After an exciting Week 5, I have four games that I like in Week 6. After five full weeks of games, there is less value to be found betting wise for college football games.
There is more data coming in on all 130 FBS programs, and as a result the lines are becoming sharper. However, that happens every year and there is still value to be found.
Most September games are lopsided non-conference games, and starting in October, most games are conference games where teams are more evenly matched.
Below, I discuss four games I am betting on, including two underdogs that I like to win outright.
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CFB Week 6 Predictions
Akron (1-4) vs Bowling Green (2-3)
At the end of the college football regular season, most of the 130 FBS teams get invited to a postseason bowl game. In these games, typically two teams with winning records from different conferences are matched up against each other.
This could be bowl games like the Orange Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, or Rose Bowl.
When the worst teams during the regular season face each other, it’s often (unofficially) referred to as the Toilet Bowl. This Saturday, we have a toilet bowl matchup between both Akron and Bowling Green, as both teams can be referred to in Yiddish as dreck.
Of all ten conferences in the FBS, the MAC is the weakest. Within the MAC, both Akron and Bowling Green are viewed as the weakest teams.
Since 2019 under head coach Tom Arth, Akron is 2-21 with its only wins coming against an FCS school and last year against Bowling Green. During that same stretch, Bowling Green has gone 5-17 under head coach Scott Loeffler.
Other than the Falcons’ win a couple of weeks ago against Minnesota as 31-point underdogs, the Falcons have not beaten a non-conference opponent in the last three years.
While BGSU is one of the weaker FBS teams this season, they have shown signs of improvement. In addition to their win against Minnesota, they have covered the spread in all five of their games this season.
This includes narrow losses against South Alabama and Kent State where they were 14.5- to 16.5-point underdogs.
Akron, on the other hand, has been unable to meet their low expectations this season. They are 0-5 against the spread this season, though they have shown some promise.
Last week against Ohio, they were tied at the end of the third quarter. Even though the Zips lost the fourth quarter and the game by 17 points, they might have figured out how to play competitively within the weak MAC for the rest of the season.
Led by a dynamic dual-threat quarterback in DJ Irons, The Zips may have found an exciting x-factor on offense. Last week against Ohio, Irons completed 81.3% of his passes and ran for 58 yards.
If Irons can have a big game against a weak but overperforming Falcons team, then Akron could win or at least keep the score close.
Akron vs Bowling Green Prediction: Akron 28, Bowling Green 24
Best Bet: Akron +14 (-110) at PointsBet (would bet up to +10)
Wager: 1 Unit
Based on the first five games this season, Bowling Green should be favored against Akron. They have overperformed expectations, and Akron has underperformed their expectations. However, this weekend’s toilet bowl shows the limitations of using betting trends in handicapping.
Bowling Green’s strategy this season is designed to keep games close with decent defensive play and a pass-heavy but conservative offense. In my opinion, Saturday’s game should be decided by a touchdown or less, which is why I love Akron’s spread at two full touchdowns.
Best Bet: Akron Moneyline (+520) at FanDuel (would bet up to +300)
Wager: .75 Units
If you are adventurous like I am, you should give Akron’s moneyline a look. Before the season started, my model gave Bowling Green a narrow chance to win this game.
Despite what we have seen from Bowling Green, the needle shouldn’t have moved so significantly on Bowling Green.
The Falcons simply took advantage of stronger teams that were asleep at the wheel in Minnesota, South Alabama, and Kent State. If DJ Irons has a big game, Akron could pull off the upset for a handsome payout.
While I like the spread more than the money line (if the spread stays at 14 points), the moneyline is worth a bet as well.
Akron has a plausible chance of flushing BGSU down in the toilet bowl on Saturday.
UConn (0-6) vs UMass (0-5)
Even though the 12:00 p.m. ET game between BGSU and Akron is a toilet bowl, on Saturday we have a toilet bowl double-header as the 3:30 p.m. ET game between UConn and UMass is also a matchup of two of the weakest teams.
With Connecticut scheduled to get legal mobile sports betting on Thursday, October 6, this is the first time that residents of the Nutmeg state can bet on their home team legally.
Both teams are football independents who play other awful teams and can’t win. UConn is a basketball school with a football problem.
They opted out of the 2020 season in a decision that didn’t change the CFB landscape. Since 2018, the Huskies are 3-27 with two of their wins against FCS foes and their other win against UMass.
Since 2019 under Walt Bell, Massachusetts has a 1-20 record with its only win coming against Akron. This season, UMass has managed to lose three different games by 38 points or more.
While UConn has also had a poor track record this season, since long-time head coach Randy Edsall retired after the second game, UConn has shown signs of life under interim coach Lou Spanos.
Last week at Vanderbilt as a 14.5-point underdog, they only lost 28-30 on a game-ending field goal. Additionally, against Wyoming, they lost by only two points as a 31-point underdog.
Connecticut’s only worry against UMass in the toilet bowl is if freshman quarterback Tyler Phommachanh is healthy for Saturday’s game. However, backup QB Steven Krajewski played well in his place.
If the Huskies can put together a decent game against the Minutemen, then they should win on Saturday.
UConn vs UMass Prediction: UConn 31, UMass 7
Best Bet: UConn Spread -2 (-110) at WynnBET (would bet up to -5.5)
Wager: 1 Unit
There is debate in Massachusetts on if they should disband their football program, and based on their level of play, I can’t blame them for it. If UMass can’t beat UConn, then they might be the worst FBS team, even worse than Akron, Bowling Green, or New Mexico State.
Regardless of the quarterback situation in Connecticut, the Huskies should easily win against UMass. While I like UConn as a 2-point favorite, I will also look to bet on one of their alt-lines at -6.5 or -9.5 as they come out later in the week.
Typically, DraftKings and PointsBet have great alternative lines for NCAAF games, and I will be keeping my eyes peeled for when those lines come out this week.
Wyoming (4-0) vs Air Force (4-1)
In an important Mountain West Conference matchup on Saturday night, Air Force hosts Wyoming. Since Wyoming has gotten legal sports betting this year, Saturday’s game is arguably the most consequential local game that Wyomingites can bet on.
Air Force was expected to be rebuilding this year, yet they have a 4-1 record. However, in Mountain West Conference play they are 1-1.
Wyoming is undefeated with a 4-0 record, but they haven’t played any conference games yet. As both teams play in the Mountain division of the Mountain West, it is likely that both teams must win this game if they want a chance at playing in the conference championship against the winner of the West division.
Currently at WynnBet, the Cowboys are at (+1200) odds to win the conference while the Falcons are at a shorter (+600) price. Despite Wyoming’s undefeated record, they have been a disappointment this season.
Other than their blowout win against Ball State, their other three wins this season have been by a touchdown or less. As a 19-point favorite over FCS program Montana State, Wyoming won by only 3 points after scoring a touchdown in the final minute.
Against the aforementioned UConn Huskies two weeks ago, the Cowboys won by just 2 points as a 31-point favorite.
Despite returning only four offensive starters this year, Air Force has gotten off to a good start. While they lost to Utah State as 9-point favorites at home, they had dominating wins against Navy, Florida Atlantic, and New Mexico.
AF’s secret sauce involves a run-heavy triple-option offense. If Wyoming can stop the run against Air Force, then they can win as a small road underdog.
While the Cowboys’ run defense performed decently against UConn, Ball State, and Montana State, they did poorly against Northern Illinois. Wyoming gave up 244 rushing yards, 6.4 yards per carry, and 5 rushing touchdowns to the Huskies.
However, under Head Coach Craig Bohl, Wyoming has had past success against the Air Force triple-option. It should be a close low scoring game, but I believe Wyoming will win.
Wyoming vs Air Force Prediction: Wyoming 20, Air Force 17
Best Bet: Wyoming Moneyline (+155) at Caesars (would bet up to +120)
Wager: 1 Unit
Before the season started, it would have been unthinkable for Air Force to be favored against Wyoming, even at home. While the Cowboys had a down year during the 2020 shortened season, from 2016 to 2020 they were one of the best Mountain West teams.
As someone who has watched many late-night Wyoming games over the years, one thing that the box scores don’t reflect is how well this team is coached. In a close game against an unusual offense as an underdog, this is a good spot to bet on the Cowboys.
UTEP (4-1) vs Southern Miss (1-4)
For the past few weeks in this column, I have recommended bets on UTEP, and this week their game at Southern Miss is deserving of some attention.
From a non-betting perspective, you would be absolutely nuts to watch any UTEP games unless you are from El Paso. The poor camera work on the games makes me nauseous, and they play mainly cupcakes.
Despite that, the Miners have delivered this season. From 2017 to 2019, the Miners went 2-34, but things have looked better for them recently.
In 2020, UTEP had a 3-5 record, and this season they shockingly have a 4-1 record which already has exceeded their preseason win total of only 3 wins at WynnBet.
While UTEP is on track to potentially make a bowl game, Southern Miss is having a rebuilding year. In the past, the Golden Eagles have been a perennial bowl team.
Last year after having a 3-7 losing record, they fired their head coach and have since brought in Will Hall.
Even though they are rebuilding, in my opinion they could be playing better as they have a 1-4 record. In their four games against FBS foes, they have failed to cover the spread. Most notably, they lost to Rice and South Alabama despite only being slight underdogs.
If UTEP beats Southern Miss, it will come down to how well the Golden Eagles do against the run. This season the Miners have run on 61.9% of their offensive plays, which ranks No. 16 the FBS. In close games or games where they are well ahead, they are likely to run the ball on an even higher percentage of their plays.
While Southern Miss has struggled this season, their run defense has allowed only 3.1 yards per carry which is good for No. 18 in the FBS. However, the Golden Eagles have had growing pains offensively, as they average just 12.2 points per game which is the fourth-worst in the country.
Whoever wins Saturday night’s game is likely to win a low-scoring game.
UTEP vs Southern Miss Prediction: UTEP 17, Southern Miss 13
Best Bet: UTEP -1 (-110) at BetMGM (would bet up to -4.5)
Wager: 1 Unit
As a small 1-point favorite on the road, UTEP is one of my favorite bets this week. The Miners have shown that they might have finally gotten their act together as a program.
They are likely to struggle offensively against Southern Miss, but because they employ a woeful offense, they should win a low-scoring game relatively easily.
Best Bet: Under 45.5 Points (-110) at Caesars (would bet up to 44.5)
Wager: .5 Units
In what should be a low-scoring game, I have a hard time imagining how the total goes Over this week between Southern Miss and UTEP, even at only 45.5 points.
Other than their game against Alabama, all of Southern Miss’ games this year have resulted in 43 combined points or less, and UTEP’s offense is no Alabama. What UTEP’s run-based offense is likely to do if they take the lead is run more time off the clock than if they were tied or behind.
In my opinion, UTEP’s chances of winning are directly tied to the chances of the Under hitting, which is why ideally you should try a same-game parlay with both the Under and the UTEP spread. In the meantime, the Under as a standalone bet is worth taking, especially if it doesn’t drop to a lower number.