Week 6 College Football Odds, Picks, Best Bets: Our Top Bets for the Late Afternoon Window (Saturday, Oct. 9)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: The Auburn Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs football teams.
- The college football slate for Saturday rolls on to the early afternoon.
- Our staff has more best bets ready to go for this kickoff window, including Auburn vs. Georgia and Iowa vs. Penn State.
- Check out all three picks for the late afternoon below.
After taking in the Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas, bettors are shifting their attention to what is a loaded afternoon slate featuring a top-five matchup and two other conference battles.
No. 3 Iowa hosts No. 4 Penn State in a game that will go a long way in determining who could potentially earn a spot in the College Football Playoff out of the Big Ten.
The two other games we’re eyeing include North Carolina’s high-flying offense against Florida State and No. 2 Georgia traveling to Auburn to take on the No. 18 Tigers.
Our experts offer their best bets for all three of these late afternoon showdowns, so use the table below to navigate to any section you please.
Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 6
Our Top Picks for Saturday’s Late Afternoon Kickoffs
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for games kicking off at 3:30 or 4 p.m. ET.
Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific pick discussed in this article.
Check Out More of Our Staff’s Best Bets for Week 6
Looking for more of our college football staff’s top picks for Week 6? Check out our best bets for each of Saturday’s three other kickoff windows:
No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 18 Auburn
By Doug Ziefel
The dominance of the Georgia defense is no secret, and it was on full display last week as it shut out an upstart Arkansas team, 37-0.
The shutout brought the Bulldogs to a minuscule average of 4.6 points allowed per game. This unit also holds a large lead in yards allowed per game at 177, which is 56 yards less than the next closest defense.
What may be even more daunting for the Auburn offense in this matchup is how good the Bulldogs pass defense has been. It’s allowed an average of only 110 yards per game through the air as well as holding opposing quarterbacks to a 48% completion percentage.
We all witnessed Bo Nix’s magic last week against LSU, but if he can pull it off again against this defense, he may be a better magician than Houdini.
While the Bulldogs are getting all the attention in this matchup, the Tigers defense deserves some credit as well. They are eighth in the country in rushing yards allowed per game and have forced 10 fumbles, which is tied for second amongst FBS teams. Their ability to stop the run is crucial to this play as they will be seeing a lot of it.
Georgia starting quarterback J.T. Daniels is unlikely to play in this matchup, as he recovers from a lat injury. That means Stetson Bennett will be at the helm, and the game plan should be similar to what we saw against Arkansas. The Bulldogs ran the ball 56 times and totaled 37 points.
The combination of Georgia’s defense shutting down another team yet again and the Tigers’ stout run defense points to this total going under.
Pick: Under 47
Florida State vs. North Carolina
A year ago, Florida State made me walk out of my friend’s bar with tears in my eyes knowing that UNC’s season was done with zero hopes of going to the College Football Playoff.
While the Playoff is out of the picture again this season, will FSU play spoiler yet again and take UNC out of the ACC Championship picture?
Doubt it. But I do expect this to be a close one.
While FSU has severely underwhelmed after a barn-burner against Notre Dame, it still has weapons all over. UNC’s defense gives the Seminoles offense an opportunity to get back on track as the Tar Heels defense is alarmingly bad.
The UNC defense can’t get to the quarterback or generate any Havoc, as it ranks in the upper 90s in both defensive categories. The defense is allowing opposing offenses to hang around and execute their game plan without any fear of disruptions.
UNC is also near the bottom of the nation in Def. Finishing Drives. Ranking 112th, any team that gets past the 40 is putting up points.
Tackling is also an issue, as UNC ranks 83rd in PFF tackling — just a mess all around on the defensive end.
Florida State is going to lean on the running game of Jashaun Corbin, as he has been a man running wild all season. He has led FSU to near top-20 metrics in Rush Success.
This handicap is leaned more toward the fact that there are too many points for the favorite with this poor of a defense, and that they will potentially allow the FSU offense to hang around all game.
I’ll take FSU +17.5 and play this no less than +17.
Pick: Florida State +17.5
No. 4 Penn State vs. No. 3 Iowa
By Matt Wispe
Nothing better than a low-scoring Big Ten matchup.
These are two of the best defenses in the country that will be matched up against an average offense. Throw in some wind at Kinnick, and the recipe is right for an under.
The forecast is calling for 17 mph crosswinds throughout the game, which qualifies this game for the “Windy Under” system that boasts a 9.7% ROI since 2006.
Iowa’s “offensive explosion” against Maryland was a complete mirage. The Hawkeyes, who already lead the FBS in starting field position, had an average starting field position at their 45-yard line at Maryland.
For the year, Iowa has a 37.3% Success Rate and plays with a bottom-20 pace. Its offense will be matched up against a Penn State defense that ranks inside the top 40 for Success Rate Allowed and sixth in points allowed per opportunity.
It will likely once again be reliant on turnovers to create scoring.
Penn State’s offense runs at an average pace and splits the run and pass nearly 50-50. But if this usage continues, it’ll struggle to move the ball.
It owns a 40.6% Rushing Success Rate, but it’s the 24.2% Stuff Rate that stands out as a major concern, particularly with the weather conditions. Iowa ranks 22nd in Success Rate Allowed and 19th in points allowed per opportunity.
Penn State has averaged only 0.6 turnovers per game, which will be important for this play. If Iowa is unable to generate turnovers, its slow, inefficient offense will struggle to put up points.
With two defenses that limit explosiveness, two offenses that haven’t proven to be high scoring, and high winds, look for a traditional low-scoring Big Ten game.