We are headed to Week 6 of the college football season and with the SEC now heading into its third week of play, we are getting more data and fine-tuning our best bets to continue to increase our bankrolls.
It won’t be long before bowl season is in full swing and the College Football Playoff begins. We are still waiting on the Big Ten to start play in late October and the Pac-12 is joining in the fun in early November.
Each week, I will sift through the numbers and pluck out my favorite bets of the week while offering a little reasoning behind the picks. After a disastrous Week 4 in which we went 0-4, we bounced back with a winning week again for the second time in three weeks and are now 5-7 on the season. We continue our winning ways and get back over .500 this week.
Without further ado, here are my best bets for Week 6 of the college football season.
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College Football Best Bets: Week 6
NC State Wolfpack vs Virginia Cavaliers -9.5
Despite a huge upset win last week for 2-1 NC State as a two-touchdown underdog to then-No. 24 Pitt, the Wolfpack remain dogs again for their third straight road game. Virginia, on the other hand, got its taste of No. 1 Clemson last week in a 41-23 thumping and will look to rebound this week.
NC State continues to struggle keeping points off the board, surrendering an average of 38.7 per game. Most notably, the run defense is giving up 185 rush yards per game. Three of the Cavaliers’ eight touchdowns this season have come on the ground with dual-threat QB Brennan Armstrong getting one and junior RB Wayne Taulapapa accounting for the other two. I expect UVA to run the ball well, kill the clock and walk away with a double-digit home win.
Tennessee Volunteers +12.5 vs Georgia Bulldogs
A gigantic SEC matchup as 2-0 No. 14 Tennessee visits 2-0 No. 3 Georgia with potential CFP aspirations on the line. The Bulldogs have had the harder route to 2-0, having beat No. 7 Auburn last week 27-6, while this will be the first ranked foe for the Vols. Putting points on the board hasn’t been an issue for Tennessee thus far, averaging 33 points per game, but Georgia’s defense has been extremely stingy, giving up a measly eight points per game.
If the Vols are going to keep this game close, they will have to do it through the air as the Bulldogs are giving up just 58 yards per game on the ground. But that may be OK for Tennessee as senior QB Jarrett Guarantano has been impressive to start the season and has been rising in the Heisman Trophy odds. I believe this will be a very competitive low-scoring affair that should see the Vols cover but it’s unlikely they’ll win outright.
UTSA Roadrunners vs BYU Cougars -34.5
UTSA is next up on the train tracks for the offensive juggernaut that is No. 15 BYU in the early stages this season. The Cougars have jumped out to a 3-0 start and with that have scored the second-most points per game in the nation at 49.3. They are also dominating on the defensive side of the ball, surrendering just eight points per game with an average win margin of 41.3.
The Roadrunners have been strong in their own right, at 3-1 and coming off their first defeat of the year. The big issue for UTSA is giving up a whopping 300.3 passing yards per game, the 13th most in college football. BYU is racking up 358.7 yards per game through the air and junior QB Zach Wilson has completed 84.5 percent of his passes for 949 yards and six touchdowns to just one interception. The Cougars win big in this one!
Marshall Thundering Herd vs Western Kentucky Hilltoppers +7
The Thundering Herd rumble back into action for the first time in three weeks after their upset over then-No. 23 Appalachian State. This is Marshall’s first road game of the year, visiting a Western Kentucky team that collected its first win of the campaign last week. On paper, this is a bit of a mismatch, but the first game in three weeks is a bit of a letdown spot for Marshall on the road.
The Herd have allowed just seven points in two games while averaging 503 total yards, though much of that offense came against FCS side Eastern Kentucky in a 59-0 blowout. Despite a 1-2 start, the Hilltoppers have been competitive, falling at Louisville by 14 and at home to Liberty by six before winning on the road last week. Western Kentucky senior dual-threat QB Tyrrell Pigrome has done a job keeping possession of the ball with no turnovers and he eats up a lot of clock with his legs. Look for the home team to keep it close.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Kentucky Wildcats -2
Two teams coming off upsets in Week 5 will look to rebound in Week 6. Mississippi State, high off a big win over LSU in its opening game of the season, lost outright at home as a 17-point favorite to Arkansas last week. Meanwhile, Kentucky fell to 0-2 with its 42-41 loss last week as a 6.5-point favorite over Ole Miss.
These teams are somewhat opposites in that Mike Leach’s Bulldogs are almost solely a passing attack with 468 passing yards per game to just 48 yards gained on the ground, while the Wildcats only get 195 yards through the air compared to 276.5 rushing yards per game. A very unpredictable game, but I think Kentucky’s run game will set the tempo and Mississippi State’s leaky secondary will give a boost to the Wildcats’ lackluster passing game. I give the edge to the home team.