Wilson: My 9 Favorite College Football Bets For Week 6


USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ryan Willis, Zack Moss, Ty Storey

Oct 06, 2018, 07:02 AM EDT
  • Collin Wilson gives out nine of his favorite college football betting picks for Week 6, including plays on Alabama-Arkansas, Notre Dame-Virginia Tech and...UL-Lafayette-Texas State?
  • He dives deep into his own power ratings and other reliable metrics to find key mismatches and handicapping angles.

After the bonanza of bad beats with Tulane and Oregon two weeks ago, last week’s CW9 — my nine favorite bets on a college football Saturday — was just as much of a circus for the night owls. San Jose State’s five-overtime loss was the cap on a day full of backdoor covers denied.

Texas Tech failed to stay in range of West Virginia after quarterback Alan Bowman suffered a collapsed lung, while an Oklahoma State touchdown with less than three minutes left shut the backdoor on Kansas.

As I was projecting lines for Week 6, USC-Arizona had my full attention as Khalil Tate padded his passing stats in yet another backdoor chance for the CW9. When it makes Scott Van Pelt’s last game on Bad Beats, we just cut to the video — college kickers, man.


Bad beats and missed backdoor covers are a part of being a gambler. The best we can do is regroup, adjust and take the emotion out of betting the following week — which led us back to another Liberty winner!

It is finally October, so expect plenty of picks to leverage The Action Network power ratings and plenty of advanced stats from Football Outsiders.

Be sure to check out my Sunday Morning Coffee column for our Week 6 projected spreads. Let’s get to the picks!

YTD: 23-22

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All data below as of Thursday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

College Football Betting Picks, Week 6

Alabama at Arkansas

  • Spread: Arkansas +35
  • Over/Under: 55.5
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN

The Razorbacks finally covered their first spread, against Texas A&M in Week 5. If not for an early kickoff return touchdown by A&M, Arkansas may have had a chance at an upset. The Hogs have improved weekly, now boasting a defensive S&P+ ranking of 37th.

Plenty has been made of how quickly Alabama has started games, covering ridiculous spreads by a wide margin. Last week, Tide -31 in the first half covered easily. Louisiana-Lafayette covered the full game because of the Tide’s commitment to the run in the fourth quarter.

In no way can Arkansas’ stats compare to Alabama’s, but a few things might get us to the window. First, this total has been steadily dropping from the 60s down to 57. That gives even more value to a five-touchdown spread.

The Razorback defense ranks 19th in efficiency and 23rd against explosiveness on passing downs, which may at least temper the Tide once Tua Tagovailoa is removed from the game.

On the flip side of the ball, it’s been kept secret that Alabama is prone to giving explosive plays. Its defense ranks 98th on the ground and 48th through the air in explosiveness metrics.

The Razorbacks’ offensive line is sixth in the country in adjusted sack rate, meaning quarterback Ty Storey might have time to make quality decisions in the passing game to get us to the window.

Play On: Arkansas +35

Buffalo at Central Michigan

  • Spread: Central Michigan +7.5
  • Over/Under: 51
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS Sports Network

Buffalo was boatraced by Army in Week 5, when star wide receiver Anthony Johnson played only a handful of snaps and recorded zero targets. A Buffalo defense that ranks outside the top 100 in passing explosiveness was on full display against the Knights.

There have been whispers that Central Michigan may be the worst team in the MAC. In Week 1, CMU covered in a losing effort against Kentucky. In Week 2, Kansas beat the Chippewas by 24 points. That narrative had started to grow after an 0-2 start, but little did the betting public know that Kentucky and Kansas would both be underrated.

The Chipps covered against Northern Illinois, and outgained the Huskies. A victory over Maine and a cover against Michigan State is further proof that this team plays hard each week.

The Chipps rank 37th in defending explosiveness, which is needed against Buffalo’s dynamic duo of quarterback Tyree Jackson and Johnson (if healthy). The Bulls’ main weakness is third down conversion percentage (tied for 96th) and red zone scoring percentage (129th), which should be enough to get the home underdog cover.

Play On: Central Michigan +7.5

Syracuse at Pittsburgh 

  • Spread: Pittsburgh +3.5
  • Over/Under: 59
  • Time: 12:20 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN3

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