Week 10 college football viewing guide

Every week throughout the season we’ll give you a college football viewing guide by highlighting the five best games of the coming weekend. We will pick those five games against the spread and highlight some other matchups that caught our eye from a betting perspective.

The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season are out and the Week 10 schedule is loaded.

Not only are there five ranked vs. ranked matchups, but there are also several ranked teams on upset watch with teams like No. 10 Ole Miss, No. 11 Penn State, No. 13 Louisville, No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 19 UCLA all favored by fewer than 10 points vs. unranked opponents. Oh, and No. 21 Kansas is now an underdog at Iowa State after shocking Oklahoma last week.

At this point in the season, there is so much on the line as teams jockey for position in both the CFP rankings and their respective conference standings. We’re in for an action-packed Saturday.

(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Time: Noon | TV: Fox | Line: UT -4 | Total: 49.5

Can Texas (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) survive another week without Quinn Ewers? Ewers was injured in the Oct. 21 win over Houston, opening the door for Maalik Murphy to make his first career start vs. BYU. Texas cruised to a 35-6 win, but Murphy was a bit shaky as he went 16-of-25 for 170 yards, two TDs and an interception. The Texas run game and defense paved the way to victory, and that may have to be the same recipe against Kansas State, which is part of a five-team logjam atop the Big 12 standings alongside UT. The Longhorns have no margin for error if they want to keep their CFP hopes alive.

Kansas State lost two games earlier this season but has been dominant in its last three outings. The Wildcats (6-2, 4-1) had an excellent second half in a 38-21 win over Texas Tech and then crushed TCU and Houston by a combined margin of 82-3. K-State has been using a two-QB system by integrating speedy freshman Avery Johnson into the lineup with starter Will Howard. It has worked quite well as the two have combined for 12 rushing TDs. Texas has the best run defense in the conference so it will be a tall task for K-State to beat Texas for the first time since 2016.

Nick Bromberg: KSU +4, Sam Cooper: UT -4

Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy (6) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy (6) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

No. 12 Missouri at No. 2 Georgia

Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: CBS | Line: UGA -15.5 | Total: 54.5

Missouri has been one of the biggest surprises in college football. The Tigers are on the verge of their best season since they won back-to-back SEC East titles in 2013 and 2014. The Tigers have not had a winning season since 2018, but are currently 7-1 heading into Athens on Saturday. The Tigers gave Georgia a major scare last year, but this year’s team is much better — especially on offense. Mizzou has an excellent collection of skill players led by WR Luther Burden that should present a challenge for the UGA defense.

Georgia is on a quest for its third consecutive national title and its schedule ramped up in difficulty last week. The Bulldogs crushed Florida 43-20 to improve to 8-0 and now have three straight games vs. ranked opponents. The big question in the Florida game was how the UGA offense would fare with star tight end Brock Bowers sidelined by an ankle injury. UGA passed that test as QB Carson Beck topped the 300-yard mark for the fourth time in the last five games. Beck is emerging as a star in his first season as the Bulldogs’ QB. Can he keep it going?

Nick: UGA -15.5, Sam: Missouri +15.5

No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 22 Oklahoma State

Time: 3:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: OU -6 | Total: 61.5

It’s sad to say, but this will likely be the final edition of Bedlam for the foreseeable future. With Oklahoma moving from the Big 12 to the SEC next season, it’s unclear when OU and Oklahoma State will meet on the field again. The Sooners and Cowboys have played on an almost annual basis since 1904, but there is nothing scheduled beyond Saturday’s tilt in Stillwater. And Oklahoma State has the chance to play spoiler.

Oklahoma suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling to Kansas. As a result, the Sooners were No. 9 in the first CFP rankings and another loss would knock them out of the CFP picture and cause a pretty big stir in the Big 12 race. The Sooners and Cowboys are both 4-1 in Big 12 play, but Oklahoma State enters this game as the hotter team with Ollie Gordon accounting for a whopping 857 rushing yards during the winning streak. After a 2-2 start, the Cowboys have won four straight. If they can upset OU, they would be in an excellent position to get to the conference title game while giving Mike Gundy just his fourth win over Oklahoma during his 19 seasons as head coach.

Nick: OSU +6, Sam: OSU +6

Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon II (0) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Mitch Alcala)

Time: 7:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: UW -3 | Total: 76.5

What is going on with Washington? The Huskies are undefeated and the No. 5 team in the country, but they have not looked quite right since they knocked off Oregon 36-33 in a top-10 matchup back on Oct. 14. Since then, the Huskies needed a fourth-quarter pick-six just to beat Arizona State and then avoided a major scare last weekend with a narrow road win over Stanford.

Washington has the current betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, Michael Penix Jr., at quarterback. UW’s Week 10 opponent, USC, has Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman winner. With both defenses struggling, this could turn into one of the best quarterback duels of the season. And it’s an opportunity for USC to revitalize its season. Though the Trojans have two losses, they are still very alive in the Pac-12 race thanks to a 50-49 win over Cal last week. In fact, USC would have sole possession of first place in the conference with an upset over the Huskies.

Nick: UW -3, Sam: USC +3

Time: 7:45 p.m. | TV: CBS | Line: Alabama -3 | Total: 60.5

LSU sort of got pushed to the side when it lost to Ole Miss to fall to 3-2. The Tigers won the SEC West last season and were hyped as a national title contender entering the season, so the fact that they had two losses before the end of September was a surprise. Since then, however, LSU has won three straight and is 4-1 in conference play as QB Jayden Daniels has put up eye-popping statistics. With a win in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, LSU can put itself in an excellent position to get back to the SEC title game — especially with Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1 SEC) traveling to Georgia next week.

On the other side, Alabama still has national championship aspirations. The Crimson Tide lost at home to Texas in Week 2 but have since reeled off six consecutive wins to sit at 7-1 overall and 5-0 in SEC play. This Alabama team isn’t as explosive on offense as some of the teams in recent years, but Jalen Milroe has settled into the starting quarterback role and has been better about limiting mistakes while the team leans on its defense. Can Nick Saban get this team to the CFP?

Nick: Alabama -3, Sam: Alabama -3

Head-to-head ATS: Nick: 18-27-2, Sam: 29-16-2

LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) celebrates his touchdown reception with quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Army in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Week 10 best bets

Arkansas at Florida (-6): Arkansas has played one of the toughest schedules in the country and will come out with a much better offensive approach after making a coordinator change during the bye week. Florida is coming off the Georgia loss, but this is UF’s best chance to get bowl eligible. I’d be surprised if the winning team doesn’t score in the 30s. Pick: Over 50

Army at No. 25 Air Force (-19): These service academy teams play every season and know how to defend the option offense. The under is an auto-play. There’s been nine straight unders in this series and seven have landed under this number. Pick: Under 31.5

No. 12 Missouri at No. 2 Georgia (-15.5): Carson Beck is still being underrated nationally and he should have another big day. Missouri nearly upset UGA last year, so the Bulldogs will be focused. At the same time, I trust Missouri’s coaching staff and playmakers enough to put some points up, especially after having an extra week to prepare. Pick: Over 54.5

No. 9 Oklahoma (-6) at No. 22 Oklahoma State: This is set up perfectly for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys can ruin OU’s national title hopes before the Sooners depart for the SEC while putting themselves in position to get to the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma’s run game has been mediocre and the WR corps hasn’t looked great since Andrel Anthony got hurt. I’ll ride with Ollie Gordon and the Pokes. Pick: OSU +6

No. 11 Penn State (-8.5) at Maryland: Penn State’s defense is coming off an unfocused effort vs. Indiana and should be back to its usual self in this one, but the offense isn’t good enough to put up a big number even against a Maryland team that lost to Northwestern last week. Pick: Under 51

No. 21 Kansas at Iowa State (-2.5): This is the the letdown spot of all letdown spots for Kansas after the Oklahoma win. It’s a night game in Ames and Iowa State has quietly been playing very well. The ISU defense doesn’t allow big plays and the offense takes care of the ball. Pick: Iowa State -2.5

No. 14 LSU at No. 8 Alabama (-3): Alabama hasn’t been this small of a favorite at home since 2007, Nick Saban’s first season. I’ll take the Tide on the cheap. Alabama wants revenge from the loss in Baton Rouge last year and can scheme up some deep shots for Jalen Milroe to exploit the LSU secondary. Pick: Alabama -3

Last week: 2-3

Season to date: 32-24

Previous post UK interest rates will stay high and could rise again, says Bank
Next post What are examples of monthly expenses?