Takes on College Football: Against the Spread, Week Five

It’s Week Five in the blessed college football season. The season is blowing right through nap time.  As you now know, two of the most unqualified writers at The Alabama Take will give our picks for a few college football games. We’re going against the spread, too, as if it wasn’t hard enough. We are not experts, but still. Look at those numbers. They ain’t bad! It’s our best guess at the best bets with the lowest stress. It’s our college football picks of the week!


2019 ATS Record
Blaine Duncan: 11-1 (Week Four: 2-1)
TD Wood: 4-7-1 (Week Four: 0-3)

Blaine Duncan
It happened. It gosh darn did. My streak is over. Long live my streak. Going undefeated against the spread, racking up millions upon millions of dollars for me and you folks out there, I had three fine weeks. Alas, things without remedy should be without regard: what’s done is done. Week Four had me thinking too highly of Northwestern. We all know nothing good comes out of Chicago and that bunch of liberal piss ants. Liberalism is a disease! But I digress. Here are my picks for this, the week in our Lord, Week Five.

Arkansas at Texas A&M (-23): Arkansas is bad, bad, bad. And not in any sort of good way. Because no one is keeping up with them, it’s easy to let it slip by that they lost to San Jose State last Saturday. What the hell? What halfway decent SEC team should lose to San Jose State? No one! (Okay, maybe Vandy, god bless ’em.) Here’s the thing: per the SEC standings, Texas A&M are at the bottom, too. That won’t last long. The Aggies will climb out of the hole and finish in the middle of the West. And they’ll do it with this bounce back game against the poor, helpless Razorbacks. Arkansas may not win a conference game this year, god bless ’em.

Iowa State (-3) at Baylor: This is the one you bet the house on. You take all your money out of savings, your 401k, your car as collateral, whatever you have to do. If the Cyclones don’t win by 6 or more, I’ll cry. (Because I’ll be broke. And homeless. And without a car.) And yeah, Baylor’s undefeated. But having beaten SFA, UTSA, and Rice, that’s like saying Jim Harbaugh’s coach of the year. So lay your money down. Matt Campbell will have Iowa State ready.

Kansas State (+4) at Oklahoma State: The Wildcats have proven useful to me this year already and I may be trying to milk a dry cow, but I like them to hang in there with the Cowboys. It’s of no use to think of Oklahoma State coming within 6 of Texas. Kansas State may be one of the more quietly good teams in the nation. Head coach Chris Klieman may be doing some great things with this team. They’re on a roll, and I say they win outright by a point.


TD Wood
TD, your picks, woof! Horrible showing from me last week, going 0-3 and looking bad in the process. Things we learned: Michigan is no closer to being “back” than when Jim Harbaugh took the job, and Wisconsin is indeed the team I thought they’d be last season. They are officially a CFP contender, now. Texas A&M is no longer the scary team I thought they’d be, and Auburn’s D-Line is indeed that good (but they are starting to get banged up, something to watch out for). Notre Dame has more fight than previously thought, and very well could’ve won last week in Athens. Only two inter-Top 25 games this week, but a solid slate nonetheless.

Virginia at Notre Dame (-12.5): Like I said above, the Fighting Irish had a solid showing in their loss at Georgia last weekend. Virginia is 4-0, with a solid defense, but the competition has been lacking — they had to rally from behind to beat Old Dominion last week — and their offense is not exactly lighting up the scoreboard. I think the Golden Domers bounce back in a big way at home.

USC at Washington (-10.5): USC had a big win over Utah last week, with third-string QB Matt Fink playing the part of hero. However, this is a tough road environment against a much more talented Huskies defense. Washington’s loss to Cal (who now sits at 4-0) is starting to look more and more like an aberration than any kind of bad sign, and the PAC-12 title is still firmly within their grasps. The Trojans are still to inconsistent for me to trust them in such a big road test.

Ohio State at Nebraska (+17): At first glance this might look like an easy blowout win for the Buckeyes, but look again and you’ll notice the Huskers defense is vastly improved from last season’s outfit, and that team almost upset Ohio St. in Columbus. College GameDay will be in Lincoln, and the Husker faithful are starving for the first signature win of the Scott Frost era. They need to stop turning the ball over if they want to pull the upset, and I’m not sure even that’d be enough to overcome the talent gap between the two programs. But Memorial Stadium will be livid, and those points are just too tough to turn down.


Note: All games are Against the Spread. Odds are taken from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

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