College Football Week 10 Best Bets: Predictions for Saturday Games

Week 10 College Football best bets, predictions, and picks for Tennessee vs. Georgia, Texas vs. Kansas State, Alabama vs. LSU, and more games from the Saturday slate.

Week 10 College Football Best Bets & Predictions – Saturday Slate

We’re onto Week 10 of the college football season, and there are some delightful games on this week’s slate. In this article, I’ll cover some of my favorite bets for the week. Not every bet I place winds up in this article, so be sure to check out my Twitter @wayne_sports_ for all of my latest picks. Also, go subscribe to our YouTube channel for all of the latest videos covering these games and a lot more. Let’s get to work.

College Football 2022 Record: 114-78.5-4 (59.2%)

Florida Gators at Texas A&M Aggies

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 12:00 PM EST

Coverage: ESPN

There are tons of great Power Five matchups throughout the day, but this Florida-Texas A&M game provides a tantalizing appetizer to the later action. Nothing has gone accordion to plan for the Aggies this season, and now sitting at 3-5, it’s fair to question where their mental state is, particularly with the injuries and suspensions piling up.

Texas A&M has two FBS wins this year. Neither are impressive. They beat Miami despite getting outgained by over 100 yards and they needed a 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown and a last-second missed field goal to beat Arkansas. With four straight losses in the rearview, it’s clear this team is far from what many thought it could be.

Meanwhile, the Gators seem to be bought into new head coach Billy Napier and still playing with a purpose with bowl eligibility on the table. Florida has a dominant ground game that averages 6.1 YPC, the best mark in the FBS , and should eat up a Texas A&M run defense that ranks 65th in EPA and 100th in standard down line yards.

It’s worth noting here that Florida dismissed edge defender Brenton Cox this week. He led the team in total pressures, and for a pass defense that ranks 130th in pass down success rate allowed, his presence would have been valuable. Connor Weigman looked good last week as he threw four touchdowns, but this offense lost a lot of its juice when Ainias Smith went out for the season. Their offensive line injuries are mounting, as well.

Between the motivational factors and matchup advantages, I like Florida catching the hook at 3.5. The last three meetings between these teams have been decided by a field goal or less, and I don’t see a big margin playing out here. If you’re feeling feisty, a Florida Moneyline play isn’t the worst idea, either.

Best Bet: Florida +3.5 (bet to +3 and sprinkle ML)

Tennessee Volunteers at Georgia Bulldogs

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 3:30 PM EST

Coverage: CBS

I can’t wait for this game. It’s the biggest matchup of the season to this point, and everything is on the line. Tennessee is in the midst of a wonderful breakthrough season, but traveling to Athens is by far their toughest test to this point. Georgia will be fired up for the opportunity to remind everyone why they’re the defending champions. They’ll also be looking to make a statement to the CFP committee.

Kirby Smart’s game plan is simple – keep the ball away from Hendon Hooker. Actually executing that plan won’t be easy, but it starts with running the ball. Georgia ranks outside the top 100 teams in pace of play, and they’ll rely on their run game that ranks second in EPA per rush. Tennessee ranks top ten in defensive line yards and stuff rate, though, so the Bulldogs will need to pass some too.

Stetson Bennett is having a pretty nondescript, average season. He’s done enough to help his team win, but they rank just 127th in pass play explosiveness. Tennessee’s secondary can be exploited – they rank 78th in passing success rate allowed and 60th in pass play EPA per play allowed – but it’s tough to trust Bennett to do so consistently.

On the other side of the ball, the Volunteers’ offense is about to face the best defense they have all year. Georgia is allowing just 4.6 yards per play and they rank fourth in success rate and fifth in EPA per play allowed. Despite losing tons of talent to the draft, they haven’t regressed too much.

When Hendon Hooker faced this defense last year, he had no big-time throws and two turnover-worthy plays per PFF. He also averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt. However, this isn’t the same Hooker and it’s not the same Tennessee offense, particularly now that wide receiver Cedric Tillman is healthy. He caught ten balls for 200 yards in that game last year, and he’ll be the X-factor for Tennessee along with Jalin Hyatt.

Ultimately, due to the way Georgia will approach this game and dictate the pace, I believe the under is the best play on the board. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t have some action on the Vols here. They’ve been the best story in college football, and I’ll gladly back Hooker and company to find a way to keep this thing within a touchdown.

Best Bet: Under 66 (play to 65) and Tennessee +8 (play to +7)

Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 7:00 PM EST

Coverage: ESPN

As the Georgia-Tennessee game wraps up, we’ll start to watch LSU and Alabama play a game that has massive implications for the SEC West. The winner of this game will have pole position atop the division for the time being as Ole Miss, who also has a 4-1 conference record, is on bye. These two teams are coming off their bye weeks last week, and they’ll be as prepared as possible for this spot.

As always, there’s considerable fatigue among the public surrounding this Alabama team. They were written off by many after close wins over Texas and Texas A&M and the loss to Tennessee. However, Nick Saban always answers the call, and he’ll have his team angry and well prepared for this game.

Of course, this isn’t quite the same Alabama team as we’ve seen in recent years, but they still have one significant strength in quarterback Bryce Young. While he’s out of the Heisman race for all intents and purposes, Young remains the best quarterback in the country. Despite losing Jameson Williams and John Metchie, Young’s efficiency metrics remain very similar to last year.

Young is poised to pick apart this LSU secondary. Alabama ranks seventh in passing down EPA and third in success rate, while LSU ranks outside the top 90 in both metrics. The strength of the LSU defense is the presence of pass-rushers Harold Perkins and B.J. Ojulari, but Young isn’t phased under pressure. Since the beginning of last season, he’s thrown 21 touchdowns to four interceptions under pressure per PFF.

On the LSU end, Jayden Daniels has been playing much better football lately. He has completed over 71% of his passes with six touchdowns to just one pick over the past three weeks. However, that production has come against three teams that rank 96th or worse in pass defense EPA in Tennessee, Florida, and Ole Miss.

The Tennessee game where the secondary melted will stick in everyone’s mind, but Alabama ranks 14th in pass defense EPA. They’re specifically excellent on passing downs where they lead the FBS in EPA per play. If the Crimson Tide can force the Tigers into obvious passing situations and Will Anderson can tee off against an offensive line that ranks 121st in sack rate allowed, forget about it.

LSU backers will tell you that the home atmosphere in Baton Rouge will be too much for Alabama to overcome, but the Crimson Tide have won their last two games there by a combined margin of 74 points. This isn’t quite the same Alabama team, but LSU is overinflated in the market after two wins over suspect opponents. The Crimson Tide will be mentally sharp and locked in off their bye week, and they’ll win this game by 3+ scores.

Best Bet: Alabama -13.5 (play to -14)

Texas Horned Frogs at Kansas State Wildcats

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 7:00 PM EST

Coverage: FS1

Man, that was a blast. Kansas State was one of my best bets on the board last week, and while Adrian Martinez didn’t wind up making the start, the Wildcats flexed their muscle with a 48-0 shutout win over Oklahoma State that was the most lopsided shutout win over a top ten team in almost 50 years.

That’s the type of win that can absolutely invigorate a program and light a fire under its players. However, it’s also the type of win that’s prone to an immediate letdown. Texas enters this game coming off its bye week with a renewed purpose. The Longhorns are a few bounces away from being undefeated, and they’re ranked as the sixth-best team in the country by SP+.

The Kansas State offense is wholly dependent on the run as they run the ball at the 16th-highest rate in the FBS. However, the Longhorns rank ninth in run defense EPA and sixth in rush play success rate allowed, which will make things difficult for the Wildcats on the ground. Texas has been vulnerable against the pass – they rank 81st in pass down explosiveness allowed – but Kansas State doesn’t have the personnel to take advantage.

On the other side, Quinn Ewers and Xavier Worthy will meet their match against an elite Kansas State pass defense. The Wildcats rank 15th in pass defense EPA and 15th in pass play success rate allowed. Much of that has been dependent on Felix Anudike-Uzomah and his elite 19.7% pass-rush win rate, but Texas ranks 13th in sack rate allowed and 19th in havoc allowed.

All that said, Bijan Robinson is the great equalizer. Kansas State ranks just 60th in run defense EPA and 112th in average line yards. Robinson is PFF’s second-ranked running back overall, and he’s a projected first-round pick next year in the NFL. He’ll be able to take advantage of this matchup with great success.

Texas has the efficiency metrics of a top-ten team despite their 5-3 record, and that means they’re undervalued in the market. The matchups play to the favor of the Longhorns and the situational handicap is brutal for the Wildcats off that massive win. I love getting a well-rested Texas team in this spot.

Best Bet: Texas -2.5 (play to -3)

James Madison Dukes at Louisville Cardinals

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 7:30 PM EST

Coverage: ESPNU

I don’t understand why Louisville scheduled this game. Last week, they earned a massive win over Wake Forest, but the final score was inflated by an absurd eight interceptions by Wake. After this game, the Cardinals will have two huge ACC games against Clemson and NC State before their rivalry game against Kentucky. It will be easy to overlook this game.

However, James Madison won’t be overlooking this spot. In their first FBS season, they’ve been very impressive. However, two straight losses have pushed their season in a negative direction. Before their bye week, they lost at home by 14 points to Marshall, and starting quarterback Todd Centeio didn’t play. The gap between him and the team’s backup, Billy Atkins, is massive.

Centeio is PFF’s second-graded quarterback behind only Bryce Young, and his 9.7% big-time throw rate ranks third in the country. Meanwhile, Atkins had four interceptions and a putrid 27.7 PFF passing grade in his start against Marshall. I’m banking on Centeio being back for this game after he warmed up against Marshall before being ruled out last minute. Unless there was a significant setback during the bye week, he should be good to go.

https://twitter.com/PFN365/status/1566217101320282113

While Centeio has been great, the James Madison defense has been the most impressive part of their team. The Dukes rank fifth in defensive EPA per play, and they’re particularly great against the run where they rank 1st in EPA, success rate, and average line yards allowed. Louisville runs the ball at the 34th-highest rate, and their offense revolves around the run with dual-threat QB Malik Cunningham and their deep stable of backs.

James Madison is subject to the questionable rules that dictate FCS teams making the switch to the FBS can’t make a bowl game in their first year. As such, this is their chance to play in front of a more national audience against a Power Five team. They’ll be fired up for that opportunity, and while I’m not calling for the outright upset, Louisville needs to be on its game here.

Best Bet: James Madison +8.5 (play to +7)

Auburn Tigers at Mississippi State Wildcats

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 7:30 PM EST

Coverage: ESPN2

Auburn finally pulled the plug on Brian Harsin after his tenure dragged out for far too long, and I fully expect the Tigers to benefit from the post-coach firing bump. Power Five teams in 2022 are 4-2 straight up and ATS this year after firing their head coach. Cadillac Williams, the interim head coach, seems to be someone the team is rallying around, and he said his staff has been in the building until 1 or 2 AM every night this week crafting the perfect game plan, per Auburn beat writer Nathan King.

“We’re going to play Auburn football and that’s getting back to running the football and playing relentless on defense. We’re going to have fun with it and these guys are going to play hard,” Williams said. Auburn has one of the best running backs in the country, Tank Bigsby, and a mobile quarterback in Robby Ashford. They’ll be the focal point this week.

Mississippi State’s run defense is vulnerable. They rank 78th in rushing EPA allowed and 93rd in rushing play success rate allowed. Most notably, they rank 73rd in rush play explosiveness allowed, whereas Auburn ranks third in that respect. We can expect the Tigers to rip off big chunk yardage on rushing plays in this game.

When the Wildcats have the ball, they’ll be looking to pass. Mike Leach’s offense passes at the highest rate in the FBS. Luckily for Auburn, they’re munich better at defending the pass than they are the run. They rank in the top 60 in passing EPA, success rate, and explosiveness allowed, so they can likely limit Will Rogers at least somewhat.

Auburn has two edge rushers in Colby Woolen and Derrick Hall who are future NFL players. They haven’t quite played to the level we’d expect, but if Williams can invigorate his team, they could be huge difference-makers in this game. Overall, Auburn has a motivational bump and some key matchup advantages over Mississippi State, so I love getting 13 points with them.

Best Bet: Auburn +13.5 (play to +10.5)

Clemson Tigers at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Game Info: Saturday, November 5, 7:30 PM EST

Coverage: ESPN2

The path for Clemson is simple at this point – win out and make the College Football Playoff. At least, that’s what the first batch of rankings from the committee indicates. However, Clemson has a massive challenge in front of it this week as they travel to face a Notre Dame team that is finding its footing despite a turbulent season.

The last time D.J. Uiagalelei played in South Bend, he was electric with 439 passing yards and two touchdowns. However, that was during the 2020 season when there weren’t any fans in the stands. This atmosphere will be entirely different, particularly after Uiagalelei was benched last time out against Syracuse. We could see some Cade Klubnik in this game, and it would be difficult for the inexperienced freshman to succeed.

Despite the marked improvements in Uiagalelei’s game, the Clemson offense still ranks just 71st in pass play success rate. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s defense ranks 10th in pass play success rate allowed. Where the Irish have been vulnerable is in allowing explosive plays – they rank 92nd in explosiveness allowed – but Clemson ranks just 88th in overall explosiveness.

On the other side, Notre Dame should be able to run the ball here. Clemson surprisingly ranks just 61st in defensive line yards and 107th in opportunity rate. Audric Estime is becoming a force for the Irish, and he’s coming off his best game with 20 carries for 123 yards and two scores against Syracuse. Behind an elite offensive line that ranks 15th in line yards, Estime should find success this week.

Overall, this Clemson team isn’t playing to the level its talent would suggest. They beat Wake Forest, NC State, Florida State, and Syracuse by an average of just seven points. Mix in a raucous crowds in heavy wind and rain in South Bend along with the questionable quarterback situation for the Tigers, and I believe the Irish win this game outright.

Best Bet: Notre Dame +3.5 (play to +3)

Group of Five Quick Hitters

Air Force at Army: I’m playing Air Force at -7 or better here, and I believe they can win by multiple scores. There’s a great revenge narrative here after Air Force lost 21-14 in overtime to Army last year, and the Falcons have the opportunity to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 2016.

Army’s defensive line has been awful – they rank dead last in defensive line yards – and Air Force will dominate on the ground this week. I’m tempted to play the over here for these reasons, but it’s hard to know what to expect from Army’s offense, so I’m going with the Air Force spread.

UTSA at UAB: The handicap for this game is dependent on quarterback Dylan Hopkins being available for UAB. He’s ranked fourth in the FBS with 9.9 yards per attempt, and he would give the Blazers a big edge against UTSA’s secondary that ranks 107th in pass defense EPA and 108th in pass down explosiveness allowed.

Running back DeWayne McBride ranks second among G5 running backs with 6.9 YPC, and he should also be highly successful against UTSA’s run defense that ranks 127th in explosiveness allowed. Give me the UAB ML at home.

UCF at Memphis: Over the past couple of weeks, we successfully sold UCF against East Carolina and bought them against Cincinnati. This week, it’s time to sell them again as quarterback John Rhys Plumlee’s status is very much in doubt for this game. Even if he can go, UCF’s run-heavy offense will be meeting a Memphis defense that’s much better ranked against the run (27th) than the pass (93rd) by EPA.

Meanwhile, Seth Henigan should find success against UCF’s defense that ranks 70th in EPA against the pass. UCF is on the road here after a massive home win over Cincinnati, and Memphis is coming off their bye week, so they’re the healthier, more prepared team.

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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