College Football Picks: Mid-Major Game Day Predictions Week 6
by Dave Schwab - 10/5/2011
As the 2011 college football regular season reaches the halfway point, teams are now in the heart of their conference play. This familiarity between teams offers some tremendous value in the college football lines as it provides ample information to better handicap the games. This is especially helpful for matchups in the mid-major conferences that do not receive the anywhere near the level of attention from the betting public that the marquee games on the college football schedule do.
Each week, we dig deep into the numbers in these ‘under-the-radar’ contests in an effort to bring this value to the surface. This week we uncovered a few more gems, so here are the mid-major game say predictions for Week 6.
Bowling Green Falcons vs. Western Michigan Broncos (-10)
Bowling Green is coming off a 55-10 beatdown at the hands of West Virginia in a game it closed as a 17.5-point road underdog. The loss dropped the Falcons to 3-2 both straight-up and against the spread. The week before, they rolled over Miami (Ohio) 37-23 as four-point road underdogs in their Mid-American Conference opener.
Western Michigan comes into this contest at 3-2 SU (4-1 ATS) after knocking-off Connecticut, 38-31, as a three-point road underdog. The Broncos came very close to upsetting Illinois the week before, as 14-point road underdogs, in a 23-20 loss. Behind quarterback Alex Carder, they are ranked 21st in the nation in passing with an average of 301.8 yards a game.
The Falcons are 0-4 ATS in their last four games against teams with a winning record, while the Broncos are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as favorites. Bowling Green is 2-8 ATS in the last 10 games in this series, including a 41-7 loss last season as a seven-point home underdog.
The Pick: Western Michigan 38, Bowling Green 24
UNLV Rebels vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (-21)
The preseason win projection for UNLV was one of the lowest on the betting boards, and so far it has held true to form with a 1-3 start SU (1-2-1 ATS). The Rebels are ranked 102nd in the nation in scoring with an average of 20 points per game and ranked 118th in points allowed, giving up 42.8 points a game.
Nevada (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) was projected as a 2/1 favorite to win the Western Athletic Conference this season and so far has not been much better with an average of 20.3 points a game while giving up 37 points. In their defense, the Wolf Pack’s three losses this season have been to Oregon, Texas Tech, and Boise State, and they covered the spread against the Red Raiders and the Broncos.
The Rebels are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Wolf Pack overall and 0-4 ATS in their last four trips to Nevada. The home team in this series is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. We have been waiting for a break-out game all season from Nevada and it is primed to deliver against its in-state rival.
The Pick: Nevada 38, UNLV 10
East Carolina Pirates vs. Houston Cougars (-9.5)
East Carolina is just 1-3 SU (2-2 ATS) on the year, but have played much better than its record in a brutal nonconference schedule that included games against South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina. The Pirates almost beat the Hokies in a 17-10 loss as 17-point home underdogs and covered as 21-point road underdogs against the Gamecocks.
Houston has rolled to a 5-0 start behind quarterback Case Keenum, who has thrown for 2,005 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 69.7 percent of his passes. The Cougars are 3-2 ATS, failing to cover as 6.5-point road favorites in a 35-34 win over Louisiana Tech and as 14.5-point road favorites in a 49-42 win over UTEP just last Saturday.
The Pirates are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against the Cougars and 4-0 ATS in their last four games in Houston. The underdog in this series is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings. East Carolina’s passing attack, which is averaging close to 300 yards a game, should be able to keep pace with Houston long enough to keep this game closer than 10 points.
The Pick: Houston 34, East Carolina 28
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