Preview and Top 25 Picks for NCAA Football Week 6
Our Week 5 Top 25 picks on these pages were crappy. Three losers, and only an opinion on Oklahoma State's outright 'Dog road win over Baylor was positive. Now into Week 6, we look to use more stat profiles to our advantage.
Three college football Top 25 match-ups are on the schedule Oct. 8, and let's see if we can pick some winners and cash in some bets at the leading online sportsbooks.
Week 6 Top 25 Match-ups
No. 8 Tennessee at No. 25 LSU | 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Line: Tennessee -3 and Total 64 at BookMaker
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels has only passed for 210 and 80 yards against Mississippi State and Auburn, and he's been sacked 15 times this season. Daniels also leads the Tigers in rushing with 315 yards. The Tigers won last week at Auburn 21-17 despite getting out-gained 438-270 yards. Louisiana State Coach Brian Kelly said this week in the SEC press conference that the Tigers offense has been conservative, but working towards being more aggressive. Well, LSU will have to push harder and more aggressively this week against a strong, balanced and efficient 200 club Volunteers offense. Tennessee is averaging 560 yards per game and 48 points per contest - both top-2 in the country against FBS opponents only. Quarterback Hayden Hooker is passing for nearly 300 yards per game with 2 TD passes in each game and yet to toss an interception. Hooker is currently the highest-rated quarterback in the SEC, but will be without star receiver Cedric Tillman for a second-straight game. Still, the stronger special teams and situational edge also favors Tennessee off a bye week, and the Volunteers fast-paced and explosive offense with second-year Vols HC Josh Heupel's play calling will be too much for the Tigers. Sure, LSU is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games, 5-0 in their last 5 home games and 5-0 the last 5 meetings with Tennessee (more than a decade ago). We have two top head coaches in their first and second year at new schools. Trends are mostly trash, but if you should know, Tennessee coach Josh Heupel is 6-1 SU off a bye week as head coach in his career. More meaningful is the match-ups and edges are on Tennessee's side. The line is up from -2.5, but lay it in victory on the Volunteers.
No. 17 TCU at No. 19 Kansas | 12:00 p.m. ET on FS1
Line: TCU -7 and Total 67 at reduced juice sportsbook Heritage Sports or Bovada
What a wild and wacky race in the Big 12. Powerhouse programs Oklahoma and Texas are out of the Top-25 as they play this week in the Red River Showdown. This match-up between top-20 TCU and Kansas pits last year's last place and second-to-last place teams in the Big 12. Now they are both undefeated with head coach Sonny Dykes putting his prints on an explosive, balanced and efficient Horned Frogs offense that just smashed the Sooners last week, 55-24. TCU is now 4-0 SU/ATS and bettors are drooling over the Horned Frogs and their dynamic offense. But second-year Kansas coach Lance Leipold has orchestrated the biggest turnaround in college football this season. The Jayhawks were a 2 win team last year, and they have already gone over their season win total (-2.5) with a 5-0 start. That includes 2-0 in the Big 12 after another outright 'Dog win over Iowa State last week, 14-11. Sure the Jayhawks only had 213 yards and 10 first downs, and were out-gained by 100 yards in victory. But Kansas has their own 200 club offense, and bettors seem to forget that Kansas scored 55, 48 and 30 points in their three previous games against FBS opponents. The Jayhawks defense also lead the Big 12 with 15 sacks. And while the Kansas offense is not as explosive or efficient as TCU, let's give the Jayhawks another chance to prove most bettors and pundits wrong.
No. 11 Utah at No. 18 UCLA | 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX
Line: Utah -3.5 and Total 64 BetAnySports
Here is another 200 club offense in the role of underdog. That always gets my attention, especially if a capable or strong defense is also helping their own offense. UCLA is undefeated and Utah has won 4-in-a-row after their unfortunate opening week loss at Florida. Both teams are 2-0 in the Pac 12, and the Utes have won and covered 5-straight in this series, and now have their strongest team. UCLA's defense has played better than expected and is second in the Pac 12 behind Utah, who allows just 278 yards per game against FBS opponents. Both teams and quarterbacks also lead the Pac 12 in passing efficiency. Bruins QB Darian Thompson-Robinson has passed for more than 1,200 yards with an 11:1 TD-to-INT ratio and 74% completions. Utes QB Cameron Rising has passed for more than 1,150 yards with 13:2 TD-INT ratio and 68% completions. Rising had 4 total TD's in last week's win over Oregon State, and both duel-threat quarterbacks have rushed for more than 185 yards this season as well. Utah has a 200 club offense, top defense and is priced at the same number as Washington at the Rose Bowl last week in a game the Bruins rose up to win 40-32 after building a big lead. Watch for the line to dip to -3, but let's support the Pac 12's top team to show their strength again and get the road win, and cover.
Top 25 Schedule
Here's the full top-25 college football schedule, TV times and odds from BetOnline with favorites noted. Added links with some of my other coverage.
No. 1 Alabama (-24) vs. Texas A&M | 8 p.m. | CBS
No. 2 Georgia (-29.5) vs. Auburn | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 3 Ohio State (-27) at Michigan State | 4 p.m. | ABC
No. 4 Michigan (-22.4) at Indiana | 12 p.m. | FOX
No. 5 Clemson (-20.5) at Boston College | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 6 USC (-13) vs. Washington State | 7:30 p.m. | FOX
No. 7 Oklahoma State (-9) vs. Texas Tech | 3:30 p.m. | FS1
No. 8 Tennessee (-3) at No. 25 LSU | 12 p.m. | ESPN
No. 9 Ole Miss (-17)at Vanderbilt | 4 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 11 Utah (-3.5) at No. 18 UCLA | 3:30 p.m. | FOX
No. 12 Oregon (-13) at Arizona | 9 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
No. 13 Kentucky (-6.5) vs. South Carolina | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 14 NC State (-3) vs. Florida State | 8 p.m. | ACC Network
No. 15 Wake Forest (-16.5)vs. Army | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN3
No. 16 BYU vs. Notre Dame (-3.5 - Las Vegas) | 7:30 p.m. | NBC/Peacock
No. 17 TCU (-7) at No. 19 Kansas | 12 p.m. | FS1
No. 20 Kansas State (-2) at Iowa State | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU
No. 21 Washington (-13.5) at Arizona State | 4 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
No. 23 Mississippi State (-9) vs. Arkansas | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 24 Cincinnati (-27.5) vs. South Florida | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Watch for our Week 5 NFL Underdog Picks, which are 14-7 ATS this season with 13 outright winners following a fourth straight winning result in Week 4.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.