College football Week 6 best underdog bets, picks and predictions: Missouri keeps battle of the Tigers close
The college football season rolls on as we near the halfway point. Last week was relatively tame in terms of underdog chaos, but there were still some notable upsets and covers on the card. Colorado was able to sneak inside the number with a strong second half performance against USC. West Virginia beat TCU outright despite catching double digits on the road. Ole Miss took care of business at home against LSU in a primetime thriller. And then there was Baylor’s comeback victory over UCF after scoring 29 unanswered points in the final quarter and a half. Following a 2-1 performance last week, we are 9-5-1 this season on the weekly underdog picks. Let’s keep it going in Week 6 and dive into our 3 picks! But make sure you also check out our NCAAF picks for all the big games this week.
Best college football Week 6 underdog bets
Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of publishing.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights +13.5 over Wisconsin Badgers (-115)
This one feels gross, especially with Wisconsin coming off a bye. However, in games with a total so low and a spread over double digits, my initial look is always to the underdog – as points are extremely valuable in low-scoring contests. Rutgers is very methodical with the ball with a rush rate over 63% (excluding garbage time), which is a top 5 rate nationally. The Scarlet Knights’ reliance on the rush should shorten this game and limit Wisconsin possessions. They are top 35 in rushing PPA and 17th in EPA per rush according to CFB-Graphs, while Wisconsin is 81st in rush PPA allowed, 98th in rushing explosiveness allowed, and 111th in stuff rate (excluding garbage time). Furthermore, quarterback Tanner Mordecai and the Badgers have not been very efficient through the air despite a new offensive system under Phil Longo that was known to be friendly to quarterbacks at North Carolina in the past. In fact, the Badgers are outside the top 90 in passing PPA and 122nd in passing explosiveness.
Another thing working in Rutgers’ favor is Wisconsin’s inefficiency on early downs. According to CFB-Graphs, the Badgers’ defense is outside the top 75 in opposing percentage of first downs earned on early downs (1st and 2nd down). Offensively, Wisconsin is outside the top 50 in that metric while Rutgers’ defense is inside the top 25. Rutgers should have success sustaining drives and playing off its rushing attack in this matchup, capitalizing on its quality possessions to keep this game within the number. For what it’s worth, I power rate this game at 11.5, showing 2 points of value on Rutgers.
Check out our full Rutgers vs Wisconsin predictions
Missouri Tigers +4.5 over LSU Tigers (-110)
This will be the second straight road game for the LSU Tigers following 2 highly competitive games against Arkansas and Ole Miss. Meanwhile, Missouri is catching points at home despite its undefeated record. It makes sense, as LSU has played a much stronger schedule of opponents thus far – but the line movement on this game is telling. After opening at 6, the line has dropped to 4.5 throughout the week and looks like it could drop even further before Saturday’s game. For what it is worth, undefeated teams catching points in their 5th or 6th game of the season have been a very profitable bet, covering about 66% of the time since the beginning of the 2018 season.
LSU’s defense has not been good enough this season for me to lay points with the Tigers in their second consecutive road game. Not only is LSU in the bottom 25 in rush PPA and rush success rate allowed in non-garbage time, but the Tigers are also in the bottom 15 in pass PPA and pass explosiveness allowed. Furthermore, the Tigers have allowed 4 different pass catchers to gain more than 100 yards and score at least 1 touchdown against them through just 5 games. Missouri quarterback Brady Cook and wide receiver Luther Burden III – who leads the nation in PFF’s receiving grade – should be able to take advantage of those weaknesses in LSU’s secondary. In fact, Cook has not thrown an interception in almost 350 pass attempts, which is a historic run that has a good chance to continue against an LSU defense that is outside the top 60 in havoc in non-garbage time. I would take Missouri down to +3.5.
We have picks on the side and total for our LSU vs Missouri best bets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +20 over Miami Hurricanes (-110)
If you thought the Rutgers pick was gross, you are going to hate this one. Georgia Tech comes into this matchup following an extremely ugly double-digit loss at home against Bowling Green despite laying over 3 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are coming off a bye week. So why are we taking Georgia Tech in this spot? Well, the Yellow Jackets should be playing with a little extra motivation following their embarrassment last week, and I am not sold on Miami bringing that same motivated effort due to its schedule ahead. The Hurricanes will travel on the road to play ranked North Carolina next week, followed by a home date with Clemson. They also have yet to play Florida State or Louisville – whom they will meet in 2 of the last 3 weeks of the season. All this to say, I am not confident Miami spent the bye week preparing for just Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes could be looking past the Jackets in this spot.
With a new coordinator and quarterback, the Yellow Jackets have been solid offensively this season with a top 50 ranking in drive efficiency, yards per play, and touchdown rate per BCFToys. Haynes King has already outperformed his Texas A&M numbers with a 71.5% adjusted completion percentage while accumulating over 1,450 passing yards and 15 touchdowns, and has a few solid pass catchers that rank in the top 30 in the ACC in receiving grade – Eric Singleton Jr., Christian Leary and Dominick Blaylock. The Yellow Jackets also have a couple of good runners in Jamal Haynes and Trey Cooley, who both average over 5 yards per carry on 106 combined carries with 5 combined touchdowns. Furthemore, the Georgia Tech offensive line has been solid with top 60 grades in both pass blocking and run blocking as well as a top 40 mark in stuff rate and line yards when excluding garbage time. Defensively, Georgia Tech has struggled. However, the Jackets will have a new defensive coordinator moving forward as Kevin Sherrer was promoted to the role following last week’s performance against Bowling Green. A new signal caller could bring some life to the defense – at least enough to keep this game close. With an apparent motivational advantage, give me the Yellow Jackets at anything +20 or better.
Don’t miss our full preview with our Georgia Tech vs Miami picks