Everything was going so great last week…until it wasn’t. Iowa squandered a double-digit lead to Northwestern in the second half, losing outright at home. An underdog UNLV played Nevada tough but fell five points shy of covering the two-touchdown spread. Troy held up their end of the bargain in what was an expected shootout, but the Arkansas State offense was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, Rice took care of business against Southern Mississippi to keep us from a second straight shutout. This column’s record stands at 12-14 as we embark on our Week 10 College Football picks selections.

With COVID-19 news and updates for various teams and conferences changing daily, it’s of paramount importance that bettors stay up to date on college football news. Week 10 presents several tricky lines and the betting market has seen limited movement for the most part. Narratives and discrepancies in power ratings play an integral role in choosing this week’s best college football picks. Read on for my best plays as we aim to get back to our winning ways.

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Week 10 College Football Picks

All odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook

Clemson (-5) at Notre Dame

Considered by many to be the game of the week, top-ranked Clemson travels to take on 4th-ranked Notre Dame in a battle of unbeatens. It’s still odd to say that Notre Dame is a member of the ACC this season, but that’s where we’re at in 2020. The winner of this game will have a leg up in terms of reaching the ACC Championship Game. The Week 10 College Football picks spread for this game opened at an even 5 points. The only movement seen throughout the week has been a tick up to Clemson -5.5 before coming back down to the opening number at Bovada Sportsbook.

Of course, the headline news surrounding Clemson and their game against Notre Dame this week is the fact that Trevor Lawrence will not play due to COVID-19. What confuses me is the fact that he will be on the sidelines to both coach and cheer on his teammates after negative tests earlier in the week. While his absence from the playing field itself is likely in accordance with ACC coronavirus guidelines (of which I am admittedly not an expert), it’s hard to believe Clemson would not push for him to play if they weren’t confident in D.J. Uiagalelei. Running back Travis Etienne proved to be a safety valve for the freshman signal-caller last week, picking up an increased workload in the passing game. The key for the Tigers will be a better defensive effort than last week.

The big knock against Notre Dame this season has been a weak strength of schedule. While the Fighting Irish have looked dominant in some games, others (a 12-7 win over Louisville comes to mind) leave many College Football picks analysts scratching their heads. Notre Dame does bring one of the best offensive lines in the country to the table. The big boys up front figure to be paramount in the Fighting Irish controlling the time of possession by running the football. The passing game could be limited with the Clemson secondary possessing a major talent advantage over Notre Dame receivers. Quarterback Ian Book may not have many targets creating separation in this one. The Irish are more than capable defensively, but Clemson is a major step up in class, even without Lawrence.

Clemson’s poor first half performance against Boston College last week was not the freshman QB’s fault by any means. If anything, he played better once unleashed in the second half. Notre Dame has been over ranked all season long and has a history of falling flat when they take a step up in competition against College Football’s elite. I’ll gladly lay the short spread with the Tigers in this buy-low opportunity.

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Florida (+3.5) vs. Georgia

The appetizer to Clemson-Notre Dame earlier in the day is the 2020 version of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” as Florida and Georgia battle for SEC East supremacy. Both sides come in with a single loss each, Florida to Texas A&M and Georgia to Alabama. The winner of this game will have an inside track to the SEC Championship Game while the loser will be all but eliminated from College Football Playoff contention. Georgia opened as 5-point favorites for the neutral site game. The expert College Football picks have moved the line down to the current -3.5 at Bovada Sportsbook.

Florida’s offense, led by quarterback Kyle Trask, is one of the most explosive in the SEC. The Gators come in averaging 42.0 points per game, second only to Alabama in the conference. Trask has go-to playmakers at every position in running back Malik Davis, receiver Kadarius Toney, and tight end Kyle Pitts. The question for Dan Mullen’s offense simply becomes whether or not they can produce against the elite Georgia defense. Despite the talent, the Gators have failed to top 20 points in each of the last three games against the Bulldogs.

Georgia sports what is, for my money, the best defense in the country. The Dogs come in allowing 16.2 points per game, the best mark in the SEC. They are plenty capable of not only limiting but shutting down the Florida offense. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs’ lack of consistent quarterback play is cause for concern. Stetson Bennett has shown flashes but is undersized and far from consistent. He should be in line to benefit from the return of wideout George Pickens, who misses last week’s game against Kentucky. The game plan for Georgia offensively will likely involve a heavy dose of run. The tandem of Zamir White and James Cook will work together to wear down a suspect Florida defense.

No matter which side emerges victorious, I see this heavyweight battle coming down to the wire. Both teams have the talent and capabilities to expose the weaknesses of the other. Florida’s offense going up against Georgia’s defense will be something special to watch. With Florida still catching a hook off the key number of 3, I’ll back the Gators in this week’s College Football picks knowing I’m covered even if a field goal decides it.

Tulane at East Carolina (Over 60.5)

The early game in the Week 10 College Football picks slate takes us to Greenville, North Carolina, for an American Athletic Conference showdown between Tulane and East Carolina. The total on this game opened at 65.5. It saw sharp line movement to the under, dropping down as low as 60.5 and setting up a great spot for a buyback play.

Serious question here: who’s stopping who in this game? Tulane comes in giving up an average of 30.7 points per game. East Carolina is even worse, surrendering 37.0 points per contest. Both teams have shown an ability to move the ball and put up points as well. The Green Wave offense is led by freshman quarterback Michael Pratt after he usurped senior transfer, Keon Howard, for the starting job. Pratt has been plenty steady, but it’s a backfield led by senior Stephon Huderson that is Tulane’s greatest offensive weapon. That doesn’t bode well for an ECU defense that comes in giving up over 205 rushing yards per game.

East Carolina was robbed of an upset victory at Tulsa last week in what might have been the College Football picks bad beat of the year. Like Tulane, the Pirates’ best weapon resides in their backfield. Running back Rahjal Harris has gone well over the 100-yard mark in three straight games and is averaging 5.7 yards per carry on the season to go along with 3 scores. Outside of an abysmal performance in a loss to Georgia State, junior quarterback Holton Ahlers has impressed in every game he’s started including 330 yards passing and 3 touchdowns on a 76% completion percentage last week.

East Carolina’s offense, the harder of the two to trust, showed out against a stout Tulsa defense last week. Both sides have been putting up points in bunches of late. 60.5 total points is a lot, but then again, both teams reside in the defense-optional American Athletic Conference. I’m plenty comfortable with backing this one to go over.

Bonus Pick: Arkansas (+105)

Arkansas has easily been the most improved team in the SEC this season. The infusion of leadership from transfer quarterback Felipe Franks can’t go understated, but the Razorbacks defense has been very impressive as well. The team hung with a strong Texas A&M team for a while last week and would’ve beaten Auburn if not for an officiating mishap. First-year head coach Sam Pittman has the program on the rise while Jeremy Pruitt’s Volunteers have been in a freefall, dropping three straight since starting 2-0. Tennessee is coming off a bye and may have an edge in prep, but I like the Hogs as a live home underdog in this spot. Nothing better than a little plus-money action to round out the Week 10 College Football picks slate.

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Henry’s passion for sports dates all the way back to childhood and has ultimately led to a full-fledged career as an analyst and content creator. After getting his start penning fantasy football articles, he forrayed into the betting side of the business in early 2019. His love for sports and statistics proved to be an ideal match with the dedicated research and strategy that handicapping requires. Henry currently specializes in betting analysis and picks for college football, college basketball and NASCAR. He counts the NFL, the WNBA, and NBA player props as additional leagues/markets of interest. Henry graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 2021 with a Communication Studies degree and a Psychology minor. A native of the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York, he and his pup, Harold, have since relocated to Laramie, Wyoming. Thanks to his professional goals within the sports betting industry, there has been a whole lot of steam on the odds for a move to Las Vegas in 2023! Most of Henry’s free time is spent on outdoor adventures, playing chess, snowboarding, or reading a good book. He is also a competitive powerlifter and aspires to qualify for the USAPL Nationals meet within the next 2-3 years.

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