Grab The Points In Indiana And Illinois

After outlining early line value in Week 6 of the college football season, the lines have shifted, the totals are different, and the money lines have changed. Take advantage of what you can now that the college football betting lines are set in our college football picks and predictions.

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Week 6 College Football Picks and Predictions

But first, a reminder of a little background here. Last week, in our early picks and predictions, you were advised to take the under on the total points in the Illinois vs. Wisconsin matchup. Though we were more comfortable with a total of 46 points, sticking with the under on 44.5 total points was the bet in our early-line publish.

Fast forward a few days to our late-week publish, the total had moved down a whole point to 43.5. It was then that we advised savvy bettors to hedge their bets or new weekend bettors to grab the over. Illinois and Wisconsin played to a 34-10 Fighting Illini victory, and more importantly, a total of 44 points.

Had you taken the under when advised, the check would’ve cashed. Had you taken the over when advised, the same thing would’ve happened.

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but more so am here just to remind you why we produce early-line value bets and then move to a late-week push to find those lines you could’ve or should’ve moved off of. There is a lot of value in college football betting, you just need to know where to find it.

Now that the lines have shifted a few points here and there, that value is clear for the weekend slate of college football.

Michigan vs. Indiana (under 59 points)

The advice early on was to buy Michigan anywhere closer to (-20). Well, it appears you have done that as the total has climbed north of 22 points in favor of the Wolverines. With that in mind, you now must get realistic on just how many points Indiana can actually score against this stout Michigan defense.

It’s no surprise that they’ll test them deep, they’ll test them underneath, and they’ll try to get the ball to the perimeter with their speed from the backfield. But it shouldn’t matter. Michigan’s defense has no less than 11 players that could start on every defense around the country and more than 15 players that are worthy of a spot on the starting 11. It’s one of the deepest units in all of college football.

Countering that point, however, is the fact that Indiana’s defense has been remarkably shaky in 2022 compared to head coach Tom Allen’s standards. They’ve allowed at least 20 points in every single game and over 30 in two of their last three outings. Despite a 3-0 start, the Hoosiers are down to 3-2 following two relatively convincing losses to Cincinnati and Nebraska.

Michigan should be able to score, in bunches, against the Hoosiers. Can Indiana score at all, though?

Prediction: Michigan 41, Indiana 10

Tennessee vs. LSU (under 65)

We’re hoping for another point-spread special this week as this total has moved from 62 points to 65 points in just three days. That’s a lot of line movement and may not be done yet. If you can find this at 65.5 points, grab it, and don’t look back. Still, at 65 total points, the value is there.

Tennessee’s offense goes fast fast while LSU’s front seven has been terrific all season long, and LSU’s strength is their pass rush, despite a time to pressure among the lowest in the conference. Whether it’s schemed that way or Hendon Hooker taking his first read quickly to keep his offense on schedule, the Vols are a fast offense. Hooker has started to command the Volunteers’ offense even better than anticipated this season and taken that proverbial next step.

That being said, Tennessee’s defense at times has looked like a slice of Swiss cheese, notably on the back end in coverage where they have trouble with missed tackles. Expect points to be on the menu for both offenses, even if LSU QB Jayden Daniels is averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt and just 183 yards per game.

As we said earlier in the week: Take this line over 62, but not a point higher. It’s higher now, so hedge your bets or get in on the action at under 65.

Prediction: Tennessee 35, LSU 28

Buffalo (-2) vs. Bowling Green

UPDATE: This line has moved from Buffalo (-1.5) to just (-2) and the prediction/pick remains the same.

The Buffalo Bulls are on a tear after starting the season off on the wrong foot. QB Cole Snyder has found his footing and totaled six total touchdowns in the past two outings. But what’s been winning games for the Bulls has been their pass defense since conference play started.

Buffalo’s secondary limited Austin Smith of Eastern Michigan to just 190 yards and Aveon Smith of Miami (OH) to just 119 yards, intercepting a pass off each of them.

Quian Williams and Justin Marshall should prove to be too much for Bowling Green’s secondary. The points are in play in this game, however, as each offense can put points up in bunches. Be mindful of that total, anything less than 54 points should be in play. Taking Buffalo and the over is a winning recipe at this stage.

Prediction: Buffalo 33, Bowling Green 24

East Carolina vs. Tulane (-3.5)

The East Carolina passing attack is something fierce. Holton Ahlers is fresh off a six-touchdown performance and a spot on our National Team of the Week. Don’t get it twisted, Ahlers is a dominant quarterback when he’s on his game. However, he has yet to play a schematically and athletically gifted defensive unit like this Tulane Green Wave team.

Tulane rolls out many different alignments and plays to their strength (coverage) incredibly well. What has aided this Green Wave defense recently, however, is their edge-setting presence as Dorian Williams, Darius Hodges, and Nick Anderson have each had their shining moments in 2022. Macon Clark is the X-Factor in this game, however, as he flies around the field from the nickel spot for Tulane.

Tulane will have to bracket C.J. Johnson in coverage, putting Clark in 1-on-1 situations underneath. That’s where he excels. Ahlers will struggle in this game, and Tulane will get to the front of the AAC race in the process.

It looks like the unknown nature of Michael Pratt’s status as Tulane’s starting QB has become more clear in small circles. This line has moved from Tulane -2.5 when it opened, down to -1.5 when we published our early-line values, and now back up to -3.5 in favor of the Green Wave. Had you been able to scoop up Tulane at -1.5, you’d be sitting pretty because getting north of a field goal is a bit rich in an AAC that has been anything but predictable this season.

Prediction: Tulane 30, East Carolina 24

James Madison vs. Arkansas State (over 55 points)

Earlier this week, we penciled this game in as one to watch throughout the week. Buying the total if it snuck under 55 points. Well, we’re right there, and this one is still presenting enough value to either edge your bets or grab a new one on the over. As good as JMU’s defense is — and they are terrific — their offense has been prolific as well.

The Dukes currently have the fifth-best scoring defense in the country, allowing just 55 total points. They’ve done so with stymying coverage units and an exceptional edge presence from their front-seven defenders.

But Arkansas State uses the boundary to their advantage and keeping the Red Wolves out of the end zone all game long will be a task in and of itself. Attempting to stop Arkansas State TE Seydou Traore is also a monumental ask as the big man from London should be able to make a handful of plays.

It won’t be enough and JMU should remain undefeated, but at least their defense gets a firm test for the first time since spotting App State 28 in the first half.

Prediction: James Madison 38, Arkansas State 20

Other Lines To Monitor Through This Weekend

North Carolina (+3.5) vs. Miami (FL)

If Middle Tennessee gave Miami fits through the vertical passing game, just what can Drake Maye do to this Hurricanes’ secondary? The answer should scare Miami fans as they hope whatever their quarterback situation is gets worked out in the meantime.

UNC doesn’t have a good defense, we all know that, but their offense can score with the best of them, in the same way that MTSU shredded Miami’s cornerbacks. The points and UNC are in play here. Buy it at UNC +3 if you find it.

BYU (+3.5) vs. Notre Dame

The BYU Cougars are out to make up for their lone blemish on their schedule. Double-digit wins is their floor this season, and they’ve had this neutral-site game circled since its inception years ago.

In Vegas, it’ll be a battle of two strengths: Notre Dame’s run game and BYU’s passing attack. The Cougars will have to get their own rushing attack working, similar to how Marshall knocked off ND earlier this year, and their kicking game will have to be cleaner. Still, Jaren Hall has the tools to exploit ND’s man coverage schemes with a healthy Gunner Romney back in the lineup. Go for the Cougs if it gets any higher than +4.

Iowa vs. Illinois (over 36.5)

This may surprise you. Both Iowa and Illinois have combined to give up a total of just 86 points this year. However, each offense has shown to win in ways that each other’s defense has had minor lapses in this season. Illinois runs heavily and sets up perimeter shots to their big wideouts using play action. The Iowa defenders will undoubtedly want to cheat forward with Illinois RB Chase Brown averaging over five yards per carry. That should allow Tommy DeVito a few favorable 1-on-1 matchups on the outside to exploit with their massive receiving corps.

For Iowa, the offense is beginning to feature their tight ends in the vertical and horizontal passing game. That’s imperative in this one as Illinois’ lone loss came to an Indiana team that featured Cam Camper in a similar manner. Take the points and hope for a few defensive lapses. This one is an easy one to clear, even with the movement from 35.5 points to 36.5; just hope for a late field goal to give Illinois the 20-17 win.

Florida State (+3) vs. NC State

The Florida State Seminoles of recent years showed their ugly heads last Saturday against Wake Forest. Unable to get off the field on third down — and subsequently fourth down — the Seminoles lost the point of attack against Wake’s slow-mesh offense.

That won’t be the case here as NC State utilizes an offensive attack similar to the ones FSU has shown the penchant to be sound against. Jordan Travis’ athletic ability should be able to be utilized against a banged-up Wolfpack linebacking corps as well. And the Seminoles have a chance to follow Clemson’s road map to victory yet again, playing the same opponent, a week after the Tigers for the second straight week.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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