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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 10 Picks and Odds


Another winning week on the college gridiron and things feel back to normal. With the College Football Playoff now in play, we have to be aware of teams playing for style points, which in turn affects the favorites and the totals in those games. Western Michigan is among those that will need to blow its opponents out so we'll see if Vegas adjusts. If they don't, then the teams toward the top of the rankings are going to be playing for big numbers.

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Record: 26-22 (4-2 last week)

Wisconsin (6-2) at Northwestern (4-4), 12 p.m.

Wisconsin hits the road to play Northwestern after beating Nebraska at home last week. The Wildcats have won three of their last four with the loss coming to Ohio State last week in a close battle in Columbus. Northwestern's defense has been impressive at times although the unit struggles against the pass. The Badgers don't really beat you through the air as they have not thrown for more than 300 yards yet this season. I like Wisconsin’s Corey Clement as a running back and he will be the key. Northwestern has covered in 13 of its last 20 games as an underdog including three of four this year. I'm hoping there's no hangover for the Wildcats after the close loss. SELECTION: Northwestern +6.5

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UTSA (4-4) at Middle Tennessee (6-2), 2:30 p.m.

It figures to be a shootout in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with UTSA and Middle Tennessee getting together. Both teams are capable of scoring although the home team is putting up plenty more points. The problem for MTSU is a leaky defense that has allowed 35 points or more in three straight games. The Blue Raiders aren't really blowing anybody out and that includes some of their lesser opponents. MTSU is 3-3-2 ATS this season while UTSA is 3-5 ATS. The Roadrunners have won three of their last four including a road victory at Rice. They've been able to put up some points during this stretch so I think they can hang around in a shootout. Middle Tennessee has covered in just eight of its last 20 conference games. This one will be one of those hold-your-breath-type plays. SELECTION: UTSA +20.5

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Oregon State (2-6) at Stanford (5-3), 3:30 p.m.

It hasn't been a great season for Stanford, who has had all sorts of issues on offense, averaging just 19.1 points per game. Luckily for the Cardinal, a porous Oregon State defense comes in allowing 220 rushing yards per contest. The Beavers have lost three straight and are not playing well on the road with losses by 41 at Colorado and 24 at Washington. Stanford has played awful at home as of late, losing by 26 to Washington State and five points to Colorado in the unusual 10-5 affair. The Cardinal are coming off an impressive win at Arizona in which Christian McCaffrey went crazy once again. Stanford has covered all nine games the last three years as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points. I think this is another get-right game for the Cardinal. SELECTION: Stanford -14.5

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Virginia Tech (6-2) at Duke (3-5), 3:30 p.m.

I'm a huge fan of the Hokies and what they've done so far this season. They are outscoring their opponents by an average of 16 points. New quarterback Jerod Evans has surpassed expectations in running Justin Fuente’s offense. Even better is the defense that is holding teams to just 321.5 yards per game. Duke has put down some odd results with a win at Notre Dame, but also losses to Army and Wake Forest at home. This is a Blue Devils team that took Louisville to the brink a few weeks ago as well. I wonder about the situation for the Hokies, who are playing their fourth road game in just under a month. Now the atmosphere will be tilted to the road team a bit as their fans travel down to Durham. These two teams have swapped road victories in the series the last two years. Duke has covered 21 of its last 34 games overall. Virginia Tech is by far the better team, but I'm hoping for one of those good Blue Devil efforts. SELECTION: Duke +10.5

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Kansas (1-7) at West Virginia (6-1), 7 p.m.

West Virginia will be an angry team on Saturday after seeing its undefeated season end. The Mountaineers get Kansas, who is allowing 39.2 points per game and has not shown much fight defensively. The Jayhawks have allowed fewer than 30 points just once against FBS opponents this season. They have given up 43, 55, 49 and 56 points on the road. West Virginia is capable of tearing the roof off offensively so I think the Mountaineers can do a lot of the heavy lifting. Kansas may have the opportunity to get a touchdown or two later on in garbage time. A lot of the recent trends for both teams lean heavily to the under, but I just think this one gets really ugly. SELECTION: Over 53

Iowa (5-3) at Penn State (6-2), 7:30 p.m.

Outside of the talk about which team finished fourth in the first playoff rankings, Penn State coming in at No. 12 was the biggest surprise. The Nittany Lions are 6-2 and have won four straight games with three of them at home. This is a team that is mediocre on defense and inconsistent on offense. You can probably say the same thing about Iowa though, who has won two of its last three and is seemingly in the middle of one of those Kirk Ferentz years. The Hawkeyes play well against the pass and will look to slow down Saquon Barkley on the ground. Iowa has covered in 10 of its last 13 road games, winning 11 of them outright. Penn State has failed to cover in six of its last eight November contests. Something tells me this will be a close one. SELECTION: Iowa +7

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— I've been a huge proponent of fading Miami after the loss to Florida State. You've got to wonder about the team's psyche, but I came really close to taking them on Saturday. Pat Narduzzi's Pitt Panthers lost to Virginia Tech at home last Thursday and I was thoroughly unimpressed by their strategy of leaving the CBs on an island. If the good Brad Kaaya shows up, then the U should win easily. The question has been about his consistency which is the reason why I couldn't lock the Hurricanes in officially.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.