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Week 6 College Football Best Bets: Bama-A&M, Kentucky-Georgia, Red River and more

Updated: Oct 5, 2023


Credit: Texas A&M Athletics

It's Wednesday and you know what time it is: Time to make our Week 6 college football bets.


We're coming off a bit of a disappointing week, as after a 3-1 start, we finished just 3-4 overall, dropping our season long record to 22-11 overall, for a still solid 66 percent on the year.


Still, the show must go on, and with a loaded Saturday slate, it will.


Before we get started, a couple quick reminders:



Make sure you're subscribed to the College Football Betting Podcast, where I truly believe we give out as good of information as anyone in the sport.


Also, a second reminder: With legal sports betting now in Kentucky, new users in the lovely Bluegrass State can bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets when they use the code "TORRES."


Now, let's get to the Week 6 picks:


No. 23 LSU (-6) at No. 21 Missouri: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN


First off, I know everyone is down on Brian Kelly right now, and I'm certainly not making excuses for last week's debacle. There is just never any reason, ever, under any circumstances, for LSU to give up 700+ yards and 55+ points. Ever.


At the same time, I got to thinking about something coming into this one: Can anyone, ever remember an SEC team playing three true road league games by the first weekend in October? Maybe it's happened, but I'm just not sure I remember it.


That's insane, and it shows that while LSU might be hobbling coming into this game, they are also battle-tested, something that Missouri simply can't say. The home-team Tigers have played South Dakota, Middle Tennessee State, Kansas State, Memphis and Vanderbilt. Not exactly a "who's who" of elite competition, nor were they especially dominant in those games, winning three by a touchdown or less.


Beyond that, considering the competition, Missouri's pass defense is especially, umm, not good, ranking 91st nationally right now. LSU's pass defense is bad as well, but with games against Jordan Travis, Jaxson Dart and Will Rogers, at least you can't deny they've faced real competition.


Let's put it a different way: Yes, LSU is the bigger "brand." But they're also 3-2, coming off a historically bad loss that all the nation saw, playing an undefeated, ranked team on the road... and are still favored.


That tells me everything I need to know. LSU wins and covers, with a much better defensive effort on Saturday.



Maryland at No. 4 Ohio State (-19.5): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, FOX


Before we get to this preview, let me start by being totally transparent: I am roughly 0-287 betting Maryland games in the last three or four years. Every time I think they're ready to zig, they instead zag. Every time I think they blow someone out, they lose. Every time I think they get blown out, they play things close.


They're also a team that has historically played well in big games. They lost by just a touchdown at Michigan last year and played within a score of Ohio State deep into the fourth a season ago as well.


Still, I just don't like the spot here. And more specifically, I don't like the competition Maryland has played, winning games - like Missouri above - against mediocre competition early. Of their wins over FBS teams (Charlotte, Virginia, Michigan State and Indiana), not a single one is in the Top 80 in total offense. None is in the Top 50 in total defense.


It isn't hyperbole to say that Ohio State is simply a completely different animal on both sides of the ball coming into this one.


Then there's Ohio State, which I believe is genuinely rounding into the most well-balanced version of the Buckeyes since the Justin Fields, 2019 playoff team. The offense isn't quite as explosive as years past, but the defense is special and the running game is back with TreVeyon Henderson.


Back at home and off a bye, Ohio State is lights out on both sides of the ball.


Give me the Buckeyes, 37-10, and an easy cover.


No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas (-6.5): Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, ABC


Ah yes, I couldn't go any further in this preview without giving out some thoughts on Red River, and let me start by saying this:


Credit to Texas.


After the Alabama win, I went on the Aaron Torres Pod and said pretty succinctly: Texas won't be "back" by beating Alabama, they're always good in big games. They'll be back when they start beating up bad teams the way the Bama's, Ohio State's and Georgia's have through the years.


Well, as someone who bet Kansas last week I'm here to tell you - they're kicking the crap out of everyone right now. The Kansas game wasn't close last week, nor were things against Baylor the week before.


As for Oklahoma, I was higher on them coming into the season than most. And I do believe that they're the second-best team in this league.


At the same time, they're a weird statistical team in that they're pretty good defensive (No. 31 nationally) but do give up a lot of yards through the air. More importantly, that's been hidden by the fact that they are No. 5 nationally in turnover margin, and second in the FBS in total turnovers forced.


In a lot of ways, they're like USC last year: The defense is good. But the numbers are a bit skewed because they make opportunistic plays at the right time. Will they be able to do that against, by far the best offense they've seen all year? I'm not sure.


It's also worth noting that while Dillon Gabriel has been awesome, his numbers have been a bit skewed by bad competition out of conference. While he's completing an absurd 77 percent of his passes, it's down to just 67 percent in Oklahoma's two league games. That's still very good. But it's not otherworldly, with his numbers dipping significantly as the competition increases.


Point being, I think Oklahoma is good.


Very good.


But their numbers are a bit skewed by inferior competition and an opportunistic defense.


Hook 'em: Texas 34, Oklahoma 24


No. 11 Alabama at Texas A&M (ML): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS


Ah, it's one of the two huge SEC games this weekend, with the winner - incredibly - sitting alone atop the SEC West standings.


That's right, a few weeks after both were left for dead, the winner of this game will have the inside track to Atlanta. Funny how things work in college football sometimes, huh?


And I'm not going to beat around the bush discussing this one: I like Texas A&M to win outright.


Look for all the flack that Jimbo Fisher has deservedly taken through the years, this team feels like it's peaking at the right time. On one side, Bobby Petrino's addition hasn't just worked, it's clicking at the highest levels. The Aggies are currently averaging 37 points per game on offense, after not breaking 40 in any game last season.


Beyond that, all those five-stars that Jimbo brought in on defense in that famed 2022 class are peaking. Walter Nolen (the No. 1 player in that class) is a wrecking ball, and he along with juniors Shemar Turner and Edgerrin Cooper all rank in the Top 40 in tackles for loss nationally. As a team, the Aggies are third in TFL's and third in sacks.



And that's also why I like Texas A&M to win outright here.


You don't need to be an X's and O's guru to know that Alabama can only win one way: Run the ball, let Jalen Milroe make plays with his legs and be great on defense. Last week, Milroe had nearly as many run attempts (12) as he did pass (13), and bluntly, I'm just not sure that's the recipe to beat this specific A&M team.


In the end, we'll see if Texas A&M really the best team in the West, and whether they can make it to Atlanta down the road.


But they're the best team in this game.


Give me the Aggies to win outright. This is my best bet of the week.


Colorado (-4) at Arizona State: Saturday, 6:30 ET, Pac-12 Network


First off, shout out to the Pac-12. Even in its dying days, it's still totally screwing over its fans and consumers, putting the most watched team in college football on a channel, no one gets.


Credit to the league: It's always on brand.


In terms of this game, well, I like Colorado and don't think it's close. For all the talk about bad the defense has been this year, it's worth noting that they've faced some truly excellent offenses. Did you know of the five teams they've faced, four are ranked in the Top 30 nationally in total offense (Oregon, USC, TCU and Colorado State).


Now if you want to attribute some of that to Colorado's defense being bad, and those numbers being a bit inflated because of it, that's fine. But what's indisputable is that this is the worst offense the Buffaloes defense has faced all year.


Meanwhile, the Colorado offense itself shouldn't miss a beat, and only got better with the emergence of star freshman Omarion Miller last week.


Colorado is an imperfect team, but they're the better team Saturday. And I'm not sure it's close.


Buffaloes roll to a 38-21 win.


No. 20 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia (UNDER 49): Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN


It's another SEC Top 20 matchup, and another one with major "Trip to Atlanta" implications, as the two best teams - at least on paper - in the East do battle. Can Kentucky pull off the upset between the hedges?


It won't be easy, but credit where it's due to Mark Stoops, he has built, what I believe to be his most complete team yet. Watching Kentucky destroy Florida last week, it was jarring as to just how talented this team is. They were literally better than Florida at every single spot on the field.


And it's why I expect them to keep things close on Saturday night in Athens.



The bottom line is, Kentucky has played Georgia tougher than anyone in the SEC East the last few years, losing 16-6 last year, 30-13 during 2021 and 14-3 the year before that. Beyond that, Kentucky has a trend to playing especially close games on the road in the SEC. When you take out games against Vanderbilt, they haven't had a single SEC road game go over 50 the last three seasons.


In the end, I expect this to be close and low scoring down to the wire.


I simply can't pick the Wildcats to pull off the upset. But I wouldn't be totally shocked if it happened either.


Arkansas (+11.5) at No. 16 Ole Miss: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network


This article is getting long, so let's be quick here.


This game is kind of Sam Pittman's last stand. I don't think Arkansas is winning this game outright, but if the Hogs get blown out, I don't think there is anything he can do to really win back the fan-base this year, or maybe ever (barring some shocking upset of Bama next week). In Fayetteville, it will officially be onto hoops season.


At the same time, I do think the Hogs will at least keep things close.


One, I really don't think they're as bad as they looked last week - I really just think A&M's defense has a chance to be special. Two, this is a game that Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson always shows up, as Arkansas won last year, and lost by one-point in 2021. Finally, the Rebels are coming off that wild and emotional win over LSU, and it's hard to ask them to come back and compete at the same level this week.


Again, I'm not sold Arkansas can or will win outright. But I expect it to be close.


No. 2 Michigan (-19) at Minnesota: Saturday, 7:30, NBC


Again: Article. Getting long. I'll be brief.


Michigan is a juggernaut. They might actually be the best team in college football and we just don't know it, because they haven't played any marquee games yet.


But more than that, this is why I like the Wolverines: We literally just saw this game.


Michigan. In a road game. Against a team with a solid defense and run game, that can't pass the ball.


It was called "Nebraska" last week, and in a game that I thought the Cornhuskers could make competitive, Michigan turned it into a laugher. Against a team that was giving up 18 points per game, Michigan was up 28-0 at the half. They won by 38, in a game where the crowd emptied out midway through the second half.


Barring a scenario where Michigan has multiple turnovers, that lead to multiple scores, I don't see how Minnesota keeps this close.


Wolverines are an auto-bet until further notice.


No. 10 Notre Dame (-6.5) at No. 25 Louisville: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC


Credit where it's due: Jeff Brohm to Louisville was the best hire last off-season that not enough people talked about, and it's already paying dividends. The Cardinals are 5-0 and quietly ranked in the Top 25.


Notre Dame meanwhile, is coming off an emotional, last second win, and now has to go to back on the road to face another Top 25 opponent in a hostile enviornment.


Advantage, Louisville, right?


I'm not so sure, and it's for two reasons.


One, you certainly can't argue that the Irish are plenty battle-tested at this point. Just in the last two weeks they've faced back-to-back Top 25 teams, and are within one play of going 2-0 (admittedly, they are also one play away from being 0-2).


More importantly, the way Louisville beats you is with the big play. They rank second in college football in plays of 30+ yards, with only Washington better.


Well, the one thing that Notre Dame has done exceptionally well is take away the big play.


Not only are they No. 4 in pass defense nationally, they're Top 10 in yards per completion, limiting opponents to just 5.4 yards per play.


While I don't love taking road underdogs, I'm doing it again here and backing the Irish.


With legal sports betting now in Kentucky, new users in the lovely Bluegrass State can bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets when they use the code "TORRES."



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