2021 College Football Week 5 Preview, Odds and Picks
Week 5 around college football is shaping up as one of the best of the season with a handful of marquee matchups. We should start to see separation from some pretenders and contenders. Here’s a look at two of the biggest games.
Top 2021 College Football Week 5 Games to Bet On
Turn that jukebox on, the Week 5 AP Poll is here ??— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 26, 2021
4. Penn State
9. Notre Dame
READ MORE: 2021 College Football Week 4 Recap
No. 8 Arkansas at No. 2 Georgia
- When: Saturday, October 2nd, 12:00pm ET
- Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
- 2021 College Football Week 5 Odds: Georgia Bulldogs -17.5
SEC matchup at noon ET on ESPN. It could be an SEC Championship Game preview, but no one expects Arkansas to beat out Alabama in the West Division. Georgia should win the East. This spread seems crazy high considering the Hogs already have knocked off two ranked teams in Texas and Texas A&M. The Razorbacks were unranked just a few weeks ago and the No. 8 ranking is the Hogs’ highest since September 2012.
Arkansas, 4-0 for the first time since 2003 and 1-0 in the SEC for the first time since 2010, is one of only two teams in the country — along with Alabama — to have multiple wins against top-15 ranked opponents this year. The Razorbacks haven’t started 5-0 since 1998.
Quarterback KJ Jefferson was banged up in last week’s win over No. 7 Texas A&M but expected to play. He is second on the team in rushing this season with 230 yards on the ground (7.2 avg.) and two touchdowns. Jefferson is the only quarterback in the SEC with 800 passing yards and 200 rushing yards on the year.
Jefferson has one of the SEC’s top receivers in Treylon Burks, who also was banged up vs. Texas A&M but also expected to play. He leads Arkansas with 19 catches for 373 yards and two touchdowns. Burks is one catch short of 100 career receptions and 186 yards away from entering the school’s top 10 for career receiving yards.
Defensively, Arkansas allows only 14.5 points per game … yet that pales in comparison to Georgia, which allows an NCAA-low 5.8 per game. The defense has allowed just one touchdown and it came in the fourth quarter versus South Carolina with the Bulldogs leading 40-6. Georgia’s opponents have advanced to the red zone only four times, resulting in three field goals and turning it over once on downs. That’s crazy.
Georgia is 11-6 under Coach Kirby Smart against Top 10 teams, including 1-0 this year. Arkansas coach Sam Pittman was formerly on Smart’s staff at UGA.
Razorbacks are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
Bulldogs are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
2021 College Football Week 5 Pick: Arkansas
No. 7 Cincinnati at No. 9 Notre Dame
- When: Saturday, October 2nd, 2:30pm ET
- Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana
- 2021 College Football Week 5 Odds: Cincinnati Bearcats -2
Non-conference game at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC – alas, the Arkansas-Georgia game will probably be just starting the fourth quarter. Rather amazingly, these schools have only met once and that was in 1900.
Cincinnati should run the table after this game with a weak schedule, so if the Bearcats win they have a shot at becoming the first Group of 5 school ever in the College Football Playoff. UC also has the advantage of coming off a bye week.
The Bearcats’ highest-ranked win to date was over No. 7 Rutgers (30-11) in 2006, with its highest on the road coming in 2009 at No. 14 Pitt. Coach Luke Fickell is 4-8 against ranked foes at UC, including a 3-1 mark in 2020 (Army, SMU and Tulsa), while also defeating UCF in 2019.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly used to be the Cincinnati coach, and first-year Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman held that same job at Cincinnati the past three seasons. Kelly win, surpassed Knute Rockne for most wins all-time at Notre Dame with 106 after the 41-13 win over #18/#15 Wisconsin last Saturday.
The Irish allowed just 13 points for the second consecutive game and the defense scored two touchdowns in the win. It was the first time since 2013 against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl that the Irish had four interceptions in a game. Notre Dame leads the nation with nine interceptions and is ranked No. 3 in the nation with a turnover margin of +7.
The Irish put a 26-game home winning streak on the line. QB Jack Coan left the Wisconsin game injured but has been at practice this week and should be good to go. Backup QB Tyler Buchner is still dealing with a hamstring injury.
Bearcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a road favorite.
Fighting Irish are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a home underdog.
2021 College Football Week 5 Pick: Notre Dame
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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.