We absolutely killed Week 5 by going 4-for-5 on a moneyline round robin (OddsShopper Insider Access users got an extra play and went 5-for-6) and 3-for-4 on straight bets. I’m not about to sit on my laurels, though — let’s dive right into my college football Week 6 predictions so that we can talk about the best Week 6 picks for Kansas State-Oklahoma State, Oklahoma-Texas, Georgia-Kentucky and more college football action.
College Football Week 6 Predictions: Picks for Oklahoma-Texas, LSU-Missouri, Marshall-NC State & More
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Kansas State: -465 | Oklahoma State: +350
Kansas State -11.5: -110 | Oklahoma State +11.5: -110
Over 54.5: -105 | Under 54.5: -115
Expert: Isaiah Sirois
Time: Friday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET
For updated Kansas State-Oklahoma State odds and picks, click here!
Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy may be 90-29 at home since taking the reins in 2005, but it looks like he’ll be taking some nasty losses in Stillwater this season. The Cowboys will host the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend, and they are 11.5-to-12.5-point home dogs for the matchup. Gundy is still a solid 11-14 as a home dog — one of the best such records since he joined the Cowboys in 2005 — but there are numerous question marks surrounding this team, perhaps none more so than who they’ll even start at quarterback. The Cowboys currently rank 117th in yards per play (4.4).
Oklahoma State’s Week 1 starter, Alan Bowman, is one of the worst quarterbacks in college football. Through four appearances and 100 pass attempts, Bowman has completed just 53% of his throws for 5.1 yards per pass attempt and a passing efficiency grade of 96.7 — the third-worst of all eligible quarterbacks. It’s not like the Cowboys have a surefire replacement waiting in the wings, either. Gunnar Gundy has taken 34 passes, of which he has completed 61.8% for 5.9 yards per attempt and a 121.4 passing efficiency grade. Garret Rangel has taken 29, of which he has completed 58.6% for 5.9 yards per attempt and a 124.3.
The silver lining for Oklahoma State is that the defense hasn’t collapsed, and that could cause problems for a Kansas State offense that doesn’t look as good as last year’s. The Cowboys rank 56th in yards allowed per play (5.4), which is solid, and their defense entered Week 4 ranked 48th in the FEI. Meanwhile, the Wildcats look a bit worse for wear on offense, especially in the running game. Last year’s lead rusher and fifth-leading receiver, Deuce Vaughn, left for the NFL. Kansas State ranks 72nd in yards per play (5.6). Quarterback Will Howard ranks 47th in passing efficiency (143.5), but his grade in the metric is down from last year (149).
It’s tempting to trust Gundy as a home dog, but this year’s Oklahoma State team might be the worst of his career. While he may find something that works in practice, especially since it’s now clear that the team is considering moving away from Bowman, I can’t trust them to keep this one within 12 — especially not after last year’s 48-point blowout loss to the Wildcats. Instead, I bought the under at the key number of 55. That number has since ticked down to 54.5, which I’m not eager to buy for more than a half unit.
Kansas State-Oklahoma State College Football Week 6 Pick & Prediction: Under 54.5 -110 at BetMGM
For updated Oklahoma-Texas odds and picks, click here!
The 119th meeting between the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners and No. 3 Texas Longhorns will take place this Saturday. Oklahoma is looking for revenge after last year’s 49-point shellacking ended their four-game winning streak. This is the first season since 2019 that both of these teams will play the Red River Showdown as top-15 teams in the AP Poll. It’s also the last that they’ll play as members of the Big 12. Despite Texas’ big win over Alabama earlier this season, I’m putting my action on Oklahoma this week.
The Sooners outrank the Longhorns in several key offensive metrics. For one, they’re gaining more yards per play — Oklahoma ranks 13th (6.8), slightly ahead of 16th-ranked Texas (6.7). Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel ranks 14th in yards per pass attempt (10.1) and 14th in passing efficiency (189.4), beating out Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, who ranks 26th (9.2) and 23rd (165.7). Although the Longhorns have played a more challenging schedule, the Sooners are too talented to be a 6.5-point dog.
But while Oklahoma boasts the better offense, Texas boasts the better defense. The two teams are tied for 16th in yards allowed per play (4.5) despite Texas playing a harder schedule. The Texas defense entered Week 4 ranked third in FEI, slightly ahead of 16th-ranked Oklahoma. However, Texas’ defense has performed well primarily because of success against the run — the Longhorns rank 18th in yards allowed per rush attempt (3.1) but 23rd in yards allowed per pass attempt (6.3), which slightly trails the 16th-ranked Sooners (6).
The market is treating a pair of evenly matched teams as far too disparate this weekend. Although the Sooners may not be a better overall team than the Longhorns, they are far better than the odds suggest, and their analytics-based offense should have the edge on early downs. I’m buying Oklahoma to keep this game within a touchdown — and to win it outright. This isn’t last year’s corpse of an Oklahoma team, and I expect them to leave the Cotton Bowl with their heads held high.
LSU-Missouri College Football Week 6 Prediction
The No. 23 LSU Tigers will visit the now-No. 21 Missouri Tigers this weekend, and, despite these teams’ rankings in the AP Poll, Missouri is the near-touchdown underdog. LSU has already dropped two games, one to No. 5 Florida State, and another to No. 16 Ole Miss, while Missouri remains undefeated. Sure, you can argue that Missouri hasn’t had that hard of a schedule, but they did beat Kansas State in non-conference play. You can also argue that they’re getting lucky, as three of their wins came by a single possession, but I’m still in the business of fading LSU. We bet against them in Week 4 and Week 5, and the market still remains too bullish on them in Week 6.
LSU’s offense has been electric, but the defense has looked jaw-droppingly terrible. Despite being top-10 in most offensive expected points added (EPA) metrics, LSU ranks 60th as a team because of their defense, which is 130th or worse overall and against the pass. LSU also ranks 98th in yards allowed per rush attempt (4.8) and 114th in yards allowed per pass attempt (8.7). Again, you can blame some of that on a tough schedule, but coughing up 6.3 yards per play to Arkansas and 5.3 to FCS Grambling State isn’t good.
Brian Kelly’s Tigers must now travel to Columbia for a road date with Missouri, and the Missouri Tigers have looked pretty good this year. Their quarterback, Brady Cook, ranks 10th in yards per pass attempt (10.4) and seventh in passing efficiency (187.7). He trails LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels in both metrics, of course, as Daniels ranks fourth (10.7) and fourth (193.4), respectively, but he actually has a defense to support him. Missouri’s defense ranks 32nd in yards allowed per play (5), largely because of a stifling run defense that ranks 11th in yards allowed per rush attempt (2.9).
Missouri will force LSU to lean heavily on Daniels and the passing game, and while Daniels has looked effective this year, he can’t be the entire offense. He has accounted for 1,710 passing and 292 rushing yards, or roughly 72.6% of LSU’s total offensive production. An aggressive Missouri pass rush that ranks 37th in sacks per game (2.8) paired with a reasonably effective offense should give Kelly and Daniels headaches on Saturday, and while I’m not picking Missouri to send LSU to a 3-3 record outright, I am backing the home dogs to cover. Kelly’s teams have gone just 1-4 against the spread as a road favorite since he joined the SEC.
LSU-Missouri College Football Week 6 Pick & Prediction: Missouri +6.5 -110 at FanDuel
Marshall-NC State College Football Week 6 Prediction
Under ex-Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong, the NC State Wolfpack have looked really bad. Their offense ranks 117th in yards per play (4.4). Armstrong ranks 111th in yards per pass attempt (5) and 109th in passing efficiency (112.5). He is also tied for the seventh-most interceptions thrown (6) on the year. His struggles have led NC State to go 1-4 against the spread. Last week’s game-sealing interception against now-No. 25 Louisville is the perfect summary of his season:
The throw in question:https://t.co/l2CQIiUM8d
— Isaiah Sirois (@is_sirois) September 30, 2023
But the Wolfpack are benching Armstrong this week, and they’re rolling with second-year quarterback M.J. Morris. Unlike Armstrong, Morris has flashed some serious upside — he got some playing time down the stretch last season and helped NC State to a 2-1 record, beating Virginia Tech and Wake Forest before losing to Boston College. Last year, Morris completed 60.5% of his passes for 7.5 yards per pass attempt and a passing efficiency grade of 148.3. He also added 88 yards and a score with his legs.
While some may view this Saturday’s matchup with the Marshall Thundering Herd as a great get-right spot for the Wolfpack, as they’ll face a Group of Five opponent, Marshall’s defense will cause problems for the inexperienced Morris. Marshall leads the FBS in yards allowed per pass attempt (4.2) and ranks 17th in EPA allowed per dropback. The Herd’s defense enters Week 5 ranked 22nd in the FEI as well. Their problem has been stopping the run game, as the program ranks 48th in yards allowed per play (5.3) and 133rd in yards allowed per rush attempt (6.8).
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We’re backing Marshall to cover as 6.5-point road dogs because the Herd should throttle an inexperienced quarterback to keep this one within a touchdown. NC State’s rushing attack ranks 86th in yards per rush attempt (3.6), largely because no running back has emerged in Raleigh — Armstrong leads the team in total rushing yards (286), well ahead of running backs Michael Allen (139) and Kendrick Raphael (111). The Herd may not have the best offense, but they’re at least averaging the 54th-most yards per play (5.5), which should be good enough to cover against an NC State defense that ranks 56th in yards allowed per play (5.4).
Marshall-NC State College Football Week 6 Pick & Prediction: Marshall +6.5 -110 at DraftKings
Kent State-Ohio College Football Week 6 Prediction
Saturday’s Kent State-Ohio game won’t be the game of the week. The Ohio Bobcats are a dominant 26.5-point favorite for this one, which features a total of 45.5, leaving Kent State with a team total of only 9.5. That number is fair for how terrible the Golden Flashes have looked this season. Kent State ranks 133rd in yards per play (3.4). Quarterback Michael Alaimo ranks 77th in yards per pass attempt (7) but only 111th in passing efficiency (112.3), largely because of his 1:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Alaimo and company must now visit the 10th-ranked defense in terms of yards allowed per play (4.3).
The Ohio Bobcats, led by quarterback Kurtis Rourke, have employed a slow-paced scheme, likely in hopes of playing complementarily with their elite defense. Ohio ranks 119th in second per play (29.2) and 55th in rushing play percentage (52.6%). The offense may rank only 110th in yards per play (4.6), but they’re also 39th in plays per game (71.8), which has led them to rank third in both plays allowed per game (56) and average time of possession per game (34:58). And while I’ve already sung the Ohio defense’s praises in terms of yardage allowed, they’re even better when looking at EPA metrics — the Bobcats are second in EPA allowed per play.
We’re backing the under because Ohio won’t need to come close to its team total of 36 to win this game. Sure, the Kent State defense ranks a dreadful 122nd in yards allowed per play (6.7), and sure, the unit ranks 126th in points allowed per game (40). The problem is that, for this one to go over the posted number, you’d need one of the FBS’ slowest-paced offenses to nearly double its average points per game (19.5) while its top-tier defense coughs up multiple scores to what is literally the worst offense in college football.
The total for this one should be well below the 45.5. I locked in the under 47, and members of OddsShopper Insider Access did so as well. While the total quickly dropped by a few points, it remains far too high given what we’ve seen from these two teams. If you’re not convinced or are worried about Kent State’s offense figuring things out — don’t be. The Golden Flashes lost offensive mastermind head coach Sean Lewis to Colorado this offseason, which has depressed their seconds per play from the sixth fastest (20.7) to the 78th (26.7). The Bobcats would have to be playing with their food for this one to go over, and nothing we’ve seen from them so far this season suggests that’s within their range of outcomes.
Kent State-Ohio College Football Week 6 Pick & Prediction: Under 45.5 -110 at FanDuel
For updated Kentucky-Georgia odds and picks, click here!
The No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats will play the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs on the road this weekend. They just obliterated a then-ranked Florida team by 19 points in a game that was never close. The Wildcats are now a 14.5-point underdog to the Bulldogs, who have looked like shells of their former selves to open SEC play. Georgia staged a late-game comeback to beat South Carolina by 10 and narrowly bested Auburn by seven last week. Although knocking off a No. 1 team is always difficult, Kentucky’s roster is well-constructed for them to do so.
I’m backing Kentucky to cover the spread because of their solid rushing defense and Georgia quarterback Carson Beck’s inefficient play. Kentucky ranks a dominant sixth in yards allowed per rush attempt (2.4), and it’s not like those numbers are inflated because of cupcake opponents — that’s exactly what they held Florida to last week. Their stingy rushing defense has helped the whole unit rank 20th in the FEI. Kentucky also ranks a steady 16th in yards allowed per pass attempt (6), but it’s the rock-solid group up front that will put the pressure on Beck.
If Kentucky can limit the Georgia backfield to slightly less than what the Bulldogs are currently doing — a 59th-ranked 4.2 yards per rush attempt — it’ll be up to Beck and company to move the ball downfield for the Bulldogs. Beck ranks 24th in yards per pass attempt (9.3) and 29th in passing efficiency (162). Those are good numbers, but they’re likely to regress during conference play. For comparison’s sake, Stetson Bennett ranked fifth (9.1) and 11th (161.2) after a full season last year. Bennett had ranked third (10) and fourth (176.7) the year before.
But I’m not just backing the Cats to cover in Athens — I’m also sprinkling on the moneyline here. Beck’s numbers nosedive when you adjust for SEC play — he is averaging 8.6 yards per pass attempt and has a passing efficiency grade of 147.3 in those games. And it’s not like he has been playing against good SEC defenses — South Carolina ranks 111th in yards allowed per pass attempt (8.6) and Auburn ranks 45th (6.9). Judgment day is coming for this Georgia Bulldogs team, and it might just come in Athens at the hands of Mark Stoops, Liam Coen and Devin Leary.
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Jacksonville State: +140 | MTSU: -176
Jacksonville State +3.5: -110 | MTSU -3.5: -110
Over 51.5: -110 | Under 51.5: -110
Expert: Isaiah Sirois
Time: Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. ET
For updated Jacksonville State-MTSU odds and picks, click here!
We’ve got college football on Wednesday! It might be a pair of bad CUSA games, but we’re going to get action on one of them. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks have looked impressive in their first FBS season, and they’re off to a 4-1 start. They needed to score a miraculous comeback and overtime win over lowly Sam Houston State last Thursday, but their ability to come back at all is noteworthy for a CUSA team. I’m plugging my nose and backing them to cover as 4.5-point road dogs against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in Murfreesboro.
Jacksonville State runs a fast-paced but run-heavy offense. They lean on running back Malik Jackson, who is averaging 6.6 yards per rush attempt, and dual-threat quarterback Logan Smothers, who is averaging 4.8. The duo have combined for eight scores. Smothers isn’t a great passer — he has completed only 60.8% of his throws for 6.4 yards per attempt and a passing efficiency grade of 136.9, but he isn’t being asked to pass all that often. Smothers is also yet to throw an interception this year but has tossed five touchdown passes.
Middle Tennessee has not played good football this season, and they’ve struggled to stop mobile quarterbacks. Alabama blew out the Blue Raiders by 49 in Week 1, largely because of Jalen Milroe’s pair of first-quarter rushing scores. They kept things close early against Missouri in Week 2, but while they ended up only losing by four, the Blue Raiders were in a 13-point hole early in the fourth quarter. They then beat up on FCS Murray State before losing consecutive games to Colorado State and Western Kentucky, both of which came by eight points or more. WKU’s Austin Reed ran for 23 yards and a score.
The Blue Raiders are a slight home favorite over the Gamecocks, and I recommend taking the road team to cover. Middle Tennessee is 34-28-3 against the spread as a home favorite under head coach Rick Stockstill, but they are only 1-2-1 against the spread in those situations since last year, and they are just 2-4-1 against the spread at home through that span. Jacksonville State is 3-1-1 against the spread since joining the FBS this year, and the Gamecocks should keep rolling against a defense that struggles to defend mobile quarterbacks. I bought the +4.5, but the +4 at Caesars Sportsbook is fine, too.
Jacksonville State-Middle Tennessee State College Football Week 6 Pick & Prediction: Jacksonville State +4 -110 at Caesars
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Sam Houston: +680 | Liberty: -1100
Sam Houston +18.5: -110 | Liberty -18.5: -110
Over 46.5: -105 | Under 46.5: -115
Expert: Isaiah Sirois
Time: Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. ET
For updated Sam Houston State-Liberty odds and picks, click here!
We’ve got an absolute thriller scheduled in Lynchburg this Thursday night. The Liberty Flames will host the Sam Houston State Bearkats, at 7 p.m., and they are a massive 18.5-point home favorite for the matchup. Liberty has rolled to a 4-0 record this year, but their wins have come against pretty awful teams — Bowling Green, New Mexico State, Buffalo and FIU. Still, the Flames are undefeated against the spread and are winning by an average margin of 21.5 points per game. For comparison, Sam Houston State is 2-1-1 against the spread despite losing by an average margin of 15.5 points per game.
Sam Houston State plays a slow and inefficient brand of football. The Bearkats rank a dreadful 132nd in yards per play (3.5). They also rank 115th in seconds per play (28.7). These factors combine to make Thursday’s game a great spot for under bettors. Sam Houston State is coming off a season-best 28-point showing against Jacksonville State, but they only averaged 4.6 yards per play in that one, and half of their points came on drives that went for less than 40 yards. The team’s offense entered Week 5 ranked 133rd in the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) while their defense ranked a not nearly as terrible 96th.
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The Liberty Flames are good, but are they good enough to cash the over 47 by themselves? I doubt it. The Flames might be averaging the seventh-most points per game (40), but they also rank 108th in seconds per play (28.5) under new head coach Jamey Chadwell. Their offense ranks an efficient seventh in yards per play (7.2), but Chadwell’s run-heavy, slow-paced scheme is exactly what sharp under bettors should be targeting. Liberty ranks fifth in rushing-play percentage (64.9%), which should keep the clock moving in a game the Flames will likely control from the get-go.
Although Chadwell’s Coastal Carolina Chanticleers were best known for their offensive firepower with quarterback Grayson McCall under center, the Chants went 17-16 to the under in conference play when McCall was in charge. Liberty joined CUSA this offseason, and Chadwell has gone 2-0 to the under in conference play as the team’s head coach. Look for him to build an early lead and maintain it on Thursday night, cashing tickets for under bettors in the process.
Sam Houston State-Liberty College Football Week 6 Pick & Prediction: Under 47 -110 at BetMGM
OddsShopper College Football Tools & Tips
Looking for more 2023 college football predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this college football season — make sure to check out the rest of our college football articles, including our most recent national championship odds update. If you still need more picks, our market-based betting model might just be for you — you can even try it out now!