College football odds, lines for Week 5: USC-Wazzu, Clemson-VT are interesting

It’s never too early to get a look at the lines and odds for next week’s games, and casinos and online books are already putting them on the board. Here’s an early look at some of Week 5’s opening lines with plenty of important games to look forward to.  

Lines you need to know

No. 5 Southern California Trojans (-4.5) vs. No. 16 Washington State Cougars : The Trojans passed their first road test of the season against Cal but not without a scare. Other than Stanford Cardinal , USC hasn’t been blowing away teams, and the Cougars at home, on Friday night, are always a scary team. Vegas obviously thinks so, too, even though the Trojans should be rightfully favored. 

Florida State Seminoles (-7.5) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons : Florida State is 0-2 for the first time in nearly 30 years and could be 0-3 for the first time since 1976 if they lose to the Demon Deacons. Vegas doesn’t see that happening, and while Wake is unbeaten, it needed some special teams errors from Appalachian State Mountaineers to win in Week 4. 

No. 2 Clemson Tigers (-7) vs. No. 12 Virginia Tech Hokies : This will be the biggest game of the week on paper. It’s an excellent matchup that will probably feature a lot of defense. Bud Foster’s defense for Virginia Tech will be hyped for this game, and Clemson’s defensive line is as good as any in the country — if not the best. 

No. 13 Auburn (-10) vs. No. 24 Mississippi State Bulldogs : Oddsmakers didn’t like Mississippi State’s chances on the road against Georgia Bulldogs even after a big win vs. LSU Tigers . They were right. Can they make it 2-0 in this SEC West showdown?

No. 15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-13.5) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders : The Cowboys were just upset at home by TCU Horned Frogs , but things don’t exactly get any easier on the road. Lubbock is unofficially part of the Bermuda Triangle and the Red Raiders are a sneaky 3-0 with an improved defense. Do things spiral out of control for Oklahoma State or is Texas Tech a paper tiger? 

Consider staying away

Kansas State Wildcats (-14) vs. Baylor Bears : Baylor gave Oklahoma Sooners all kinds of hell in Week 4, and the dirty little secret is it has been a quietly improving team over the past couple of weeks despite their winless record. (They’re probably the winless team no one wants to play, if that makes sense.) Kansas State’s only tough test — at Vanderbilt Commodores — was a 14-7 loss. There are just a lot of factors happening here. 

Michigan State Spartans (-3) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes : Is there a letdown factor for the Hawkeyes after coming up inches short against Penn State Nittany Lions ? Otherwise … like, what? Iowa has a good defense and Michigan State can’t hold on to the ball. The game is in East Lansing, but this feels all kinds of wrong. 

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-28.5) vs. Ole Miss: Alabama just scored again on Vanderbilt. And, no, this isn’t the same Ole Miss of year’s past that’s been the thorn in Alabama’s side. Still, the Rebels are coming off a bye and have the size at receivers — they’re basically Avatars — to give any defense fits. I’m almost always wary of conference openers when huge underdogs have been given a clean, 0-0 slate. 

No. 7 Georgia (-7.5) vs. Tennessee Volunteers : Georgia looks like the second-best team in the SEC and a legitimate playoff contender. They’re on the road playing a Tennessee team that either wins miraculously, loses miraculously or barely holds on against UMass. Stay away. Stay far, far away. 

Best of the rest

  • UCF (-2.5) vs. Memphis Tigers
  • No. 21 Florida Gators (-7.5) vs. Vanderbilt
  • Oregon Ducks (-16) at Cal
  • No. 14 Miami (FL) (-5.5) vs. Duke Blue Devils

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