Our College Football picks have the best bets from across the weekend, with the five best games featuring eight ranked teams. We have two top-10 clashes as well as #1 Alabama hosting #12 Ole Miss.
Don’t miss out on our preview for each game along with our best College Football picks, including two bonus picks as well!
Look below to find our College Football Picks for the five best games of this week’s schedule!
Friday, October 1st
#5 Iowa @ Maryland – 8pm EDT
While we think that Iowa should win this game, the best bet is the under. There is more confidence in the under than betting on either side to win this game or cover the spread. While the Hawkeyes’ offense is far from eye-catching, they move the chains and control the game, taking advantage of the opportunities their defense gives them. Iowa’s exceptional season and #5 rank is all thanks to their defense. The Hawkeyes give up the third fewest points, 11, and 13th fewest yards, 271.5, per game this season and have seen all four of their games go under.
#5 Iowa (-3) takes on Maryland this Friday!
Who leaves College Park undefeated? pic.twitter.com/RuTKrtC50T
— PFF Bet (@PFF_Bet) September 30, 2021
However, this may be their biggest offensive test they have faced so far this season, as Taulia Tagovailoa has the Terrapins sitting at 4-0 on the back of some explosive playmaking. Tagovailoa ranks seventh in the nation with 1,340 passing yards through four games so far this season and has helped Maryland score 30+ in three of their four games. However, he hasn’t faced a defense like Iowa and they could cause some problems for the Maryland offense in this one.
That is all without talking about Maryland’s defense, which only gives up 14.3 points per game, which ranks eighth in the nation and sets up a very intriguing defensive matchup between the two sides. Iowa should continue their undefeated season, especially given the face they have won 10 straight, dating back to last season. Ultimately, the under is the best bet in this game with two extremely talented defenses being the main attraction.
College Football Pick: Under 47.5 (-106)
Bonus College Football Pick: Iowa (-172)
Saturday, October 2nd
#8 Arkansas @ #2 Georgia – 12pm EDT
This is an intriguing clash between the nation’s best defense and an Arkansas side that are underrated on both offense and defense this season, helping them climb to #8 in the AP Rankings. The Razorbacks rank 11th for points allowed and 12th for total yards allowed this season and have now registered two marquee wins, against Texas and Texas A&M.
Just last week, they kept a very good Texas A&M to only 10 points, winning by 10 points. That was on the back of some dynamic play by K.J. Jefferson (212 yards and two touchdowns along with 50 yards on eight carries on the ground) and Treylon Burkes (167 yards on six receptions along with a touchdown). The worry is that both are carrying injuries and there is uncertainty of their status for this clash. Even if they do play, they won’t be at 100% and are facing the best defense in the country.
Georgia has given up 23 points total through their four games this season, but they are yet to face an offense like this. Everyone got excited after they kept Clemson to just three points but that isn’t looking like the strongest formline right now. While the defense is humming, J.T. Daniels is completing over 70% of his passes and has an explosive downfield repertoire that has allowed the Bulldogs to dominate on both sides of the ball. However, he is also battling an injury and won’t be at 100% for this game, meaning that the Arkansas defense should be ready to feast once again.
Ultimately Georgia should win this game but we don’t think they should be laying 18.5 points to this Arkansas team. If Jefferson and Burkes play for the Razorbacks, this line is expected to come in massively and seems like a great play. The total points line of 48.5 also looks high, considering the class of both defenses that will be in action for this game.
College Football Pick: Arkansas +18.5 (-110)
Bonus College Football Pick: Under 48.5 (-118)
#14 Michigan @ Wisconsin – 12pm EDT
The big national TV game sees the Michigan Wolverines head to Camp Randell for a matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers. The Wolverines have been getting the job done defensively through the first four games, giving up an average of less than 12 points per game, which ranks fourth in the nation. They now face a Wisconsin offense that has one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the country and has only managed 23 points combined from their two previous games against ranked opponents.
Graham Mertz is the leader of that woeful offense and he has just one touchdown compared to six turnovers through three games this season. Looking at his history, Mertz threw five touchdowns in his first start and has only managed five touchdowns in his nine games since then. Adding to that, the Badgers are now 0-5 against ranked opponents, dating back to last season.
“I can’t wait to see this week when they go up against what I think is somewhat of an immovable force in the front seven of that Wisconsin defense.”
— Clayton Sayfie (@CSayf23) September 29, 2021
Michigan’s defense is obviously looking to feast on Mertz in this clash, however their offense is a worry against the Badgers, especially in Camp Randell with a raucous crowd. Wisconsin has only allowed 75 total rushing yards through three games, which is absolutely bonkers. Considering that the Wolverine’s offense is extremely reliant on their ground game, considering they rank fifth for rushing yards, this is going to be an interesting clash. Especially when you consider that Cade McNamara hasn’t had a game where he has completed 10 passes through the first four games of the season.
While McNamara has no explosiveness with his arm, he hasn’t been sacked and hasn’t thrown a pick so far and he does enough to help move the chains. He isn’t like Mertz, who is coughing the ball up and handing opposing teams scores on a platter. Based on that, the Wolverines will be able to overcome the adversity of their offensive woes against a good run-defense and win this game.
College Football Pick: Michigan (+102)
#7 Cincinnati @ #9 Notre Dame – 2.30pm EDT
The Fighting Irish are coming off their best game of the season, on the road against a rock solid defensive team, and now return home to host the Cincinnati Bearcats. This top-10 clash is poised to go a long way into determining whether either of these sides have a chance of making the College Football Playoff this season.
Notre Dame Stadium is one of the loudest and hostile environments to play in, especially considering the Fighting Irish have started the season 4-0, but Desmond Ridder doesn’t seem too phased by it all. The Bearcats’ quarterback was questioned about how loud the crowd will be and he responded with ‘it shouldn’t be loud for too long. That shows the confidence of this dynamic quarterback, who has passed for 748 yards, seven touchdowns and two picks whilst running for 72 yards and two touchdowns as well.
When looking at Notre Dame’s experience with running quarterbacks, dating back to last season, they have had issues in the past but Brian Kelly has already commented on the fact that their defense’s first priority is slowing down Ridder. Given the Fighting Irish are coming off a massive 41-13 win over Wisconsin last week, they should be full of confidence heading into this clash. The worry is that Jack Coan is under an injury cloud, but he has been named as starter for this clash and that makes their offense even more dynamic.
This Notre Dame team has so much potential, and will be a problem in the coming years, but are making the most of what they have right now due to Kelly and the coahcing staff. They have installed plans and structures to captilize on what they have at the moment, and it has worked so far this season. Given the Fighting Irish have won 26 straight at home while Cincinnati are 0-23 all time when on the road against a top-10 team, we like Notre Dame to win this one straight up.
College Football Pick: Notre Dame (-102)
#12 Ole Miss @ #1 Alabama – 3:30pm EDT
The biggest clash of the night sees Ole Miss head into Tuscaloosa to take on the #1 in the country, Alabama. This game pits Nick Saban against a former assistant, Lane Kiffin, whilst also putting the Heisman favorite, Matt Corral, against one of the best defenses in the country. The Crimson Tide have won 18 straight games now and have won by an average of 28.5 points, highlighting their dominance and it is mainly due to their NFL-ready defense. The query is, last year Ole Miss managed to put up 48 points on Alabama and have shown that Corral can lead them to high-scoring wins. However, the Rebels still lost that game by 15 points and while Corral has been impressive, he hasn’t faced anything like this so far this season.
Saban hoping #Alabama fans create a hostile environment for Ole Miss
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) September 29, 2021
While Corral has put up 997 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through three games, leading Ole Miss to their first 3-0 start since 2015, Alabama only gives up 168.3 passing yards per game this season and will have answers for what the Rebels bring to the table. There is also the Saban Curse to worry about, being that Saban has a perfect 23-0 record against his former assistants that have become head coaches. That is a crazy stat to looked past, but it is also mainly due to Alabama’s dominance over everybody, not just his former assistants.
Given there is a hook in the spread, -14.5, it does create some concern for this clash but given the curse, the fact that Bryce Young is settling in very nicely into the offense and the defense will come out with a point to prove, we are happy to lay the points with the Crimson Tide, in what should be a big win for them.
College Football Pick: Alabama -14.5 (-108)
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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