Wilson: My Projected Odds for Every Week 6 College Football Game
Brett Deering/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Rattler.
The College Football Playoff had its first semifinal game following the 2014 regular season. That’s also the last time the Oklahoma Sooners fielded a team that lost more than one conference game.
In Week 5, Iowa State defeated Oklahoma to hand it an 0-2 Big 12 Conference record. With Texas also losing to the Max Duggan-led TCU Horned Frogs, the conference has now pinned its playoff hopes on Oklahoma State.
The Pac-12 may have had the best day on Saturday without even fielding a single team. The Group of Five was always a long shot to make the playoff, but a Central Florida loss to Tulsa took out the biggest threat. The Pac-12 released its schedule, and it is not hard to notice both Oregon and USC have the easiest paths in their respective divisions.
Every Sunday, The Action Network publishes updated Power Ratings — with the COVID-delayed conferences set to join after Week 7 — to project point spreads for every game of the following week in anticipation of Sunday’s opening lines.
Look here to identify early betting value when opening lines are released, and follow me in The Action Network App to see when I bet those lines on Sunday afternoon.
Our Week 6 slate has some blockbuster action that will shape the national title picture. The Red River
Shootout Showdown may be a Big 12 knockout, while the SEC has multiple top-25 matchups. Not to be outdone, Miami will take on Clemson in a game with national title implications. Here are the projections for Week 6:
Check out our new NCAAF PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.
Projected College Football Odds, Week 6
A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; a positive number means the home team is an underdog.
Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Week 6 Notes
- Houston will be playing its first game of the season against Tulane. The Cougars had three previous postponements due to COVID-19.
- Temple will have its first game of the season at Navy.
- Troy, Florida International, Marshall, UTEP, Notre Dame, Miami and Texas State are all coming off a bye week (or COVID-19 disruptions).
- BYU continues to lead the nation in offensive success rate, while Kansas State leads in offensive explosiveness
- Pitt leads the nation in defensive success rate, while Georgia has allowed the least amount of explosiveness per play
- Thanks to 10 tackles for a loss, Tulsa now leads the nation in defensive Havoc
Week 6 Situational Spots to Play
- Army and The Citadel both run the triple option, which could result in the lowest total on the board. Any Bulldogs spread north of four touchdowns has value
- NC State, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, UTSA, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Charlotte, Missouri and East Carolina are on back-to-back road games
- Alabama has had issues in Oxford before but may have overlook to Georgia in Week 7
- Auburn may be in a great buy-low spot against the Razorbacks, coming off a straight-up victory as an 18-point underdog
Terms to Know
Postgame Win Expectancy is a calculation of all variables in a box score that dictate who would win the game if it was played a high number of times. Turnover luck, success rate and yards per play are notable components of this calculation and can influence a single game. But over a large sample, the team that moved the ball better would win more often than not.
There have been plenty of box scores in which a team wins as an underdog, but a negative value is applied to that team’s power rating because the result was fluky rather than systematic.
Coach scheme changes can adjust a power rating quickly. For example, Oregon will undergo a change from Marcus Arroyo’s conservative play-calling to new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s system. Moorhead’s offense features a heavy dose of 11 personnel, west coast spread concepts and modern RPOs.
That offensive philosophy has led to more explosiveness and higher rates of success on standard downs at each of Moorhead’s previous stops at Penn State and Mississippi State. In a situation like this, a power rating can be useful to quickly adjust a team’s forecast for future games. In the case of Mike Leach, an adjustment of totals is coming with an increase in plays per game.
Success Rate and Explosiveness were first defined in Bill Connelly’s Five Factors and are strong indicators for future box scores. While EPA (Expected Points Added) and IsoPPP (Isolated Points Per Play) can be highly variable from season to season, Success Rate is a stable data point for handicappers to use for projections.
Simply put, if a team consistently achieves the desired amount of yards — determined by down and distance — then this is a “play-on” team with your bankroll. Texas A&M ranked 17th in offensive success rate last season and returns 80% of its offensive production for 2020; that combination makes the Aggies a play-on team.
As Week 4 approaches, we’ll be keeping track of all these variables in and out of the box score. Be sure to bookmark our power ratings for the latest update on all FBS and FCS teams playing this fall.