The start of conference play, especially in the Big Ten and Big 12, dominates the top storylines in Week 5 of the college football season and we have uncovered a couple of golden opportunities in a few of these showdowns on Saturday’s slate. The following are our top two plays as well as a brief glance at a few teams that the OddsShark Consensus is all over this week. Any lines quoted provided by .
Pick of the Week
This Saturday’s top pick takes us to the SEC for a classic rivalry between the Tennessee Volunteers and the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs. The Vols' high-powered offense led by quarterback Tyler Bray is averaging 341.3 passing yards and 38.3 points per game in a 3-1 straight-up start (1-3 against the spread). The Bulldogs’ 4-0 SU (2-2 ATS) record has been powered by a balanced offensive attack and a shutdown defense that is holding opponents to just 16.5 points a game. This series has been close over the past few years with a 4-4 SU split over the last eight meetings with Tennessee holding a 5-3 edge ATS. Georgia has won the last two games both SU and ATS and has outscored the Vols 61-26. It is a 14-point favorite at home for Saturday’s contest, and while things will remain fairly close stick with the Bulldogs to win and cover. Georgia 42, Tennessee 27
Our second-best play is a Big Ten showdown between Wisconsin and No. 22 Nebraska. Last season the Cornhuskers received a rude welcome to their new conference in a 48-17 beatdown at the hands of the Badgers as 9.5-point underdogs on the road. The tables could be turned for this year’s matchup with Wisconsin looking less than stellar in its 3-1 SU (0-4 ATS) start. This year’s team is a mere shell of last season’s 11-3 squad that won the Big Ten, especially on offense. The Cornhuskers stumbled on the road against UCLA as 3.5-point road favorites, but at 3-1 both SU and ATS they are a much more complete team than the one that got spanked in Madison last year. Look for the revenge factor to have a huge impact on Saturday’s game as Nebraska returns the favor with a convincing win at home as an 11.5-point favorite this time around. Nebraska 37, Wisconsin 23
The OddsShark Consensus
No. 4 Florida State has its most talented team in over a decade and the OddsShark Consensus is all over the Seminoles this week at 71.5 percent to cover as 17-point road favorites over South Florida. They also like No. 6 South Carolina’s chances this Saturday at 71.2 percent to cover the 20.5 points on the road against Kentucky.
Some of their other top picks have No. 17 Clemson covering against Boston College as a 7-point favorite on the road at 70.7 percent and Nevada besting Texas State as a 19-point road favorite at 68.1 percent. The top play on the total line at 71.2 percent has Indiana at Northwestern going OVER the 59-point line.
The Best of the Rest
There are only two head-to-head matchups between ranked teams on the schedule this week starting with No. 25 Baylor squaring off against No. 9 West Virginia in a Big 12 showdown. The Bears are 11.5-point underdogs on the road with the total set at 82.
The second game renews one of the biggest rivalries in the Big Ten when No. 14 Ohio State travels to East Lansing to face off against No. 20 Michigan State. The Spartans are 3-point favorites with the total set at 41.5.