NCAA Football Predictions: Week 6 Opening Line Report and Picks
Welcome to the Doc's Sports NCAA Opening Line Report, where we give you an early look at the upcoming week's important games. I'll analyze the opening line of select games that caught my attention and give a brief analysis of my initial lean. Not the best weekend for our OLR picks, as we went 1-2-1.
I'm going to make a statement that will initially seem ludicrous, given my articles. I HATE college football...I start dreaming of the next football season as soon as "March Madness" is over. I watch about 20 spring games, study the portal transfers and rumors like I'm cramming for finals, and read Phil Steele's College Football Preview like it's the best issue of Playboy, all waiting for the start of the season. In the blink of an eye, almost every team is at the halfway point. I just turned 50 years old, I can't take too many more of these "poof, the season is almost done" moments.
Even though they've lost two in a row, Colorado will once again dominate the conversation as they came back from a second-half deficit of 41-14 and lost 48-41. Maybe the clockkeeper in Boulder didn't get the new rules memo about keeping time, because the Buffalos ran 90 plays and the Trojans 65 of their own. That's not including the combined 13 penalties, either.
As this season comes into focus, it is evident that there is not one dominant team in the country. There are a handful of very good teams, but each one has a very obvious "Achilles heel" that can be exposed. What this means for us lucky folk is the remainder of the season will be very unpredictable and wildly exciting. In the end, isn't that all football fans can really ask for?
Doc’s Sports offers college football expert picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
Boy, do I love college football !!
Nebraska at Illinois (-2.5/44.5) Friday, Oct. 6th 8:00 PM FS1
There may not be a team in the Big Ten that is in more disarray than Nebraska at the moment. When asked in the post-game conference what Nebraska has to do to become like Michigan, Cornhusker head coach Matt Rhule replied "I can't answer that right now...we're not even in that conversation right now." As my Dad used to say to me, "No sh#t, Sherlock". The switch at QB for Nebraska has produced significantly fewer turnovers, but an already poor completion percentage got worse. Now they travel to Champagne, Illinois, in a venue they have never played well in, but until this season, had never been an underdog, either. That alone goes to show that state of Nebraska football. Luckily for them, the Illini have issues of their own. Already down their leading rusher, Reggie Love III, they lost two offensive linemen in Saturday's game against Purdue. All of this points towards what we believe will be a quintessential Big Ten game: strong defensive fight, not many points. Not necessarily because the defenses are great, but because the offenses are on the inept side. PICK: Illinois -2.5 and UNDER 44.5
Boston College at Army (-3.5/52) Saturday, Oct. 7th Noon CBSSN
This is a game where we expect the line to move. Boston College has struggled when traveling from the friendly confines of their home in Chesnut Hill. Last year, in their 6 games on the road, the Eagles' offense averaged 100 yards and 15 points per game less than when playing at home. This year, they've only played away one game but gave up 56 points to Louisville. Keep in mind, the week before, BC held No. 3 Florida State to 31 points. Now they get to travel to West Point, New York, to take on a defense that is allowing 320 yards per game and 18.8 ppg. Army is only 2-6 SU against Boston College, but 4-4 ATS in that stretch. Given the Eagles' road woes, we like Army to come out victorious. PICK: Army -3.5
No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas (-5/59.5) Saturday, Oct. 7th Noon ABC
One of college football's fabled rivalries is renewed this Saturday when the Sooners and Longhorns square off in the 119th edition of the Red River Shootout/Rivalry/Showdown. The last time these two teams met when they were both undefeated was in 2011, a game that saw Oklahoma crush Texas 55-17. Texas won last year, 49-0, but Oklahoma backers are quick to remind everyone that the Sooners' starting QB Dillon Gabriel was injured and didn't play in that game. Oklahoma did have five different players attempt a pass that afternoon. I'll be focusing on the over in this game. Including last year's game, the average score of the past 10 contests has been 70.6 points per game. This total opened at 59.5, but expect it to go much higher. The Sooners have the 3rd-highest scoring offense in the country at 47.4 ppg and Texas comes in at 36 ppg. Both defenses look fantastic on paper, but only the Longhorns have been tested defensively, giving up 24 points against Alabama. This game has a feel of both teams being in the mid to high 30s, if not higher. I would be surprised if the total didn't climb to 63 points or more. PICK: OVER 59.5
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