College Football Week 6: Two Best Bets For Houston Vs. Memphis & Colorado State Vs. Nevada (10/7/22)
On the heels of a brutal Week 4, last week was much kinder to us with a 15-5 record overall. It was a great hot streak, and while I won’t come close to promising to replicate that success, I feel confident that my reads are starting to improve. I have two plays that I love on Friday, and I wanted to publish a different article for that slate to get out early. Let’s take a look at some Friday bets for college football Week 6.
College Football 2022 Record: 52-36-2 (59.1%)
Houston Cougars at Memphis Tigers Best Bet
Game Info: Friday, October 7, 7:30 PM EST
Of the four games on Friday night, this is the one I’m most excited to see. Memphis will have revenge in mind after Houston beat them 31-13 last season, their first win in the series since 2015. The sportsbooks are favoring Memphis to bounce back on Friday night as they are 4-1 and Houston sits at 2-3, but sharp money has been hitting the Cougars in this spot. Let’s take a look as to why that’s the case.
Houston quarterback Clayton Tune had a tough start to his season, but his play has started to trend back towards his impressive 2021 season over his last couple of games. This week, he gets the luxury of facing a Memphis defense that ranks 104th in passing success rate allowed despite facing Navy (110th), Arkansas State (73rd), North Texas (90th), and Temple (126th) over their last four games, all of whom rank well below-average in PFF’s team passing grades.
Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, Tune’s favorite wide receiver, is having an excellent season. His 137.2 passer rating when targeted ranks third among receivers with 40+ targets, and he has 454 yards and five touchdowns so far this year. Memphis could have to face him without Julian Barnett, one of their starting cornerbacks who missed their last game against Temple.
On the other side of the ball, Houston’s pass rush will put Memphis passer Seth Henigan in a bind. Despite losing Logan Hall to the NFL, the Cougars lead the country in pass-rush grade per PFF. Derek Parish leads the way with 26 total pressures and six sacks. Memphis is dealing with injuries to both its left tackle and left guard, both of whom missed the game against Temple.
The Cougars’ biggest weakness has been their run defense as they rank 118th in tackle and 107th in rushing success rate allowed. However, Memphis is only league average in most rushing metrics, and they have mostly relied on the passing game. Despite the pass rush, Henigan should find some success against Houston’s inexperienced secondary that ranks 72nd in passing success rate allowed.
Overall, this sets up as a great buy low, sell high spot for Houston who should continue to improve as the year goes on. I’m taking them +3 or +3.5, but you can also play their Moneyline if you’re feeling frisky. In addition, with Houston’s diminished secondary and Memphis’s improved offense, I like the total to go over. Both teams rank above-average in pace of play, so we should see some points scored on Friday night.
Best Bet: Houston +3.5 (bet to +3) and Over 57.5 Points (bet to 59.5)
Colorado State Rams at Nevada Wolfpack Best Bet
Game Info: Friday, October 7, 10:30 PM EST
I’ll be fully honest, this isn’t going to be the most exciting watch on Friday night. However, I see significant value in this game. In an underwhelming Mountain West Conference, neither of these teams have played well. Colorado State is 0-4 and lost its last game 41-10 to FCS Sacramento State at home. Nevada is 2-3 and lost to Air Force 48-20 in its last game.
The big storyline here is the return to Reno of former head coach Jay Norvell, now the head coach of the Rams. In a controversial turn of events, Norvell left the Nevada program high and dry as he took several former players with him to Colorado State. Players and coaches are downplaying the situation, but there will be tension in the air on Friday night.
Norvell’s overhaul of the Colorado State program hasn’t worked so far as the Rams are scoring just 10.8 points per game and allowing opponents to score 41 points per game. The offensive line has been particularly dreadful as they rank 130th in sacks allowed and 131st in yards per carry. The Wolfpack’s defensive line ranks 50th in tackles for loss and 34th in havoc generated, so they have the advantage upfront.
The secondary has also been a strength of the Nevada defense as they rank 47th in coverage per PFF. That’s problematic for a Colorado State passing offense that already ranks outside the top 100 in passing and is expected to be without starting quarterback Clay Millen. It’s difficult to imagine Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi leading this offense to much success after he completed just six of fifteen passes against Sacramento State.
The Nevada offense hasn’t been all that much better than Colorado State’s, but the Wolfpack defense is by far the best unit on the field in this game, and they have the luxury of playing at home. Both teams are coming off a bye week and will be very prepared for this game, but we’ve seen enough from Nevada to have confidence in them laying the number in this spot.
Best Bet: Nevada -3 (bet to -4)