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

Auburn heads to the Swamp in key SEC clash

The Week 6 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by a key battle in the SEC as Auburn heads to Florida for the first time in over a decade. Elsewhere, Nebraska looks to bounce back with Northwestern coming to town; Duke hopes to stay hot against Pittsburgh; and Georgia heads to Knoxville seeking a big win over the rival Vols. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

 

Auburn (-3) over Florida

The game of the day pits two top-10 teams from the SEC. Auburn has been arguably the surprise team in the nation. Bo Nix has been the big story, but the Tigers are getting it done on the defensive side of the ball. And that defense should have a big advantage at the line of scrimmage against a Florida offensive front that is still a work in progress. In three games against FBS opponents, Florida is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. The Gators will need to find a way to run the ball to some degree to knock off Auburn, even at the Swamp. Auburn 21, Florida 17

 

Northern Illinois (-4.5) over Ball State

Northern Illinois dives into the MAC portion of its schedule after a grueling three-game stretch (over four weeks) that included road trips to Utah, Nebraska, and Vanderbilt. The Huskies averaged only 14.3 points against those three Power 5 opponents and scored just 24 in a Week 1 win over Illinois State. Ball State is scoring points — 26.0 per game against FBS foes — but allowed 34 to Indiana, 41 to FAU and 34 to NC State (all in defeat). The Cardinals, to their credit, have been competitive in every game — a tangible sign of progress in Mike Neu’s fourth season. Expect another competitive effort this weekend. Also, expect another loss. Northern Illinois 27, Ball State 20

 

Duke (-4) over Pittsburgh

Duke returns home after winning two straight on the road, at Middle Tennessee and Virginia Tech, by a combined score of 88–28. The Blue Devils are 3–1 overall, with the only blemish a 42–3 Week 1 loss to Alabama. This is a good team that has not taken a step back at quarterback despite the loss of Daniel Jones. Pittsburgh survived a scare on Saturday, beating Delaware 17–14 one week after its big win over UCF. The offense moved the ball (443 total yards), but the Panthers committed two turnovers and only penetrated the red zone two times. Pitt is 5–1 against Duke since joining the ACC and has won the three previous matchups in Durham. That ends this week. Duke 30, Pittsburgh 24

 

Maryland (-13.5) over Rutgers

It was a tough week for both programs. Maryland, in the biggest home game in years, was alarmingly uncompetitive in a humbling 59–0 loss to Big Ten East rival Penn State. Rutgers was shut out at Michigan 52–0 on Saturday and fired head coach Chris Ash on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights have yet to score a point in two Big Ten games this season. Scoring points wasn’t a problem for Maryland in its first two games (79 vs. Howard, 63 vs. Syracuse). The Terps should get back on track this weekend. Maryland 34, Rutgers 10

 

Colorado (-4) over Arizona

Colorado has allowed exactly 31 points in all three of its wins and 30 points in its only loss. Not sure what that means, but it’s an interesting note a quarter of the way into the Buffaloes’ season. Arizona has won three straight (all at home) after losing at Hawaii in Week 0. The Wildcats got it done last week with true freshman Grant Gunnell filling in for the injured Khalil Tate at quarterback. Both Tate and running back J.J. Taylor are questionable for this trip to Colorado. Arizona’s defense, which gave up a total of 86 points to Hawaii and Northern Arizona, has allowed a total of 27 in wins over Texas Tech and UCLA. Colorado 35, Arizona 30

 

Tennessee (+25) over Georgia

Tennessee is actually 2–2 in its last four games against Georgia, but those wins came in the final season of the Mark Richt era and the first of the Kirby Smart era. Since Georgia’s emergence as a legitimate national power, the Dawgs have won by scores of 41–0 (in 2017) and 38–12 (in 2018). Both teams were idle last week, and there is a little bit of intrigue at Tennessee; Jeremy Pruitt has not named a starting quarterback after opening up all positions following the loss at Florida. Will it be veteran Jarrett Guarantano or true freshman Brian Maurer? It probably won’t matter. Georgia 38, Tennessee 17

 

North Carolina (-10) over Georgia Tech

North Carolina almost pulled off the upset of the year in college football. How do the Tar Heels respond against a Georgia Tech team that is struggling? The Yellow Jackets have scored a total of 30 points in three games against FBS opponents, including only two in their last game at Temple two weeks ago. We expected Year 1 under Geoff Collins to be a struggle. And it has been. North Carolina 28, Georgia Tech 10

 

Army (+3) over Tulane

Two of the game’s top coaches meet as Jeff Monken and the Black Knights host Willie Fritz and the surging Green Wave. Army is 3–1, with its only loss in overtime at Michigan. Tulane is also 3–1, and its only defeat was at Auburn, 24–6. This game obviously won’t affect the Wave’s standing in the AAC West race, but it’s an important game for a program that is searching for respect nationally. And with road games remaining against Memphis, Navy, Temple, and SMU, along with a home date with UCF, there are no guarantees Tulane reaches six wins (and bowl eligibility) if it loses this game. Army 27, Tulane 24

 

Nebraska (-7.5) over Northwestern

Northwestern’s offensive struggles continue. The Wildcats have scored a total of seven touchdowns in four games, and pressure is mounting on veteran offensive coordinator Mick McCall. (Although if you listen to head coach Pat Fitzgerald, it’s clear he doesn’t care what anyone from the outside thinks.) This is an important bounce-back opportunity for Nebraska, which was humiliated last week at home against Ohio State. Beating Northwestern at home — something the Huskers have not done since 2013 — would be a positive step forward for Scott Frost and his staff. Nebraska 28, Northwestern 17

 

Rice (+8.5) over UAB

Bill Clark is one of the most respected coaches in the nation, but UAB hasn’t played great in the first month of the season. The Blazers struggled to beat Alabama State (24–19) and Akron (31–20) and lost last week at Western Kentucky. Rice is clearly improved in the second season under Mike Bloomgren, despite having an 0–5 record. The Owls lost by seven at Army in Week 1, by eight to Baylor two weeks ago and by three to Louisiana Tech last Saturday. I’m not sure this is the week they break through, but they are good enough to make UAB sweat. UAB 24, Rice 21

 

Last week: 5-5

Season: 24–25–1

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