Last weekend was a gift to college football fans everywhere with six top-25 showdowns on Saturday. Week 5 isn’t necessarily on that level, but it’s certainly close as there are four games taking place between ranked teams as well as a few that just missed the cut.
It begins with No. 10 Utah against No. 19 Oregon State on Friday night. On Saturday No. 24 Kansas travels to take on No. 3 Texas, later No. 13 LSU will play No. 20 Ole Miss and then No. 11 Notre Dame looks to bounce back against No. 17 Duke.
No. 22 Florida also plays an undefeated Kentucky team on the road that just barely missed the cut and No. 8 USC is up against a Colorado team that just fell out of the top 25.
The two games in the spotlight this week are Notre Dame-Duke and LSU-Ole Miss.
No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 17 Duke
Spread: Notre Dame -5.5 (-110) | Duke +5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: ND (-225) | DUKE (+170)
Total: 52.5 – Over (-105) | Under (-120)
Game Info: Saturday, Sep. 30 | 7:30 p.m. ET | ABC
Location: Wallace Wade Stadium | Durham, NC
The Fighting Irish were oh-so-close to scoring a season-defining victory against the Buckeyes last week. Instead, they lined up down one defender as Ohio State punched in the game-winning touchdown from one yard out to prevail, 17–14. Now the pressure is on Notre Dame (4–1) to run the table to keep its slim playoff hopes alive, with three upcoming games against undefeated teams: at Duke, at Louisville and home for No. 8 USC.
The Blue Devils leapt into the top 25 after upsetting then-No. 9 Clemson, 28–7, in Week 1. Duke (4–0 ) hasn’t been challenged since, with games against FCS Lafayette, Northwestern and UConn — it was at least a three-score favorite in each.
Hosting the Fighting Irish presents a more difficult challenge. The Blue Devils boast the third-best passing defense nationally (143.3 passing yards allowed) but they’ve yet to go against a signal-caller like Sam Hartman, who’s thrown for over 1,200 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. The Wake Forest transfer is 1–1 in his career against Duke, including a 34-31 loss in the 2022 regular-season finale. Hartman threw for 347 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in that game.
Hartman was held to a season-low 175 passing yards by the Buckeyes but Notre Dame was able to lean on its rushing attack, which is led by the nation’s leading rusher Audric Estime, who’s quickly approaching 600 yards. The Blue Devils are an average defense against the run, especially when compared to their elite passing defense. They do, however, rank top 20 in turnovers gained and allow the fourth-fewest points per game (8.8).
Duke’s offense revolves around the ground game. Jordan Waters is the team’s primary ball carrier but quarterback Riley Leonard and Jacquez Moore are also involved in a unit that averages over 200 rushing yards per game and is tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns in the country (15). Leonard pilots an efficient passing offense in which Jalon Calhoun and Jordan Moore are his top targets. Leonard only has two passing touchdowns on the year but he’s yet to commit a turnover and has only taken one sack.
Notre Dame’s defense is also pretty stingy, specifically against the pass, and it’s tied for 15th in points allowed (12.8) despite having played a much tougher schedule than Duke.
This is a bounce-back spot for the Fighting Irish, who let a loss to Ohio State last year spiral into two. That won’t happen again this year. Take Notre Dame to cover as a road favorite, something this team already accomplished earlier in the year against N.C. State.
BEST BET: Notre Dame -5.5 (-110)
No. 13 LSU vs. No. 20 Ole Miss
Spread: LSU -2.5 (-120) | Ole Miss +2.5 (-105)
Moneyline: LSU (-143) | MISS (+115)
Total: 67.5 – Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Game Info: Saturday, Sep. 30 | 6 p.m. ET | ESPN
Location: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium | Oxford, MS
The Tigers narrowly avoided what would have been a massive upset against Arkansas last week. After the Razorbacks tied the game with a fourth-quarter touchdown, LSU marched down the field and kicked a last-second field goal to come out on top, 34–31, and stay undefeated in conference play. On the other hand, the Rebels lost their SEC opener to Alabama, 24–10, and now face another top-25 team, this time at home.
The Tigers’ offense ranks top 10 in total yards, passing yards and scoring at 42.8 points per game. Quarterback Jayden Daniels is fifth in the country and first in the SEC in passing yards with 1,296 on the year and accordingly, his No. 1 receiver Malik Nabers ranks second nationally with 523 receiving yards already. LSU’s offense was largely limited in the season opener against FSU but it quickly bounced back with a 72–10 blowout against Grambling and then a 41–14 win at Mississippi State.
Brian Kelly’s defense has not played up to the same level against its toughest competition so far. The Seminoles scored 45, including 31 in the second half, and the Razorbacks put up 31 in Death Valley. That could pose a problem against Ole Miss.
The Rebels also have a high-scoring offense that ranks 12th nationally at 42 points per game. Jaxson Dart has 1,096 passing yards on the year and leads Ole Miss in rushing with 219 yards. Quinshon Judkins, who led the conference in rushing a season ago as a freshman, has yet to go over 60 yards on the ground. Before running into the Crimson Tide last week, Lane Kiffin’s offense was rolling with at least 37 points scored in each of the first three games.
So far, the Rebels defense hasn’t allowed more than 24 points in a single game and yields only 18.5 on average. However, they’ve yet to go up against an offense on the level of LSU.
When these teams met last season in Baton Rouge, LSU won, 45–20, which was just enough points for the over to cash. Look out for a lot of offense Saturday in Oxford as both of these teams average better than 40 points per game. Add in the fact that the over has hit in each of the Tigers’ last eight games and in both Ole Miss home games this year and this game has all the makings of a shootout.
BEST BET: Over 67.5 (-110)
College Football Betting Record: 8-2
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