College Football Picks Week 5

USC Trojans at Colorado Buffaloes +7.5, Total 51

Colorado enters this game losing their last three while scoring just 20 total points.  Colorado’s offense has been unable to provide any production this season.  Starting QB Brendon Lewis has only thrown for 338 yards in their four games and their leading receiver has a grand total of 45 yards.  It’s safe to say that Colorado would prefer to keep this a slow paced game that will allow them to run the ball. 

USC has looked unfocused after the loss of Head Coach Clay Helton, recently giving up 45 points in their most recent loss to Oregon State.  The Trojans have a solid QB in Kedon Slovis, but the Colorado defense has been solid against the pass and will make it tough for the USC offense.  

These two teams have both had their struggles this season.  The Buffaloes lack of offense is troubling, but being at home should help the offense run and allow them to play their slow down pace.  USC is too stacked on the offensive end to lose this game but the way both of these teams are playing I would look for this to be a sloppy affair on both ends. USC will pull away late because they actually have options that will help them score.  I think USC pulls away late but this game will finish with Colorado scoring under 14.  I like the Trojans but I love the under.

Pick: USC -7.5 Under 51

Troy Trojans at South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina is actually 3-1 ATS this season. Most of those games have been them as underdogs.  They enter a matchup with the Sun Belt Conference’s Troy Trojans as seven point favorites off the heels of a tough loss to Kentucky last weekend.  Troy is also coming off a conference loss to UL Monore.  Both teams will look to bounce back in a rather interesting stylistic matchup. 

The Trojans bring a suffocating defense to the table.  Through four games they have allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing and have sacked the QB 18 times in their four games.  Their dominant run defense will be in great shape facing a South Carolina run game that has been one of the worst in college football, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and 84 yards per game. South Carolina is going to have to throw the ball.  

Troy has not played the level of competition that South Carolina has but the Trojans have a solid passing game, averaging 273 ypg.  The key for Troy will be continuing to put pressure on the QB and stop the run game.  Gamecocks QB Luke Doty has only thrown for 311 yards on the season and should see tons of pressure on him all day.  This game will stay close, I think it is more likely a 3 point game rather than a 7 point game.  The Gamecocks will win but it will not be easy.

Pick: Troy Trojans +7

Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers

If you look at the records and stat lines this one seems like an easy choice.  The Badgers are coming off of a horrid performance down the stretch against Notre Dame over the weekend where QB Graham Mertz threw 4 interceptions.  Wisconsin actually led that game 13-10 going into the fourth quarter before a kickoff return by Notre Dame led to a lopsided beatdown. 

Wisconsin now has two losses in which they realistically played better than both teams. Penn State and Notre Dame both were outplayed until  QB mistakes cost them the outcome.  The pressure applied to Mertz was causing all sorts of trouble for the Sophomore. Michigan has not generated much pressure on the QB this season which should limit mistakes. 

The Badgers will be at home sporting the best run defense in all of college football while the Michigan Wolverines have become overly reliant on the run this season.  They have run the ball on over 70% of their plays this season. Michigan will have to generate offense through the air, something they have not been able to do this season.    The lack of offense will play into the hands of the Badgers and allow them to control the ball.  When Michigan can’t run they will make mistakes and the Wisconsin defense at home will thrive.

Pick: Wisconsin ML

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