Free NCAA Football Mid-Major Week 5 Pick from Expert Handicapper
If you look hard enough, there is always value to be found betting Mid Majors in college football. Sometimes the best value can be found in a lopsided matchup against nationally-ranked team from a major conference. Virginia Techs' straight-up loss to Old Dominion and Oklahoma's escape in overtime against Army are two perfect examples from last week's results.
I went with the "over" on the 47-point line in the Akron at Iowa State game as last week's top Mid-Major free pick, but the final score only added up to 41. I am going with another total-line play for this week's clash between a pair of Mid-Major programs.
NCAAF Week 5 Mid-Major Top 25 Betting Overview
The Central Florida Knights ran their SU winning streak to 16 games with a 53-36 victory against Florida Atlantic as 14-point home favorites last Friday night. For their efforts, they are now ranked No. 13 in the latest AP Top 25. This Saturday, UCF will play host to the ACC's Pittsburgh Panthers as 13.5-point favorites in a rare situation where a Mid Major is favored against a team from a major conference.
BYU moved up to No. 20 ahead of a big matchup against No. 11 Washington this Saturday night as a 17.5-point road underdog. The Cougars followed up that big road win against Wisconsin with a 30-3 romp over McNeese State to cover as 24-point favorites at home.
One Mid Major poised to make its debut in the national rankings is the AAC's South Florida Bulls at 4-0 SU (1-3 ATS). The Mountain West's Boise State Broncos are also in position to return to the Top 25 heading into their conference schedule.
NCAAF Mid-Major Free Pick of the Week: Army at Buffalo
Army almost joined ODU with a huge SU upset in last Saturday's 28-21 overtime loss to No. 5 Oklahoma as a 28.5-point underdog on the road. The Black Knights are 2-2 SU with a 2-1-1 record ATS. They have gone 4-2 ATS in their last six road games with the total staying under in 13 of their last 18 games on the road.
Recent betting trends may favor a low-scoring game this Saturday, but the 21 points scored against Oklahoma on the road could signal another productive effort in this week's matchup. The Black Knights continue to do most of their damage on the ground as the fourth-ranked team in the nation in rushing yards per game (314.8). Versatile quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. has thrown for just 460 yards and two touchdowns, but he leads the team in rushing with 308 yards and four scores on 73 carries.
Playing out of the MAC, the Buffalo Bulls come into Saturday's 12 p.m. start on CBS Sports Network as 8.5-point home favorites with the total set at 52. They are off to a SU 4-0 start with a 3-1 record ATS. The total has gone over in their last three games. The biggest win of the year came in Week 2 against Temple with a 36-29 upset as four-point road underdogs.
The one thing that the Bulls do really well is put points on the board. They have scored at least 35 points in each of their first four games with an average of 40.3 points per game. Tyree Jackson has thrown for 1,052 yards and 15 touchdowns and Kevin Marks has racked up 282 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Buffalo has impressed me as the class of the MAC in the early part of the season. The Bulls should continue to put up some big numbers in this matchup, but I have Army putting some points on the board as well. The total has gone over in every Buffalo game this season with a posted line and I have it going over 52 points against the Black Knights.
Click here to visit Raphael Esparza's Insider's Page at Doc's Sports for more information on his amazingly-profitable sports handicapping picks. Also, get $60 worth of Esparza's member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit for any sport Esparza handicaps. Click here for $60 worth of free picks from Raphael Esparza .
Read more articles by Raphael Esparza
Get all of this Weeks College Football Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Football Picks