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College Football Betting: 5 Best Games of the Week

There’s a little bit of everything on the Week 10 college football schedule. Another can’t-miss game in the SEC, a showdown of service academies, some love for Conference USA, and a pair of undefeated teams with tough road tests highlight the breakdown of top games this weekend.

It should be another crazy week in the college football world.

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Michael Chang / Getty Images via AFP

No. 12 Auburn Tigers at No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies

Odds: Texas A&M -4½

What to know: Texas A&M is 5-2 against the college football spread in its last seven Southeastern Conference games.

The lone game on the Week 10 schedule between a pair of ranked teams is naturally going to kick off things.

Texas A&M hasn’t really been tested since its eye-opening win over then-top-ranked Alabama. The Aggies have methodically dispatched Missouri and South Carolina squads. The degree of difficulty is about to rachet up when the No. 13 Auburn Tigers come to College Station.

If you crunch the numbers, there’s not too much that jumps out against Auburn. The Tigers are seventh in the Southeastern Conference in total offense and ninth in total defense and yet Auburn is challenging Alabama for the SEC West Division lead.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix has the aura of winning about him. Others might throw for more yards or appear to be more dangerous when they tuck the ball and run but in the last three seasons, the Tigers are 5-1 in games decided by six points or less.

Looking back to those games, Nix was invariably the one making game-deciding plays in crunch time.

The injury bug hasn’t been kind to the Aggies’ secondary. Starting cornerbacks Brian George and Myles Jones have combined to play just six games and both are out for the season. Senior Keldrick Carper has missed four of the last five games.

Missouri and South Carolina either didn’t or couldn’t make the Aggies pay for missing key playmakers in the secondary. With four players with at least 20 catches, look for Auburn to spread things out and try to exploit the best matchup in the passing game.

Nix hadn’t played particularly well as the Tigers lost 10 of their last 11 games against ranked opponents. However, he was 22 of 30 for 276 yards in last week’s win over Ole Miss and also ran for a pair of touchdowns in the 31-20 win.

Before the season, Texas A&M and Auburn had the third- and sixth-best odds to win the SEC. The Aggies were +900 to win the SEC and +500 to capture the SEC West Division. Auburn was +2000 to win the SEC and +1400 in the West Division odds.

No. 10 Wake Forest Demon Deacons at North Carolina Tar Heels

NCAA odds: North Carolina -2½

What to know: The scores and odds total has gone over Wake Forest’s last six games playing North Carolina on the road.

The fact that this doesn’t count in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings doesn’t diminish the intriguing matchup between the undefeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

With a total of 70½, it is a pretty fair assumption that those who bet online aren’t expecting this to be a 14-10 defensive struggle.

The Sam vs. Sam quarterback duel is certainly will grab most of the headlines in this one as Wake Forest’s Sam Hartfman leads the ACC with a passing efficiency rating of 175.0. North Carolina’s Sam Howell leads all ACC quarterbacks with 596 rushing yards and an average of 8.9 yards per play. Hartman and Howell don’t lack options when they drop back to pass.

North Carolina’s Josh Downs leads the ACC with 70 receptions and 979 receiving yards while Wake Forest is the only Football Bowl Subdivision team to have two players with more than 700 receiving yards this season. Jaquarii Roberson leads Wake Forest with 737 receiving yards and 43 catches while A.T. Perry has 716 yards on 36 receptions.

It’s unlikely this game will top last season’s 59-53 thriller when Hartman and Howell combined for 979 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and each added a scoring run but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

No. 5 Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers

Odds: Michigan State -3

What to know: Michigan State is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games.

This game was a dangerous vibe for the Michigan State Spartans, the last undefeated in the Big Ten Conference.

The Spartans were riding high after last week’s impressive come-from-behind win over rival Michigan. It is always special when the Spartans take down the Wolverines but when it comes in a matchup of previously undefeated teams and the nation’s eyes following along with each and every plot twist, the game’s outcome takes on added significance.

The host Purdue Boilermakers lead the Big Ten with 350 passing attempts and they will face a Michigan State defense that is the only Big Ten team to allow more than 300 yards per game.

If the Spartans are still celebrating the Michigan win and aren’t laser-focused on playing an underrated Purdue squad, this game could get interesting. One thing working in Michigan State’s favor is that Purdue has been pretty mediocre while playing at home.

The Boilermakers’ last three home games were a narrow win over Big Ten doormat Illinois and back-to-back losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Boilermakers give up 166.8 rushing yards per game at home and now have to face Heisman Trophy candidate Kenneth Walker.

Army Black Knights at Air Force Falcons

Odds: Air Force -2½

What to know: The total listed by the sportsbook has gone under in Air Force’s last seven games against Army.

Do you know who has the toughest job at college football stadiums this weekend? The cameramen and camerawomen given the task of filming the Army and Air Force offenses.

The team teams are perfected the option offense. Army has 12 players with at least 10 carries this season, Air Force counters with seven. The ball can be handed off to any number of players on each play. The Nos. 1 and 2 teams at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in rushing yards per game and rushing attempts per game have resisted the temptation to join the era of wide-open spread offensive football.

The defenses should be well prepared as they get to see similar offenses to the one they run each day in practice.

Air Force already owns a win over Navy so a win on Saturday would give the Falcons a sweep of Army and Navy and the prestigious Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.

Brad Roberts is on pace to become the first player to lead Air Force in rushing in consecutive seasons since Jacobi Owens accomplished the feat from 2014-16. Army tends to spread the wealth around a little bit more as Jakobi Buchanan is the only Black Knights’ running back to average more than 10 carries per game.

Starting quarterbacks Christian Anderson of Army and Hazziq Daniels of Air Force had to leave last week’s games but there are reports that they are both back practicing.

Marshall Thundering Herd at Florida Atlantic Owls

Odds: Marshall -1½

What to know: The college football picks’ total has gone over in five of Marshall’s last six games on the road.

It would be so easy to just throw another SEC game in this slot and there certainly are some intriguing options including the too close to call Tennessee-Kentucky showdown or Ole Miss’ non-conference matchup with Malik Willis and the Liberty Flames. However, it is time to give Conference USA some love as both the East and West Division races heat up this weekend.

The Marshall Thundering Herd and Florida Atlantic Owls are tied with Western Kentucky atop the East Division so there be some separation after this game.

Marshall’s Rasheen Ali leads Conference USA with 15 touchdown runs. Florida Atlantic is 4-0 when Johnny Ford has more than 70 yards from scrimmage and 0-3 when the sophomore is held under that number.

This should be a fun week in Conference USA land, especially with not only the Marshall/FAU game on the schedule but Texas San Antonio, the only team with a perfect Conference USA record, faces UTEP which has only one conference loss.

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