Picking Every Game: College Football Predictions, Week 5

Game of the Week

Louisville (4-0) at

Clemson (4-0)

8 p.m. EST
Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
ABC
Louisville -1 — O/U 67

Before the season started, not many people put Louisville anywhere near the College Football Playoff discussion. Most publications had the Cardinals ranked in the Top 20 (barely) and yours truly completely missed on them, ranking Louisville all the way down at 29th.

What a difference a few games makes.

Now Louisville marches into Clemson as the favorite over last year’s national runner-up and it’s heavy preseason Heisman favorite. The entire Louisville team has performed greater than expectations, but one player in particular has elevated the Cardinals to a whole new level – Lamar Jackson. As the 13th-rated dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school, Jackson has elevated his game to become the top-rated player in college entering the fifth week. Through four games, Jackson has passed for 1,330 yards and 13 TDs, and rushed for another 526 yards and 12 TDs.

Clemson, meanwhile, has underwhelmed on offense. Deshaun Watson is nursing a mediocre 130.2 passer rating, with 996 yards and 9 TDs, and just 120 yards on the ground with no touchdowns. But while Watson and the Tigers have struggled to score, their defense has been very effective. Clemson ranks 5th in scoring defense, 15th in rushing defense and 3rd in passing defense. If there’s any team that can slow down Jackson and the vaunted Louisville offense, it’s Clemson.

The game should boil down to an exercise of strength-on-strength. Jackson and Watson will have an epic duel, and each one will lead their teams to numerous scores. Clemson’s defense won’t allow Jackson to run wild, but he will be able to cut loose enough to keep Louisville at or near the lead until the end of the game. Expect the best player on the better team to be the difference in the final minutes – and that’s Jackson and Louisville.

Prediction: Louisville 38, Clemson 34

Result: Clemson 42, Louisville 36

Record:
This week: SU – 47-15; ATS – 26-31-2; O/U – 27-31-1
Overall: SU – 280-69; ATS – 123-124-4; O/U – 128-117-6

Upsets are bold underlined
(Results in parentheses; wins are underlined; losses in italics)
* – Picks with extreme confidence ATS
^ – Picks with low confidence ATS

Thursday, Sept. 29      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Kansas (+28.5) at Texas Tech (O/U 80) 7:30 p.m. FS1 logo Texas Tech, 63-28
(Texas Tech, 55-19)
Connecticut (+27.5) at Houston (O/U 51) 8 p.m. ESPN logo Houston, 45-14
(Houston, 42-14)
Friday, Sept. 30      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Stanford (+3) at Washington (O/U 45) 9 p.m. ESPN logo Stanford, 27-24
(Washington, 44-6)
Toledo (+4) at BYU (O/U 52) 10:15 p.m. ESPN2 logo BYU, 24-21
(BYU, 55-53)
Saturday, Oct. 1      
Matchup Time (ET) TV Coverage Prediction
Alcorn State (NL) at Arkansas Noon SEC Network Logo Arkansas, 59-10
(Arkansas, 52-10)
Baylor (-16.5) at Iowa State (O/U 61) Noon FS1 logo Baylor, 35-20*
(Baylor, 45-42)
Florida (-10) at Vanderbilt (O/U 41.5) Noon SEC Network Logo Florida, 31-7*
(Florida, 13-6)
Georgia State (+19) at Appalachian State (O/U 52) Noon ASN logo Appalachian State, 31-20
(Appalachian State, 31-20)
Miami (Fla.) (-7) at Georgia Tech (O/U 50) Noon ESPN2 logo Miami, 34-14*
(Miami, 35-21)
Northwestern (+13) at Iowa (O/U 40) Noon ESPNU logo Iowa, 20-10
(Northwestern, 38-31)
Notre Dame (-11) vs. Syracuse (O/U 75) (at E. Rutherford, NJ) Noon ESPN logo Notre Dame, 34-24
(Notre Dame, 50-33)
Rutgers (+38.5) at Ohio State (O/U 59) Noon BTN logo Ohio State, 51-7*
(Ohio State, 58-0)
SMU (+12.5) at Temple (O/U 50) Noon ESPNews logo Temple, 31-17
(Temple, 45-20)
Texas (+2.5) at Oklahoma State (O/U 71) Noon ABC logo Oklahoma State, 41-38^
(Oklahoma State, 49-31)
UCF (+4) at East Carolina (O/U 57.5) Noon CBS Sports Network logo East Carolina, 35-28
(UCF, 47-29)
Virginia (+3.5) at Duke (O/U 59.5) 12:30 p.m. ACCN logo Duke, 34-24
(Virginia, 34-20)
Buffalo (+17.5) at Boston College (O/U 40) 1 p.m. Boston College, 27-7
(Boston College, 35-3)
Ohio (-2.5) at Miami (Ohio) (O/U 56.5) 2:30 p.m. BCSN Ohio, 30-20*
(Ohio, 17-7)
Oregon State (+17.5) at Colorado (O/U 61) 2:30 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Colorado, 38-17^
(Colorado, 47-6)
Eastern Michigan (+3) at Bowling Green (O/U 66) 3 p.m. ESPN3 logo Eastern Michigan, 41-28
(Eastern Michigan, 28-25)
Akron (-7) at Kent State (O/U 54.5) 3:30 p.m. ESPN3 logo Akron, 31-17*
(Akron, 31-27)
Illinois (+21) at Nebraska (O/U 54) 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 logo Nebraska, 38-14
(Nebraska, 31-16)
Kansas State (+3.5) at West Virginia (O/U 54.5) 3:30 p.m. ESPNU logo West Virginia, 31-27^
(West Virginia, 17-16)
Minnesota (+3) at Penn State (O/U 55) 3:30 p.m. BTN logo Minnesota, 34-31^
(Penn State, 29-26 OT)
Navy (+7.5) at Air Force (O/U 51) 3:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Air Force, 24-20
(Air Force, 28-14)
North Carolina (+11) at Florida State (O/U 69) 3:30 p.m. ESPN logo Florida State, 45-31
(North Carolina, 37-35)
Northern Illinois (+4) at Ball State (O/U 58) 3:30 p.m. ASN logo Ball State, 38-28
(Northern Illinois, 31-24)
Purdue (+10) at Maryland (O/U 56) 3:30 p.m. BTN logo Maryland, 31-24
(Maryland, 50-7)
Tennessee (-3.5) at Georgia (O/U 54) 3:30 p.m. CBS logo Tennessee, 31-24
(Tennessee, 34-31)
Tulane (-2.5) at Massachusetts (O/U 45) 3:30 p.m. ASN logo Tulane, 24-20^
(Tulane, 31-24)
ULM (+33) at Auburn (O/U 56) 3:30 p.m. SEC Network Logo Auburn, 38-14
(Auburn, 58-7)
Wake Forest (+10) at NC State (O/U 51) 3:30 p.m. RSN Wake Forest, 34-31
(N.C. State, 33-16)
Wisconsin (+10.5) at Michigan (O/U 44) 3:30 p.m. ABC logo Michigan, 31-24
(Michigan, 14-7)
San Jose State (+8) at New Mexico (O/U 56) 4 p.m. ROOT Sports logo New Mexico, 31-17*
(New Mexico, 48-41)
Texas A&M (-17.5) at South Carolina (O/U 48.5) 4 p.m. SEC Network Logo Texas A&M, 41-17*
(Texas A&M, 24-13)
Oklahoma (-3.5) at TCU (O/U 69.5) 5 p.m. fox-logo TCU, 34-28
(Oklahoma 52-46)
Troy (-14) at Idaho (O/U 60.5) 5 p.m. ESPN3 logo Troy, 48-17*
(Troy, 34-13)
Old Dominion (-9) at Charlotte (O/U 58) 6 p.m. CUSA-TV Logo Old Dominion, 31-20
(Old Dominion, 52-17)
Utah (+1.5) at California (O/U 66.5) 6 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Utah, 38-31
(California, 28-23)
FAU (-5) at FIU (O/U 53) 7 p.m. bein SPorts logo FIU, 23-20
(FIU, 33-31)
Houston Baptist (NL) at WKU 7 p.m. CS Live Western Kentucky, 51-10
(Western Kentucky, 50-3)
Incarnate Word (NL) at Texas State 7 p.m. ESPN3 logo Texas State, 38-14
(Texas State, 48-13)
Kentucky (+35) at Alabama (O/U 57.5) 7 p.m. ESPN logo Alabama, 48-7*
(Alabama, 34-6)
Memphis (+14.5) at Ole Miss (O/U 65.5) 7 p.m. ESPN2 logo Ole Miss, 42-21
(Ole Miss, 48-28)
Middle Tennessee (-15) at North Texas (O/U 60) 7 p.m. Stream Middle Tennessee, 34-24
(Middle Tennessee, 30-13)
Rice (+24) at Southern Miss (O/U 59) 7 p.m. CUSA-TV Logo Southern Miss, 45-17
(Southern Miss, 44-28)
USF (-4) at Cincinnati (O/U 59.5) 7 p.m. ESPNU logo USF, 31-24
(USF, 45-20)
UTEP (+19.5) at Louisiana Tech (O/U 60.5) 7 p.m. ASN logo Louisiana Tech, 44-21
(Louisiana, 28-7)
Western Michigan (-3.5) at Central Michigan (O/U 55.5) 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo Western Michigan, 41-30*
(Western Michigan, 49-10)
Marshall (+16) at Pittsburgh (O/U 68) 7:30 p.m. RSN Pittsburgh, 38-24
(Pittsburgh, 43-27)
Missouri (+13) at LSU (O/U 51) 7:30 p.m. SEC Network Logo LSU, 24-17
(LSU, 42-7)
Louisville (-1) at Clemson (O/U 67) 8 p.m. ABC logo Louisville, 38-34
(Clemson, 42-26)
Michigan State (-7) at Indiana (O/U 53.5) 8 p.m. BTN logo Michigan State, 34-20
(Indiana, 24-21 OT)
San Diego State (-20) at South Alabama (O/U 52) 8 p.m. ESPNews logo San Diego State, 45-17
(South Alabama, 42-24)
Louisiana-Lafayette (-5) at New Mexico State (O/U 64) 8 p.m. ESPN3 logo Louisiana-Lafayette, 41-31
(New Mexico State, 37-31 2OT)
Arizona State (+9.5) at USC (O/U 64) 8:30 p.m. fox-logo USC, 34-31
(USC, 41-20)
Oregon (-1) at Washington State (O/U 74.5) 9:30 p.m. Pac 12 Network logo Washington State, 44-38
(Washington State, 51-33)
Utah State (+20) at Boise State (O/U 58) 10:15 p.m. ESPN2 logo Boise State, 44-20
(Boise State, 21-10)
Wyoming (+6.5) at Colorado State (O/U 54.5) 10:15 p.m. ESPNU logo Colorado State, 27-24
(Wyoming, 38-17)
Arizona (+13) at UCLA (O/U 59) 10:30 p.m. ESPN logo UCLA, 34-20
(UCLA, 45-24)
Fresno State (+10) at UNLV (O/U 61.5) 10:30 p.m. CBS Sports Network logo UNLV, 41-28
(UNLV, 45-20)
Nevada (-4.5) at Hawaii (O/U 59.5) 11:59 p.m. Oceanic PPV Hawaii, 31-27
(Hawaii, 38-17)
Copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt
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About Doug DeBolt

Capnpen is a writer who was a newspaper and magazine journalist in a previous life. A college journalism major, he now works as an administrator, but gets his writing fix by blogging about a variety of topics, including politics, religion, movies and television. When he's not working or blogging, Capnpen spends time with his family, plays a little golf (badly) and loves to learn about virtually anything.
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2 Responses to Picking Every Game: College Football Predictions, Week 5

  1. John Fitzgerald says:

    Damn, you missed the Houston UConn game by only 3 points,,,,,impressive!

    Like

  2. John Fitzgerald says:

    Navy Air Force prediction???

    Like

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