 plays against Iowa.
Now they go play a very motivated Michigan team that was able to rest last week during their bye.
Michigan is clearly a better team at home and has a 4-1 mark against the number in Ann Arbor to prove it. Remember that they dominated Michigan State before their bye week, holding the Spartans to under 100 yards in a 21-7 victory.
I expect the well-rested Wolverines to wear down the beat-up Nittany Lions and pull away in the second half to cover the spread.
20 Texas A&M at Auburn (-4)
Texas A&M was a very popular underdog pick in their game at Mississippi State last week and disappointed many bettors with a 28-13 loss. The situation seemed to set up perfectly for the Aggies, as they were coming off a bye week and facing a Mississippi State team that struggled greatly on offense in a loss to LSU.
Since Texas A&M closed as a one-point underdog in that matchup, I think there’s serious line value on them at +4 for Week 10. The Mississippi State squad that they lost to is a much better team than Auburn, who’s still lacking an impressive win on their résumé in 2018.
With this line still over a field goal, I think there’s enough value on Texas A&M to bounce back in the underdog role against an overrated Auburn program.
13 West Virginia at 17 Texas (-2.5)
Texas is less than a field-goal favorite at home against West Virginia in a game that could decide one of the participants in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Line value has emerged for this game after West Virginia’s 58-14 home win against Baylor and Texas’ 38-35 loss at Oklahoma State, which all but ends the Longhorns’ hopes of making the College Football Playoff.
Texas cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis were suspended from the first quarter of that loss for showing up late to a team event. As a result, Texas gave up 260 yards and 17 points in the opening quarter. The Longhorns defense eventually settled in, but they couldn’t make up the deficit.
While West Virginia is coming off a blowout win, I don’t trust them when they’re playing away from Morgantown. The last time they hit the road was a game where Iowa State dominated them.
On top of that, the Mountaineers are an average team that’s been hyped up because they have a big-name quarterback in Will Grier behind center. Texas would be a bigger favorite if not for last week’s results, which is why I have the Longhorns winning by a touchdown.
Best Bet of the Week
6 Georgia (-8) at 9 Kentucky
Before the season, I circled this game as a possible flat spot for Georgia. It was the week after their rivalry game against Florida and the week before their matchup with Auburn. But Kentucky’s situational edge has evaporated since the Wildcats have risen all the way to No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
My handicap of this game is similar to the one I had last week for the Georgia-Florida tilt. If Georgia hadn’t lost to LSU, the Bulldogs would be much bigger than an eight-point favorite. Remember that Georgia was a 6.5-point favorite against LSU, who is a better team than Kentucky and has a much stronger home-field advantage. Despite the LSU loss, Georgia’s path to the College Playoff has remained clear, which creates line value on the Bulldogs.
On the other sideline, Kentucky comes into this game very fortunate to have beaten Missouri last week. While Kentucky was the better team in the box score, they needed a punt return for a score and a touchdown on the final play of the game to squeak out a 15-14 win. If Kentucky lost this game, the line here would be double-digits and potentially closer to two touchdowns.
The argument to support Kentucky in this spot is their strong defense, but I think Georgia QB Jake Fromm will have success when he has the ball. If Georgia takes an early lead, Kentucky will have trouble mounting a comeback because their pass offense is nonexistent. It was just two weeks ago that Kentucky only threw for 18 yards against Vanderbilt.
Kentucky deserves a ton of credit for how their season has played out, but I see Georgia winning this game by at least two touchdowns. The good news for Wildcats fans is that basketball season is just days away, and they can turn their attention to hoops after Kentucky’s SEC East dreams are crushed.