The first College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings come out Tuesday night. And we should have a lot of clarity on which teams are still alive for the national semifinals this weekend because there are several great matchups around the country in College Football Week 10. Here’s a preview of two, along with their latest NCAAF odds: No. 19 LSU at No. 1 Alabama and No. 13 Virginia Tech at No. 9 Miami.
College Football Week 10 Expert Picks & Predictions
LSU at Alabama College Football Week 10 Odds & Game Preview Info
When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa
Radio: WDGL Eagle 98.1 FM (LSU) / 102.9 FM (Alabama)
Opening NCAAF Lines: Tide -21.5
Why Bet On LSU?
Why did LSU fire coach Les Miles last season? Because he couldn’t beat Alabama any longer. However, his replacement Ed Orgeron didn’t fare much better last November in a 10-0 home loss. Jalen Hurts escaped the grasps of LSU’s stingy defense on a 21-yard touchdown run that broke a scoreless tie early in the fourth quarter. LSU didn’t run a single point from inside the Alabama 30. It was Alabama’s sixth straight win in the series.
Barring a massive change in the betting line ahead of the matchup, LSU enters as the biggest underdogs since a game against Florida in 1994 in which the Tigers were underdogs by 27 points. They lost that game 42-18. What makes the hefty spread against the Tide even more stunning? LSU has been a double-digit underdog just once (Alabama -14 in 2013) in the past 212 games, dating back to the 2001 season.
The Tigers (6-2) were on a bye last week. The first few weeks of the year, LSU didn’t look like LSU, particularly up front. In losses to Troy and Mississippi State, the front seven collapsed. However, the last three weeks it seems as though the team is playing a bit better, particularly in the wins against Florida and Ole Miss. Getting star RB Derrius Guice healthy has played a big role.
Why Bet On Alabama?
The Tide (8-0) have only been challenged once all season and also come off a bye week. Coach Nick Saban said the worst thing that could happen for the SEC was LSU losing to Troy because it ignited the Tigers. Saban said all around that LSU is the best team Alabama has played up until this point.
Alabama has trailed for a total of two minutes and 26 seconds in 480 minutes of play this season. The Tide trailed Florida State, 7-3, for 2:13 in the first quarter on Sept. 2 before Hurts hit Calvin Ridley with a 53-yard touchdown pass. UA also trailed Texas A&M, 3-0, for 13 seconds in the opening quarter on Oct. 7 before Damien Harris gave the Tide a 7-3 lead on a 75-yard touchdown run.
Alabama enters Saturday’s game with LSU as the only team in the country ranked in the top 12 in scoring defense (first), scoring offense (fifth), rushing defense (first), rushing offense (seventh), total defense (first) and total offense (12th). The Crimson Tide is outscoring its opponents by a margin of 33.2 points per game (43.0-9.8), outrushing the opposition by 232.4 yards per game (298.8-66.4) and has a total offense advantage of 230.6 yards per game (484.9-254.3).
Saban is 8-4 in his career against LSU, including an 8-3 mark at Alabama. Orgeron is 0-4 all-time against the Crimson Tide, including an 0-1 mark with the Tigers.
Virginia Tech at Miami College Football Week 10 Odds & Game Info
When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
Radio: IMG Sports Network (Virginia Tech) / 560 AM WQAM (Miami)
Opening NCAAF Lines: Hokies -2.5
Why Bet On Virginia Tech?
This game will be a de facto ACC Coastal title matchup. If Miami wins, the division is as good as wrapped up, but if the Hokies pull off the upset, they’ll have the inside track on an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Miami has never played in the ACC title game.
Last year, Tech rolled the Canes 37-16. Jerod Evans threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third. He stupidly left for the NFL after last season and wasn’t drafted. Evans hit Bucky Hodges with scoring throws of 7 and 12 yards, and Travon McMillian ran for 131 yards for the Hokies. Brad Kaaya threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes but he also was sacked eight times as they lost their third in a row. The Hokies limited Miami to 42 rushing yards on 29 carries thanks to the sacks, which cost Kaaya 55 yards.
Tech (7-1) is off a 24-3 rout of Duke. Safety Terrell Edmunds was named the ACC’s Defensive Back of the Week after finishing with eight tackles and an interception against Duke. His brother, Tremaine, meanwhile, was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.
Through eight games, the Hokies have only six turnovers (two fumbles, four interceptions), tied for the third fewest in the ACC and the fifth fewest nationally. That’s quite a turnaround from last year, when the Hokies lost an incredible nine fumbles in the first two weeks, on their way to a 26-turnover season (18 lost fumbles, eight interceptions) that ranked them 11th in the league and 117th in the country.
Why Bet On Miami?
The Hurricanes (7-0) weren’t sharp last Saturday, struggling mightily at lowly North Carolina in a 24-19 win that was finally secured with a fumble recovery in the final minute. The Hokies walloped the Tar Heels 59-7 just one week earlier. Perhaps Miami, which also escaped with narrow wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech, was looking ahead to a game against Virginia Tech that could clinch the Coastal Division title for the first time.
The Tar Heels controlled much of the first half, racking up 248 yards of offense, but Miami’s defense stepped up in key moments to keep UNC out of the end zone. Malik Rosier finished the game with a career-high 356 passing yards, completing 16 of 38 attempts for three touchdowns and an interception.
North Carolina got a big boost when Aaron Crawford recovered a Travis Homer fumble on first-and-10 from the UNC 44. The Tar Heels offense began the ensuing drive on its own 48 and had 2:56 remaining in the game. But eventually, the Canes forced a fumble that was recovered by Jaquan Johnson to give Miami the ball on its 34 with 2:11 remaining in the game.
Miami is one of just five unbeatens left (Alabama, Georgia, Wisconsin, and UCF being the other 4). UM’s 12-game winning streak is the longest in the nation. Miami is only giving up 18.7 points per game. The Canes defense is 3rd in the nation in TFL, 6th in turnover margin, and 4th in sacks. Virginia Tech’s defense has been just as impressive, allowing just 11.5 points per game, 2nd in the nation.
Expert Predictions & Picks for College Football Week 10
Alabama will beat LSU, but not by more than three TDs. Take the Tigers there. Go Hurricanes at home to win by a field goal. So those are our top picks for College Football Week 10