College Football Predictions, Picks, Odds: Notre Dame, USC, Miami on upset alert in Week 6

Picking surprises is an inexact science, and our first week trying to nail them down was a sobering experience. We swung for the fences with games involving Michigan, NC State and Oregon State, but failed completely at TCU gutting Oklahoma, Georgia Tech taking down Pitt and Oklahoma State beating Baylor.

But while we missed a few, we let you know about the Georgia state advantage over the military, which delivered +2.4 units. We were also one unfortunate Will Levis fumble away from Kentucky beating Ole Miss, which would have added another +2.1 units.

Soccer can be brutal.

There are eight games involving ranked teams with single-digit lines in Week 6. That’s where we thrive. Remember, we’re making big changes to moneyline billboards. Our final drive probably won’t look impressive. But when a big line comes in, there’s no better feeling. Here are five big money line games that could end in surprises.

Important Disclaimer: “Annoying” is defined first and foremost by odds, not rankings. All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

When: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET | Where: Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, Mississippi

featured game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

If it was not for him “oink doink“Arkansas would probably still be ranked in the top 15. Instead, oddsmakers overreacted to a pair of results against Texas A&M to downgrade Arkansas and prop up a Mississippi State team that lost both matchups to the Los Angeles coach. Razorbacks, Sam Pittman.

Arkansas ranks 10th nationally in rushing hit rate, while Mississippi State ranks 103rd in that category on defense. LSU rushed for more than 200 yards against the Bulldogs, and the combination of KJ Jefferson and Raheim Sanders is more fearsome. The Razorbacks can control this game and return to Fayetteville with a win. Pick Up: Arkansas (+278)

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET | Where: Shield Stadium – Birmingham, Alabama

featured game | UAB Blazers vs. Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders

Going into the season, the Blue Raiders were not thought to be able to compete with UAB. However, after losing to Rice to drop to 2-2, UAB’s shine in the post-Bill Clark era is beginning to fade. The Blazers are one of the most penalized teams in the country, committing more than eight penalties per game. In the loss to Rice, UAB gifted the Owls an unnecessary 116 penalty yards.

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On the other hand, there is more to Middle Tennessee than their shock and upset victory over Miami. The Blue Raiders kept pace with Conference USA favorite UTSA a week ago behind quarterback Chase Cunningham’s 368 passing yards. While MTSU couldn’t nail down the 90-yard plays that piled up in the upset over The U, there were still explosive touchdowns of 53 and 38 yards in the loss. If UAB has really stepped back from the post-Clark era, getting near 3-to-1 odds is a great way to take advantage. Pick: Middle Tennessee (+275)

When: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET | Where: hard rock stadium — miami gardens florida

featured game | Miami Hurricanes (FL) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

If Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele didn’t enjoy what Middle Tennessee did, North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye could send him into early retirement. Maye has been perhaps the most impressive quarterback in the country through five games with 1,594 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and just one interception as part of a 4-1 start.

The Hurricanes had one more week to think about their losses to Texas A&M and Middle Tennessee, but that doesn’t make it any easier to find answers. MTSU cleared 400 passing yards in the upset thanks to a plethora of explosive plays. Miami might not have the horses to match up defensively. Us to know they don’t have the juice to match up offensively after benching starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. Pick: North Carolina (+143)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET | Where: Allegiant Stadium – Paradise, Nevada

featured game | Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. BYU Cougars

Notre Dame managed to find some offense against a horrible North Carolina defense. Does that mean the drive is fixed? Unlikely. In addition to scoring 45 points against the Tar Heels, Notre Dame has averaged just 18.3 points per game. Notre Dame also did not produce a 50-yard rusher in its two losses.

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On the other hand, BYU has a quarterback in Jaren Hall and some next-level wide receivers, along with some truly physical defenders. The Cougars have been inconsistent the past two games in average performances against poor Mountain West teams. Still, this game was marked early on the schedule. Much like the Baylor game, BYU will rise for this matchup. Choose: BYU (+150)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET | Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California

featured game | USC Trojans vs. Washington State Cougars

For 297 minutes, Washington State has been the best team in the Pac-12. The disastrous streak when the Cougars allowed 22 unanswered points against Oregon in 2:47 counts, but the résumé remains impressive behind strong starts from quarterback Cameron Ward and running back Nakia Watson, both transferred. The defense has been surprisingly impressive, allowing only 52 points in four games against FBS opponents…again, outside of those three minutes against Oregon.

Since knocking Jake Haener out of the game from Fresno State, USC has looked shaky in wins over Oregon State and Arizona State. This is a major anticipation spot with a marquee road trip to No. 11 Utah on the schedule a week later. If Wazzu’s physical defense can put pressure on USC quarterback Caleb Williams, it can cause some real problems for the best projected team in the Pac-12. Election: Washington State (+360)

In the past week

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Season

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Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 6, and which Top 25 favorites will be tough? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has generated over $3,100 in earnings over the last six seasons and find out.

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