college football picks predictions week 6 2022

If Week 5 of college football action told us anything, there’s much value in getting in on the betting action early and watching line movement on those you like all week long. After searching through the early lines, here are some of those you can take a look at purchasing now and a few more to let the wait-and-see approach fold out to your benefit by the weekend.

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Week 6 College Football Picks and Predictions

A little background here first. Last week, in our early picks and predictions, you were advised to take the under on the total points in the Illinois vs. Wisconsin matchup. Though we were more comfortable with a total of 46 points, sticking with the under on 44.5 total points was the bet in our early-line publish.

Fast forward a few days to our late-week publish, the total had moved down a whole point to 43.5. It was then that we advised savvy bettors to hedge their bets or new weekend bettors to grab the over. Illinois and Wisconsin played to a 34-10 Fighting Illini victory, but more importantly, a total of 44 points.

Had you taken the under when advised, the check would’ve cashed. Had you taken the over when advised, the same thing would’ve happened.

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but more so am here just to remind you why we produce early-line value bets and then move to a late-week push to find those lines you could’ve or should’ve moved off of. There is a lot of value in college football betting, you just need to know where to find it. Let’s get to it this week early on.

Nebraska (-3) vs. Rutgers

One thing is for sure, this Nebraska team can beat you in several ways. As they showed on Saturday, this offense has the tools to make splash plays and churn out game-changing plays left and right. With Trey Palmer scoring on a long 71-yard touchdown and Anthony Grant proving to be the bell cow that we thought he could be, this offense is interestingly balanced now in the absence of Scott Frost.

Grant should be able to have a big day against Rutgers after the Scarlet Knights showed holes in their defense this past weekend. Allowing Ohio State RB Miyan Williams to go for five touchdowns on the ground, Rutgers’ defensive specialty was essentially taken out of the game.

Rutgers’ secondary is talented and can hang with any passing attack vertically. That exposes Nebraska a bit as Casey Thompson has utilized his downfield accuracy and power against teams all season long.

However, Grant should carry this load as he’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry this season. Rutgers is able to be gashed between the tackles, especially on inside-zone runs, something that Grant has run very well on this year. Nebraska continues a bit of a winning streak here.

Prediction: Nebraska 30, Rutgers 24

Michigan (-21.5) vs. Indiana

Indiana’s defense has been remarkably shaky in 2022 compared to head coach Tom Allen’s standards. They’ve allowed no less than 20 points in every single game and over 30 in two of their last three outings. Despite a 3-0 start, the Hoosiers are down to 3-2 following two relatively convincing losses to Cincinnati and Nebraska.

Michigan, on the other hand, has dominated each of its opponents this year. They win with their run game and have allowed J.J. McCarthy to ease into the starting lineup with a heavy dose of Blake Corum on the ground. Yet, Indiana’s biggest defensive lapse has been their pass coverage this year. That makes for a bad combination, as Michigan can clearly run on anyone, and Indiana can’t stop the pass.

Take Michigan early as this one may climb a bit later in the week. If this drops anywhere below 21, you heard it here: Buy, buy, buy.

Prediction: Michigan 44, Indiana 17

Tennessee vs. LSU (over 62)

There is one thing for certain in this LSU vs. Tennessee matchup. It’s the fact that each team has its own strength, and when LSU is on defense and Tennessee is on offense, we’ll see two of the best at what they do at work.

Tennessee goes fast fast while LSU’s front seven have been terrific all season long. Despite the loss of Maason Smith, LSU’s interior linemen have been dominant, freeing up 1-on-1 matchups for the Tigers’ talented pass rushers.

However, LSU’s time to pressure is among the lowest in the conference. They rely on sound coverage a bit too often in order to get the commonly nicknamed “coverage sacks” on defense. That won’t be the case as Tennessee gets the ball out faster than just about anyone in the country.

MORE: Early NFL Picks and Predictions Against the Spread

Whether it’s schemed that way or Hendon Hooker taking his first read quickly to keep his offense on schedule, the Vols are a fast offense. Hooker has started to command the Volunteers’ offense even better than anticipated this season and taken that proverbial next step.

That being said, Tennessee’s defense at times has looked like a slice of Swiss cheese, notably on the backend in coverage where they have trouble with missed tackles. Expect points to be on the menu for both offenses, even if LSU’s offense is a disaster right now. Get this line at 62, but not a point higher.

Prediction: Tennessee 35, LSU 28

Buffalo (-1.5) vs. Bowling Green

The Buffalo Bulls are on a tear after starting the season off on the wrong foot. QB Cole Snyder has found his footing and totaled six total touchdowns in the past two outings. But what’s been winning games for the Bulls has been their pass defense since conference play started.

Buffalo’s secondary limited Austin Smith of Eastern Michigan to just 190 yards and Aveon Smith of Miami (OH) to just 119 yards, intercepting a pass off each of them.

Quian Williams and Justin Marshall should prove to be too much for Bowling Green’s secondary. The points are in play in this game, however, as each offense can put points up in bunches. Be mindful of that total, anything less than 54 points should be in play. Taking Buffalo and the over is a winning recipe at this stage.

Prediction: Buffalo 33, Bowling Green 24

East Carolina vs. Tulane (-1.5)

The East Carolina passing attack is something fierce. Holton Ahlers is fresh off a six-touchdown performance and a spot on our National Team of the Week. Don’t get it twisted, Ahlers is a dominant quarterback when he’s on his game. However, he has yet to play a schematically and athletically gifted defensive unit like this Tulane Green Wave team.

Tulane rolls out many different alignments and plays to their strength (coverage) incredibly well. What has aided this Green Wave defense recently, however, is their edge-setting presence as Dorian Williams, Darius Hodges, and Nick Anderson have each had their shining moments in 2022. Macon Clark is the X-Factor in this game, however, as he flies around the field from the nickel spot for Tulane.

Tulane will have to bracket C.J. Johnson in coverage, putting Clark in 1-on-1 situations underneath. That’s where he excels. Ahlers will struggle in this game, and Tulane will get to the front of the AAC race in the process.

Due to the unknown nature of Michael Pratt’s status as Tulane’s starting QB, this line has moved from Tulane -2.5 to -1.5 in the first few hours of its release. Be patient, wait for it to drop further if you want, but at -1.5, it’s still great odds.

Prediction: Tulane 30, East Carolina 24

Other lines to monitor through the week

Ohio State (-25.5) vs. Michigan State

The Ohio State Buckeyes should receive a big boost when Jaxon Smith-Njigba returns. TreVeyon Henderson should also be back in play. It’ll be a showcase game for those two superstars as the embarrassment of riches from the Buckeyes should shine against a defense that is giving up 30.5 points per game against inferior Big Ten offenses.

Ohio State should be able to hang 50 again. Can MSU even muster 10 points?

North Carolina (+4) vs. Miami (FL)

If Middle Tennessee gave Miami fits through the vertical passing game, just what can Drake Maye do to this Hurricanes’ secondary? The answer should scare Miami fans as they hope whatever their quarterback situation is gets worked out in the meantime.

UNC doesn’t have a good defense, we all know that, but their offense can score with the best of them, in the same way that MTSU shredded Miami’s cornerbacks. The points and UNC are in play here. Buy it at UNC +3 if you find it.

James Madison vs. Arkansas State (under 57.5)

The JMU defense is lights out. They currently have the fifth-best scoring defense in the country, allowing just 55 total points. They’ve done so with stymying coverage units and an exceptional edge presence from their front-seven defenders.

MORE: Week 6 Heisman Trophy Odds

Arkansas State uses the boundary to their advantage, but that won’t be the case here as JMU should limit that with their ability to play sideline to sideline. Under that total of 57.5 should be a safe bet, but we’d sure like it better at 59.

BYU (+4) vs. Notre Dame

The BYU Cougars are out to make up for their lone blemish on their schedule. Double-digit wins is their floor this season, and they’ve had this neutral-site game circled since its inception years ago.

In Vegas, it’ll be a battle of two strengths: Notre Dame’s run game and BYU’s passing attack. The Cougars will have to get their own rushing attack working, similar to how Marshall knocked off ND earlier this year, and their kicking game will have to be cleaner. Still, Jaren Hall has the tools to exploit ND’s man coverage schemes with a healthy Gunner Romney back in the lineup. Go for the Cougs if it gets any higher than +4.

Iowa vs. Illinois (over 35.5)

This may surprise you. Both Iowa and Illinois have combined to give up a total of just 86 points this year. However, each offense has shown to win in ways that each other’s defense has had minor lapses in this season. Illinois runs heavily and sets up perimeter shots to their big wideouts using play action. Cheating up by Iowa defenders will be tempting after Chase Brown averages five yards per rush.

For Iowa, their offense is beginning to feature their tight ends in the vertical and horizontal passing game. That’s imperative in this one as Illinois’ lone loss came to an Indiana team that featured Cam Camper in a similar manner. Take the points and hope for a few defensive lapses, as this one is an easy one to clear, even at 20-17, Illinois.

Florida State (+3.5) vs. NC State

The Florida State Seminoles of recent years showed their ugly heads on Saturday against Wake Forest. Unable to get off the field on third down — and subsequently fourth down — the Seminoles lost the point of attack against Wake’s slow-mesh offense.

That won’t be the case here as NC State utilizes an offensive attack similar to the ones FSU has shown the penchant to be sound against. Jordan Travis’ athletic ability should be able to be utilized against a banged-up Wolfpack linebacking corps as well. And the Seminoles have a chance to follow Clemson’s road map to victory yet again, playing the same opponent, a week after the Tigers for the second straight week.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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