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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 6 Picks and Odds


College football is past the quarter pole of the season and we're slowly seeing the true playoff contenders and the teams who will be a thorn in those squads’ sides. I must remind the reader once again that some of these wagers are going to seem weird, but there is a method to the madness. Situational plays will start showing up more and more as the schedule develops based on how teams are playing leading into games.

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Record: 14-14 (4-1 last week)

Note: All times ET

Iowa (3-2) at Minnesota (3-1), 12 p.m. ET

This line smells fishy, but I'll take the bait. You've got an Iowa team that has not been itself for three straight weeks, losing to North Dakota State and Northwestern at home and nearly falling to Rutgers at on the road. This is a group that can't stop the run and has trouble at times driving the ball. Minnesota, meanwhile, is coming off a real tough loss at Happy Valley after three straight wins at home against inferior competition. The Gophers run the ball well and have shown a decent pass game at times. Neither defense has been that great this season, but I don't know about making Minnesota a home underdog. The Gophers have covered 10 of their last 15 games as an underdog, winning three of them outright. Iowa has covered just 14 of its last 32 games overall. SELECTION: Minnesota +2

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Kent State (1-4) at Buffalo (1-3), 3:30 p.m. ET

Two of the worst offenses in college football match up, as Buffalo hosts Kent State for a MAC East pairing. Neither team averages 300 yards of offense, while combining for just 34.6 points per game. The defenses don’t look much better on paper, and each team has been gashed on the field at times this season. Kent State has already played at Penn State and Alabama while Buffalo took on Army and Nevada. Last year these two played an 18-17 game, which went under the total of 44. The Golden Flashes have gone under in nine of their last 13 overall and 12 of their last 16 conference games. SELECTION: Under 42

Virginia Tech (3-1) at North Carolina (4-1), 3:30 p.m. ET

I don't know if Virginia Tech is getting enough credit for what the Hokies have done this season under new head coach Justin Fuente. Quarterback Jerod Evans is surpassing expectations and this team is no longer a defense-first bunch. They are averaging nearly 200 yards per game on the ground and are coming off a bye week so they should be rested and ready. The defense is holding opponents to just 264.3 yards per game. North Carolina is coming off a huge road win over Florida State and gets Tech at home. The Tar Heels’ defense is allowing more than 450 yards per game and could struggle to slow down the Hokies’ new-look offense. UNC has covered exactly half of its last 32 games. I'm getting points with the better team, which has won five of its last six in Chapel Hill. SELECTION: Virginia Tech +2.5

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FIU (1-4) at UTEP (1-4), 8 p.m. ET

FIU is coming off its first win of the season under new interim head coach Ron Cooper. Now the Panthers have a good chance for a second one as they play at UTEP. The Miners are pretty pathetic offensively, averaging 333.6 yards per game. FIU isn't much better, although it could be argued the Panthers have more talent overall. UTEP's QB situation is up in the air, but does it really matter for a team that has scored just 35 points over its last four games? The key will be the team that can stop the run better. FIU has covered in 10 of its last 17 conference games. The Panthers also have covered in seven of their last 12 against a team with a losing record. I may be wrong here, but I like the road team getting points. SELECTION: FIU +5.5

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— All of the numbers point to a Miami victory on Saturday night, but something is telling me to take the underdog. You can't put Florida State any lower than the Seminoles probably are right now. Not only did they lose at home to North Carolina, it was the manner in which they lost. I just don't know if I can buy into the Hurricanes, as they have yet to be truly tested. The win at Appalachian State is nice, but I truly will hop on the bandwagon if Miami wins on Saturday. Weather will be a factor in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew too. That's another reason why I didn't make this hunch an official play.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.