College Football Predictions & Best Bets for Week 5

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Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger carries the football against Charlotte during an NCAA football game against Georgia State on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C.
(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Sep 27, 2023, 4:12 PM
  • College Football Week 5 is approaching, providing a new slate of good bets.
  • College Football underdogs are particularly appealing in Week 5.
  • Best bets for Kentucky, Auburn, Syracuse, and more.

Last week’s loaded college football lineup revealed phony pretenders and true contenders. 

College football this weekend couldn’t possibly deliver the same number of high-stakes matchups, but there are still plenty of tasty college football betting spots for smart handicappers to attack.

Today – as I do every Wednesday throughout the college football regular season – I’ve put together a handful of my favorite NCAAF bets for you to consider this weekend. 

College Football Best Bets: Week 5 Predictions

After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my best plays from the wider canon of college football odds. 

I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone. My College Football Week 4 best bets went 3-2 last week, though an unfortunate backdoor cover from Nevada prevented us from going 4-1. 

If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. 

Florida at Kentucky Spread Prediction

Because of a powerful trend on unranked favorites playing against ranked underdogs, I am predicting that Kentucky will win and cover its short 1-point spread against divisional rival Florida.

Any time I see an unranked team open as a favorite against a team currently in the AP Top 25, it’s an automatic bet for me. For those who are new to this trend, let me explain.

Polls are mostly meaningless, but most fans and bettors believe they are important, so they become important to market perception. When a ranked team is catching points, it almost always becomes a public darling, and sportsbooks are quickly underwater on ticket counts. 

I haven’t seen any internal numbers yet from BetMGM on the ticket splits for this game, but I would bet next week’s paycheck that No. 22 Florida is a public darling with a majority of the ticket volume. The line has moved from Kentucky -3 to Kentucky -1. 

More specific to this game, Florida has become overrated ever since it beat Tennessee – undoubtedly a strong team in the SEC East, but also a team that Florida has historically owned year after year. 

Kentucky is a legitimate player in the SEC East with Devin Leary playing quarterback and is the right team to bet in this matchup. I was on the Wildcats last week against Vanderbilt for an easy cover, and I’ll be on them again this week.

Best Bet: Kentucky -1

Georgia at Auburn Spread Prediction

Thanks to Georgia’s inexperience and clear overvalued status in the market, I am predicting that Auburn will cover its current 14.5-point spread against Georgia as a home dog.

It’s now Week 5, and the Georgia Bulldogs have yet to play a game outside of Athens. As an analyst, I’ve been waiting for this game for weeks. We’re finally going to see what this year’s team looks like when they’re not at home playing against UAB and UT-Martin. 

I rarely bet look-ahead lines, but I grabbed some Auburn +18.5 about ten days ago. Since then, the number has come all the way down, through the 17, to 14.5. And I’d still bet it confidently! Georgia is likely the better team here, but it’s hard for a team to lose 20-some NFL-quality players and a 25-year-old quarterback. 

Georgia might win, but the idea that they’ll easily blow out a good Auburn team in a hostile road environment is unlikely. I love the points with Auburn, and I’ve also bought a first-half moneyline ticket for Auburn. 

Best Bet: Auburn +14.5; Auburn 1H ML

Troy at Georgia State Spread Prediction

Even in Week 5, undefeated Georgia State remains undervalued in the ATS market and is a real Sun Belt contender. I am predicting that Georgia State wins and covers its small 1.5-point spread against Troy.

Troy is still wrongly perceived as a top Sun Belt team because of its 2022 campaign. In reality, it’s a mid-standings team that might struggle to reach bowl eligibility if it played in the rugged Sun Belt East. 

On the other side, Georgia State doesn’t have much of a track record of success at the FBS level, so I think there’s a little bit of marketplace discrimination going on here. 

If you’ve actually sat down and watched these teams there’s only one conclusion: Troy’s offense absolutely cannot keep up with Georgia State.

Best Bet: Georgia State -1.5

Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan Total Prediction

Both of these schools have inefficient quarterbacks and very slow paces on offense, so I am predicting that this weekend’s game between Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan goes under BetMGM’s posted total of 47.5.

This might not be the sexiest bet in the world, and you surely will not see a lot of handicappers talking about it this week. But from the modeling I’ve seen, and the pace numbers I’ve reviewed, this total should be closer to 42.5 than 47.5. 

This is just a bad number, governing a game between two iffy quarterbacks that milk the clock on offense. There just won’t be very many possessions in this game. 

Best Bet: Eastern Michigan/Central Michigan Under 47.5


Clemson at Syracuse Spread Prediction

Clemson has struggled to cover against Syracuse and is now 0-2 in ACC play, with championship prospects already looking dim. I am predicting that Syracuse covers its 7-point spread as a home dog against Clemson.

Syracuse is 7-2 ATS against Clemson in its last nine games, and that’s when Clemson was actually good. Now, the Tigers are staring down the reality of a middle-class existence in the ACC, with the path back to the conference championship game becoming increasingly difficult. 

It would be shocking to see Clemson drop to 0-3, this bet is more about expectations for a competitive, one-possession game where Syracuse stays inside the number. Syracuse 1H moneyline might also be in play here.

On the other hand, Dabo was pretty clear about the emotional toll that the FSU game extracted from the Tigers. A trip to upstate New York could be a flat spot. Maybe the outright result is on the table.

Best Bet: Syracuse +7

Best College Football Parlay This Week

One college football parlay to consider for Week 5 is:

  • Texas -900
  • Michigan -1000
  • Oklahoma -1400
  • Tennessee -500
  • Alabama -650
  • Washington -1000

This six-leg underdog parlay is currently priced at -101. 

I generally like to stick to parlays with fewer legs, but since all six of these squads are big favorites in the thick of conference championship races playing against woefully outmatched opponents, I’m going to go ahead and roll with it. 

Make sure to check out my 2Kparlay later this week. 

College Football Picks Against the Spread

If you like this sort of content, I’d recommend checking out my podcast, The Lion’s Edge, which I host on behalf of our content team here at BetMGM.

Every week, I highlight odds and bets that I think are interesting or ripe for advantage bettors, like me. I also bring on expert guests from both inside and outside of the sportsbook, so you can learn a little bit more about key topics in online sports betting.

Check it out and subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. You can also listen to some of the most recent episodes in the podcast player below.

College Football Parlays

BetMGM is the King of Sportsbooks and the King of Parlays. And college football season is a perfect chance to build parlays.

With hundreds of games and thousands of odds combinations each year, you can build a parlay with heavy moneyline favorites, short underdogs, or prop bets. It’s a thrilling way to get closer to the action and make every play count.

Visit the online sportsbook today to view all football betting opportunities!

If you don’t have an account, register today with BetMGM’s welcome bonus. And check back for the best sportsbook promotions each day of the year.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.