- Week 6 of NCAAF is here, providing great spots to fade last week’s results.
- Navy is a hidden gem during Week 6 that might win outright.
- Pittsburgh is a sharp favorite. Don’t be afraid to lay the points.
Week 6 of the college football calendar has arrived, and with it comes a new table of NCAAF odds.
Accordingly, I’ve got a fresh set of picks to hand out.
College Football Best Bets: Week 6 Predictions
After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my five best plays from the wider canon of college football odds.
I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.
If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM.
Last week, the picks were 3-1-1, with a push on that Ohio State/Rutgers under. The column is 14-11-1 on the season. It’s 11-4-1 over the last three weeks!
Arkansas at Mississippi State (-8)
My days of handicapping the tactics of a particular football game are mostly behind me at this point, but I will still come in on a side every now and then if I feel like there’s a big advantage.
That’s the case in this matchup as Will Rogers and the Mike Leach offense take aim at a weak Arkansas secondary.
The Razorbacks rank 124th in FBS in passing yards allowed, and Mississippi State ranks seventh in passing offense. Public bettors are likely infatuated with the Bulldogs because they convincingly dispatched Texas A&M last week. I believe they’re on the right side but for the wrong reason.
Play: Mississippi State -8
Georgia Southern at Georgia State (-2.5)
To paraphrase Dinah Washington: What a difference a week makes. Georgia State was the only winless team in the Sun Belt last week; this week, they’re laying points in a quasi-rivalry game.
Here’s what happened: Georgia State played two weeks ago on Thursday night against Coastal Carolina. That means the Panthers got a couple extra days of prep time ahead of Army’s offense this past weekend, which is a critical advantage if you have to play Army in the middle of the season.
Off the heels of a decent win, Georgia State is back home for another conference game and is suddenly laying points. And public bettors – who can easily fall for number traps – are eating up Georgia State at -2.5, which seems like a valuable number.
The problem is that, on principle, no one should be laying points with Georgia State in a conference game. I like Georgia Southern to win this game outright, so the fact that this number might get to three is outstanding. I’ll bet it now at the +2.5 and come back for more if I can.
Play: Georgia Southern +2.5
Tulsa at Navy (+6.5)
Navy lost to FCS Delaware in Week 1 and followed it up with a blowout loss to Memphis. Since then, they’ve pretty much been written off by many bettors (including me) as a bad team.
Here’s the thing, though. After a bye in Week 3, Navy returned to the gridiron with much more impressive play. The Midshipmen won outright at East Carolina, then pushed Air Force to the brink last week.
Now, Navy hosts Tulsa – the least impressive FBS team it’s played all year – and is catching 6.5 at home. The market has not yet corrected to the changes in Annapolis – about 90% of market-wide tickets are on Tulsa – and the result is this juicy number in Week 6.
Navy is very much a live dog in this game, which means I’m taking the points and the +180 moneyline. This is my favorite bet of the week, and my choice for our BetMGM weekly staff picks.
Play: Navy +6.5
Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh (-14.5)
As a West Virginia fan, I generally avoid betting this game because I loathe both of them so deeply. However, this game has such an obvious side that I can’t avoid it this year.
Pitt has opened as a 14.5-point dog against putrid Virginia Tech. Both teams lost last week, which has primed the betting public to prefer the points in this spot.
“Hey, both of these teams are bad! Give me the two touchdowns and the hook.” That sort of thing.
The problem with that logic is that these two teams are nowhere near each other. Pitt drops a weird game to a bad team every year – here in the mid-Atlantic region, we simply call this “Narduzzing” – but Virginia Tech is legitimately awful.
The Hokies lost to Old Dominion, got beat down on their home field by my mediocre Mountaineers and could only muster 10 points against North Carolina’s putrid defense.
Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings slot Virginia Tech at No. 108. That ranks Tech behind Northern Illinois, Sacramento State and Weber State. It’s also the lowest rank for any ACC team.
This is the worst Virginia Tech team of the 21st century, yet more than 60% of bettors market-wide are lining up to take the points with the Hokies. It’s a terrible idea and perfectly illustrates why I fade public dogs so often.
In a betting market where the public is typically drawn to favorites, beware a beloved underdog that attracts majority action. It’s the Cave Canem of our time.
Play: Pittsburgh -14.5
Clemson at Boston College (+20.5)
I stayed away from Clemson the last two weeks because I just didn’t feel good about a side. No Wake Forest. No NC State.
Here, I finally feel like I have an opening. Clemson vanquished its two biggest divisional opponents in back-to-back weeks. It’s riding high. Now, it heads north to a sleepy matchup with Boston College, and the autopilot is on.
This is a natural comedown spot, and 20.5 points is a whole lot of room to cover with a meh Boston College squad. But I also like the idea of a bunch of South Carolina kids heading north for an October night game in Boston.
It’ll be about 40 degrees and a bit windy throughout the game. I know the BC kids are ready for that. Is Clemson?
Play: Boston College +20.5
The moneyline favorites have been good to me so far, so I’m going to keep firing on them. Here’s a four-teamer for this week at -102:
- San Jose State -275
- Ole Miss -900
- Appalachian State -1100
- USC -500
College Football Predictions
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