November is here, and the College Football Playoff race heats up with two top-10 showdowns in Week 10.
No. 5 Georgia and No. 8 Florida meet at 3:30 p.m. ET in a SEC East showdown that will likely determine who represents the division in the SEC championship game. No. 1 Clemson won’t have Trevor Lawrence for a 7:30 p.m. showdown at No. 4 Notre Dame, which is the biggest leg in the ACC championship race.
MORE: College football bowl projections for Week 10
There are two more games between ranked teams on the schedule. No. 9 BYU visits No. 21 Boise State at 9:45 p.m. Friday, and No. 23 Michigan faces No. 13 Indiana on the road at noon Saturday.
It’s the first full Saturday of the 2020 college football season knowing that the Pac-12 is back in action. We’re looking for a third straight week with a winning record against the spread.
Here’s a look at our full-season results:
Last week: 15-4 S/U, 11-8 ATS
Overall: 90-29 S/U, 58-54 ATS
Top 25: 80-24 S/U, 53-50 ATS
Now, a look at our picks against the spread for Week 10:
Week 10 picks against the spread
Thursday, Nov. 5
- No. 18 SMU (-13.5) at Temple
The Mustangs are 3-1 ATS when favored by double digits this season, and Temple has struggled through another stop and start season. Look for the Mustangs to perform better on the road than they did against Tulane on Oct. 16
Pick: SMU wins 38-21 and COVERS the spread.
Friday, Nov. 6
- Miami (-9.5) at N.C. State
The line ticked up from its open and could stretch into the double digits. Both teams had a bye week to prepare, and the Wolfpack are at home. N.C. State has to be better against the run than it was in a blowout loss to North Carolina in order to give backup quarterback Bailey Hockman a chance. We’ll take the home dog and the points.
Pick: Miami wins 27-19 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 9 BYU (-3) at No. 21 Boise State
The Broncos opened as a three-point favorite, but the line has shifted in the other direction. Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier did not travel with the team last week, and backup quarterback Jack Sears tossed three TDs in his place. BYU, meanwhile, has a Heisman Trophy contender in Zach Wilson. This is the first real test for the Cougars. BYU won 28-25 in this matchup last year.
Pick: BYU wins 35-31 and COVERS the spread.
Saturday, Nov. 7
- No. 23 Michigan (-3) at No. 13 Indiana
The Hoosiers have not beat the Wolverines since 1987, but this might be the chance to do it. Two of the past three meetings in Bloomington have been one-score games, and Michael Penix Jr.’s will test Michigan’s corners. The Wolverines, however, will build enough around the running game to get out with a victory.
Pick: Michigan wins 31-24 and COVERS the spread.
- Arizona State at No. 20 USC (-11.5)
It’s the Pac-12 opener for both teams and an excellent quarterback battle between Jayden Daniels and Kedon Slovis. The early start adds to the intrigue. The teams have split the past two meetings by a combined total of eight points.
Pick: USC wins 34-28 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- West Virginia at No. 22 Texas (-7.5)
The Longhorns and Mountaineers are still alive in the hunt for a Big 12 championship berth. These teams have played shootouts the past two years, and this won’t be an exception. Texas is 1-3 ATS as a favorite this season.
Pick: Texas wins 35-31 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 25 Liberty at Virginia Tech (-14.5)
The Flames are the ranked team, but they are huge underdogs against the Hokies. Liberty is scoring 38 points per game, so even if the Hokies turn this into a shootout we think the Flames can keep it within that big number.
Pick: Virginia Tech wins 37-30 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- UMass at No. 16 Marshall (-44.5)
The Minutemen have a three-game schedule, and they lost 41-0 to Georgia Southern three weeks ago. Marshall is not any easier, but that is simply too many points to be laying in any game.
Pick: Marshall wins 48-6 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 5 Georgia (-5) vs. No. 8 Florida
This is Florida’s chance to shake up the SEC East order, and Kyle Trask has passed for at least four TDs in all the Gators’ game this season. Trask played in last year’s game, too. All that said, we have concerns about Florida’s defense against Georgia’s methodical style.
Pick: Georgia wins 33-26 and COVERS the spread.
- Houston at No. 6 Cincinnati (-11)
The Bearcats are 3-2 against the spread, but they have covered in impressive fashion the past two weeks. Cincinnati is starting to get some Playoff consideration. Three different Bearcats have at least 200 yards rushing this season in Desmond Ridder, Gerrid Doaks and Jerome Ford. U-C keeps rolling.
Pick: Cincinnati wins 38-24 and COVERS the spread.
- Purdue at No. 10 Wisconsin (-8)
We’re not sure this game will be played knowing the Badgers are on pause because of several COVID-19 tests within the team. The uncertain quarterback situation also makes it a difficult game to pick. For now, we’ll take the Boilermakers to cover.
Pick: Wisconsin wins 24-20 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Kansas at No. 19 Oklahoma (-37)
Oklahoma has settled down around quarterback Spencer Rattler, and the Jayhawks have given up 50-plus points each of the past two weeks. It’s a matter of whether Kansas can produce enough offense for a back-door cover.
Pick: Oklahoma wins 56-17 and COVERS the spread.
- No. 14 Oklahoma State (-10) at Kansas State
The Wildcats and Cowboys both flopped last week, but Oklahoma State remains a double-digit favorite on the road. Three of the past five meetings have been one-score games, however, and we expect this game to follow that trend.
Pick: Oklahoma State wins 31-28 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 7 Texas A&M (-8.5) at South Carolina
The Gamecocks are inconsistent, but they have split two close home games with Tennessee and Auburn. Texas A&M is 6-0 all time against the Gamecocks, but the past two in Columbia have been close.
Pick: Texas A&M wins 28-26 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Baylor at No. 17 Iowa State (-13)
The Bears are struggling to generate enough offense, but their three losses are by an average of nine points per game. The Cyclones remain in the Big 12 championship picture, and they are 2-2 ATS as a favorite this season.
Pick: Iowa State wins 35-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- No. 1 Clemson (-5.5) at No. 4 Notre Dame
The Tigers will try to upend Notre Dame with backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. On the other side, it’s a chance for Ian Book to earn a signature victory on an under-appreciated career. Look for Clemson’s defense to be the key in the second half. It’s the Tigers’ first single-digit spread of the season.
Pick: Clemson wins 31-22 and COVERS the spread.
- Rutgers at No. 3 Ohio State (-37)
Former Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano knows the Buckeyes’ personnel well, and Rutgers has improved on both sides of the ball. Ohio State’s average margin of victory in six previous meetings is 46.5 points per game.
Pick: Ohio State wins 45-10 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
- Stanford at No. 12 Oregon (-11.5)
Oregon broke a three-game losing streak to the Cardinal last season, and the Ducks are projected to be a Playoff contender in the Pac-12. It’s going to take a few weeks for Joe Moorhead’s offense to develop, but the defense won’t have that problem.
Pick: Oregon wins 33-17 and COVERS the spread.
- South Alabama at No. 15 Coastal Carolina (-15.5)
The Chanticleers are emerging as one of the darlings of the 2020 football season, and they are 5-1 ATS this season. This is their first double-digit line as a favorite, and the Jaguars are 2-2 ATS as an underdog. We’re going to stick with the hot teams.
Pick: Coastal Carolina wins 38-21 and COVERS the spread.