College Football: Week 5 was a big hit for us, as we went 3-1 on the week and now stand 15-9 on the season. BYU, Toledo, and Ohio all comfortably covered. Through six weeks (including week 0), we have yet to have a losing week.
Last week’s games were a little more predictable than they seemed to be in weeks prior. Iowa turned over the Terrapins seven times en route to a slaughter in Maryland. Alabama jumped out to an early lead against Ole Miss and never looked back, while Cincinnati pulled off a marquee win in South Bend over Notre Dame.
This week, we’ll likely be going with another slate of less popular games, because that’s honestly where the money is.
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A Look Ahead to Week 6
Week 6 is bringing out the big time matchups in the Top 25. #3 Iowa and #4 Penn State might be the game of the week on paper, but don’t expect it to be too high scoring. #21 Texas travels to Dallas to play #6 Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout in what will certainly be an exciting game (and hopefully a shootout).
#13 Arkansas will travel to #17 Ole Miss to face the Rebels in Oxford, and #2 Georgia will play #18 Auburn at Jordan-Hare stadium. The only other close Top 25 matchup on the week will be #9 Michigan at Nebraska, who has scared some big teams already this season.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
#21 Texas vs #6 Oklahoma -3 (in Dallas)
It’s finally time again for the annual Red River Shootout in Dallas (or Red River “Showdown” to be PC about it). #21 Texas brings one of the country’s best offenses into the matchup, while #6 Oklahoma is still seemingly trying to find their stride, surviving most weeks by the skin of their teeth.
The matchup is nice and simple. On the one side, we have a team who has stumbled to maintain consistency on offense and a competent defense. On the other side, we have…the same exact thing. The catch here is, one team has a defined identity (Oklahoma), while the other is still figuring out their identity on offense (Texas).
Oklahoma is the #1 team in the Big 12 in ELO ranking and Offensive ranking. It’s true the Sooners haven’t had much of a difficult schedule thus far, but their upside is still greater than Texas. Spencer Rattler has had a roller coaster season thus far, but last week’s performance over Kansas State was a step in the right direction (22-25 passing).
With the line shifting (as well as the money), all signs are pointing to Oklahoma being the benefactor this week. This is an emotionally charged game and I’m trusting a coach and QB who have been there before, over a coach and QB who both have not.
Oklahoma 41 Texas 33
Boise State at #10 BYU -6
We are staying in the flames this week with BYU. Last week, the QB sustained a concussion early and they still managed to cover against Utah State. This week, BYU needs to make a strong case to be considered for the CFP, so we can expect them to pile it on against the Broncos.
Boise State isn’t the West Coast, small conference frontrunner we’ve gotten used to. They are now a pass-heavy, unreliable defense type of team. They seem like they should be a middle of the pack team in the Big 12 or Pac 12.
BYU is 34th in the nation in points allowed per game (19.4). Playing to the “bend but don’t break” defensive identity, this team gives up plenty of yards each game (251 PYPG and 128 RYPG).
The rub here is the Red Zone defense of BYU and the BYU rushing game. Anytime you get a good passing offense vs a good rushing offense, you tend to get a safer result going with the superior rushing team. The higher percentage of turnover-worthy plays in the red zone (from BSU) should give the Cougars the leg-up here.
BYU 34 Boise State 20
TCU -2.5 at Texas Tech
This game has all the makings of a fun contest. It’s a road game, with TCU playing the slight favorite. Texas Tech has demonstrated they are still a team who should be feared through the air. Tyler Shough has been solid this season, but not a typical TTU QB from a yardage perspective.
Like the BYU game, this one is more of a difference in philosophies. TCU runs to setup the pass. TTU passes to setup the run. Both teams have been successful with these strategies, but TCU has the superior talent at RB. Zach Evans has been tremendous this season. Despite Tech’s success stopping opposing backs, Zach Evans is at a Bijan Robinson-level of elite.
Evans is going to put the Tech rush defense to the test. In doing so, it’s going to force Tech to commit more to stopping the run, thus exposing their poor secondary to more big plays. On the other side, Tech doesn’t have those same liberties.
To me, that’s the big difference in this game. TCU will have an easier time on the offensive side, which should allow them to balance this game in their favor and ride to a solid road victory.
TCU 35 Texas Tech 27
Oregon State -3.5 at Washington State
We have yet another road team we’re high on this week with Oregon State. The Beavers have surprised many of us this year with their clean, efficient offense.
Oregon State has been amazing offensively. They’re quietly dominating on the offensive side of the ball and I’m surprised they’ve managed to stay such a low-profile throughout all this. The Beavers are a tremendously strong, balanced offense, ranking 2nd in the Pac 12 in Offensive rating.
Washington State has put up solid defensive numbers this season, but they’ve yet to face an offense of the caliber of Oregon State.
In addition to having the far superior rushing attack, the Beavers have a clean sweep on the PFF passing board. The Beavers have a higher passer rating (102 vs 82), a higher passer rating under pressure (87 vs 66), a higher Big Time Throw pct (3.8% vs 2.7%), and a lower turnover-worthy play pct (2.58% to 5.02%).
I expect the Beavers to keep the streak going and play their way into the Top 25 this week.
Oregon State 34 Washington State 24