10 Best College Football Predictions Against The Spread: Week 10. Righting The Wrong

·16 min read

What college football games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread going into Week 10? After one of the wildest weekends ever, we’re righting the wrong.

Week 10 Fearless Predictions, Game Previews
CFN Week 10 Experts Picks: College
CFN Week 9 Experts Picks: NFL
Week 10 Schedule, Game Times, Game Previews
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
College Football Playoff Rankings Breakdown

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

I’m a professional.

I’ve seen it all, done even more, and I know well enough that when a pick goes the wrong way, you have a short memory, brush it off, and move on.

Last week was something … different.

I was already mad that the over didn’t come in my absolute lock of Wisconsin-Iowa at 36.5 – it stalled at 34 when both teams basically quit with 13 minutes to play and had a TON of chances to score.

Fine. It happens.

So Oregon and Cincinnati didn’t play like teams that really want to make big national statements against bad teams. Okay, no big deal.

That didn’t bother me, but Wyoming and San Jose State was going absolutely nowhere – until the Cowboys scored in the final moments to hit the over on the 41.

And then there was the game that will live in infamy.

Everyone had a part of Clemson and Florida State one way or another.

The under on the 48 was supposed to be a rock, all was fine, and … well, you know what happened.

I literally had to take a walk around the block on that one.

But that’s the deal. This is the life we’ve chosen. The belief systems are sound, you don’t stray from what you know to be right, and that’s why these picks are all correct.

I think.

We deserve it after the Death Valley Disaster.

So how do we get over this? We start with a pick that I know in my heart is probably wrong, but …

Results So Far ATS: 58-42-1

Click on each game for the preview

10. Wake Forest at North Carolina

LINE 77 Point Total
ATS PICK Under

This pick is wrong, but a man is nothing without his principles.

When finalizing the picks in the game previews, I always go with the score before looking at the lines – I don’t want to be influenced one way or the other.

In this, we went with a shootout that goes just over the 77-point total. But if you’ve been with this piece all year, you know that over the long haul, if you do the same thing every time you will be up if …

You ALWAYS go under on a massive point total of 80 or more, and 77 is close enough.

Wake Forest games are wild, North Carolina has thrown a couple of 59 spots on the board, but – and there are no such things as jinxes or curses … I think – we’ve nailed this dead-cold this year when going with the unders on massive totals.

Like the under on Wake Forest-Duke last week, which came at 51 on the 71.5.

As always, if it’s wrong, then you’re paying for the entertainment of a wild game, and enjoy the show.

(Everyone, now take a deep breath, because we’re diving right back in and about to right a horrible, horrible wrong.)

If you have kids around, please don’t let them look at this NSFW pick …

CFN Week 10 Experts Picks: College

9. Clemson at Louisville

LINE 46.5 Point Total
ATS PICK Under

Yeah, this is an all-timer YOU OWE ME, WORLD of a chaser, but like Clemson -4, and if it’s not too soon for you – I still have leftover trays of meats and cheeses sent to me by close friends and acquaintances after the day of mourning – go back in on the point total.

We were right. We were ALL right.

Of course the under was the play last week on Florida State-Clemson.

OF COURSE it was.

It took an all-timer of a final play – brilliantly broken down by Scott and Steve on their Bad Beats segment – for us to lose that.

The pick didn’t come in. It doesn’t mean we were necessarily wrong, and the same belief still holds.

Clemson games are really, really, really low scoring. Take out that putrid late touchdown, and the Tigers scored 23 points or fewer in every FBS game.

The Louisville defense isn’t playing that poorly, and the offense only came up with 13 on NC State. It’s not likely to crank it up in the high 20s here.

While we’re purging all of last week’s pain and suffering by begging for more of it, let’s go with another before moving on to more mature picks for serious people.

Wisconsin, let’s go.

CFN Week 9 Experts Picks: NFL

8. Wisconsin at Rutgers

LINE 37 Point Total
ATS PICK Over

It’s the SAME thing.

It took something catastrophic to lose the Florida State-Clemson point total, and it took something totally weird to get the Iowa-Wisconsin total wrong.

Just like you always go under on the massive point totals, you always go over on the puny ones. Too many things can go right, and in this, there’s one thing that might really make this work.

Wisconsin could hit the 37 all by itself.

The Badger offense is still awful, and it would be more than happy to get up 23-3 and sit on the ball for the last half hour of the game.

I know, three of the last four Wisconsin games haven’t hit 35, much less 38. I know, the last two Rutgers games made college football sad – and they didn’t get to 35, either.

Michigan State scored 31 on Rutgers. Ohio State got to 52.

Fiiiiiiiiiine, the under is the smart, sensible call considering how amazing the Badger D is, but all you’re asking for is 27-10 to get there, and anything else to go over.

Never let a point total of 37 go to waste.

Next, a point total that shouldn’t be right, and if it is, it’s not your fault …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 7: UNLV at New Mexico

7. UNLV at New Mexico

LINE 45 point total
ATS PICK Under

There’s the off chance that both of these bad teams found their soulmate and put on a wild 55-52 show.

Nah.

UNLV hasn’t scored more than 24 since September, and even then it put up 30 in a weird loss to Fresno State. Forget the blowout to Nevada last week – the defense isn’t playing that poorly.

New Mexico flat out doesn’t score at all.

It beat Wyoming last week for its first win since taking down New Mexico State on September 11th.

The Lobos won 14-3.

The nation’s worst scoring attack hasn’t scored more than two touchdowns in any of its last six games, and even the win over Houston Baptist was 27-17.

The Lobos have a decent pass defense, but they have an abysmal O inside the red zone.

It’s going to take something special for these two to get rolling.

45 is about the limit. Anything under that, you always, always, always, always, always, always go over. Always.

Which leads us to …

Week 10 Schedule, Game Times, Game Previews

6. Army vs. Air Force

LINE 37.5 Point Total
ATS PICK Under

Every once in a while, you have to look the facts in the face.

If the world is giving you a point total of 37.5, you go OVER.

OVER, OVER, OVER. Of course you do, and you don’t even question it.

You do the same thing, you do it every time, and over the long …

Army and Air Force don’t score against each other.

For years and years and years I’ve picked these two crazy kids to come up with fun battles on the field, and for all of those years I’ve had several people giving me some version of, “dude, really, they don’t score.”

But that can’t be true, it’s a 37.5 point total …

2020, Army 10, Air Force 7.

These two are going to ball out in a rivalry game that …

2019, Air Force 17, Army 13.

SOMEONE has to win in a rout and put up 38 on its own …

2018, Army 17, Air Force 14.

2017, Army 21, Air Force 0.

2016, Air Force 31, Army 12.

There. See. 2016, Air Force and Army went over 37.5, and …

2015. Air Force 20, Army 3.

2014. Air Force 23, Army 6.

You have to go back to 2013 when Air Force rolled 42-28. So there it is. 37.5 you go over. OVER OVER OVER OVER …

(Sigh) Under.

I can’t go against a streak like this. That would be un-American.

For the No. 5, I’m going to try something with a funky gimmick …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 5: Money Line Mania

5. LSU at Alabama, Navy at Notre Dame, Tulsa at Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee at WKU

LINE Alabama -28.5, Notre Dame -21, Cincinnati -22.5, WKU -17
MONEY LINE PICK LSU +1800, Navy +1000, Tulsa +1000, Middle Tennessee +600

I’m well aware that it’s amateur hour with this, but please indulge a hunch I can’t shake. If and when this fails spectacularly, we will move on and never, ever speak of it again.

What’s that hunch? In each of these four games I had a moment of, “there could be something weird here.”

Here’s how this will work – if just one of these insane not-going-to-happen outright upsets actually clicks on the money line, I’ll count it as one win. If and when all four don’t, it’s an L.

If you put an even amount on each game – and go very, very low; please don’t get crazy with this stupid gimmick idea – and just one of them hits, that pays off the whole thing, and then some. If by some miracle two of them connect, your weekend is made.

Again, this only works if there’s the same amount on each one, and again, LOW. These are total fliers, and I’m not officially picking any of the dogs outright. However …

LSU at Alabama: LSU has had two weeks off, there’s absolutely no pressure whatsoever, and it has a plenty of NFL guys on its side of the field. Remember, Bama got pushed by Florida and was a tad loose against Tennessee – forgetting the final score. QB Max Johnson has been in big games before, and if the running game catches lightning in a bottle like it did against Florida …

Notre Dame at Navy: Maybe, just maybe, Navy really is starting to play better. It was 1-5 before pushing Cincinnati in a 27-20 loss, and it got by Tulsa last week on the road. The option isn’t humming like it should, but it’s the option, it’s November, and that offense is always a knuckleball.

Tulsa at Cincinnati: The Bearcats might have simply been a tad bored in lackluster wins over Navy and Tulane on the road, but this needs to be 55-6 – and it might be. But just in case it’s not, Tulsa hasn’t been all that bad. It beat Memphis, the offense has been okay, and it pushed Oklahoma State in a 28-23 loss and gave Ohio State some problems.

Okay, so those three are silly home run cuts. I actually sort of like this other one. The money line is fine as part of No. 5, but if you’re giving me points …

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 4: Middle Tennessee at WKU

3. Middle Tennessee at WKU

LINE WKU -17
ATS PICK Middle Tennessee

The Hilltopper offense is amazing, with Bailey Zappe and the passing game ripping everyone to sheds.

The four losses were all to teams they were supposed to lose to, but the four wins were all against the – let’s not program-shame – more unfortunate teams.

Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee has been a tad shaky all year, but it won three of its last four, hung around with UTSA in a 14-point loss, and there’s one key element that’s the reason why this game is here.

Middle Tennessee leads the nation in turnover margin.

Now, beware, Blue Raider QB Chase Cunningham is very, very questionable – he’s probably out with a leg injury – however, that D has forced 25 takeaways on the year, highlighted by six in the upset win over a Marshall team with a strong air show and five last week against Southern Miss.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 3: Cal at Arizona

3. Cal at Arizona

LINE Cal -11.5
ATS PICK Arizona

Before you think this is totally gross, I made the pick and wrote this up before the news broke that Cal has several unnamed players in the COVID protocol.

All week I sort of liked Arizona and thought it might win outright, and we’re getting 11.5

The Wildcats have been close. They had Washington in big trouble a few weeks ago and lost by five.

They followed up the heartbreaker by getting down 35-14 at halftime against USC, and fought back to make it a seven-point game late in a 41-34 loss.

No, they don’t have the lines, and the defense plays like it has nine men on the field, and there’s always one key false start, or missed receiver, or something that causes everything to meltdown.

The team keeps pushing.

Cal is playing better, but it doesn’t have the offense to run away and hide. At home, Arizona should be just good enough to keep this interesting, if not pull it off.

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 2: Kansas State at Kansas

2. Kansas State at Kansas

LINE Kansas State -24
ATS PICK Kansas State

I could bore you with a bunch of analysis, stats, and actual research hoo-ha, or I could just cut to the chase.

It’s Kansas, it’s football, there’s a spread, and that means bad things are about to happen.

Before America got punked by Oklahoma’s performance against the Jayhawks, KU was 0-6 on the year against the spread and winless against it going back almost two years.

After the spell was broken, the assumption was that everything was about to go right back to normal, and it sure did.

Oklahoma State -29.5. Oklahoma State 55, Kansas 3.

As good as the Jayhawks looked and played against OU, that’s how miserable they were against the Cowboys with 44 passing yards, three interceptions, six first downs from the offense – and those were the positives.

Kansas State hasn’t been great – it lost three straight before slipping by Texas Tech and getting Gary Patterson sacked in a 31-12 win over TCU – but this isn’t about Kansas State.

This isn’t about Kansas.

This is about believing in something bigger than yourself.

(Really, Kansas State should get on a roll early and fight through a mid-game surge for a win it really, really needs to have.)

NEXT: College Football Pick Against The Spread No. 1: Michigan State at Purdue

1. Michigan State at Purdue

LINE Michigan State -3
ATS PICK Michigan State

I have failed you miserably, America.

Overall, these picks in this piece haven’t been too bad, but the No. 1 spot has been brutal.

To be fair, it took a whole slew of shocking disasters for this to be this bad.

There was the ridiculous under that came in last week on the Iowa-Wisconsin 36.5 point total.

There was Kansas breaking a historic ATS losing streak with that game against Oklahoma.

There was the insanity of Army covering the spread on the top statistical defense in America by throwing the ball in the final moments – yeah, Army, throwing the ball – against a Wisconsin team that had chance after chance after chance to put the ATS win away easily.

There was the pain and suffering of the hook – with Michigan beating Nebraska by 3 when it was giving away 3.5 – and there was the sweating of Arizona State and UCLA putting on a wild show in the first half, only to stall in bizarre fashion before finally hitting the over on a late Sun Devil touchdown.

In Week 4, I gave you Oregon -28.5 against Arizona. It was 24-19 Ducks in the fourth before 17 straight points helped them pull away. Just when it seemed like order would be restored and the 28.5 would hit, everyone just sort of stopped with over eight minutes to play, even though the Wildcats were busy throwing more interceptions.

It’s time to steer through the skid and do this right. It’s time for a big game call.

Purdue has a strong defense. It’s going to keep the score low and the game close.

Michigan State is coming off the huge win over Michigan that’s being given a whole lot of CFP love considering how lopsided a whole lot of parts of that game were.

It got pushed way too hard by a bad Indiana team, it took a wee bit to open it up on Rutgers, the Nebraska game was a close 23-20 fight, and now it has to deal with a Purdue squad that already took down a No. 2 team when it stomped on Iowa.

Now it wants to beat a No. 3.

Can Purdue run the ball? Not a lick.

Can Purdue stop the run? Yeah, but Wisconsin ran for 290 yards and won easily, and Minnesota was able to go into West Lafayette and win by seven even though the ground game wasn’t great.

Does Purdue have the offensive line to keep one of the best pass rushing teams in the country out of the backfield? Not even close.

Oh this will be a battle, and there will be nothing easy about getting there because, again, it’s in the cursed No. 1 slot, but I’m done being cute by half.

Michigan State -3.

(Oh, so you’re not a believer that the No. 1 cooler is over and you’re racing to take Purdue … I’m hurt, but I understand.)

Week 10 Fearless Predictions, Game Previews
CFN Week 10 Experts Picks: College
CFN Week 9 Experts Picks: NFL
Week 10 Schedule, Game Times, Game Previews
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
College Football Playoff Rankings Breakdown