College Football Odds & Best Bets: Afternoon Picks for Texas A&M vs. Alabama, UTSA vs. Temple

College Football Odds & Best Bets: Afternoon Picks for Texas A&M vs. Alabama, UTSA vs. Temple article feature image

Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Texas A&M’s 12th Man crowd.

  • Saturday's Week 6 college football slate rolls on with a solid afternoon slate.
  • Our college football staff has three best bets for the afternoon, including picks for Texas A&M vs. Alabama, UTSA vs. Temple as more.
  • Check out all three best bets for Saturday afternoon's college football games below.

It's already Week 6 in college football, and as we dive into the Saturday afternoon slate, our experts have three best bets, including one for Alabama vs. Texas A&M.

So, as you formulate your Saturday college football betting card, check out the best odds, picks and best bets below.

College Football Saturday Afternoon Week 6 Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football betting staff is targeting from Saturday afternoon's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
2 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

UTSA vs. Temple

Saturday, Oct. 7
2 p.m. ET
Temple +14.5

By Tanner McGrath

UTSA’s secondary is excellent at preventing explosive passing plays (13th nationally), so the Roadrunners rank top-35 nationally in EPA per dropback allowed.

However, the Roadrunners sit back and allow everything underneath. They’re 93rd in Passing Success Rate Allowed, getting shredded in Standard Downs (105th in Success Rate Allowed, 120th in EPA per play allowed).

That’s a key advantage for Temple quarterback E.J. Warner, who thrives when taking what the defense is giving him.

In his true freshman season, Warner struggled with interceptions in the first half, throwing nine in between Weeks 1 and 7.

However, he reduced his aDOT in the second half (by about a yard) and started hitting guys underneath. For example, out of the backfield, running back Edward Saydee caught six receptions in the first six games and 30 across his final six, all for 7.3 YPR.

Once Warner started easing off the big throws, he cut down on the mistakes, completing 70% of his passes for 10 touchdowns and only three picks across his final four games.

Warner has struggled early in 2023, but from a schematic standpoint, this is a great get-right spot for him. He only needs to oblige when UTSA gives him all the short, easy throws.

Conversely, UTSA is dealing with an injury to star quarterback Frank Harris. The lefty has missed the last two games, and while he’s expected to suit up on Saturday, we’re uncertain if he’ll start.

And if Harris does start, we can’t be 100% sure he’ll be 100%. There could be some rust that sinks UTSA as a two-touchdown road favorite.

And Temple is money as two-touchdown home ‘dogs. The Owls are 32-21 ATS when catching points in Philly since 2005, posting a 4-1 ATS mark last season under first-year head coach Stan Drayton.

Pick: Temple +14.5 (Play to +14)
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North Texas vs. Navy

Saturday, Oct. 7
3:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
North Texas +6

By Brett Pund

This may be one of the ugliest games on the card this weekend. However, you can’t convince me that Navy should be this big of a favorite against just about anyone this season.

I won’t try to sell you on North Texas being a much better team, but the Mean Green offense is the best unit on the field in this matchup.

On the season, North Texas ranks in the top half of non-Power Five teams in Success Rate and Explosiveness. This is also the same team that’s 15th among all FBS programs in Finishing Drives.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen are 125th in the same metric. They also haven’t been able to run the ball well enough in the new-look triple option this year.

If you go back to last week, Navy was able to put up 30 points, but this was mostly due to great field position from South Florida turnovers. The Naval Academy’s scoring drives were of 12, 18, 22 and 30 yards.

On the one score longer than this, it came from a 68-yard passing touchdown.

I wouldn’t say that the Bulls’ defense is that much better than the Mean Green’s, yet Navy has gone from a four-point favorite last week to a larger one a week later.

I’ll gladly bet against a bad triple-option team that has to cover a touchdown.

Pick: North Texas +6 (Play to +4)

Alabama vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, Oct. 7
3:30 p.m. ET
Texas A&M +2.5

By Stuckey

Alabama has looked better in each of the past two weeks, but the Tide faced a shorthanded Ole Miss squad in a must-win game at home.

They then followed up that with a blowout victory over Mississippi State — a team I'm super down on compared to the market. Just look at what LSU did to the Bulldogs a few weeks back.

So, you could say I'm not ready to say everything is back to normal in T-Town with a team that still has some major question marks.

Quarterback Jalen Milroe does give Alabama its best chance, but he remains limited as a passer. That could spell doom against an A&M defense that has completely fixed the issues against the run from a season ago.

On the season, the Aggies rank 17th nationally in Rush Success Rate and yards per carry allowed (2.9) — giving up almost two full yards less than last year's mark of 4.8 (109th) — thanks to an uber-talented front seven that ranks in the top 15 nationally in Defensive Line Yards.

As a result, Texas A&M is shutting down opposing rushing attacks on early downs, forcing teams into known passing situations where it ranks third in FBS in Success Rate.

Similar to what we saw with Texas, A&M has the juice to cause major disruption up front against Alabama.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M has looked fantastic all season with a new much-needed modern offense coordinator in Bobby Petrino, who Jimbo Fisher brought in during the offseason.

The defense is also one of the most improved units in the country after an inexplicably down year in 2022 given all of the talent on the roster.

I don't see much of a drop-off at all between quarterbacks Connor Weigman (out for the year) and Max Johnson, who has shined in four games of action in 2023. I trust the A&M passing attack much more in this matchup, as it's the Aggies who have the rare talent edge over the Tide.

Ultimately, I think the Aggies get this done by winning the trench battle on both ends and having the ability to sustain drives with more consistency against an Alabama team that has struggled in true road games in recent seasons, especially against quality competition.

Since 2019, the Tide have gone just 5-10 against the spread on the road, including 2-5 ATS against ranked opponents — all as favorites with an average spread of over 10 points — losing three of those seven outright.

That doesn't even include a straight-up loss in their last trip to College Station in 2021 as 18.5-point chalk.

Pick: Texas A&M +2.5 (Play to +1.5)

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