10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 6

Can Kellen Mond and Texas A&M end Kentucky's magical run?

The Week 6 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by a surprisingly important SEC game as undefeated Kentucky makes its first trip to Texas A&M since the 1950s. Elsewhere, Northwestern visits Michigan State and Iowa State heads to Oklahoma State looking for its first Big 12 win of the season. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

 

Utah State (+2.5) over BYU (Friday)

BYU was humbled last Saturday in its 35–7 loss at Washington. The Cougars netted only 34 yards rushing and were held to a season-low 194 total yards — their fourth straight game with fewer than 325 yards. Utah State has been very good through the first month of the season, winning three straight following a 38–31 Week 1 loss at Michigan State. The offense has been the bright spot for Matt Wells’ club; the Aggies are averaging 6.6 yards per play, up a full yard from last season, and they have scored at least 31 points in every game. Utah State 33, BYU 23

 

Texas A&M (-5.5) over Kentucky

Few teams have been as impressive as Kentucky, which has wins — each by at least 11 points — at Florida and over Mississippi State and South Carolina at home. Benny Snell Jr. and the offensive line have received much of the praise, but it’s the Kentucky defense that has made the difference. The Wildcats have allowed a total of four touchdowns in three SEC games, a year after allowing 31 in eight league games. This trip to College Station could be UK’s toughest test to date. Texas A&M is 3–2, with the losses by two points to Clemson at home and 22 points at Alabama. The Aggies struggled a bit against Arkansas last week — holding on for a 24–17 win in Arlington, Texas — but they are a good team, especially at home. Texas A&M 27, Kentucky 20

 

Northwestern (+11.5) over Michigan State

One thing has become apparent in Michigan State games this season: Neither team is going to run the ball well. The Spartans lead the Big Ten in rushing defense (40.3 ypg) but rank 13th in rushing offense (129.8 ypg). Northwestern struggled to run the ball last week against Michigan in the first game without Jeremy Larkin (though most teams will struggle to run the ball against Michigan). Michigan State is the better team, but 11.5 points seems a bit high. Michigan State 20, Northwestern 17

 

Syracuse (-4.5) over Pittsburgh

There is ample evidence that Syracuse is a very good football team. The Orange are 4–1, with the only loss coming at Clemson by four points last Saturday. They also have a 23-point win over Florida State in their back pocket. There isn’t, on the other hand, much evidence to suggest that Pittsburgh is good. Sure, the Panthers beat Georgia Tech at home, but that is their only win against an FBS opponent. They lost by 45 to Penn State, by three at North Carolina (which is bad) and by 31 at UCF. Syracuse is simply the better team. Syracuse 37, Pittsburgh 31

 

NC State (-4.5) over Boston College

NC State is 4–0 and playing very good football — but the Wolfpack’s best win was over Virginia at home. Tougher tests await down the road. Boston College is eager to return to form after a lopsided loss at Purdue and a closer-than-expected win over Temple at home. The offense, so strong through the first three games, has taken a step back in recent weeks. The Eagles averaged 3.6 yards per play in the loss at Purdue and 4.2 in the win over Temple. NC State 34, Boston College 26

 

Ohio (-12.5) over Kent State

It’s been a rough stretch for new Kent State head coach Sean Lewis. After a respectable 31–24 loss at Illinois in the opener followed by a 54–14 win over FCS opponent Howard, the Golden Flashes have lost consecutive games at Penn State, Ole Miss and Ball State by a combined score of 153–51. Ohio has played relatively well since a sluggish win over Howard in the opener, even if the Bobcats only have a 2–2 overall record. Two weeks ago, they blew a big lead and then failed to score from the 1-yard line late in a 34–30 loss at Cincinnati, and last week they bounced back with 664 total yards in a 58–42 win over UMass. The defense is an issue, but putting a big number on Kent State shouldn’t be a problem. Ohio 44, Kent State 21

 

Eastern Michigan (+3.5) over Western Michigan

This might sound familiar: Eastern Michigan lost a close game last week. The Eagles lost 26–23 at home to Northern Illinois, one week after losing 23–20 in overtime at San Diego State. The previous week they dropped a seven-point decision at Buffalo. And last year, EMU lost six games by seven points or fewer. This is a good team that has had some really bad luck. Western Michigan is also a solid team. The Broncos rallied to beat Miami (Ohio) 40–39 last week to improve their overall record to 3–2. They are 0–2 against Power 5 opponents (Syracuse and Michigan) and 3–0 against the rest. WMU has won four straight in the series. That ends this week! Eastern Michigan 28, Western Michigan 23

 

Akron (-3.5) over Miami (Ohio)

Akron, which had its opener at Nebraska cancelled due to weather, has played only three games — wins over FCS opponent Morgan State and Northwestern and a respectable loss at Iowa State. The Zips’ defense has been solid, allowing only 5.3 yards per play in its two games against Power 5 opponents. Miami has scored a total of 77 points in its last two games (win over Bowling Green, loss to Western Michigan) but managed a combined three points in losses to Cincinnati and Minnesota. The RedHawks struggle to score against competent defenses. Akron 30, Miami 20

 

Iowa State (+10) over Oklahoma State

Iowa State, considered by some to be a potential contender in the Big 12, is off to an 0–2 start in league play. The schedule has been tough — vs. Oklahoma and at TCU — but this is not the start Cyclones fans envisioned in Matt Campbell’s third season. Oklahoma State has been a tough team to read. The Cowboys recorded one of the more impressive wins of the season — by any team — beating Boise State 44–21 with surprising ease, then followed up with a 41–17 loss at home to Texas Tech. I’d be surprised if Iowa State doesn’t keep this close — or win outright. Oklahoma State 34, Iowa State 31

 

Indiana (+25) over Ohio State

Ohio State is fresh off a thrilling — and very important — comeback win at Penn State. The Buckeyes ended the game with two huge scoring drives but had struggled to move the ball prior to that point; they had only one drive that went for more than 40 yards until midway through the fourth quarter. Indiana has been solid defensively, allowing no more than 350 yards (or 5.3 yards per play) in any of its five games. The Hoosiers don’t have the firepower on offense to truly make Ohio State sweat, but this could be a sluggish win for a Buckeye team dealing with a hangover from last week’s victory at Beaver Stadium. Ohio State 31, Indiana 14

 

Last week: 4-6

Season: 18-32

 
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