College Football Week 10 Best Bets: Predictions for Midweek Games

Week 10 College Football best bets, predictions, and picks for the midweek slate.

Week 10 College Football Best Bets & Predictions – Midweek Slate

It’s been an incredible season, and I can’t believe we’re already into Week 10. I’m so grateful to be hitting picks at close to a 60% clip this late in the year, and I hope you’ve been able to make some money with me this year. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for analysis on every midweek game and all of the biggest games on Saturday. In this article, I’ll break down some of my favorite plays for the Thursday and Friday slate. Make sure to check out my Twitter @wayne_sports_ for all of my plays, as they don’t all make it into this article. Let’s get to work.

College Football 2022 Record: 113-76.5-4 (59.6%)

UTEP Miners at Rice Owls

Game Info: Thursday, November 3, 7:00 PM EST

Coverage: CBSSN

Both UTEP and Rice are coming off disappointing losses, and these C-USA teams are fighting to preserve bowl eligibility this season. Prior to last week’s ugly 56-23 loss to Charlotte, Rice had been perfect at home through three games.

Meanwhile, UTEP is 1-3 through four road games with their lone win coming against that Charlotte team that just beat Rice. However, Charlotte was rejuvenated after firing their head coach, and we have to look at the full season to properly analyze these teams.

Gavin Hardison, the UTEP quarterback, has had a very volatile season with 10 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Some of his worst performances have come on the road – he has ten turnover-worthy plays across his four road games per PFF.

Rice’s defense isn’t very good overall, but their biggest strength is getting after the quarterback. The Owls rank 28th in sack rate, 37th in PFF’s pass-rush grades, and 40th in havoc. Hardison is completing just 39.1% of his passes under pressure, and his offensive line ranks 82nd in sack rate allowed.

Rice’s offense has surprisingly resurfaced as a very strong unit despite losing starting passer Wiley Green, and T.J. McMahon has held down the fort. The Owls rank 19th in passing down success rate and UTEP ranks 106th in pass down success rate allowed.

Rice will especially have an advantage with explosive plays as they rank 24th in overall offensive explosiveness and UTEP ranks 99th in explosive plays allowed. The Miners rank 121st in pass play explosiveness, and McMahon has been willing to push the ball downfield with an 11.1 aDOT.

The Owls have alternated win-loss over their last six games, and while I’m not suggesting that’s a reason to back them here, it at least shows they have the resiliency to get up off the mat. Against UTEP’s putrid offense (110th in EPA/play), the Rice defense won’t be tested as much, and their offense should shine at home through the passing game.

Best Bet: Rice -3.5 (play to -3.5)

App State Mountaineers at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Game Info: Thursday, November 3, 7:30 PM EST

Coverage: ESPN

I’m unreasonably excited for this midweek Sun Belt game. The winner here will take first place in the Sun Belt Group A, and we’re looking at two of the most efficient offenses in the Group of Five. However, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get back in on App State and fade Coastal, and I get to do both here.

The Chanticleers’ 7-1 record is a facade, and it’s why you see them as three-point home underdogs here. Coastal beat Marshall 24-13 last week, but the SP+ expected spread was 1.8 points in favor of Marshall. The Chants were outgained 407-271 in terms of yardage, but Marshall lost two fumbles which did them in.

Coastal Carolina’s offense ranks 12th in overall EPA per play and 14th in success rate, but it’s been all on the shoulders of Grayson McCall. He’s answered the call (sorry, I had to) with 19 touchdowns to one interception, but the offense ranks 75th in rushing EPA after losing its leading rusher from last year.

App State’s defense is much better against the pass than it is against the run – they rank 117th in run defense EPA and 66th in pass defense EPA. They still rank just 119th in pass down explosiveness, and McCall will be making big plays through the air, but in the shootout I’m expecting here, it won’t be enough.

Meanwhile, the Mountaineers have a much more balanced offense thanks to their run game. Camerun Peoples is having a great year as he’s averaging 6.4 YPC, and Coastal ranks just 86th in EPA against the run. Chase Brice should also find plenty of success against Coastal’s 90th-ranked pass defense by EPA.

The Mountaineers survived a gauntlet earlier this season with that absurd shootout against UNC, massive upset over Texas A&M, College Game Day hail mary against Troy, and narrow loss to a great James Madison team. Now refreshed, they’re ready for their late-season surge to a bowl game.

I like App State to win this game, and we bet them at -2.5 earlier in the week. I’m fine taking them up to -3 as we still get that crucial push protection. In addition, I’m betting the over in this game. With these explosive offenses, I’m expecting a shootout in Conway, and it should be a very entertaining game.

Best Bet: App State -2.5 (play to -3) and Over 63.5 (play to 64.5)

UMass Minutemen at UConn Huskies

Game Info: Friday, November 4, 7:00 PM EST

Coverage: CBSSN

I never thought I’d see the day that UConn would be laying double digits against an FBS team, and it hasn’t happened since 2014. Jim Mora deserves a ton of credit for this program’s quick turnaround, and UConn is 5-0 ATS in its last five games. Meanwhile, the Minutemen just lost 23-13 at home to New Mexico State.

It’s not a stretch to say UMass is the worst offensive team in the FBS. They rank 126th in EPA per play and 129th in passing EPA as their quarterbacks have combined for one touchdown and nine picks. The Huskies have been very good against the pass, ranking first in pass play explosiveness allowed.

While the Minutemen will struggle to find any offense in this game, their defense is a capable unit. UMass ranks 67th in overall defensive EPA and they thrive on havoc, ranking 28th in that regard. UConn ranks 104th in havoc allowed, so UMass can muck this game up. UMass also ranks 51st in finishing drives allowed, so they can keep the Huskies out of the end zone.

These are two of the slowest teams in the country – UMass ranks 118th in pace of play and UConn ranks 103rd. Both teams want to run the ball, and neither has a ton of success doing it. The defenses have the upper hand, and I’m playing the under here. If you want to isolate it to the UMass team total under, feel free. Whatever you do, don’t watch this game.

Best Bet: Under 40.5 Points (play to 39.5)

Oregon State Beavers at Washington Huskies

Game Info: Friday, November 4, 10:30 PM EST

Coverage: ESPN2

On Friday night, we’ll see two Pac-12 teams jockeying for positioning as they surge towards likely bowl eligibility. Despite losing starting quarterback Chance Nolan a few weeks ago, the Beavers have stayed afloat thanks to the steady play of freshman Ben Gulbranson. He’s gotten better week by week, and he’s coming off his best performance against Colorado as he completed 63.2% of his passes for 202 yards and two scores.

Gulbranson won’t get mistaken for a Heisman candidate anytime soon, but he’s done a good job of limiting mistakes with just a 3.4% turnover-worthy play rate per PFF. He’s allowed Oregon State to maintain a strong rating of 30th in offensive EPA and 11th in pass play EPA. Washington ranks 99th and 117th defensively in those areas, so Gulbranson should find success.

Early on this season, Michael Penix Jr. captured the imagination of the country with some big-time performances, particularly against Michigan State. However, he’s been very average lately. Outside of the game against Arizona, who ranks 126th in pass defense EPA and 130th in pass defense success rate, Penix has just three big-time throws and three turnover-worthy plays over the last month.

Surprisingly, the explosive plays haven’t come for Penix as Washington ranks just 117th in pass play explosiveness. Oregon State ranks 10th in pass play explosiveness allowed and 47th in overall explosiveness allowed, so don’t expect that to change this week.

The Beavers might be the best defense Penix has faced this season. They rank 42nd in overall defensive EPA, and while Washington has the edge with their eighth-ranked offense by EPA, Oregon State excels at limiting opponents from scoring touchdowns – they rank 26th in finishing drives on defense.

My biggest concern with this game is I typically like to fade the post-rankings bump teams. Oregon State just got ranked for the first time since the 2013 preseason, and they could be due for a letdown. However, the line is seemingly already baking that in. Both teams are coming off a bye, and they’ll be refreshed and ready to push for a bowl game berth.

I’ve bet against Washington in each of the last four weeks, and they’ve lost ATS in all of them. We’re getting close to the point where the market has properly adjusted to the true rating of the Huskies, but I’m willing to bet against them for one more week, and I still see value at the current number. I like Oregon State to keep this game close and potentially pull off the upset, so getting some key numbers on the spread is huge.

Best Bet: Oregon State +4.5 (play to +3.5)

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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