Our Favorite Week 6 College Football Moneyline Underdogs: Texas, Virginia Tech Best Upset Chances (Saturday, Oct. 10)
Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: The Texas Longhorns enter their stadium.
- Another big slate of games takes center stage Saturday across the college-football landscape.
- Stuckey and Collin Wilson deliver their best chances for moneyline upset winners, with both games taking place early on the card.
Each week on The Action Network Colleges Podcast, Collin Wilson and I pick our two favorite moneyline underdogs for each Saturday’s college football slate.
We kept things rolling in Week 5 when Iowa State cashed in primetime against Oklahoma. As you can see from our combined record below over the past three seasons, we’ve turned a profit of close to 10 units despite hitting at a below 40% clip.
- 2018-19: 29-47 +4.00 units
- 2020: 4-4 +5.59 units
Let’s get into our two Week 6 selections, with two noon underdogs in conference matchups. If you’re feeling lucky, a moneyline parlay of both pays about 4.5-1.
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Stuckey: Texas +110
- Spread: Oklahoma -2.5
- Over/Under: 72.5
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 10
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: FOX
- Location: Dallas, TX
Well, I’ve hit my moneyline underdog in three of the first four weeks. All of those were at a spread of a touchdown or greater, but I don’t love the underdog moneyline card for Week 6, so I chose a very short dog in Texas.
Both of these teams have high-powered offenses and major issues on defense, so points should come in bunches. However, this Oklahoma offensive attack just isn’t as potent as we’ve seen in the past under Lincoln Riley. The offensive-line level has dropped and the running-back room is lacking as a result of transfers, opt outs and suspensions of their projected top three guys this season.
Just take a look at Oklahoma’s rush-yard averages and respective national rankings in the Riley era:
- 2017: 5.6 (13th)
- 2018: 6.6 (1st)
- 2019: 6.0 (5th)
- 2020: 3.6 (51st)
There’s just no balance on this offense right now. The Sooners only averaged 3.5 yards per carry against Missouri State in their opener. That is putting all of the pressure on the inexperienced Spencer Rattler. He has all the talent in the world and has risen to the occasion for the most part but he’s still made a number of late key mistakes that cost Oklahoma in both losses.
The Texas run defense has been torn up to start the year, but I don’t think Oklahoma can really exploit that weakness with its current roster.
Ultimately, I think Texas wins a thriller on the shoulders of the more experienced quarterback, superior backfield talent and secondary. I think Rattle is more prone to make a late key mistake that could swing the outcome.
Texas also may get an additional stop or two in the red zone, which could make all the difference in a game with very slim margins. Also, keep an eye out on the distinct size advantage Texas has with its receivers on the outside against undersized Oklahoma corners. Hook Em.
Wilson: Virginia Tech +165
- Spread: North Carolina -4
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 10
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: ABC
- Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Under the tutelage of Braxton Burmeister and Quincy Patterson at quarterback, Virginia Tech has started out 2-0 this season.
However, Hendon Hooker had one of the best touchdown-to-interception ratios in 2019 and won the starting job before missing the past few weeks due to COVID-19 and conditioning concerns. That changes this week, as head coach Justin Fuente said Hooker is a “full go” for the clash with North Carolina. That should be an enormous upgrade under center.
While Virginia Tech’s passing attack hasn’t been a model of efficiency to date, the rushing attack has shined with Kansas transfer Khalil Herbert, who’s averaging 276.5 all-purpose yards so far in 2020. Herbert has been deadly on runs in the middle, with 10 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
With Hooker returning to elevate the aerial attack, this offense now becomes very balanced and extremely dangerous with five returning starters on the offensive line to boot.
North Carolina’s rush defense does present the toughest challenge to date for the Hokies. The Heels rank in the top five in defensive rushing success rate but have struggled in short-yardage situations.
Specifically, they rank 49th or lower in Power Success and Stuff Rate, so they may have trouble getting Virginia Tech’s offense off the field.
After two games against Syracuse and Boston College, it’s obvious the UNC offense is not firing on all cylinders. The early numbers in Success Rate are positive, but difficulty finishing drives combined with no deep passes by Sam Howell leave serious question marks. Shockingly, Howell has yet to complete a pass over 20 yards, per Sport Source Analytics. Star wide receiver Dazz Newsome has almost been invisible so far this year.
Virginia Tech played without 23 players against NC State and missed 21 players against Duke. Now, the Hokies are expected to be at full strength defensively and welcome the return of Hooker. Of the 250-plus snaps between the offensive linemen, only six run disruptions have been recorded. Considering North Carolina’s struggles in the trenches on short rushing situations, Virginia Tech and the Khalil Herbert show have a great shot at pulling off this upset in a game I make closer to a coin flip.
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