With over 50 NCAA football games this weekend, they are really only two games that are worth watching. These two games are the only matchups for week 6 of the college football season that feature two teams that are ranked in the top 25; one in the Big Ten and the other out West in the Pac 12.
Last weekend, we saw a number of big upsets with four of the Top Ten ranked teams all losing outright. In addition to shaking up the rankings it has also changed the public perception of many high profile teams.
The first such match-up has unbeaten Northwestern taking on 4-1 Michigan at the Big House. The Wildcats have climbed to #13 in the rankings, and Big Ten powers Ohio State and Michigan State not on their schedule this year, this sets up as one of the biggest games of the season for Northwestern.
The Villanova Wildcats crushed Minnesota 27-0 last week as a small 3-point home favorite. Many online sportsbooks still don’t give NW credit, however, as Michigan is a huge 8-point home favorite. These odds would suggest that Michigan would be favored even if this game took place at Northwestern. The Wolverines also had a great game last week, beating Maryland 28-0 for their second straight shutout.
The other match-up of two ranked foes is #5 Utah which is hosting #23 California. Utah has come out of nowhere the past few weeks, starting the season unranked (29 teams had more points in the preseason rankings) and now surging to a Top 5 position after crushing Oregon by 42 points two weeks back (had a bye last week).
Their season-opening road win at Michigan is now looking better after the Wolverines have turned things around. The Utes now have to deal with the pressure of having that ranking, and are a 4 point favorite at home against the Bears. Cal is also unbeaten, but this is by far the toughest opponent they will have faced so far.
#21 Oklahoma State is the only ranked team (outside of the two Top 25 matchups) to be listed as an underdog this week when they travel to West Virginia to face the 3-1 Mountaineers. Somewhat surprisingly, WVU is a big 7-point home favorite against the Cowboys in a line perhaps influenced by West Virginia’s recent success in this series. OSU was a 3-point home underdog last year and were blown out 34-10. Two years ago, Oklahoma State was a massive 19.5-point road favorite but WVU shocked them with a 30-21 outright victory.
The SEC has been a disappointment for online sports betting enthusiasts thus far with Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Georgia all losing after reaching the top ten of the rankings. Florida pulled off one of the bigger upsets of the season last week, crushing the Rebels 38-10 and exposing Ole Miss for who they really are. That big win pushed Florida all the way up to #11, and it will be interesting to see if they suffer the same fate as the Rebels now that they have the big target on their back. Florida is a 5-point road favorite at Missouri.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Red River Showdown – one of the most anticipated matchups every year. The slow 1-4 start by Texas – including a 50-7 blowout loss last week against TCU – means this game has lost some of it’s luster. Unbeaten Oklahoma is a huge 17-point choice.
We’ll be back next week to preview the college football betting matchups for Week 7 of the CFB season.