Here are our staff picks for this week’s top college football games, which are listed in standard Vegas rotational order.

Last week and year-to-date standings are at the bottom.

Thursday

Temple (1.5) SOUTH FLORIDA (50.5), 8 p.m. (ESPN)

The home team has won — and covered — all five meetings in this series. The over has landed in Temple’s last three games and five of USF’s last six.

Ed Barkowitz
Temple
Mike Jensen
Temple
Joe Juliano
Temple
Erin McCarthy
South Florida
Marc Narducci
South Florida
Luke Reasoner
Temple
Jonathan Tannenwald
South Florida (Best Bet)

Saturday

MIAMI (6.5) Louisville (51.5), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Hurricanes defensive end Gregory Rousseau has seven sacks in the last two weeks and is tied for second in the nation with 12 for the season. Not bad for a redshirt freshman. Three of Miami’s four losses this season have been when they were favored. The 'Canes lost safety Bubba Bolden for the year with an apparent leg injury he suffered when he was drilled by teammate Gurvan Hall while celebrating an interception last week. Whatever happened to a smack on the helmet?

Ed Barkowitz
Miami
Mike Jensen
Miami
Joe Juliano
Miami (Best Bet)
Erin McCarthy
Louisville
Marc Narducci
Miami
Luke Reasoner
Miami
Jonathan Tannenwald
Miami

Notre Dame (-8) DUKE (51.5), 7:30 p.m. (ACCN)

The Irish are on an 0-3 skid against the spread, and Duke is 0-2-2 ATS since September. Their last meeting was in 2016 when the Blue Devils won at Notre Dame on a late field goal. Duke was idle last week, so the campus will be stoked for a night game. Hope you have the ACC Network.

Ed Barkowitz
Notre Dame
Mike Jensen
Notre Dame
Joe Juliano
Duke
Erin McCarthy
Notre Dame
Marc Narducci
Notre Dame
Luke Reasoner
Notre Dame (Best Bet)
Jonathan Tannenwald
Notre Dame

Wake Forest (-2.5) VIRGINIA TECH (63.5), 3:30 p.m. (ACCN)

Wake is 7-1 for just the third time in school history and first since 2006. The total for Deacons games is routinely in the 60s, but the under has hit in five of the last six. The exception was a 62-59 loss to Louisville. Beware the look-ahead factor. Wake is second in the ACC Atlantic and will play at division-leading Clemson next week.

Ed Barkowitz
Wake Forest
Mike Jensen
Wake Forest
Joe Juliano
Wake Forest
Erin McCarthy
Wake Forest
Marc Narducci
Virginia Tech
Luke Reasoner
Virginia Tech
Jonathan Tannenwald
Virginia Tech

Penn St. (-6.5) MINNESOTA (47.5), 12 p.m. (ABC)

This is Saturday’s other game between undefeated teams.

Minnesota is 8-0 for the first time since 1941, which led them to give coach P.J. Fleck a seven-year contract extension and increase his salary from $3.6 million to $4.6 million next season, according to the Associated Press. The Gophers have also been money against the spread, covering five in a row.

The run game is Minnesota’s strength; the Gophers average more than 200 yards. Stopping the run is what Penn State’s defense does best. The Lions are second in the nation, allowing fewer than 70 per game.

Ed Barkowitz
Penn St. (Best Bet)
Mike Jensen
Penn St.
Joe Juliano
Minnesota
Erin McCarthy
Penn St.
Mike Narducci
Penn St.
Luke Reasoner
Penn St.
Jonathan Tannenwald
Penn St.

Baylor (-2.5) TCU (49.5), 12 p.m. (FS1)

Matt Rhule has Baylor at 8-0 and 12th in the playoff rankings, but this is the first of three stiff tests. The Bears’ next two will be home games against Oklahoma and Texas. If he gets through this stretch with two wins, Baylor could be headed to a New Year’s bowl. If he goes 3-0, he’ll get national-coach-of-the-year (and NFL) consideration. Baylor was 1-11 two years ago.

“It is all unchartered territory for our team, so I keep going out and saying my way is to not pay attention to any of that,” said Rhule, who coached Temple from 2013-16. “It is to just focus on this week and us. We have a lot of older guys who are doing that. And thankfully we are playing TCU, because that is a team our players know.”

The Horned Frogs have won four in a row against Baylor, going 2-2 against the spread.

Ed Barkowitz
Baylor
Mike Jensen
TCU
Joe Juliano
Baylor
Erin McCarthy
Baylor
Marc Narducci
Baylor
Luke Reasoner
Baylor
Jonathan Tannenwald
TCU

ALABAMA (-6.5) Louisiana St. (64.5), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in the AP poll and 2-3 in the playoff rankings, respectively. Biggest regular-season game so far as both teams are 8-0.

“The SEC West, going to the SEC championship, having a chance to be in the College Football Playoff, having a chance to win the national championship,” lovable LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “We know what’s at stake but we don’t talk about that. ... I want our guys loose and relaxed and go play our football game.”

This game also could go a long way toward deciding the Heisman as quarterbacks Joe Burrow (LSU) and Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) are among the front-runners. Tagovailoa is dealing with an ankle injury, which caused him to miss ‘Bama’s most recent game, a 48-7 throttling of Arkansas. Both teams were off last week in fine example of schedule managing.

Alabama has won eight in a row against LSU, a run that started with the BCS title game after the 2011 season, covering six and holding the Tigers to fewer than 20 points each time. LSU is 5-2-1 against the spread this season, while the Tide are 4-4.

Ed Barkowitz
Alabama
Mike Jensen
LSU
Joe Juliano
LSU
Erin McCarthy
LSU
Marc Narducci
Alabama
Luke Reasoner
Alabama
Jonathan Tannenwald
Alabama

OKLAHOMA (-14) Iowa St. (67.5), 8 p.m. (Fox)

So what’s life been like for the Sooners, who had a bye last week after their stunning loss at Kansas State?

“A lot of sense of urgency, to be honest,” linebacker Kenneth Murray said. “I think that’s the biggest thing for us — that sense of urgency. Getting back to being who we are and getting back to basics. Just really focusing on what we need to do as a defense to be successful. If I can put one term on what the practices have been like, it’s urgency.”

Iowa State has covered the last three against Oklahoma, including a win in Norman in 2017 as 31-point underdogs. The Cyclones also are coming off a loss/bye, falling to Oklahoma State on Oct. 26 as an 11-point favorite.

Ed Barkowitz
Iowa St.
Mike Jensen
Oklahoma (Best Bet)
Joe Juliano
Oklahoma
Erin McCarthy
Iowa St.
Marc Narducci
Oklahoma (Best Bet)
Luke Reasoner
Oklahoma
Jonathan Tannenwald
Oklahoma

TEXAS (-7) Kansas St. (58.5), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Kansas State has won three in a row and covered three in a row. Its defense has given up just four passing touchdowns all season. If not for a last-second field goal to beat lowly Kansas, Texas would be on a three-game losing streak.

Ed Barkowitz
Kansas St.
Mike Jensen
Texas
Joe Juliano
Kansas St.
Erin McCarthy
Texas
Marc Narducci
Kansas St.
Luke Reasoner
Texas
Jonathan Tannenwald
Texas

WISCONSIN (-9.5) Iowa (38.5), 4 p.m. (Fox)

Four of the nation’s five stingiest defenses live in the Big 10, including these two.

“I’ve seen the numbers,” Iowa cornerback Michael Ojemudia said. “If we clean it up a little bit, we can be that much better. There’s always room for improvement. But the focus is to be the best. You don’t want to be top-five. You want to be number one."

(Fewest average points per game allowed: Ohio State 7.9, Penn State 9.6, Iowa 10.1, Georgia 11.4, Wisconsin 11.4.)

Wisky has won and covered three in a row against the Hawkeyes. This season, the under has hit in five straight for Wisconsin, four straight for Iowa.

Ed Barkowitz
Iowa
Mike Jensen
Wisconsin
Joe Juliano
Wisconsin
Erin McCarthy
Wisconsin
Marc Narducci
Wisconsin
Luke Reasoner
Iowa
Jonathan Tannenwald
Wisconsin

The Associated Press and VegasInsider.com contributed to this report.

Last Week

W-L (Best Bet)
Ed Barkowitz
7-3 (1-0)
Mike Jensen
5-5 (1-0)
Joe Juliano
3-7 (1-0)
Erin McCarthy
7-3 (1-0)
Marc Narducci
7-3 (1-0)
Luke Reasoner
7-3 (1-0)
Jonathan Tannenwald
4-6 (1-0)

Year to date

W-L-T (Best Bets)
Pct.
Erin McCarthy
56-43-1 (5-5)
.565
Mike Jensen
55-44-1 (5-5)
.555
Jonathan Tannenwald
55-44-1 (5-5)
.555
Luke Reasoner
49-40-1 (5-4)
.550
Marc Narducci
52-47-1 (7-3)
.525
Ed Barkowitz
51-48-1 (6-4)
.515
Joe Juliano
46-53-1 (6-4)
.465

Note: Luke Reasoner did not pick in Week 1.