This college football season is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Computer simulations -- if that's your thing -- mean nothing with only a smattering of nonconference games between FBS schools currently scheduled and four of the leagues not playing any at all. Nevertheless, we must work with what we have.
I will use this space each week to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Considering the circumstances in this strange season, I'll go with the top 12 teams in the most recent AP poll.
Last week, I was 2-1 on my regular picks again and missed on my upset pick, but Arkansas did manage to cover. The upset pick is 3-2 so far this season outright and 4-1 ATS. This week, we welcome back the Pac-12 and the MAC ... but not Wisconsin as the due to COVID-19. This week, they were scheduled to host Purdue.
Odds below provided via William Hill Sportsbook
Week 10 Picks
No. 1 Clemson at No. 4 Notre Dame (+5.5): Trevor Lawrence will be in the house but not in uniform as he continues to go through COVID protocols. Freshman D.J. Uiagalelei will start his second game, and the Tigers hope for a repeat performance from Lawrence's backup. Uiagalelei was 30-of-41 passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns last week against Boston College. Notre Dame's defense figures to be a bigger challenge than the Eagles, but the Tigers are still a great team on both sides of the ball. I'm not as confident in the Irish offense. It will not be easy, but Clemson should win by a touchdown. Pick: Clemson (-5.5)
Minnesota at Illinois (+7): Minnesota has been dreadful on defense. Actually, things may need to get a lot better before we can call them dreadful. The Gophers have given up a whopping 578 yards per game through the first two weeks. You can understand Michigan lighting them up some, but Maryland, which only scored three points against Northwestern, torched them as well. The Illini will likely have to play fourth-string QB Coran Taylor again. He was thrown to the wolves, er Boilers, last week and acquitted himself well except for four turnovers. Clean that up, and the Illini may win outright. Pick: Illinois (+7)
Wyoming at Colorado State (+3.5): Last week, the Cowboys showed why they are considered one of the teams thought to challenge Boise State this season in a 31-7 rout of Hawaii -- the same Hawaii team that was coming off a big win at Fresno State. When Colorado State played its first game of the season last week at Fresno, the Rams got drilled. This should be a comfortable Wyoming win. Pick: Wyoming (-3.5)
Upset of the Week
Michigan State at Iowa (-6.5): So far, Iowa is simply finding ways to lose. In the Hawkeyes' first game against Purdue, the problem was penalties and an indifferent passing game. Last week against Northwestern, the Wildcats took away the run and made QB Spencer Petlas beat them. He could not, giving the ball away three times to Northwestern. The Spartans will be the team entering this game with confidence after bouncing back from a disappointing opener to win at Michigan. Pick: Michigan State (+6.5)
Other CFP candidates
- Rutgers at No. 3 Ohio State (-38) Pick: Ohio State
- No. 8 Florida vs. No. 5 Georgia (-3.5) Pick: Florida
- Houston at No. 6 Cincinnati (-13.5) Pick: Cincinnati
- No. 7 Texas A&M at South Carolina (+10) Pick: Texas A&M
- No. 9 BYU at No. 21 Boise State (+3) Pick: Boise State
- No. 11 Miami at NC State (+10) Pick: NC State
- Stanford at No. 12 Oregon (-10) Pick: Oregon
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 10, and which Pac-12 team will pull off a shocking upset? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,100 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.