CFB Picks: Take Clemson To Cover Against NC State On Saturday And More

The Clemson Tigers survived a scare on the road last week.

Dabo Swinney probably led a few more spirited talks in the meeting rooms this week ahead of Saturday night's clash with the NC State Wolfpack.

Clemson defenses do not typically give up 45 points, and oh by the way, the program has a revenge game on its hands.

Speaking of revenge, Oklahoma State finds itself in a revenge spot against a team it lost to twice last season, including once in heartbreaking fashion.

Oklahoma State is one of a few money line underdogs I am chasing after this week, including the team that I just can't quit.

Saturday CFB Picks

Illinois at Wisconsin (-7) (Noon ET, BTN)

Illinois gives off vibes of Wisconsin lite, especially with Bret Bielema as its head coach.

Wisconsin will not be fooled by what Illinois brings to the table in the ground game with Chase Brown.

The Illini defense has some impressive numbers, but you have consider that the eight points allowed per game came from three games against Chattanooga, Virginia and Wyoming.

Illinois lost its lone road game to Indiana. The Hoosiers posted 362 total yards in that game, 330 of which came through the air.

Wisconsin is known for its rushing attack, but it does average 221.3 passing yards per game and Graham Mertz is a better signal-caller than Indiana's Connor Bazelak.

Add in Wisconsin's want to get back on track after a blowout loss to Ohio State and you have the perfect formula for a large Badgers victory.

Texas Tech at Kansas State (Noon ET, ESPN+)

Under 56.5

Texas Tech is coming off a big home win over Texas.

Kansas State is coming off a big road win over Oklahoma.

Both teams may have a hard time starting the game with a ton of emotion off the two massive Big 12 wins in Week 4.

Kansas State typically plays a defensive style of game anyway. The Wildcats are 7-3 to the under in their last 10 games and they limited their first three opponents to 29 points.

Texas Tech was not great in its lone road game in 2022. The Red Raiders had four turnovers and managed just 54 rushing yards in Week 2 against NC State.

Kentucky (+7) at Ole Miss (Noon ET, ESPN)

We just do not know how good Ole Miss is.

The Rebels are 4-0 with wins over Troy, Central Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Tulsa.

Kentucky already went on the road to beat Florida and it gets star running back Chris Rodriguez back from suspension on Saturday.

Ole Miss' defense gives up 312.5 total yards per game and it could have trouble dealing with Kentucky's rushing attack and Will Levis in the pocket.

I do not know if Kentucky can win the game outright, but I know the Wildcats will be in the contest for 60 minutes and likely cover if they lose.

Purdue at Minnesota (-12) (Noon ET, ESPN2)

Purdue-Minnesota has an injury question attached to it.

Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell is a game-time decision.

Even if O'Connell plays, Minnesota's defense should feast on the Boilermakers. The Gophers have given up 187.8 yards and six points per game.

The Gophers rank first in first downs allowed per game, time of possession and third-down conversions.

Minnesota can efficiently move the ball down the field and it has limited the output of its four opponents. That will be case with or without O'Connell's presence.

Oklahoma State (+110) at Baylor (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

Revenge. Game.

Oklahoma State lost the Big 12 Championship Game to Baylor last season.

The Cowboys also lost in the regular season to the Bears. Spencer Sanders threw seven interceptions in those two games.

Sanders comes into Saturday with 10 touchdown passes and a single interception through three games. He would love nothing more than to prove a point against Baylor while showcasing why Oklahoma State should be considered a favorite to win the Big 12.

Northwestern at Penn State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Over 51

Northwestern is bad, like really bad.

The Wildcats stumble into Beaver Stadium with three straight losses to Duke, Southern Illinois and Miami (Ohio),

Northwestern will be outclassed by Penn State and it could give up a ton of points in the first half to Sean Clifford and in the second half to star freshman Drew Allar.

Northwestern is one of seven FBS teams to allow five plays of 50 or more yards.

Defensively, Penn State leads the nation in passes defended with 45. Mark my words. Penn State will score a defensive touchdown by way of its overaggressive cornerbacks on Saturday to help aid the over and blowout the Wildcats.

Ohio at Kent State (-11.5) (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Ohio has one of the worst defenses in the FBS.

The Bobcats have allowed 538.3 yards and 44.8 points per game.

Ohio is one of seven teams to have allowed at least 23 touchdowns in the first month of the season.

Kent State just went through a gauntlet of Washington, Oklahoma and Georgia in three of the first four weeks. Saturday could be a perfect time for the Golden Flashes to break out against a more level opposition.

Texas A&M (+160) at Mississippi State (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Texas A&M's defense is the key to a road victory.

A&M gives up 153.3 passing yards per game. That statistic is even more vital against Mississippi State's pass-heavy offense.

Mississippi State averages 351 passing yards and 80.8 rushing yards per game. If the Bulldogs are slowed down in the air, they could have trouble scoring against one of the toughest defenses in the nation.

NC State at Clemson (-6.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Clemson could destroy NC State no matter what the conditions are in South Carolina on Saturday night.

Clemson's defense received a bit of a wake-up call last week, when it gave up 45 points to Wake Forest.

The Tigers have a point to prove at home, and they are seeking revenge against NC State from last year's defeat.

NC State has better defensive numbers, but most of those were recorded at home against UConn, Texas Tech and Charleston Southern.

Clemson's pass rush can get to Devin Leary and that will help open up the game as the Tigers showcase their dominance atop the ACC.

West Virginia at Texas (-9.5) (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

We have a combo platter of a team I do not trust in West Virginia and a program in need of a bounce back in Texas.

West Virginia is still 6-12 straight up on the road under Neal Brown and a trip to Austin will be much tougher than last week's visit to Blacksburg.

Texas can't afford a second Big 12 loss in a row and it played well at home, even in the loss to Alabama. The Longhorns have two 20-point wins in Austin.

Virginia (+120) at Duke (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

I. Just. Can't. Quit. Virginia.

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