College Football Picks: Picking Winners Week 6

College Football Picks: Picking Winners Week 6

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

CHRIS' PICKS

In my first week, I didn't fare much better than my boss, though if Tennessee's Hail Mary had occurred a few seconds earlier, I get an extra point to give me another win instead of a push. And my line of thinking might have been different had I known Texas A&M would be without three starters at the time of submission.

I'm a little nervous with these picks, as they are ACC heavy with a storm potentially dictating the style of play, and there's a lot of road plays this week, but after going 2-4-1 last week, there's only room for improvement.

Clemson (-17)
at Boston College (Friday)

It's an obvious spot for a letdown for the Tigers after their big win over Louisville, and they're playing on an abbreviated week. But the Eagles' are as offensively challenged as any team in the country, with their 23.4 point per game average severely inflated by three games against weak competition. In two games against Power 5 schools, both conference opponents, Boston College has scored 14 total points, which includes being shut out at Virgina Tech. Boston College does have a decent defense, and a solid recent history competing against Clemson, but I just don't see how they score enough points to keep Clemson from covering the number, and the Tigers might not even need 30 points to do so.

Notre Dame (+2.5)
at North Carolina State

There's no sense in detailing how atrocious the Irish are defensively, which obviously

CHRIS' PICKS

In my first week, I didn't fare much better than my boss, though if Tennessee's Hail Mary had occurred a few seconds earlier, I get an extra point to give me another win instead of a push. And my line of thinking might have been different had I known Texas A&M would be without three starters at the time of submission.

I'm a little nervous with these picks, as they are ACC heavy with a storm potentially dictating the style of play, and there's a lot of road plays this week, but after going 2-4-1 last week, there's only room for improvement.

Clemson (-17)
at Boston College (Friday)

It's an obvious spot for a letdown for the Tigers after their big win over Louisville, and they're playing on an abbreviated week. But the Eagles' are as offensively challenged as any team in the country, with their 23.4 point per game average severely inflated by three games against weak competition. In two games against Power 5 schools, both conference opponents, Boston College has scored 14 total points, which includes being shut out at Virgina Tech. Boston College does have a decent defense, and a solid recent history competing against Clemson, but I just don't see how they score enough points to keep Clemson from covering the number, and the Tigers might not even need 30 points to do so.

Notre Dame (+2.5)
at North Carolina State

There's no sense in detailing how atrocious the Irish are defensively, which obviously makes taking them with a small number on either side a bit of a risk. But I'm all for fading the Wolfpack in October. In the last three seasons, NCST has gone 11-2 in September, with all of its wins coming against non-Power 5 opponents and the losses coming to conference foes. Turn the calendar to October, and the 'Pack are just 1-9. Until or unless they prove 2016 is different, I'll ride that trend and hope the Irish find a way to win straight up.

North Carolina (-2.5)
vs. Virginia Tech

I don't have a great feel for this game, which is somewhat surprising given that the ACC is my responsibility here at RotoWire. And while unconfirmed, I've seen reports that this line opened at -6.5 and has now fallen substantially. I have zero faith in the Tar Heels defense, but with the public so obviously on the Hokies, I'm happy to be on the other side of the table.

Texas Tech (+7.5)
at Kansas State

Conventional wisdom might say KSU is the play, as the Wildcats are at home likely against a backup quarterback making his first road start. But I'm not fulling buying into the Wildcats' defensive success. Their pass defense totals (12th nationally, allowing 154.5 yards pre game) are skewed heavily by their opponents, and the Air Raid attack is a beast that matchups with Stanford, Florida Atlantic and Southwestern Missouri State haven't prepared them for. KSU gave up 298 yards through the air to a moderately similar West Virginia attack, and so long as the moment isn't too big for Nic Shimonek, I see no reason the Red Raiders can't put up points and keep it close.

California (-13.5)
at Oregon State '

The Beavers were gashed for 47 points by Colorado last week as the Buffalos threw for 316 yards and three scores. Although I am a bit worried that both of the Bears' losses have come on the road, Oregon State hasn't faced an up-tempo, air raid attack like Cal, and it's difficult to see it having the offensive firepower to keep up. Oregon State hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in three weeks and has been held to less than 200 passing yards in each of those games. Last year's matchup with these two ended in a 30-point win for Cal, who also won in Corvallis two years ago when the Beavers had a capable quarterback.

Record: 2-4-1


GREG'S PICKS

Not a bad start to the season last week as I came in at an even .500. Obviously the goal is somewhere above that number, but as we all know, this isn't easy, so I'll never complain about being even or better.

The highlight of the week was Clemson winning outright as an underdog. It's nice to win with the points; it adds a little extra satisfaction when the team wins outright.

The lowlight of the week was the Iowa game. The opposite of that thrill of an outright win with a dog, is an outright loss with a favorite. In this case, a double-digit favorite, but let's not dwell on that.

Boston College (+17)
vs. Clemson (Friday)

I hate backing bad teams, but if ever there was a case to back one, it's this week. Boston College, while improved from last year, is still awful, but the Eagles are getting a big number, they're at home, and they are catching Clemson at the perfect time. Clemson is coming off a huge win last week and a letdown is certainly in play. Add to that, the Tigers have shown a propensity to play down to their competition all season.

Michigan State (-6)
vs. BYU

MSU laid a huge egg last week at Indiana, but the Spartans have a veteran coaching staff, and I fully expect them to bounce back. The Spartans might not be as good as we thought after the Notre Dame win, but they are certainly good enough to win this game by a touchdown.

Minnesota (+2) vs. Iowa

What looked like an intriguing matchup about a month ago, now features two teams coming off of devastating losses last week. Believe it or not, these two teams had hopes of winning their division in the Big Ten, but one more loss and those dreams are out the door. While Minnesota was dealt a tough loss last week, it wasn't a horrible loss, just a tough one to handle. Iowa, on the other hand, has lost at home to NDSU and Northwestern. It's possible that Iowa finally snaps out of it this week, but I've seen no signs of the team once-ranked No. 13 in the country.

Ohio State (-29.5)
vs. Indiana

There is a case to be made for backing the Hoosiers this week -- such as, the potential look ahead for OSU to a road game at Wisconsin next week and the fact that the Hoosiers have played OSU close in recent years -- but there are more reasons to back OSU. Actually, that last reason, that Indiana has played OSU close recently, is reason to back OSU. The Buckeyes are not going to look past the Hoosiers this season after nearly losing to them last year. Add to that, the Hoosiers are coming off a huge win against MSU last week and are primed for a letdown this week.

Virginia Tech at North Carolina Under 59

Tough spot for the Heels as they are coming off a huge win at Florida State, but I'm not going to fade them, rather, I'm focusing on the total. Virginia Tech, as always, can play some defense, but as in years past, the Hokies still have yet to prove they can move the ball on offense. I expect the high-powered Tar Heels offense to come out a little sluggish, and that will be enough to get this total to go under.

Oklahoma vs. Texas Over 73

Remember when this game meant something? Ah, those were the days. Both teams have underachieved this season, yet both have been pretty good at scoring. I think you see where I'm going. If this game had the intensity that is used to, I might be worried about some defense showing up in this spot, but it doesn't and it won't.

Colorado at USC Over 64

After last week's performance, it's clear that we may not figure out the Trojans this season. We have figured out, though, that Colorado is much improved from previous seasons. As such, I'm not comfortable taking either side, but I am pretty comfortable with the over as the Buffaloes have consistently found themselves in shootouts this season and USC has proven the ability to score a lot, as well.

Record: 3-3

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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