The Six Pack: Clemson-Miami, Georgia-Tennessee among best Week 5 college football picks

Life is often about finding the balance between what you want to do but know you should not. Like, you might want to have ice cream instead of salad, but you know you shouldn’t. You might want to tear off your mask while walking the dog on an 85-degree day and toss it away forever, but you know you shouldn’t.

This week, The Six Pack is trying to find that balance. You see, The Six Pack wants to brag about going 6-0 in its picks last week because it knows how rare it is to deliver a perfect week. On the other hand, The Six Pack also knows that bragging about success in gambling is the surest way to bring an 0-6 week right afterward. So, The Six Pack has decided not to brag about going 6-0 last week in its picks. The Six Pack is just too humble to crow about having a perfect week. That’s not something The Six Pack would do.

The Six Pack just wants to keep its head down and keep working because that’s how you put together 6-0 weeks. Like the one The Six Pack had last week.

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook

Games of the Week

No. 7 Miami (FL) at No. 1 Clemson (Under 63.5): I am very much tempted by the idea of taking Clemson -14 here. I mean, Miami getting off to a hot start, climbing into the top 10 and then facing Clemson has historically been the time you want to jump off the Miami bandwagon. This is usually where the Hurricanes fall on their face. The problem is that I don’t know whether that’s the case this year. With D’Eriq King at quarterback, the Canes are better-equipped to hang in a game like this one than they’ve been in a long time. That said, I’m not ready to take them, either.

So what I’m going to do is take the under because this total does feel just a bit too high. As my Cover 3 Podcast co-host Chip Patterson first pointed out, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney tends to get conservative in games like these. He knows that all his team has to do is win by a point, not blow anybody out to prove a point. Since 2014, the start of the College Football Playoff era, Clemson has played 14 games against ranked teams on campus. The under has gone 9-5 in those games. That trend should continue here, particularly with the current weather forecast calling for some windy conditions on Saturday night. Clemson 38, Miami 24

No. 14 Tennessee (+12.5) at No. 3 Georgia: The Bulldogs have blown the doors off the Volunteers the last three seasons. The Dawgs have won three straight by an average of 32 points per game. So what in the world am I doing taking Tennessee here? It’s a valid question, and it’s one with an answer based more on feel than trends. Stetson Bennett IV played well against Auburn last weekend, but I view him as more of the calming presence, game-manager type of QB. He’s not a game-changer. In fact, if Bennett starts for Georgia again, I would give Tennessee the QB advantage in this matchup.

Now that said, Georgia has the superior defense, but while that defense ran roughshod over Auburn last weekend, Tennessee’s offensive line is better. I don’t think things will be nearly as easy this week. This Tennessee team comes into the game with confidence having won its last eight games, and it’s the most talented team Jeremy Pruitt has put together. I don’t think the Vols have much chance of winning, but they won’t be blown out again. Georgia 24, Tennessee 16

Lock of the Week

Syracuse (+3) vs. Duke: What in the world is going on here? A few weeks ago, in Syracuse’s home-opener, it was an underdog to a Georgia Tech team that had beaten Florida State but was pasted by UCF. Now, the Orange were 0-2, but they had played their first two games on the road. This is a team that is much better at home. So I was not surprised when Syracuse beat Georgia Tech, 37-20. Now after a bye week, Syracuse finds itself at home once again, and it’s an underdog again — this time to an 0-4 Duke! What in the world has Duke done this season to justify making it a road favorite against another ACC team? Nothing! That’s what. Syracuse 38, Duke 30

Under of the Week

Pittsburgh at Boston College (Under 44): Who’s ready to sweat with me? This one is going to be an absolute rock fight. Pitt’s defense has been solid in 2020, as has that of Boston College. Pair those defenses with a couple of offenses that have 13 touchdowns to 11 field goals in five ACC games between them in 2020, and we’re not looking at a high-scoring affair here. The under has gone 6-0 in Boston College’s last six games, 15-3 in Pitt’s last 18 road games and  3-0-1 in the last four meetings between these teams. Join me in watching these two settle for field goals in the red zone. Pitt 23, Boston College 20

Bounce back of the Week

Mississippi State (+2) at Kentucky: So, the thing with Mike Leach is you would much rather bet him as an underdog than a favorite. After beating LSU in the opener, there was no way his team was going to cover against Arkansas, though I didn’t see the outright loss coming. Now that Leach is a dog again, we’re all over it. Leach has gone 29-19 ATS as a dog since 2012, but more than that, it’s who he’s an underdog against this week. I like this Kentucky team, and I thought it could make some noise in the SEC East this season. But so far, it’s 0-2 and has struggled to get anything going in the passing game. Well, guess who has the best run defense in the country right now? Mississippi State is allowing 1.91 yards per carry through two games. That’s the best in the nation. Mississippi State 31, Kentucky 27

Grudge Match of the Week

East Carolina (+4.5) at South Florida: OK listen, I know I gave my Cover 3 co-host a shout out earlier for the Dabo trend, but don’t get it twisted. It’s Hate Week on the Cover 3 Podcast. During the offseason, our listeners asked us to adopt a Group of Five team to support. I picked ECU. Chip took USF. I assure you, though, that this pick is not based on my kind of caring about this ECU team for the last four months or so. That’s not how The Process works. This is purely based on the fact that USF shouldn’t be this large a favorite against anybody in the AAC right now. The Pirates have the edge at QB and a lot of other key spots, and I like them to pull off the upset. We’ll take the points to be safe. East Carolina 30, South Florida 21

SportsLine Bonus Pick of the Week

No. 22 Texas vs. Oklahoma (-2.5, O/U 72): The Red River Rivalry has lost some of its luster this year thanks to rough starts for both of these teams, but it’s still a game with major consequences in the Big 12. I have a play for it, but you’ll have to head over to SportsLine to find it.

Games of the Week

2-0

4-4

Lock of the Week

1-0

2-2

Overall

6-0

14-10