(12) Penn State vs Maryland & Arizona State vs (15) California Week 5 Previews, Predictions & Picks

Jason Radowitz shares his two best College Football picks for Friday September 27 featuring a Big 10 and Pac-12 Match-ups.

We’ve made it to Week 5 of College Football. We’ve finally got some big conference match-ups on Friday night featuring a couple ranked teams. These games will be a significant role in determining playoff opportunities. I’m 9-1 in my last 10 college football bets. Anyone taking my bets would be up HUGE. Look out for my College GameDay Game of the Week bet along with my other five best bets for the games on Saturday (excluding the College GameDay game.)

(12) Penn State (3-0) @ Maryland (2-1) 8pm EST

The Big Ten match-up on Friday night features Penn State (3-0) and Maryland (2-1). Let’s start out by sharing that the Penn State Nittany Lions have won four of the last games that have been played between these two teams.

Two weeks ago, Penn State struggled against Pittsburgh, only to get a couple lucky bounces their way to get the win. But maybe that game wasn’t so embarrassing after all after Pittsburgh just defeated (15) UCF at home this past Saturday.

Penn State is currently giving up 10 points a game (and their last two games weren’t cupcakes.) Their defense has showed up. Penn State’s front-four is powerful along with the linebackers. They’re very athletic and have experience as a whole defense. On offense, quarterback Sean Clifford has been good enough throwing for 781 yards and six touchdowns, without throwing a pick. He’s got a great arm but he’s also got some great legs that will run for the first down if needed.

Maryland, on the other hand, started their season looking very good after scoring 79 and 62 points respectively in their first two games. In their last game against Temple, Maryland scored just 17 points. Once they saw a tougher defense, Maryland flunked. Quarterback, Josh Jackson, has thrown for 724 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions in three games. The question here will be if the first two games were a fluke or last game against Temple was an outlier.

Penn State didn’t look good against in-state rival Pittsburgh, but after UCF’s loss to Pittsburgh, Penn State’s win looks a lot better than it did a week ago. Penn State always has one game where they have that scare. That was Pitt. Now that’s off their chest. Maryland’s offense should start to struggle again this week. I expect Penn State to grab this win, even on the spread of -7. 

Pick

Arizona State (3-1) @ (15) California (4-0) 10:30pm EST

Arizona State defeated Michigan State in a big upset for the Pac-12 … and then they took a close loss to Colorado following their big win. Arizona State lost to Colorado 34-31 in a close and tight game. Before their game against Colorado, Arizona State’s defense allowed just 7 points in three consecutive games. Their streak on defense was so astonishing that the Colorado Buffs scored more points in the first half (24) than Arizona State had allowed all season up to that point.

True Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels passed for 345 yards almost led the Sun Devils to a comeback, but came up just short. You can basically pencil in Eno Benjamin for a score as he’s scored a touchdown in six straight games.

On the other hand, California is hanging on after another close win against Ole Miss in Oxford. Ole Miss tried to sneak it in on the 1 yard line but came up short after a controversial finish.

California’s defense hasn’t been as good as Arizona State’s defense, but they held Scottie Phillips to just 54 yards on the ground. California has won a couple games as underdogs after also beating Washington by a point early in the season. They’re the only unbeaten team left in the Pac-12. I don’t think anyone thought this would happen.

California has now held 11 opponents under 24 points, the longest active streak in football. But Arizona State has been playing just as well on the defensive side of the ball.

I’ll take Arizona and the points. It’s going to be a defensive battle the entire way. Arizona State gets +5 for me. 

California has now held 11 opponents under 24 points, the longest active streak in football. But Arizona State has been playing just as well on the defensive side of the ball.

I’ll take Arizona and the points. It’s going to be a defensive battle the entire way. Arizona State gets +5 for me. 

Pick

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