The Six Pack: Florida State vs NC State, TCU vs Kansas among Week 6’s best college football picks

The sun shines a little brighter and the flowers smell a little sweeter when The Six Pack gets back on the winning side of the ledger, and that’s where we sit after a 4-2 performance last week. After struggling in Game of the Week and Key of the Week this season, we swept all three last week and went on to lead our beloved Kansas Jayhawks to their fourth straight win.

The Jayhawks are back this week but in unfamiliar territory. You know it’s been a crazy start to the season when one of the top games of the weekend is in Lawrence, Kansas, between ranked Kansas and ranked TCU.

I don’t want to confuse anything, but I feel good about this week’s slate as well. Some teams are still undervalued and some are ripe for the picking as the market is pretty high on them, and it’s time to buy back a bit. All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Games of the week

Selected game | Kansas Jayhawks vs. TCU Horned Frogs

No. 17 TCU at No. 19 Kansas: I’m in an awkward position here. I bet the Jayhawks every week and they have been very good to me. Not only have they covered all five of their games, they’ve won them too. Unfortunately, I think the winning streak ends for Kansas on Saturday. As good as the Jayhawks have been, TCU is the best, most complete team they’ve faced. I’m afraid the Horned Frogs will be too much for them.

However, I don’t think the Horned Frogs will be so far that Kansas won’t cover the touchdown! The Jayhawks had their worst offensive performance of the season against Iowa State, but still won the game with their defense. This is an encouraging sign moving forward. Also, while TCU is the most complete team the Jayhawks have faced, they aren’t particularly special on the defensive end and have given up a lot of explosive plays. Not good news for a team facing this Kansas offense. I expect a lot of points and neither team to be too far away from the other. TCU 35, Kansas 31 | Kansas +7

Selected game | UCLA Bruins vs. Utah Utes

No. 11 Utah at No. 18 UCLA: I was impressed by what I saw from Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins against Washington last week, but he had too much of an impact down the line in this game. Yes, there were questions about the Bruins coming into the game because they had played a soft schedule up to that point, but a solid offensive performance against Washington didn’t do much to convince me. The Huskies moved the ball effectively against UCLA’s defense and offered little defensive resistance.

That won’t be the case for a Utah defense that ranks 13th nationally in defensive success rate, 15th in points allowed per drive and fourth in EPA (expected points added) per snap. What would worry me even more if I were a UCLA fan is that the Utes rank eighth nationally in pressure percentage, and Thompson-Robinson has never fared well when pressured. Utah 37, UCLA 31 | Utah -3.5

Lock of the week

Selected game | Maryland Terrapins vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue in Maryland: Purdue pulled off a nice 20-10 upset over Minnesota last week, which boosted its cred a bit on the road this week. Especially if you watched the game. Minnesota drove into Purdue territory six times, but came away with only one field goal and one touchdown. a missed field goal and three interceptions were the other results. Purdue’s defense certainly deserves credit for that, but the Gophers were also without star running back Mohamed Ibrahim. Meanwhile, the Boilermakers offense was ineffective. The Boilermakers can’t afford to have another performance like this against a Maryland team that will score against you.

Purdue’s overall defensive numbers this season have been solid, but the Boilermakers haven’t faced an offense quite like this Maryland team. The Terps have NFL talent at the receiver position and are effective in the passing game. Maryland ranks 28th nationally in scoring offense and is averaging 3.02 points per possession (22nd). That includes 27 points and nearly 400 yards of offense on the road against Michigan. If the Terps can do that on the road against the Wolverines, they shouldn’t have too much trouble with Purdue’s defense. Maryland 34, Purdue 27 | Maryland -3

Under of the week

Selected game | Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech at Pitt: What a great match we have here. In one corner, we have a Virginia Tech team that can’t score points. Seriously, the Hokies only scored 10 points against a North Carolina defense that rolls out of bed and allows 30 points every morning. In the other corner, there’s Pete. A team coached by a man who finds points morally repulsive and a cancer in football. Pat Narduzzi’s Panthers won the ACC last year and reached the Peach Bowl, and he expressed relief this season that the team’s offensive coordinator Mark Whipple had left for Nebraska because he called pass plays too often.

The Panthers probably wish they had thrown the ball more in last week’s 26-21 loss to a Georgia Tech team that just fired its coach. I don’t think the Panthers will pull off an upset for the second week in a row, but I don’t think they’ll score many points either. I know Virginia Tech won’t. Pitt 20, Virginia Tech 7 | Below 41.5

Underdog of the week

Selected game | Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Army West Point Black Knights

Army at No. 15 Wake Forest: Remember what happened when these two played last season? Let me refresh your memory. There were 21 combined possessions (not including possessions at the end of each half) in the game, and 18 of them ended in a touchdown. One ended in a defensive touchdown on a pick six. There was also a turnover on downs and a punt. The final score was 70-56 Wake.

I don’t think this year’s meeting will be as high-scoring, but I don’t think Wake Forest will have an easier time stopping Army. The Knights rushed for 416 yards on the Deacons last year, and Wake hasn’t shown me enough defensively this season to make me believe he’s solved those issues. Of course, Army isn’t going to stop Sam Hartman from throwing it all over the place, but it’s still hard to trust the Deacs to cover three scores here. Not without multiple army reversals. Wake Forest 48, Army 35 | Army +17

Twist of the week

Selected game | NC State Wolfpack vs. Florida State Seminoles

Florida State at No. 14 NC State: I don’t like NC State that much! I don’t mean as a program or as a school. I mean that in the sense that the Wolfpack might be 4-1 and ranked No. 14 in the country, but I don’t think they’re as good as the ranking or the spread suggests in this game. The offense is so lame and ineffective. NC State ranks 71st nationally in passing percentage and 91st in explosive play percentage. They lack explosive playmakers, and that makes Devin Leary — a good QB — look ordinary.

Florida State, meanwhile, is a team with plenty of its own flaws, but has an explosive offense (8th nationally) and ranks 16th in the EPA per snap (0.21) and 25th in points per drive (2.98). The Seminoles can put points on the board in a hurry, which makes them dangerous in every game, especially against an offense that can’t score quickly. Florida State 27, NC State 24 | Florida State (+130)

Games of the week




Lock of the week




In total




Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 6, and which Top 25 favorite will fall hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has produced more than $3,100 in winnings over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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