Wilson: How I’m Betting Texas-West Virginia & Other College Football Picks for Week 6
Chuck Cook, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tom Herman
- Texas is a big betting favorite at West Virginia (betting odds: Texas -10.5).
- Collin Wilson makes his pick for that game and three others, including UNC vs. Georgia Tech (betting odds: North Carolina -10.5).
What a difference a year makes.
Last season, everyone thought Alabama had a historically great team, only to fall to Clemson in the national title game. Now, Clemson may have championship fatigue.
While the talking heads continue to pump a national title featuring the Crimson Tide and Tigers, a handful of other teams like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Georgia and LSU have bigger chips on their shoulders as they contend for the College Football Playoff.
But I’ll stray slightly from the highly-ranked and conventional games for my favorite plays of the week below, instead finding value wherever I can.
Be sure and follow me in The Action Network App to get my bets on every Week 6 game and Week 7 openers.
College Football Betting Picks for Saturday Week 6
All odds above as of Friday at 9 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Texas vs. West Virginia
- Spread: Texas -11
- Over/Under: 61.5
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
Both West Virginia and Texas come off a bye week, but how much of that extra rest did Tom Herman use to install packages for the Red River Showdown?
The Longhorns are on overlook to their rival, a game that will more than likely determine an entry to the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington.
Texas has laundry list of injuries on both sides of the ball. The entire secondary is out or questionable, including safety Caden Sterns. Defensive backs Jalen Green and Josh Thompson have been ruled out, while DeMarvion Overshown is questionable with a back issue. Offensively, the Longhorns will be without their best weapon on the outside in Collin Johnson.
Our power ratings have this game at 13.5, but with injuries to Texas, the number is spot on.
But so far this season, West Virginia has been sneaky good at explosive plays on both sides of the ball. The Mountaineers have allowed just two rushes and eight passes over 20 yards this season. The Mountaineers are best in the Big 12 against explosive passing, which may have Sam Ehlinger running on third down.
The Longhorns’ loss of Johnson on the outside in correlation with the Mountaineers stinginess against long passes could equal plenty of long drives with double digits in plays.
Considering Texas has the second-worst explosive rush numbers in the conference, this game may have upset potential.
Pick: West Virginia +11
North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech
- Spread: Georgia Tech +10.5
- Over/Under: 49
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: ACC Network
If you found a machine that printed money, would you leave it before its paper stock ran out? North Carolina in the second has been a profitable bet every single week with upsets of South Carolina and Miami. Last week, the Tar Heels came just a 2-point conversion of beating the reigning national champions Clemson.
Freshman quarterback Sam Howell continues to show up in the fourth quarter, while largely missing in the first half.
Georgia Tech comes off a loss at Temple in which no offensive points were scored.
The Yellow Jackets have been a grease fire in third down and red zone situations. Georgia Tech is 130th in red zone scoring percentage and 124th in third-down conversion rate.
The Jackets are expected to go with redshirt freshman James Graham at quarterback, and the dual-threat signal caller should have more success in the passing game, which could take advantage of a Tar Heels defense that is 97th in opponent completion rate.
North Carolina is in a hangover spot after threatening Clemson, and a bye week awaits the Heels after a trip to Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Georgia Tech should play its best half after a loss to The Citadel and no offensive scores at Temple. As always, Sam Howell will be waiting at the second half to cover a sixth straight second-half line.
Pick: Georgia Tech +5.5 1H & UNC 2H
Troy vs. Missouri
- Spread: Missouri -24.5
- Over/Under: 66.5
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: SEC Network
Missouri will be coming off a bye week in an overlook spot to SEC play. The Tigers and head coach Barry Odom will take every win they can get with no postseason in play, but a flat non-conference spot with forecasted precipitation could keep this game under the total.
Troy has yet to score less than 35 points, even scoring 42 and 43 in losses to Southern Miss and Arkansas State.
But the Mizzou defense may provide more resistance, as the Tigers are best in the SEC in success rate against the pass.
Missouri has also been one of the best teams in the nation in limiting opponents with pass explosiveness. Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker will get his toughest test of the season against a Tigers team that is 18th in havoc.
The Missouri defense came up big in some tough spots to help secure the win over South Carolina!
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 27, 2019
If Missouri wants to put points up on the board, it might have to be through the air. Troy could be considered the worst defensive secondary in FBS, ranking 130th in opponent passing yards per attempt.
Where Troy can contribute to the under is its ability to stop explosive runs. The Trojans have not allowed a single run over 20 yards this season.
Pick: Under 66.5
Memphis vs. UL Monroe
- Spread: ULM +15
- Over/Under: 63
- Time: 3:45 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
Memphis might be the winner of the least-efficient-but-most-explosive passing attack when all is said and done. The Tigers are No. 9 in the country in pass yards per attempt, yet outside the top 100 in first downs. Brady White and the Tigers offense has been boom or bust.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) September 27, 2019
Memphis may have overlook to Temple in Week 7, but the same applies to UL Monroe, which travels to Texas State just five nights later on Thursday, Oct. 10.
Where the Warhawks have the advantage is defending the explosive pass. ULM has allowed just nine passes to eclipse 20 yards, good enough to rank 16th in the country.
On the other side of the ball, the Warhawks have a decent rushing attack. ULM is 25th in rushing plays of 20 yards or more and average 5.49 yards per rush.
That should be good enough to get into the red zone against Memphis, which ranks 124th in red zone points per attempt.
Pick: ULM +15