Only 48 games involving FBS teams are scheduled for this weekend—14 fewer than last year in Week 6. Despite the low census, four games match nationally-ranked teams.
Sixth-ranked Ohio State (5-0) will put an end to Michigan State’s (4-1) pretense of being a Big-10 championship contender. The Buckeyes are in the top three for positive trends in the Savvy Index and that stature is a common foretoken of teams that make the play-off.
Ninth-ranked Auburn (5-0) is a one-touchdown favorite over #11 Florida (5-0) in a prediction that the Index rates as strong and reliable. Auburn has played above expectations every week while Florida has been above on some but missed on most.
Tenth-ranked Iowa (4-0) is a 31-24 choice over #18 Michigan (3-1). Although I personally see this one the other way, our system shows that trend lines favor Iowa.
Thirteenth-ranked Texas (3-1) has been one of the most reliable teams for Savvy predictions in 2019. The Longhorns are projected to knock #22 West Virginia (3-1) from the rankings after a 34-27 win in Morgantown. While WVU has been stabilizing after a coaching change, the Mountaineers have established none of the up-trends that reflect the mastery of new schemes and compatibility.
Our system is 279-60 (82%) in predicting games this season.
In the PAC-12 . . .
A pair of 3-1 teams get together in Boulder as Colorado is favored 35-34 over visiting Arizona.
Injuries are likely to play a big part in this one.
It isn’t certain if Arizona will have Khalil Tate at quarterback but even if he plays, Colorado won’t have to worry about defending a dual-threat because Tate is hobbled by a lingering ankle injury and a pulled hamstring. His replacement is freshman Grant Gunnell who has done well in completing 69% of his passes with no interceptions in 55 attempts but he is not considered to be a run threat.
The Buffalo infirmary is less populated but still a matter of concern. According to donbest.com, All-American receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has an undisclosed injury that makes him questionable. We also think the Buffs will be vulnerable this week in the secondary.
PAC-12 leader Oregon (3-1) is a 33-21 pick over never-ranked California (4-1). Cal will be without quarterback Chase Garbers, and his replacement, Devon Modster, has a history of ineffectiveness and turnovers (6% interception rate in 2019; 2.2% is about average).
Oregon gets this one at home and will have Heisman candidate Justin Herbert at quarterback and probably will see the return of one or two receivers who have been out all season with injuries.
Fifteenth-ranked Washington (4-1) is at least 31-17 better than plummeting Stanford (2-3), a team that suffers from four injuries along its offensive line as well as a rudderless approach to offensive identity. Whether K.J. Costello is ready to play or not won’t matter because his replacement, Davis Mills, is statistically better.
Oregon State (1-3) is rising steadily in our trends and is now a 32-31 favorite over UCLA (1-4) in Los Angeles.
The Beavers are ranked higher in yards per carry (15th to 118th), total offense (22nd to 87th), team defense (99th to 127th), and turnovers (24th to 77th).
UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson is still listed as questionable with a leg injury and his replacement is lightly-recruited Austin Burton who is a former two-star with signing day recognition that amounted to just three paragraphs in “Bruins Nation.” Burton has been on campus for three years and last Saturday was the first time he saw action.
Even if Thompson-Robinson is ready to play for the Bruins, the Beavers won’t be facing much of a threat because DTR is completing less than 60% of his passes, 5% of his passes end in interception, he isn’t a “long-ball” passer, and his running threat amounts to less than two yards per carry.
[To see predictions for all 48 games, click here].