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Labour wars of MLB’s past provide faulty lens for viewing current stoppage

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For the first time since 1994, Major League Baseball finds itself in a labour stoppage, and there’s really only one thing to do about it:

Relax.

This isn’t 1994.

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There’s four months until Opening Day. That’s a third of a calendar year. And instead of sabre-rattling or crying poor or threatening labour Armageddon, Major League teams dealt out $2 billion (all figures U.S.) in free-agent salaries since the end of the World Series, formally announcing 27 deals worth over $1.4 billion on Wednesday.

Instead of wringing hands about how small-market franchises are going to survive – an old labour war standby – owners and players looked on as the Tampa Bay Rays handed out a contract that could pay 20-year-old Wander Franco $233 million over 12 years and the Miami Marlins gave pitcher Sandy Alcantara a five-year, $56-million package that is the richest in history for a first-year arbitration-eligible pitcher.

That’s a helluva way to screw the players. Instead of some of the scorched-earth stuff seen in previous sports negotiations, we were treated to a re-seeding.

It’s preparation for a labour stoppage the likes of which I haven’t seen in 32 years of covering baseball. From the beginning, the understanding in the industry was that the only thing less likely than an agreement before 11:59 p.m. Wednesday was and is the loss of one regular-season game as a result.

Instead of hunkering down for a long, brutal slog teams and players – who still have competing $500-million labour grievances against each other out of the machinations from the re-start of the 2020 season – spent the last week rushing into each other’s arms. Honest to God: it almost made you long for the days when having Jerry Reinsdorf yell “salary cap” sent players to the barricades.

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With a lockout looming, many thought this MLB off-season would unfold slowly. Instead, the condensed timeline made it one of the busiest in memory.

This feels so … so … complicated yet non-draconian at the same time.

I mean, this isn’t about two seats per player on the bus. We’re talking about tweaking the guts of how players get paid. Salary arbitration and, by extension, free agency. Big, big stuff … yet there was commissioner Rob Manfred telling reporters after recent owners’ meetings that “when you look at other sports, the pattern has become to control the timing of the labour dispute and try to minimize the prospect of actual disruption of the season. That’s what it’s about; avoiding doing damage to the season.” His statement early Thursday morning echoed those sentiments.

Translation from Manfred: better to kill the winter meetings and douse the hot stove than lose Opening Day, when leverage begins to shift to the players. Thing is, if I know that and you know that, what impetus has there been up to now for the players to give more than they want? So now we have a situation where no transactions involving players on 40-man rosters can occur and players are prevented from communicating with club officials – including coaches – or using team facilities to rehabilitate or train. Sounds serious … but that’s why it’s called a lockout.

From a distance, the optics stink. Billionaire owners arguing with millionaire (or, in some cases, one-third billionaire) players, with the world still trying to vaccinate its way out of a pandemic that has as many configurations as Angel Hernandez’s strike zone.

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You don’t have time for this B.S., do you?

Yet this is how professional sports leagues determine who gets paid and how revenue gets distributed. The foaming mouths are going to be all over social media and the airwaves about this and with social media a worry that didn’t exist in 1994, the chance is this could get pretty funky at some point. No sooner had the lockout commenced than MLB.com dropped all current player imaging from its content, acknowledging it was instead going to focus on the history of the game. Somebody needs to confiscate the iPhone of New York Mets owner Steve Cohen. Now.

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Still, I’m reminded of an interview I did with Manfred in August, 2019, on the 25th anniversary of the 1994 strike. Back in 1994, Manfred was outside legal counsel for the owners. Now, keep in mind that as commissioner, Manfred works for the owners. They give him his marching orders. And keep in mind that Manfred’s comments were made before the pandemic hit, when everybody’s world changed.

“Look at the process in 2001, 2006 and 2011,” Manfred told me. “There was just not the public back and forth (as there was in 1994.) Or 2016. You never saw either party talk about a lockout or strike. We both understood that creating an atmosphere where you could focus on genuine negotiations designed to come up with creative solutions was really important.

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“Labour disputes never pay off for either party,” Manfred said. “The money lost was way more valuable than the issues that were on the table at the time. The industry took a step back in terms of revenue for the first time in decades.

“Another way to look at it: the union won that (1994) dispute. We were ordered (by courts) to go back to work. But the fact is the agreement we ultimately reached put in revenue sharing and a (luxury tax). The idea that I’m going to go out and strike you to get the agreement I want? It never works out that way.”

Manfred said a lockout and strike, although different, both represented, in his mind, “a failure of the process.”

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Maybe the nasty labour wars of the past are a faulty lens to use in 2021. Nothing is the same as it was in 1994. Manfred was then owners’ outside legal counsel. Bud Selig was commissioner and Donald Fehr, who is now running the NHL Players’ Association, was head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, a position now held by former player Tony Clark.

The Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t exist in 1994. Ownership ranks have also changed by two-thirds, with nine holdover groups including the Steinbrenner, Pohlad and Montfort families and Reinsdorf and Peter Angelos.

A buck now is different than a buck back then and franchise values have gone through the roof. Let’s use the Baltimore Orioles as an example, since Angelos purchased them in Aug., 1993 – a year before the strike – for $173 million in a bankruptcy auction that saw him beat out Jeffrey Loria.

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The Orioles are hardly the Cadillac franchise they once were, in many ways over-shadowed regionally by the Washington Nationals. Yet a conservative estimate is that the Orioles valuation is now in the neighbourhood of $1.4 billion give or take, a valuation that pales in comparison to the growth in value of other franchises. The Miami Marlins are valued at $900 million by Forbes but Bruce Sherman paid $1.2 billion for it two years ago which, by pure coincidence, is the amount Manfred says it would take to now buy an expansion franchise.

The Diamondbacks’ expansion fee in 1995 was $130 million.

Whole revenue streams exist now that didn’t exist back then, when getting the rights to parking was a big deal for owners and stadiums were expected to last decades, not years. Network TV was huge. Cord-cutting? Advanced media? Streaming? Formal arrangements with legalized sports wagering? I can see Bud Selig’s head explode over that one.

“Uh, Bud. About that Pete Rose thing …”

MLB made a jarring transition from billion-plus dollar free-agent frenzy to lockout, starting the sport’s first labour interruption since the 1994 strike. Here’s what you need to know.

Baseball generated $10.7 billion in gross revenue in 2019. Let’s not even go back to 1994. Let’s just look at 2001, when it generated just under $4 billion. Salaries are different, too – the average salary in 1994 was $1.2 million compared to $4.17 million this year. Massively different.

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But there has been a softness in salary growth in recent seasons that has shaped the union’s approach to bargaining – as it should. According to The Associated Press, the average salary in the majors in 2021 was a drop of 4.8 per cent from the game’s previous full season (2019.) Since 2017, the average salary has fallen 6.4 per cent. The median salary, which is the point at which an equal number of players are above and below and in in many ways a more accurate reflection of trends, fell to $1.15 million, an 18 per cent drop from 2019 and a 30 per cent drop from 2015. Of the 1,955 players who had signed major league contracts going into Sept. 1, 397 earned less than $1 million and 1,271 earned $600,000 dollars or less.

This season’s average would have been an increase from $3.89 million in 2020 had a full season been played (remember: because of the pandemic the actual earned average salary was $1.35 million because less than 40 per cent of the season was played.) But that 2020 full-year figure would have represented a 4.2 per cent decrease from 2019. The average salary in 2018 also fell – albeit sightly – from 2017.

I know, I know: we’re talking cheaper rims on luxury cars but it was the first time the average major league salary dropped in back-to-back seasons since 1967. In fact, until 2018, the average salary year to year had fallen on just three occasions, the last decline coming in 2004. The only other occasions were during the collusion era and 1995 – the year after the players strike. If you were a player, you’d want to know how that happens.

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Boiled to its essence, the guts of any dispute is that owners want a system that allows them to win while controlling player costs as much as possible for as long as possible while players want a greater share of the revenue pie. They want owners to spend to win.

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Every player wants his team to be bankrolled like the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Every owner wants to win like the Rays … with Dodgers attendance.

That’s a significant divide, to be sure. But it seems as if there is an understanding on both sides that it makes sense for younger players to get their money sooner – witness what the Rays and Marlins did — and that the current system of salary arbitration needs tweaking. But it’s a safe bet that the sides don’t agree on the degree of tweaking that is needed, especially if it is simply a new way of allowing some owners to not put revenue sharing money into payroll.

Yeah, there’s all sorts of other talking points and trade-offs — a salary floor, tighter salary cap, pace of play, rejigging the draft to possibly include a lottery, the universal designated hitter and expanded playoffs. This could always go nuclear, I suppose, with de-certification and dragging up anti-trust stuff and from the formation of the union in 1967, leaders have always worried about management using its financial tools to split the union between older and younger players.

But the trick will be to see if there’s a common ground, and the idea of expanded playoffs gives us some insight into how these things can get tripped up by something that would appear to be acceptable to both sides: owners like it because it gives them more chances to make more money; players know more post-season games increases the possibility of playoff shares, but that is balanced off by a wariness of anything that could somehow reward owners who don’t spend.

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The players don’t want a $55-million payroll in the playoffs and if you were a player you wouldn’t, either. Yet in their last offer to owners, players agreed to expanded playoffs, albeit to 12 teams over the owners’ preferred 14.

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Let’s bring this down to the local level. Look: I was there in 1994. I was covering the Montreal Expos for The Gazette when that team had the best record in the majors at the time of the strike and there was little sense it was going to get resolved – players hung around for a week or so and then bailed — and a real fear that the stoppage would ultimately kill the team. The atmosphere around the game was toxic beyond belief. The Expos did pull up stakes after 2004, and while a lack of corporate and political support had more to do with the team leaving than anything else, you are allowed to wonder whether a possible World Series run could have ginned up support for a stadium in Montreal. The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t get off, either: the strike – plus Duane Ward’s arm woes – set baseball into a spin a year after the Blue Jays’ second of back-to-back World Series wins.

I kept some stories that I wrote during the strike. Hugh Hallward, a former limited partner of the Expos, came up with the idea of having the Expos and New York Yankees – the two best teams at the time of the strike – meet in an ersatz World Series with money to go to charity. Wrap your head around that.

President Bill Clinton tried to help the sides. Uh-huh.

And, of course, before future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor handed down a ruling that forced the owners to get the game back on the field, the game was treated to the spectacle of replacement players in replacement spring training.

Now? It seems likely that this new collective bargaining agreement will coincide with baseball returning to Montreal, since industry sources now view the Tampa/Montreal split cities idea as more of a plan than a mere concept.

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And the Blue Jays? They were among the big free-agent spenders leading up to this and, while there must be some trepidation about changes in a new collective bargaining agreement that might have an impact on the service time status of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., and Bo Bichette, unlike 1994, this edition of the Blue Jays are in their ascendancy and still largely cost-effective. If the Blue Jays wake up some February morning and find that their financial come-to-Jesus moment with these two has been pushed up by a year, the guess here is this ownership group will be ready.

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Baseball came within hours – minutes, really – of a stoppage in 2001, when a players strike date would have fallen close to the first anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Talk about an optics nightmare: Here was a game that was credited for the role it played in helping the U.S. get back to normality – its offices in the very city scarred by the attack on the Twin Towers, home of the New York freaking Yankees, for god’s sake – seriously preparing to shut itself down. There have been flashpoints, to be sure, over drug-testing and service time manipulation and, in 2019, a ham-handed return to action out of the pandemic.

But since 1994, the sides more often than not have been able to find common ground and get back to the task at hand. They’ve formed a joint venture company to start up the World Baseball Classic and the steroid crisis created common cause, as both owners and the MLBPA were forced to stare down Congress. The drama coming out of the pandemic was peanuts compared to agreeing to drug-testing.

Baseball has enjoyed more labour peace than any other sport for the better part of three decades. That’s just a fact and something to remember as the days get colder and both sides’ negotiators get deep into the weeds. And what hasn’t changed is that whatever happens in these next eight weeks or however long it takes to get a new CBA, it will be up to the players to sell the product. The good news is, there is a golden generation of young baseball talent – the most golden in my lifetime – ready to put on a show.

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As long as this doesn’t get personal, the game will come out on the other side in fine shape. In the meantime …

Take a long, slow, deep breath. Let’s see where we are on Feb. 1 or thereabouts, because the approach of spring training is more of a deadline – a real deadline – than 11:59. It’s been that case all along. And both sides acted like they knew it.



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SEC college football picks, odds in Week 5: Arkansas stays tight with Alabama, Georgia takes out frustration

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The calendar will flip from September to October as the Week 5 college football action takes center stage on Saturday, which means that SEC division title races are starting take shape. No. 2 Alabama will head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on No. 20 Arkansas in a battle between SEC foes. It was anticipated this could be a battle of undefeated title contenders, but the Razorbacks’ loss to Texas A&M last week erased that possibility. No. 7 Kentucky will travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on No. 14 Ole Miss in a clash of cross-division, undefeated teams that are looking to break through on the national stage. 

There are intriguing games for other reasons, too. Auburn will take on LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium in a game that could determine the future of Tigers coach Bryan Harsin. The second-year coach was rumored to be on the brink of receiving a pink slip had the Tigers lost to Missouri last week, but they escaped in overtime in one of the sloppiest games of the year. 

What else is going on around the conference in Week 5? Let’s take a spin around the league and make some picks in this week’s edition of SEC Smothered and Covered.

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Hurricane Ian hitting the East Coast has forced changes to SEC games in Week 5. Keep up to date with all of the movement at this link here

Appetizer: Drew Sanders, the double agent?

Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders has established himself as one of the best players in the conference regardless of position. The former five-star prospect out of Denton, Texas, has 31 tackles on the season and is tied for third in the SEC in tackles for loss per game (1.63). He’s also a former member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

Could he be a secret agent? Well, not officially, but Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman knows that his star transfer isn’t going to be surprised by anything he sees.

“I would assume, for him, there would be some familiarity with what Bama is doing,” Pittman said. “We’ll try to downplay that as much as possible, because it is about shedding blocks and tackling and doing his assignment.”

This was shaping up to be a battle of undefeated teams prior to last weekend, but a reeling Texas A&M squad and a Hogs’ field goal attempt off the top of the goal post put an end to that plan. It didn’t erase the interest level in this game, though. Pittman’s squad absolutely has to win Saturday’s game vs. the Crimson Tide, otherwise its hopes of winning the West will disappear like a rack of ribs at a tailgate party. 

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Main course: Chris Rodriguez’s impact

Kentucky is typically a juggernaut at developing stud offensive linemen who are effective as run and pass blockers. This year … not so much. The Wildcats have given up more sacks than any other team in the SEC (16) and allowed Northern Illinois to sack quarterback Will Levis five times last weekend. Nothing against the Huskies, but that shouldn’t happen. 

They will get running back Chris Rodriguez back from his early-season suspension this week, though, and he should at least provide more of a threat in the running game to help Levis work off play-action. The preseason All-SEC selection rushed for 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns last season while adding three touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday that Rodriguez has prepared to make an impact over the last couple of weeks.

“For Chris, it was just a matter of managing him while he was out. Just getting him the reps that we needed to. The last week or two, as I mentioned last week, he was getting reps with the first and second team — mainly the second team or different quarterbacks just to make sure he wasn’t totally removed from practicing our plays, along with staying in shape, being on the scout team, doing whatever was necessary for staying in good shape.” 

Dessert: Do or die for Bryan Harsin

Reports surfaced last week that Harsin could be fired as early as the day after the Missouri game if his team lost to the visiting Tigers. That didn’t happen; Auburn used a Missouri missed field goal at the end of regulation and a walk-off touchback in overtime to escape with a win. Or a “non-loss,” considering how sloppy the game was. 

In essence, it was the worst possible scenario for all parties. Harsin’s incredibly ugly win against Missouri the week after getting blown out by Penn State made it impossible for the powers-that-be to get rid of him last Sunday, which also gave him another week to “coach back into” his job if he can figure things out. Could that start this week against LSU? Harsin’s Tigers are nearly double-digit underdogs, which suggests that there isn’t much faith in him surviving beyond this weekend. Even if he does, Georgia looms next weekend prior to the bye week. 

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Simply put, Harsin needs to dominate LSU and upset Georgia to stay employed. Otherwise, those who staged the attempted coup in February will likely get their way and move into a new era of Auburn football.

Picks

Straight up: 38-8 | Against the spread: 19-21-1
*Previous picks were made on Instagram since SEC Smothered & Covered starts in Week 3

No. 7 Kentucky at No. 14 Ole Miss

Featured Game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Kentucky Wildcats

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The Rebels have settled on Jaxson Dart as their No. 1 quarterback, and he will provide a nice complement through the air and on the ground to a rushing attack that is second-to-none in the conference (280.75 YPG). That will wear down a Kentucky defense that isn’t as deep or consistent as it has been in previous years. The Rebels defense, which is third in the SEC in tackles for loss per game (7.0), will keep Levis in third-and-long situations — leading to an Ole Miss cover. Pick: Ole Miss (-6.5)

No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas

Featured Game | Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

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The 17.5-point spread is interesting, due in large part to the hook. If a 17-point Bama win cashes an Arkansas ticket, I’m all in for the Hogs. Alabama has played one-score games in four of its last five true road tilts, and the combination of Hogs quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders will bust enough big plays to at least keep this game close into the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide will win it by two touchdowns when all is said and done but won’t get the cover. Pick: Arkansas (+17.5)

Featured Game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies

The Bulldogs are home favorites over a ranked Aggies team for good reason. Opposing quarterbacks are completing just 44.4% of their passes on third downs (17th nationally), which sets up well against an Aggies team that will be without star wide receiver Ainias Smith. Texas A&M topped Arkansas essentially because of a fumbled punt return and a freak fumble recovery/scoop-and-score, but even those won’t save them in the land of the cowbells. Pick: Mississippi State (-3.5)

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LSU at Auburn

Featured Game | Auburn Tigers vs. LSU Tigers

Auburn’s offensive line has been a disaster this year, and now its quarterback position is an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, LSU’s defense has given up just 39 plays of 10 or more yards this season (tied with Georgia for third in the SEC). It’s going to make Auburn put together multiple sustained drives, and that’s unlikely considering Harsin forgot that running back Tank Bigsby exists during the majority of the Missouri game. The visiting Tigers will win by double-digits. Pick: LSU (-9)

No. 1 Georgia at Missouri

Featured Game | Missouri Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

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The Bulldogs have to be embarrassed after Kent State stayed within 10 points into the fourth quarter last week, and they’ll take it out on Missouri on Saturday night in Columbia. The Tigers average a league-worst 5.62 yards per play, and the way to hang with the Bulldogs is to capitalize on shot plays. Coach Kirby Smart’s crew will take out its frustration on Missouri and win by at least 30 points. Pick: Georgia (-28)

SEC teams vs. FCS opponents

*No lines have been published

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 5, and which top-10 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $3,100 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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Canada crushes Puerto Rico in FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup quarterfinal – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada has advanced to the semifinals at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup for the first time since 1986.

After going 4-1 in first-round play, Canada hammered Puerto Rico 79-60 in quarterfinal action on Thursday in Australia.

The Canadians will be heavy underdogs in the semis on Friday against the top-ranked United States. The Americans defeated Serbia 88-55 in the first quarterfinal.

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The Americans have won 28 consecutive games in World Cup play since losing to the Russians in the 2006 semis — the tournament is held quadrennially.

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Canada will try to win its first medal since capturing bronze in 1986. That result matched its previous best of third in 1979.

Kia Nurse led Canada with 17 points, one of five players to score in double figures for her team. Bridget Carleton had 15, while Laeticia Amihere and Natalie Achonwa had 12 apiece. Kayla Alexander had 13 rebounds for Canada.

Canada jumped out to a 26-11 lead after the first quarter and never was threatened.

China faces France and Belgium meets Australia in the other quarterfinals.

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College football odds, picks, predictions, best bets for Week 5, 2022: Proven model backing Oklahoma, Oregon

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Kentucky and Kansas are often known for their basketball prowess, but the Wildcats and Jayhawks both enter the Week 5 college football schedule undefeated. The Wildcats survived an upset bid from Northern Illinois last week and will now go on the road to face the Ole Miss Rebels in an SEC showdown. Kansas, meanwhile, notched its fourth win of the season after beating Duke 35-27 and will battle Iowa State at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. Before this season, the Jayhawks recorded three wins or fewer in each of the past 12 years. 

The Week 5 college football odds from Caesars Sportsbook list the Jayhawks as 3.5-point underdogs against the Cyclones. The Wildcats are 6.5-point underdogs against the Rebels in an 12 p.m. ET kickoff in Oxford. Should your Week 5 college football picks include backing Kansas or Kentucky as underdogs, or should you look elsewhere on the CFB odds board for value? Before locking in any Week 5 college football picks on those games or others, be sure to see the latest college football predictions from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of more than $3,100 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

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Now, it has turned its attention to the latest Week 5 college football odds from Caesars and locked in picks for every FBS matchup. Head here to see every pick.

Top college football predictions for Week 5

One of the college picks the model is high on in Week 5: No. 18 Oklahoma (-5) goes on the road and covers against TCU at noon ET on Saturday. The Sooners were upset by Kansas State, a team that has been very tough on the Sooners recently, in Week 4. But the Sooners have a much better track record against the Horned Frogs. Oklahoma has won eight straight against TCU, and all but two of those wins have come by more than five points. The last two wins in the series have come by an average of 20 points.

The model sees this as a great bounce-back spot for Oklahoma as it is favored by less than a touchdown against a relatively unproven TCU squad. Dillon Gabriel throws for 300 yards in the simulations, with Marvin Mims leading the way with more than 60 receiving yards for OU. The Sooners win more than 60% of the time, making them one of the teams to include in your Week 5 college football best bets. 

Another one of the model’s top college football picks: No. 13 Oregon (-16) has no trouble with the double-digit spread against Stanford in Saturday’s 11 p.m. ET kickoff in Eugene. The Ducks are coming off a thrilling 44-41 come-from-behind victory over Washington State last week. Quarterback Bo Nix was the star of the show, throwing for 428 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Nix has now accounted for at least three touchdowns in each of his last three games. For the season, Nix has thrown for 1,100 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions, while also averaging 4.6 yards per carry. 

Oregon is averaging 198.2 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks 29th in the nation. Stanford, meanwhile, is giving up 30.33 points per game this season. The Cardinal have also allowed 40 or more points in back-to-back Pac-12 games. SportsLine’s model is projecting the Ducks to rush for over 200 yards against Stanford on Saturday. That helps Oregon control possession and post 41 points in this one as they cover in almost 60% of simulations. See which other teams the model likes here.

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How to make college football picks for Week 5

The model has also made the call on who wins and covers in every other FBS matchup in Week 5, and it says a top-10 favorite will go down hard in one of the week’s biggest games. You can only get every pick for every game at SportsLine.

So what college football picks can you make with confidence? And which top-10 favorite goes down hard? Check out the latest college football odds below, then visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $3,100 in profit over the past six-plus seasons, and find out.

College football odds for Week 5 (via Caesars)

See full Week 5 college football picks, odds, predictions here

Thursday, Sept. 29

Utah State at BYU (-24, 60.5)

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Featured Game | BYU Cougars vs. Utah State Aggies

Friday, Sept. 30

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Tulane at Houston (-2.5, 55)

Featured Game | Houston Cougars vs. Tulane Green Wave

UTSA at MTSU (+5, 63)

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Featured Game | Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders vs. UTSA Roadrunners

San Diego State at Boise State (-5.5, 40)

Featured Game | Boise State Broncos vs. San Diego State Aztecs

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Washington at UCLA (+2.5, 65)

Featured Game | UCLA Bruins vs. Washington Huskies

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New Mexico at UNLV (-16, 45.5)

Featured Game | UNLV Rebels vs. New Mexico Lobos

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Saturday, Oct. 1

Michigan at Iowa (+10.5, 43)

Featured Game | Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines

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Kentucky at Ole Miss (-6.5, 55.5)

Featured Game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Oklahoma at TCU (+5, 67.5)

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Featured Game | TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Oregon State at Utah (-11, 56)

Featured Game | Utah Utes vs. Oregon State Beavers

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Wake Forest at Florida State (-6, 66)

Featured Game | Florida State Seminoles vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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Rutgers at Ohio State (-41, 60)

Northwestern at Penn State (-25.5, 52.5)

Featured Game | Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Northwestern Wildcats

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Alabama at Arkansas (+15.5, 61.5)

Featured Game | Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

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Oklahoma State at Baylor (-2.5, 55)

Featured Game | Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Texas A&M at Mississippi State (-3, 46)

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Featured Game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies

NC State at Clemson (-6.5, 46)

Featured Game | Clemson Tigers vs. NC State Wolfpack

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Georgia at Missouri (+27.5, 55.5)

Featured Game | Missouri Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

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Arizona State at USC (-24, 61.5)

Featured Game | USC Trojans vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

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Stanford at Oregon (-16, 62.5)

Featured Game | Oregon Ducks vs. Stanford Cardinal

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