As we enter week five of the NCAA football schedule, the action is only heating up. This week’s slate of games offers some interesting matchups and good scenarios for profitable wagers. Make sure to check out these games and more today.
#25 Baylor Bears (3-0) at #9 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0)
I didn’t think I would even be addressing this game, let alone lead off the week discussing it, but that’s because there simply wasn’t much hype surrounding either of these teams before the season began.
The RG3less Bears were obviously expected to drop off and although they haven’t played any ranked opponents until this week, they have been undeniably impressive, scoring more than 50 points per game in three consecutive wins to start the year with new starter Nick Florence.
Likewise, the Mountaineers weren’t supposed to be scoring almost 50 points per game, but indeed they are as well. Quarterback Geno Smith catapulted himself into the Heisman race with some early outstanding performances and currently has an unfathomable 81.3% completion rate and a 12/0 TD to pick ratio.
However, each team hasn’t faced truly tough opposition until today. This is West Virginia’s first ever game in the Big-12 after cruising through non-conference foes, while Baylor’s toughest game up until today was last week against ULM. We should expect a shootout for sure, with the over/under set at 83 points, but we should also expect a close game with the winning squad prevailing by just a few points. That’s why Baylor is the smart pick here as 11 point dogs in the spread. Since WVU is still unproven in some ways, don’t be surprised if the Bears pull off the upset win either.
Tennessee Volunteers (3-1) at #5 Georgia Bulldogs (4-0)
Tennessee will march into Athens Georgia to take on the Bulldogs today in what should be another high-powered offensive showdown. Unlike teams like Alabama and LSU, these two SEC squads win with a focus on scoring. Both the Vols and the Dogs are averaging more than 38 points per game and over 500 yards of total offense per contest. The over/under is set at 58 points, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see these teams combine for 70 or even 80 today.
We do have to consider that the Vols have done most of their damage against NC State, Georgia State and Akron. Their only game where they failed to score more than 20 was in their loss to Florida, which is the only ranked team and SEC team they have played thus far.
The Bulldogs have scored at least 40 in each of their first four games, which include two SEC wins against Missouri and Vanderbilt. Georgia has been a dynamic threat so far, ranking in the top 30 in rushing and passing yards per game, as well as in point allowed.
Georgia is certainly more of a multi-faceted, balanced squad that has faced and defeated tougher competition so far this season, but odds makers are spotting them 14 points against the Vols, which seems far too generous. I expect Tennessee to put up more of a fight, albeit a losing one, against the Bulldogs. Look for Tennessee to cover +14 points, but don’t expect an upset today in Athens.