Here is betting lines, trends and analysis on a trio of Saturday games on the Week 6 college football slate.
Houston (-16.5) at Navy, 3 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Houston, the No. 6 ranked team in the nation, rolls into Annapolis at 5-0 after a 13-1 season last year, when the Cougars’ lone loss came with Heisman hopeful quarterback Greg Ward Jr. sidelined. This team is for real.
They’re cashing plenty of tickets at the betting window, too, going 4-1 against the spread this season, failing to cover only a 42.5-point spread when laying 42 against Lamar. And if you’re nervous about laying points on the road with these guys, don’t be – they are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games as road favorites.
Navy, coming off a 28-14 loss at Air Force that dropped its record to 3-1, loves to run the ball and rarely throws it. That doesn’t bode well against a defense that has not allowed a team to gain over 100 yards on the ground in seven games and whose opponents are getting just 42 rushing yards per game.
However, value handicappers may be looking long and hard at the Midshipmen, who lost against Houston last year, 52-31, but were actually 1-point road favorites and hung with the Cougars from a yardage perspective.
Tennessee at Texas A&M (-7), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Here’s a huge battle in the SEC, both teams coming in at 5-0. The point spread sort of jumps off the page, doesn’t it? The Vols are a highly-talented group, so for them to be catching a touchdown in this spot is awfully enticing. Then again, one has to wonder when their luck is going to run out, as they’ve had some good fortune throughout their five wins, including last week’s Hail Mary against Georgia. They’ve trailed by double digits in four of their first five games. Tennessee is 2-3 ATS on the season. The Vols are pretty banged up as they visit College Station, star running back Jalen Hurd among those out.
The Aggies are also 5-0, but they’ve been more impressive than Tennessee, particularly at the betting window, where they are 4-1 ATS. The Trevor Knight-led offense is the best in the conference. They haven’t been a good bet when laying points at home, though, going 1-5 ATS in the role against SEC opponents.
Alabama (-14) at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Arkansas has been tough in the underdog role under Bret Bielema, going 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games catching points. That includes a 14-13 loss at home as 9-point dogs vs. Alabama in 2014, and a 27-14 loss when spotted 15.5 last year in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama, meanwhile, has covered the spread in just one of its last five as road favorites. Admittedly, that’s a small sample size, but even with the best team in the nation, it’s a bit daunting to lay all these points on the road against a solid SEC club.
So bettors have a dilemma on their hands in this one. Spot a traditionally tough underdog two touchdowns at home or bet against ‘Bama.
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