The college football season is approaching Week 5. For this week’s slate, we have mostly conference games.
These games can be tough to handicap because the teams that are playing have played non-conference opponents in largely lopsided matchups. How do you analyze two minor conference teams who have lost in blowouts to Power 5 programs?
This is where my sports betting mastery comes in as I analyze the Week 5 CFB slate.
Below, read up on my best college football bets.
All college football odds are current as of 10 a.m. ET on Sept. 26 at the NCAAF sportsbooks listed.
Kevin Davis’ Record (Tracked by BetStamp App): 37-34-2, +5% Return on Investment, +4% Closing Line Value
UMass vs Eastern Michigan Best Bet
Eastern Michigan -20 (-107) at PointsBet Sportsbook
WAGER: .75 Units
UMass might be the worst team in the entire country. They lost 28-0 last weekend against a Temple team that is the 11th-worst in the country, according to ESPN’s FPI rankings.
Those rankings show that UMass has the second-worst rating to only Florida International, and Eastern Michigan is slightly better than Temple this season.
There are a lot of reasons to like EMU at home. Even though they had a disappointing loss against Buffalo last week and a close win against Eastern Kentucky, they managed to upset Arizona State on the road.
With the ability to put points on the scoreboard, the Eagles are the type of team that could cover a large spread against UMass.
The Minutemen lost by 32 against Tulane and by 45 against Toledo. I would be shocked if they don’t lose by at least three touchdowns this weekend, so I’d take EMU up to -21.
Alabama vs Arkansas Best Bets
Arkansas +16 (-110) at Betway Sportsbook
Arkansas Moneyline +550 at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: .5 Units Each
Last week, I bet on Arkansas to beat Texas A&M, and they lost by two points in a game that they should have won. Now, they are 16.5-point underdogs at home against Alabama.
The Crimson Tide are in the college football playoff virtually every year, they have one of the best head coaches in Nick Saban, and their best players end up in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Alabama is certainly the better team, but Arkansas could win this weekend or at least keep it close. The Crimson Tide have played only one noteworthy team so far this season in Texas, escaping with a one-point win. Even with quarterback Bryce Young, this doesn’t feel like your typical Alabama team.
Arkansas, on the other hand, boasts a strong defense and a running game that is hard to contain. With Quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders, both 200-plus-pound members of this running tandem are hard to bring down.
If it wasn’t for a few blunders against Texas A&M last weekend, they would have won the game and been an AP Top 10 team. Call me crazy, but not only am I taking the +16 spread on the Razorbacks, but I am going hog wild on the +550 moneyline.
I would bet the spread up to +14 and the moneyline up to +475.
Bowling Green vs Akron Best Bet
Akron +225 Moneyline at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
In the annual MAC contest between Bowling Green and Akron, handicappers must determine the difference in talent between two awful teams.
The Zips have lost each game by an average of 39.3 points, which is the second-worst mark in the FBS. The Falcons have faired slightly better, losing by an average of 18.7 points.
Bowling Green and Akron have lost lopsided matchups against Power 5 teams, but now they both start off their conference slate where they should be more competitive. Akron has been slightly better against weaker teams as they beat St. Francis (PA) by seven points at home, and only lost to Liberty by nine points last weekend as a 26.5-point underdog.
Bowling Green has an impressive win against Marshall on their resume, but they also have the blemish of losing to Eastern Kentucky 59-57 in overtime.
Stylistically, this is a good matchup for Akron at home. Bowling Green loves to air it out as they pass on 59.1% of their plays, the 13th most in the country. When playing opponents closer to their skill level, the Zips have had a strong passing defense.
Akron limited Liberty’s quarterback last weekend to only 152 passing yards and a 48.1% completion percentage. Not bad against a school that recently produced Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis.
With a decent passing defense against a one-dimensional Bowling Green offense, Akron could win. While the +6.5 spread looks tempting, I don’t see this game as being close if Bowling Green wins. That is why I like the nearly 2-1 moneyline, and I would bet it up to +160.
UTEP vs Charlotte Best Bet
UTEP -3 (-110) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 1.5 Units
Charlotte is arguably the UMass of the south. ESPN’s FPI rankings have them as the eighth-worst team in the country, and I would argue that they are even worse than that.
They lost by 17 points to William & Mary (an FCS school), to South Carolina by 36 points, to Florida Atlantic by 30 points, and to Maryland by 35 points. Charlotte is to losing what Kentucky is to chickens.
UTEP isn’t that good, either, but they have been much more competitive than Charlotte this season. Other than their blowout loss to Oklahoma, they have either won or been competitive against New Mexico State, New Mexico, and Boise State.
Most impressively, UTEP upset Boise State last week as a 16.5-point underdog. Matchup-wise, this is a great spot for the Miners.
Against Boise State, UTEP ran on 83.1% of their offensive plays. If they run the same game plan against Charlotte, they should win.
The 49ers allow 5.7 yards per carry, which is the eighth worst in the country. Their opponents exploit this by running on 58.2% of their plays, which is the 18th most in the nation.
If UTEP can establish the run, they should win, and I would bet them up to -5.5 this weekend.
Indiana vs Nebraska Best Bet
Indiana +164 Moneyline at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Indiana and Nebraska are arguably the two worst Big Ten teams that aren’t Rutgers. After losing as heavy favorites to Northwestern and Georgia Southern, the Cornhuskers fired head coach Scott Frost. Then Nebraska lost to Oklahoma by 35 points, failing to cover as an 11-point underdog.
Indiana has also had issues as they failed to win a single Big Ten conference game last year. This season, they look slightly better. The Hoosiers narrowly beat tough Illinois and Western Kentucky teams at home.
I believe that the Hoosiers will pull off the upset in Nebraska. One reason why is that they have improved quarterback play from Missouri transfer Connor Bazelak.
In the past, Bazelak has struggled, but mediocre passing attacks from Georgia Southern and Northwestern did well against Nebraska. I like Indiana this weekend to win, and I would bet their moneyline up to +125.
Georgia vs Missouri Best Bet
Georgia -27.5 (-107) at PointsBet Sportsbook
WAGER: .75 Units
Georgia cannot help themselves, as they have a suffocating defense and a strong offense. As the National Championship favorite, they deliver against Power 5 opponents. They beat Oregon, 49-3, to open the season and beat South Carolina, 48-7.
The Bulldogs may have slipped against Kent State only winning by 17 points, but on the road against Missouri, they should win big.
Last week showed me just how badly Mizzou is coached by Eliah Drinkwitz. They had numerous opportunities to beat Auburn on the road as a seven-point underdog but found a way to lose by three points in the first overtime.
Against a dangerous Georgia team, I would be surprised if they lose by fewer than five touchdowns and would bet the Bulldogs up to -30.
More CFB Week 5 Bets I Like
- Iowa +10.5 at Betway Sportsbook
- Northern Illinois -3.5 (-102) at FanDuel Sportsbook
- Washington State -4 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
How To Bet College Football Week 5
Mostly conference games
Now that September is over, most of the remaining regular season games are going to be conference matchups. This means that for those games, you must properly analyze how teams playing non-conference games will do against opponents close to their skill level.
The difference between bad and awful
The key to handicapping many games this weekend is figuring out the difference between bad and awful. Many weak teams are playing each other this weekend, and the trick to picking winners in those games is figuring out the degree to which certain teams are bad.
Some teams are bad, but decent against other poor-performing teams, and other teams just perform poorly against everyone
Read more about how to bet on college football.