Week 6 of the college football season has been hotly anticipated since the summer. On tap are monster matchups like Texas A&M at Alabama, Tennessee at LSU, and Utah at UCLA. There’s other intriguing matchups between upstarts in TCU at Kansas and Arkansas at Mississippi State. But nothing compares to the Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas. This week’s picks and best bets takes us to Dallas, Lawrence, and East Lansing to look at a trio of college football Week 6 bets.
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College Football Week 6 Picks, Best Bets
To place a bet on any of the games below, click on their odds in the tables.
Oklahoma Vs. Texas
Death, taxes, and the Red River Shootout hitting the over. While I don’t really buy into “system plays,” it’s hard to ignore the expectations for this game. Since 2016, we’ve seen 80 combined points four times and 90 three times– including in each of the last two meetings.
But, historical data does us no good in 2022.
Watch the status of Dillon Gabriel, who exited the TCU game with a concussion. Reports as of Wednesday didn’t have him in pads. If Gabriel can’t go, the keys will be handed to Pitt transfer Davis Beville, who went 7-of-16 for just 50 yards and no TDs in relief duties against TCU. Take last week’s performance with a grain of salt should Beville go, since he was trying to dig the Sooners out of a massive deficit and had no practice time as the starter.
On the other side, Quinn Ewers will return and start for Texas. Under Ewers, the Longhorns offense appeared to have more fire and zip behind Ewers’ arm talent against Alabama. Although the points weren’t there, the visible talent was.
These are two capable offenses (with or without Gabriel) and two porous defenses. In a setting like the Red River Shootout, coaches call more aggressively, as demonstrated by Texas’ hot 28-3 start under Steve Sarkisian in this game last year. Both teams are in the top-25 in yards per play.
With a total lower than we’ve seen in years, I’m buying the dip before news comes out about Gabriel.
- Brett’s Bet: OVER 65.5 points (-109), placed Oct. 6 at BetRivers
- Best Available Number: OVER ()
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TCU at Kansas
Betting against America’s team– the Kansas Jayhawks– doesn’t feel good. But we’re not here to feel good about bets before they happen, we’re here to feel good about bets after they happen.
After five weeks of surprising dominance, the jig’s up for Kansas. TCU is firing on all cylinders, exemplified by a 55-point outing against Oklahoma last week. QB Max Duggan is fifth nationally in EPA and faces a Kansas defense that’s marginally worse against the pass (124th in dropback EPA) than Oklahoma (48th). TCU also piled on 361 rushing yards and 8.9 total yards per play against the Sooners.
This week’s aggregate rankings favor the Frogs by seven on the road, but the ceiling for their offense is what we saw last week. The Jayhawks defense hasn’t shown to provide more resistance than Oklahoma’s defense and TCU will score points. Jalon Daniels and Kansas have proven to be able to hold their weight offensively, but if this turns into a track meet, I lean the favorite.
It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement of Kansas– especially with the circumstances surrounding College GameDay– but let’s not lose sight of the clearly better and proven team.
- Brett’s Bet: TCU -6.5 (-110), placed Oct. 7 at DraftKings Sportsbook
- Best Available Number: TCU
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Ohio State At Michigan State
Remember that putrid Michigan State pass defense that allowed Ohio State to go up 49-0 at halftime last year? They’re all back in 2022 and performing just as admirably. The Spartans are 101st in dropback EPA on defense and are allowing a 43.2% success rate through the air (89th). In their last three games (Maryland, Minnesota, Washington), Sparty is allowing 9.1 yards per pass attempt.
OK– you get the picture.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba remains questionable for the Buckeyes and the star has just four receptions on the year while he nurses a hamstring injury. Yet, Ohio State boasts the third-most explosive passing attack and the number-one most explosive offense in the country. Marvin Harrison Jr. is tied for sixth nationally with six receiving TDs and running mate Emeka Egbuka isn’t far behind with five; throw in Julian Fleming– who has four TDs of his own in three games– and you have a trifecta of truly nasty receivers.
As with every game against Michigan State, expect Ohio State to come out hot. Downfield passing and explosive rushing plays should lead the Buckeyes to a fast start. I opted for the first quarter spread of seven points as opposed to the first half line (as high as 16 points). After their Week 1 game against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes have scored 14, 28, 21, and 14 points in the first quarter (outscoring opponents by 15 points per first quarter).
- Brett’s Bet: Ohio State 1Q -7 (-110), placed Oct. 6 at DraftKings Sportsbook
- Best Available Number: Ohio State 1Q
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