Week 6 of the college football season was exhilarating. There were multiple games that just brought the heat with entertainment, like Ole Miss over Arkansas and Oklahoma over Texas, with both games going over 100 points.
This week, we are fortunate to have a nice slate of four games lined up for Friday night across different conferences. It's unlikely to be as thrilling, but it's some good football, nonetheless. Here’s a preview for each.
Marshall (-11.5) at North Texas (Total: 66)
The Thundering Herd can’t cover spreads. In fact, Marshall is 2-4 ATS this season and 1-4 ATS as a favorite. Some highlights:
Week 3: -9.5 at home against East Carolina, lost 42-38
Week 5: -10 at Middle Tennessee, lost 34-28
Week 6: -20 at home against Old Dominion, won 20-13 … in overtime
The issue: turnovers. There are 130 teams in the FBS. Marshall is in a three-way tie for dead last in giveaways. In just those three games listed above, the Herd have had 11 total turnovers — six interceptions and five fumbles. North Texas may be 1-4, but it is 3-2 ATS, covering in back-to-back weeks as 9.5- and 18.5-point underdogs. Prove you should be a double-digit favorite, Marshall.
Betting option: North Texas +11.5
Clemson (-13.5) at Syracuse (Total: 44.5)
Lost: Clemson’s offense. If found, please call Dabo Swinney at 1-800-Playoff. The Tigers are 124th in total offense, 0-5 ATS, have yet to win a game by more than six points, and lost to N.C. State 27-21 as 10.5-point favorites. The only offense Clemson has: It ranks 89th in rushing yards.
Meanwhile, the Orange are 5-1 ATS and have been playing tough against more productive rushing teams, defeating Liberty (37th), losing to Florida State by three (23rd), and losing to Wake Forest (48th) by three in overtime.
Syracuse's defense should find some success here. Clemson is ranked 23rd in rushing defense, but this will be the best rushing offense it has faced.
Betting option: Syracuse +13.5, ML sprinkle +455
Best bet: UNDER 44.5. You can hear why on Tuesday’s episode of Yahoo Sportsbook Daily.
Cal at Oregon (-14, Total: 54)
The Ducks were the shiny new thing after defeating Ohio State in Week 2 but then lost to Stanford in Week 5. Coming off a bye, Oregon enters this matchup 4-1 SU but 1-4 ATS.
The Golden Bears have been a stingy little team, losing three games by seven points or less. One of those matchups looks quite similar to this one, a 34-32 loss at TCU. Oregon is a run-first team ranked 19th in rushing, while TCU is ranked sixth.
Cal is a pass-first team facing an Oregon secondary ranked 120th in passing defense. In his matchup against TCU, Cal QB Chase Garbers threw for 309 passing yards and averaged 11.4 yards per pass. He’s clearly capable and will need to bring that same heat to this game.
It's also worth noting this will be the first game the Ducks will be without star RB CJ Verdell, who is out for the season with a lower-leg injury. Verdell accounts for a team-leading six rushing scores. Travis Dye will take over as lead back, but behind Dye there's little depth. That could become an issue down the road.
Betting option: Cal +14
San Diego State (-9) at San Jose State (Total: 41)
The Aztecs are a one-dimensional top-15 run team facing a Spartans defense ranked 63rd in rushing yards, but it has faced four teams ranked in the bottom half of rushing offense.
San Diego State RB Greg Bell should tear this team to shreds. In four of five games he's played, he’s rushed for 110 yards or more. If San Diego State falls behind, it's worth noting San Jose is 120th in total offense, ranking bottom 10 for scoring offense and averaging just 16 points per game.
Betting option: San Diego State -9