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Beating the Spread: Picking the Top Matchups in College Football’s Week 6

Dallas News

After many thrilling finishes and shootouts in Week 5 last Saturday, Week 6 is here to hopefully deliver the same spark. This week’s set of matchups are shorter than the previous segments this season, but as always the format remains the same.

All the Week 6 odds are courtesy of Vegas Insider. 

No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners (-8) vs. No. 19 Texas Longhorns: No defense has come close to stopping Kyler Murray and Oklahoma’s offense this season, which ranks first and fifth in the nation, respectively, in yards per play (8.7) and points per game (48.6). The Sooners, however, face their toughest defense so far this week in Texas (31st in total defense). The Longhorns feature an explosive pass rush tandem of DL Charles Omenihu (4 TFLs, 3 sacks) and LB Gary Johnson (6 TFLs, 1 sack), both capable of disrupting Murray’s offensive rhythm. However, Texas’ offense is still limited (120th in red zone efficiency) and doesn’t possess the firepower to keep up with Oklahoma for four quarters. Oklahoma wins but fails to cover the spread.

Maryland Terps at No. 15 Michigan Wolverines (-17.5): It’s two teams trending in the right direction. Since their opening week loss to Notre Dame in South Bend, Michigan has strung together four consecutive wins by a total margin of 170-50. Similarly, Maryland is off to an impressive 3-1 start with two of their wins coming by 28 points or greater. History has shown that Jim Harbaugh’s teams are infinitely better at home (15-2 since 2016) compared to on the road (6-5 in that same span), and considering this matchup is at the Big House, it makes sense to side with the Wolverines this week. Michigan wins but fails to cover the spread. 

Boston College Eagles at No. 23 NC State Wolfpack (-4.5): NC State looks like the ACC’s second-best team at the moment. The Wolfpack are one of just 12 undefeated teams left in this young season, not to mention, they sport a fantastic defense which is 11th nationally in points per game allowed and 13th in yards per play allowed. It also doesn’t hurt to have a pro-level QB in Ryan Finley (68.6 completion percentage, 1,313 yards, 8 TDs) at the controls on offense. With that said, there is simply too many intangibles for Boston College to keep track of. NC State wins and covers the spread.

No. 6 Notre Fighting Irish (-6.5) at No. 24 Virginia Tech Hokies: Primetime road games are the types of games in which Brian Kelly’s teams have faltered in recently. In fact, since 2013, the Irish are 1-9 in true road games against ranked opponents.  This year’s Irish team is different, though, simply because Notre Dame now has a quarterback it trusts and a shutdown defense. Notre Dame wins and covers the spread. 

No. 5 LSU Tigers (-2.5) at No. 22 Florida Gators: LSU has won the past two meetings in Gainsville, which were both decided by three points or fewer. Tigers’ QB Joe Burrow has stabilized LSU’s offense at this point, but he faces a stingy Florida pass defense this week that’s surrendered a meager 172.2 passing yards per game. With the way Gators; QB Feleipe Franks has played so far (961 yards, 12 TDs, and 7.6 yards per attempt), plus the atmosphere inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, this has all the makings for a statement win by Florida. Florida wins outright. 

No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats at Texas A&M Aggies (-5.5): Is Kentucky a legitimate SEC East contender? This Saturday’s matchup against Texas A&M at Kyle Field will go along way in determining if that statement is true. The Wildcats are as one-dimensional as they come on offense – running the ball on 67.3% of their possessions – but here’s the thing, they are incredible at it. Runningback Benny Snell Jr. has performed like a Heisman winner so far this season, running for 664 yards and 8 TDs in only five games.  But will his efforts be enough? Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies are holding opponents to a meager 3.2 yards per rush this year, and offensively, quarterback Kellen Mond is on pace to complete more passes, throw for more yards and touchdowns than all of last season. Texas A&M wins but fails to cover the spread. 

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