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2023 College Football Week 5 Odds, Overview & Picks

By Hank Blaine

There are 27 unbeaten teams in college football entering Week 5 and one terrific matchup Saturday features a pair of unbeatens from the Big 12 in No. 24 Kansas and No. 3 Texas. Here’s a pick of that game and two others Saturday.

Top 2023 College Football Week 5 Games to Bet

READ MORE: 2023 College Football Week 5 Sleeper Picks

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Northwestern Wildcats

Big Ten game at noon. Penn State (4-0) has been as impressive as anyone in the nation. Through four games, including three against Power Five opponents, Penn State paces the country in total defense (219.5 ypg), pass defense (138.0), first downs allowed (46), turnover margin (+11) and time of possession (37:06). The Nittany Lions also sit Top 5 in the country in takeaways (11; 2nd), fumble recoveries (6; 3rd), scoring defense (8.8 ppg; 4th), sacks allowed per game (0.5; 4th), third down defense (24.5%; 5th) and first downs gained (109; 5th). Last week, PSU dominated ranked Iowa and held the Hawkeyes to 76 total yards, its fewest ever allowed in a Big Ten game and nation’s fewest allowed against a Power Five opponent this season. Penn State held Iowa to just four first downs, including just two after the opening possession. The Hawkeyes ran just five plays in Penn State territory. The Nittany Lions held Iowa to just one third down conversion (1-of-9) and just 2.3 yards per play. Penn State forced four takeaways, all fumbles, to tally nine takeaways over the last two weeks.

Northwestern (2-2) is in a transition season after the firing of Coach Pat Fitzgerald this summer. The Wildcats rallied from a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Minnesota last Saturday, 37-34 in OT. It was Northwestern’s largest comeback win since a 25-point comeback against Indiana in 2009, and the first walk-off win since Oct. 13, 2018. QB Ben Bryant completed 33-of-49 passes for a career-high 396 yards, and tied his career-high with four touchdown tosses. His four touchdown passes are tied for first in school history. Bryce Kirtz had 10 catches for 215 yards and two scores and was Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, becoming the first Wildcat wide receiver to earn the award since Flynn Nagel in 2018. Penn State is 15-5 all-time vs. Northwestern and won 17-7 last year in the rain.

2023 College Football Week 5 Pick: Northwestern

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Texas Longhorns

This will be the first time ever the schools have met with both ranked in the Top 25. Texas leads 17-4, including a 9-1 advantage in Austin. Kansas won its first game in Austin 2021, in an overtime thriller that resulted in a Jared Casey 2-point conversion to win, 57-56. The Jayhawks enter Saturday’s game at 4-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1914-15 seasons. KU is led by Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, Jalon Daniels. In three games this season, Daniels is 56-of75 for 705 yards and five touchdowns. His 74.7% completion percentage ranks second in the Big 12 this season. Daniels is Kansas’ first Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Running back Devin Neal is the only returning 1,000-yard rusher in the Big 12 from a season ago, and he has picked up right where he left off from a season ago. Through four games, Neal is the Big 12 leader in yards per carry at 6.91. Neal has rushed for 394 yards and five touchdowns on 57 attempts, while his 134.8 all-purpose yards per game ranks first in the Big 12 Conference.

Texas is 4-0 for the first time since 2012. The Horns are 18-9 in Big 12 home openers and 2-0 under Steve Sarkisian (2021 – 70-35 over Texas Tech; 2022 – 38- 20 over West Virginia). Saturday’s game will mark the first time Kansas will be Texas’ opponent for the Big 12 Conference home opener. Texas is one of eight FBS programs and the only Big 12 team to have zero interceptions. Texas has surrendered only one red zone touchdown this season in 10 opponent drives inside the Longhorn 20-yard line. QB Quinn Ewers has thrown 228 consecutive passes without an interception, the second-longest streak in program history (Sam Ehlinger, 308). In his first two career starts over the last two games, sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks rushed for 270 yards on 39 carries (6.9 ypc) and two touchdowns.

2023 College Football Week 5 Pick: Kansas

LSU vs. Ole Miss

  • When: Saturday, September 30th, 2023. 6:00pm EST.
  • Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
  • College Football Odds: LSU (-3) // Ole Miss (+3)

Big game from the SEC West. LSU leads the division at 2-0 in league play and is 3-1 overall after a 34-31 home win over Arkansas last week. LSU enters leading the SEC in scoring offense (42.8) and total offense (530.0), No. 2 in passing (338.3) and No. 3 in rushing (191.8). QB Jayden Daniels leads the SEC in passing yards per game (324.0), pass efficiency (189.08 rating), and passing TDs (12). He’s also No. 1 in the SEC and No. 3 nationally in total offense (372.3). Daniels has accounted for at least 4 TDs in 3 straight games – the longest such streak at LSU since Joe Burrow did it in the final 3 games of his collegiate career in 2019. WRs Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas are the top receiving tandem in the SEC, combining for 57 receptions for 936 yards and 10 TDs, while RB Logan Diggs is No. 3 in the SEC in rushing yards per game (84.3). Defensively, the Tigers are allowing 25.0 points and 360.3 total yards (132.3 rushing, 228.0 passing) per game. Ole Miss lost its SEC opener last week at Alabama so a second loss all but ends the Rebels’ chances of reaching the SEC title game. WR Zakhari Franklin made his Ole Miss debut at No. 12 Alabama. He is the FBS active career leader in receptions (263) and ranks second in receiving yards (3,364). QB Jaxson Dart leads the SEC in yards per attempt (16.9, No. 8 FBS) and QB rushing (54.8 ypg, No. 14 FBS). RB Quinshon Judkins is tied for No. 8 all-time at Ole Miss with 20 career rushing touchdowns. Ole Miss is averaging 22.4 seconds per play this season, good for No. 5 in the FBS. The Rebel defense has at least 6.0 TFL in each game this season. LSU leads the all-time series 65-41-4 and 11-8-1 in Oxford. LSU won last year’s meeting, 45-20, in Tiger Stadium and has won six of its past seven against Ole Miss.

2023 College Football Week 5 Pick: LSU

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