The 2023 college football season moves into Week 10 with several big games on the docket. We’re now in the month of November, which means we are getting closer to the end of the regular season. This means the teams in the hunt for the College Football Playoff are encountering the biggest games of the year and the moments which will ultimately define how successful they are. Teams will either prove themselves worthy of being contenders or will be exposed as pretenders. We love these kinds of games and moments. They’re exactly the kinds of moments we wait for. They’re the moments we will remember years later, and they’re moments which could have a very significant affect on the reputations and identities of a lot of players and coaches.
Let’s get ready to tackle these big games plus some of the other notable games on the slate. The odds are mostly from a Bovada review of their lines but also from other sportsbooks available in different jurisdictions.
Kansas State Wildcats at Texas Longhorns
Odds: Texas -4
The winner of this game very likely faces Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game later this season. It’s a big one in Austin. The Texas Longhorns go into this game against Kansas State without quarterback Quinn Ewers, who was injured a few weeks ago. Maalik Murphy, his backup, is expected to start in his place. The Longhorns have a lot of talent, but with Murphy at quarterback, they aren’t nearly as good a team as they are with Ewers, their QB1. Texas has beaten Houston and BYU with Murphy in the lineup, but those two teams are nowhere near as good as a Kansas State side which has a lot of momentum and is playing its best football of the season right now. Kansas State crushed Houston in a 41-0 shutout last week.
The Wildcats dismantled TCU earlier in October. The Wildcats are playing very physical football on both sides of the line of scrimmage. They have seemingly found their groove, all while Texas does not have its best player on the field at the most important position in football. If you add up these realities, Kansas State surely seems to be better positioned to win, but even if the Wildcats lose by just a field goal here, they would still cover the spread, so the play is definitely Kansas State plus the points in this matchup of top-25 teams.
Pick: Kansas State +4
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Clemson Tigers
Odds: Notre Dame -3
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish crushed the USC Trojans a few weeks ago and then hammered Pittsburgh later in the month of October. They are playing good football right now. They’re playing better than a Clemson team which is reeling after losing games to Miami and North Carolina State and tumbling to 4-4 on the season. Clemson really is in danger of missing a bowl game, and for that reason, it’s logical to expect that Clemson will lose to the Irish, who have lost only twice and are still in the hunt for a New Year’s Six bowl game.
However, if you look at the larger season for Clemson, you will see that the Tigers played Florida State – a very good team (an unbeaten team) with College Football Playoff aspirations – on relatively even terms. Clemson has been very competitive this season but has killed itself with untimely turnovers and massive mistakes. If Clemson plays a game without those huge mistakes, the Tigers are probably a better team than Notre Dame at all positions on the field. If the Clemson team which played Florida State tough shows up for this game against Notre Dame, the Tigers are probably going to win. Clemson has had a horrible season, but the Tigers are going to get up for this one. They will treat this as a big game and will play accordingly. Clemson will notch the upset.
Pick: Clemson +3
Missouri Tigers at Georgia Bulldogs
Odds: Georgia -15.5
This is a rematch of a 2022 game in which Missouri very nearly upset Georgia. Missouri led for most of the game, but Georgia rallied late to win and preserve its unbeaten season en route to the national championship. Missouri wants another crack at Georgia and thinks it has the offense needed to actually beat the Dawgs this season. Georgia, though, wants to play a much better game against Missouri this season after playing so poorly versus Mizzou in 2022. It’s a fascinating game in which Missouri quarterback Brady Cook will take center stage. He helped Missouri score 39 points against LSU, but Mizzou gave up 49 points to the Tigers and missed a chance to remain unbeaten and score a very big victory this season.
Cook will go up against a Georgia defense which has been the gold standard in college football the past few years. Georgia’s defense has historically been able to play at a very high level at home in games of real consequence. This game, a matchup of two top-15 teams, is definitely a game of real consequence. Expect Georgia to rise to the forefront here and play one of its defensive masterclasses under head coach Kirby Smart. Georgia will be ready for this one, and when Georgia is ready for a big game, it usually wins by a big margin.
Pick: Georgia -15.5
Oklahoma Sooners at Oklahoma State Cowboys
Odds: Oklahoma -6
This is a big game for Oklahoma as it tries to bounce back from a loss to Kansas and stay in control of the Big 12 race. It’s also a big game because it’s the Bedlam game, the fierce in-state rivalry between the two main schools in the state of Oklahoma. What adds to the spicy nature of this contest is that with Oklahoma moving to the SEC and leaving the Big 12, there won’t be a Bedlam game next year. Both sides desperately need to win this game, but it’s even more desperate because Bedlam won’t be played on an annual basis in the near future. Oklahoma, coming off a loss, will be stung. The Sooners are going to fix their problems and shortcomings and will outclass an OSU team they should be able to beat. Oklahoma is more talented, and that talent will show up.
Pick: Oklahoma -6
Virginia Tech Hokies at Louisville Cardinals
Odds: Louisville -9.5
This is a big game in the ACC. The winner of this game will probably face the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game. Duke and North Carolina have fallen off the pace in the ACC race, opening the door for second-place Louisville and third-place Virginia Tech. The winner of this game has the inside track to second place in the conference and that cherished spot in the conference title game.
Louisville has been great at home this season, hammering Notre Dame and Duke – two good teams – on home turf. Head coach Jeff Brohm has done a spectacular job with this team, and Virginia Tech does not figure to become the ACC team which will get in Louisville’s way and spoil the Cardinals’ season. Louisville should be able to win this game fairly comfortably.
Pick: Louisville -9.5
Washington Huskies at USC Trojans
Odds: Washington -3.5
This is a very big game in the Pac-12. Washington is unbeaten and trying to preserve its perfect season along with its path to the College Football Playoff. USC is trying to stay in the conference race and avoid what would essentially be a season-ending loss which would destroy its hopes of winning the very last Pac-12 football championship. This should be a very high scoring game with Michael Penix and Caleb Williams both on the field. USC’s defense, though, is much worse than Washington’s defense, and that should make the difference in helping the Huskies remain perfect in 2023. Washington should be able to take control of this game in the second half.
Pick: Washington -3.5
LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide
Odds: Alabama +3
This is the big showdown in the SEC. LSU and Brian Kelly defeated Alabama and Nick Saban last year. They now get to face off in a rematch. LSU’s defense was atrocious the past few weeks, but Alabama’s offense has noticeably struggled this season and has fallen well off the pace compared to previous seasons in which elite quarterbacks such as Mac Jones and Bryce Young led the Crimson Tide offense.
The LSU defense versus the Alabama offense will probably decide this game. Given everything we have seen from these two units, neither one inspires complete confidence, so that battle might not give us the clarity we need in this matchup. We might find that the LSU offense, led by quarterback Jayden Daniels, will become the difference maker against a good but not dominant Alabama defense. BetOnline has the Tigers at +3 (can read the BetOnline review here). Take LSU plus the points on the road in Tuscaloosa.