The Six Pack: Texas-Oklahoma, Florida State-Miami among the best college football picks in Week 6
Trust the Process with some picks from the biggest games in college football this week
Things did not go as planned in last week's Six Pack. After getting off to a 2-0 start on the week with winners in the Rutgers/Indiana and Kansas/Oklahoma State games, I had to sit in horror as my final four picks of the week all came up short.
I was rooting very hard for an Ohio State pick six after the Buckeyes went ahead of Penn State so I could get to 3-3 on the week, but alas, it was not to be.
Though it sucks I wasn't able to build on the momentum of my 5-1 performance the week before, I'm still on the plus side of the ledger for the season as a whole, and I don't plan on having that change any time soon. And definitely not with this week's picks.
Games of the Week
No. 19 Texas (+8) vs. No. 7 Oklahoma: This is a game that features so many of my most basic and sacred principles when it comes to betting college football. When judging a spread, I start with the underdog and then try to convince myself that it's the wrong play simply because the public usually bets the favorite and can skew lines. I'm an even bigger fan of the underdog in a rivalry game like this one.
The next principle is Tom Herman as an underdog. Herman has been an underdog as a head coach 10 times in his career -- four times at Houston, and five times at Texas. He's 9-1 ATS in those 10 games and has won six of them outright. Last season, Herman's Longhorns were 9-point underdogs against Oklahoma in this same game and covered in a 29-24 loss. Furthermore, Texas has covered the previous five times it and Oklahoma have met, and it was an underdog in each of them. The trend continues this weekend. Oklahoma 34, Texas 28
Florida State (+14) at No. 17 Miami: Again, I lean toward underdogs in rivalry games as it is. When that underdog is getting two touchdowns, and the total is only 48.5 points, I like it even more. It's simple logic. If there aren't likely to be a lot of points scored in a game, then each point that's scored becomes far more valuable. If you're getting two touchdowns worth of them, why wouldn't you take them?
As far as trends are concerned, Florida State is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings of these two, and the underdog is 13-3 ATS in the previous 16. Plus, Florida State may have had a wretched start to its season, but the truth is that the Noles have been playing better the last few weeks. They aren't near the level they want to be at, nor where you'd expect them to be, but they're better. And Miami is being overvalued. Since losing to LSU, the Canes haven't beaten anyone of consequence. Miami 28, Florida State 20
Lock of the Week
Arizona State (+3) at No. 21 Colorado: Listen, Colorado is off to a 4-0 start, and it's ranked No. 21 in the country, and I'm happy to see it. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Buffs, and I love the way Folsom Field looks at night, so I want them playing in as many big games as possible. But they're being overvalued here. Yes, the Buffs are 4-0, but they're 4-0 against Colorado State, Nebraska, UCLA, and New Hampshire. Those four teams are a combined 1-16 on the season. If you look at F/+ ratings, Arizona State is ranked No. 39 in the country while Colorado is at No. 57. Yes, Arizona State has two losses, but metrics suggest it should be the team favored in this matchup, so if I'm catching a field goal with it, I'm not passing up that value. Arizona State 31, Colorado 30
Under of the Week
Navy at Air Force (Under 49.5): Always bet the under in games between service academies. The sharps know this. There's a reason this total opened in the mid to upper-50s at some books (I was able to get it at 57.5) and was immediately hammered down to where it's at now. It'll likely continue to go lower. Since the beginning of the 2008 season, the under has gone 23-6-1 in games between the service academies (Army, Air Force and Navy). The fact it's supposed to be windy at Falcon Stadium on Saturday will only limit these passing attacks further. Navy 24, Air Force 21
Rock Fight of the Week
Iowa at Minnesota (Under 42): Maybe you're too scared to bet the under in a game with a total this low, but I live for this. There have been two dominant forces in this rivalry this decade: Iowa and the under. The under has gone 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings, and with Minnesota currently sporting one of the least efficient offenses in the country (since losing Rodney Smith, the Gophers are scoring 0.271 points per play, which would rank 111th nationally), and with Iowa not exactly being explosive itself, we won't see many points in this season's affair, either. Iowa 24, Minnesota 13
Wunder of the Week
Northwestern at No. 20 Michigan State (Under 43.5): When it comes to weather affecting the outcome of a game, there is no stronger force than wind. Not temperature, rain or snow. Wind has a greater impact on offense than anything else, and it is a great friend to those who bet the under. Neither Michigan State or Northwestern have prolific offenses (Michigan State ranks 55th and Northwestern 111th in points per play) to begin with, and with crosswinds between 17 and 20 mph expected during the game, both passing attacks will be limited. It's the perfect forecast for a Wunder. Michigan State 24, Northwestern 14
SportsLine Pick of the Week
No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 24 Virginia Tech: Lane Stadium will be rocking on Saturday night when the No. 24 Hokies welcome No. 6 Notre Dame to Blacksburg. I have a strong play available on this game, and to find out what it is, head on over to SportsLine.
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Game(s) of the Week
Lock of the Week
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