Week 5 College football best bets, odds and game picks: We are 8-1 over the past 3 weeks!

Washington Huskies wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk (2) celebrates with wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) after catching a touchdown pass against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium
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Caleb Wilfinger


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Deputy Editor for Pickswise with years of experience handicapping and giving out winning picks. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC. For Caleb Wilfinger media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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The 2022 college football season continues to deliver great games, upsets galore and excitement. Last weekend’s slate was excellent and we should have more great action in store for Week 5.

Last Saturday was also a successful day of handicapping, as I hit 2 of my 3 best bets for Week 4 — improving to 8-1 on my best bets over the last 3 weeks. Let’s keep the momentum going this week!

This week’s action kicks off on Thursday and will go deep into Saturday night. While this week’s lines have been on the move since Sunday, there are still some good value bets of which to take advantage.

Let’s take a look at our best bets for Week 5 of the college football season.

We’ve got NCAAF picks for all the big games in Week 5!

Washington -2.5 (-110) over UCLA

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of publishing. 

Heading into the season, I was high on both Washington and UCLA for different reasons. Washington’s addition of Kalen DeBoer at head coach and Michael Penix Jr. at quarterback gave me optimism for its Pac-12 chances, while UCLA’s schedule set them up nicely for success in Chip Kelly’s 5th year. Through 4 weeks, I’ve gotten exactly what I expected. Both teams are undefeated, but the Huskies have undoubtedly looked more impressive in doing so. Washington is blitzing teams, to the tune of a top-10 EPA margin and offensive success rate. The passing game looked especially impressive in wins over Michigan State and Stanford — games where the Huskies scored 39 and 40 points respectively. Washington’s defense is also top-50 in opponent success rate to this point.

On the other side, this Bruins team was one bad play call away from dropping their home game to South Alabama in Week 3. They did get right against Colorado, but the step-up in quality for this week’s game will be enormous. The fact that their defense couldn’t stop the Jaguars’ offense should be a major concern when facing Penix, who should be a dark horse Heisman Trophy contender at this point. So while Dorian Thompson-Robinson is playing well, UCLA’s offense will need to be executing at an elite level in order to compensate for its defensive shortcomings. With Washington absolutely rolling and UCLA having feasted on a weak schedule, I’ll side with the road favorite in this Pac-12 after-dark matchup.

Be sure to check out our full Washington Huskies vs UCLA Bruins predictions

Kansas +3.5 (-110) over Iowa State

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of publishing. 

At some point we’re going to have to sell high on Kansas. The Jayhawks are riding a ton of early season hype after starting off 4-0 for the first time in 13 years, making them an easy target to be a public darling in the betting market. With that being said, I still think we’re getting value on Kansas this week. This team has done nothing but outperform the betting market to this point while knocking off Houston, West Virginia and an undefeated Duke team in the process. Jalon Daniels is the real deal at quarterback, as he only has a turnover-worthy play rate of 1.9% while dominating opposing defenses. Kansas is 17th in the country in yards per play margin, which is impressive considering the Jayhawks’ quality of opponent thus far. This offense is humming and it’s reasonable to think that success continues here.

Kansas has tallied 194 points this season and the Jayhawks rank 3rd in offensive success rate, per College Football Data. While Iowa State’s defense is solid statistically, the Cyclones mostly faced really poor offenses to this point. Once they faced a competent Baylor team, the results looked quite different for this defensive unit. Kansas’ defense could be cause for concern, ranking outside the top 100 in passing success rate. However, that might not matter as much against this Cyclones offense that is having real issues generating consistent success on early downs. Backing a feel-good story like Kansas likely puts me on the square side here. But this is an instance where I’m not going to step in front of a team that’s consistently performing above expectation. I like Kansas in this one, and I’d feel comfortable taking the Jayhawks on the money line.

Be sure to check out our full Iowa State Cyclones vs Kansas Jayhawks predictions

Mississippi State -3.5 (-105) over Texas A&M

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of publishing. 

Following a brutal loss at home to App State, Texas A&M has been winning ugly over the last few weeks. Yes, the Aggies knocked off Miami and Arkansas in consecutive games, but they haven’t looked convincing in doing so. In fact, it took a miraculous defensive touchdown, plus a missed field goal as time expired for Texas A&M to escape with a victory last week. Now, the Aggies will have to hit the road to take on a Mississippi State team that is lying in wait and ready to make a statement in the SEC West.

The Bulldogs are top 20 in both offensive and defensive success rate, while ranking 23rd in net points per drive. This is a deep and experienced offense helmed by 3rd-year quarterback Will Rogers. Rogers is playing at a high level in his third season in Mike Leach’s offense and I expect the Bulldogs to come out with a balance and efficient game plan on Saturday. Mississippi State’s offense is the benchmark for the team, but the Bulldogs’ defense has also been a pleasant surprise. Ranking 14th in the nation in EPA margin, they shouldn’t have trouble slowing down a Texas A&M offense that is outside the top 100 in success rate and 96th in net points per drive. Mississippi State is the more balanced team and the Bulldogs will want to avoid an 0-2 start in SEC play. Back the hosts with confidence here.

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