Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Miami Hurricanes defensive back Trajan Bandy
- Our college football experts give their 13 favorite betting picks for Week 6 of the 2018 season.
- Underdogs and unders are the flavor of the week -- and a juicy 3-1 moneyline underdog also makes the cut.
On paper, this doesn’t look like the best college football Saturday slate of the year — but those usually end up being the wildest days. Expect the unexpected on October Saturdays. And to bettors, any Saturday with college football is like Christmas morning.
To help you narrow down which games will make your final card, we asked a group of our staffers for their one favorite college football Saturday bet for Week 6.
Regardless of your betting style or preferences, you should find something that catches your eye — or at least helps you make more informed betting decisions for Week 6 — in the picks below.
We’ll lead off with a large underdog and a total at noon before getting into our mid-to-late afternoon and prime time favorite angles. And don’t forget about the quick grabs at the end!
We hope some of the reasoning provided can push you in the direction of a winner or stay away from a loser, which can feel even sweeter at times.
Let’s get to it!
*All odds pulled overnight from 5Dimes on Oct. 5.
John Ewing: Kansas +28 (at West Virginia)
Noon ET on ESPN2
WVU is good, but overrated. The Mountaineers are No. 9 in the AP poll, but The Action Network college football power ratings have them at No. 22.
Thus, one of the biggest discrepancies between our power ratings and current Week 6 spreads is West Virginia, as our numbers only make WVU a 22-point favorite. Not only is the spread inflated for head coach Dana Holgorsen’s team, but this is a potential letdown spot after notching a top-25 win on the road. WVU just might come out a little flat against a perennial Big 12 doormat.
The line has continued to climb after opening at Jayhawks +26.5. I’ll likely wait until Saturday morning to place this wager in hopes of getting an even bigger number.
Steve Petrella: Buffalo-Central Michigan Under 52
Noon ET on CBSSN
Central Michigan might have the worst offense in the country. It ranks last in efficiency, fourth-worst in explosiveness and 130th (out of 130) by S&P+. That’s a shame, because the Chips actually have a defense. CMU ranks top 50 in defensive efficiency and explosiveness — while also ranking 26th in yards per play allowed at 4.74.
Buffalo has a potentially explosive offense behind quarterback Tyree Jackson, but its defense has been much better than expected; the Bulls’ defense ranks 65th overall in S&P+ and 32nd in yards per play allowed.
The way teams have attacked these defenses also plays into the under. Opponents have run the ball on each with a much higher frequency than the national average, both on standard and passing downs. That should keep the clock moving.
Rain is expected at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Friday night and Saturday morning, so a game involving CMU’s offense could actually get even sloppier.
PJ Walsh: Navy-Air Force Under 49
3:30 p.m. ET on CBSSN
This under has been a target for professional bettors, and for good reason. According to Bet Labs, unders are 30-8-1 (78.9%) in games between the service academies since the start of the 2005 season.
In addition, the forecast as of Friday morning calls for a steady 15-16 mph cross breeze that will make connecting for big plays through the air even more difficult for two teams already struggle in that regard. Of 130 FBS programs, Air Force and Navy rank 126th and 128th in passing yards per game, respectively.
Since 2005, unders are 272-196-8 (58.1%) in college football games with winds of at least 15 mph.