Rinse and repeat, once again we were below .500 in Week 5. Our 2-4 record brings us 15-25 on the season. However, our Upset Special picks continue to hit at a surprising rate. Last week Baylor pulled off an improbable comeback bringing us to a record of 3-2 on moneyline underdogs of +300 or more in 2023. We’ll choose to focus on that positive instead. As always, the odds* for the below picks come courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook. This blog does not constitute financial advice.
Western Kentucky -5.5 at Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech has improved in 2023 after a dismal 2022 campaign but the Hilltoppers still feel like on of the most potent offenses in the Group of 5 and especially in Conference USA. I have faith that Western Kentucky will put up points at a rate the Bulldogs will be unable to match. Honestly, at just -5.5 I feel like I’m getting a steal for WKU. Hammer the Hilltoppers.
Nebraska +3.5 at Illinois
Neither the Huskers nor Illinois have been particularly impressive through the first five weeks of the season. Nebraska nearly defeated Minnesota to kick off the season but lost a 4th quarter lead and has been disappointing since. Illinois hoped to build on a strong 2022 campaign but their defensive losses have seen them disappoint so far as well. With that being said, I feel like the Huskers are on a slightly better trajectory and should end up keeping it within a field goal against Illinois in a low-scoring affair. I might even sprinkle a little on the Huskers moneyline.
Maryland +19.5 at Ohio State
Truthfully, I was tempted to take this Terrapins team as my Upset Special pick for Week 6. Maryland has been disrespected at seemingly every turn despite being undefeated and having won every contest by at least two scores. With that being said, I still think Ohio State will get the win on Saturday. However, 19.5 is a lot of points. Take the Terps here, I think they’ll surprise a lot of people by keeping this one close if they can limit turnovers.
Texas -6 vs. Oklahoma (Red River Rivalry at Cotton Bowl)
As an Aggie that grew up a Sooner it pains me to say this, but the Longhorns look like a playoff team and national title contender in 2023. I expect Texas to take care of business at the State Fair and defeat the Sooners though not by the 49 points they managed last year. Look for Texas to win by somewhere between seven to ten. I like the Horns to cover.
LSU -6.5 at Missouri
This matchup between Mizzou and LSU comes down to the defense of Missouri against the Louisiana State offense led by Jayden Daniels. Mizzou’s offense will certainly put up points against an LSU defense that has struggled to stop anyone. However, this feels like a get-right game for the Bayou Bengals. While the Tigers of Missouri have been a surprise so far this season, I’m taking LSU to win by a touchdown or more.
Notre Dame -6.5 at Louisville
Notre Dame finds themselves headed into battle against yet another undefeated ACC opponent. In this case, it’s a Louisville squad coming off a hard-fought 13-10 victory over NC State. Notre Dame is likely a little banged up after back-to-back games against Ohio State and Duke but I don’t think Louisville is on the same level as either of those teams. I like the Irish to win by a touchdown at least.
Marshall +6.5 at NC State
The Marshall Thundering Herd look like one of the best teams in the Group of 5 in 2023. They already have one ACC win this year after knocking off Virginia Tech earlier this season, now they hope to keep that momentum going against NC State in Week 6. The Wolfpack haven’t been very impressive through the first five weeks of the season and I think Marshall has a real shot at pulling off the upset. However, I’m playing it safe and just taking the Herd to keep it within 6.5.
Fresno State at Wyoming +5.5
First things first, I am THRILLED that this Mountain West matchup is getting the big FOX treatment on Saturday night. Instead of being relegated to FS1, this clash with postseason implications gets shown in households around the country. Fresno State finds themselves ranked after a 5-0 start while Wyoming sits at 4-1 after upsetting Texas Tech. The one defeat? A loss to the current 3rd-ranked team in the nation that was tied until the 4th quarter. The kicker in this one, as ever, is the elevation of Wyoming’s home in Laramie. 7,220 feet above sea level will play a role, I like the Cowboys to keep it within a field goal at least. I might even put a little moneyline action on this one too.
Upset Special: Kentucky +440 at Georgia
This is the least level of confidence I’ve had in one of these Upset Special picks yet. Georgia is the number one team in the country despite their recent struggles. Brock Bowers is, in my opinion, the best player in the country at the moment. However, the Bulldogs just gave up over 200 yards rushing against Auburn. Kentucky is absolutely a team that wants to establish the run, just look at their 300 yards rushing against Florida last week. With that being said - this contest could just as easily be a get-right game for the Bulldogs where they turn back into the murdering machine of the past two years thanks to the doubters. I’m just leaning towards Georgia needing to suffer a major setback before they wake up. Enter Kentucky.
What games are you most excited about this weekend? Let us know in the comments!
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See http://draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.