Week 6 of the college football season should be an exciting one, with four games pitting ranked opponents against one another. Outside of that, teams like No. 13 Washington State and No. 11 Alabama are expected to get tough tests against unranked opponents.
But a lot of this week's betting value can be found outside of this weekend's top-billed games. A lot of the ranked matchups are either too close to call or filled with too much uncertainty to confidently find a value play.
Not that some of the more notable games lack merit. The aforementioned Washington State Cougars are actually underdogs on the road against unranked UCLA, which is looking to pick up its first Pac-12 win and stay afloat in the conference race. No. 23 LSU is looking to bounce back on the road against No. 21 Missouri in a game that could see plenty of offense.
This column needs a bounce back, as well. After a 4-1 start to things, we've had just two hits in the last two weeks. Last week was filled with bad beats: Kansas starting quarterback Jalon Daniels was ruled out right before kickoff against Texas, throwing the Jayhawks covering a 16.5-point spread out the window, while South Carolina and Tennessee came within three points short of hitting the over.
Here are the value plays that bettors should keep an eye on during Week 6 of the college football season.
Odds via SportsLine consensus | All times Eastern
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. | Where: Boone Pickens Stadium -- Stillwater, Oklahoma
Oklahoma State has managed to stumble its way through the 19th easiest schedule in the nation and still has two losses on its resume. The Cowboys started the year 2-0, though their season-opening 27-13 win against FCS Central Arkansas did little to instill confidence, and have not won a game since. That includes a 33-7 loss to South Alabama, which may have been a new low in Mike Gundy's tenure.
Kansas State's only setback thus far was on the road against a now-ranked Missouri team. Both squads are coming off a bye here, but if Oklahoma State can lose by 26 against the likes of South Alabama, Kansas State should have no problem maintaining a pretty comfortable gap in this one. Prediction: Kansas State -11.5
No. 23 LSU at No. 21 Missouri
When: Saturday, 12 p.m. | Where: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium -- Columbia, Missouri
LSU is the type of team that boasts an offense that few can stop and a defense that might be better off just staying on the bench. The Tigers (from LSU) are fresh off a 55-49 loss to Ole Miss -- the highest-scoring FBS game this season. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels passed for 414 yards and four touchdowns. Four LSU receivers had at least 50 yards through the air. Now Daniels and company get to go against a Missouri team that ranks ninth in the SEC in pass defense, allowing over 242 yards through the air per game.
Missouri is no slouch offensively. Quarterback Brady Cook, who is getting healthier each week since he hyperextended his knee against Kansas State, and wide receiver Luther Burden are a potent duo. The two have combined for 629 yards and four touchdowns, more than any other quarterback-wide receiver combo in the nation. All this to say, points should come easy in Saturday's game. Prediction: Over 64.5
No. 13 Washington State at UCLA
When: Saturday, 3 p.m. | Where: Rose Bowl Stadium -- Pasadena, California
It's not everyday that the No. 13 team in the nation is considered an underdog, even if that team is playing on the road. But the Cougars enter Saturday's contest +3.5 against UCLA. Instead of hitting a spread with meager payouts -- especially one so thin -- the money line brings a ton of value here. In fact, it almost feels like stealing. UCLA hasn't seen a team like Washington State yet. The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing just 11 points per game and are second in total defense, but they have yet to play an FBS team that ranks better than 61st in offensive efficiency.
The Cougars rank 11th nationally in offensive efficiency, sixth nationally in total offense (533.8 yards per game) and fifth nationally in scoring offense (45.8 points per game). UCLA should be able to move the ball if this game evolves into a shootout, as Wazzu's defense is quite porous. But in that scenario, it's smarter to lean on a veteran quarterback like WSU's Cameron Ward over UCLA freshman Dante Moore, who hasn't had to play in a game like that at the collegiate level. Prediction: Washington State (+142)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. | Where: Memorial Stadium -- Clemson, South Carolina
Only one of Clemson's three games against power conference competition this season has reached 50 total points, and it took overtime to get there. On the other hand, Wake Forest and its opponents have combined for at least 50 points in all but one of the Demon Deacons' four games this year. That being said, Wake Forest has yet to play an FBS team with a winning record, and it has yet to try and move the ball against anything close to Clemson's defense.
The Tigers are strong as ever on that side of the ball, pacing the ACC in total defense (266.4 yards per game) while allowing 20.8 points per contest. Wake Forest isn't going to score much, which puts the burden on Clemson. Dabo Swinney's squad has only managed at least 40 points on its own against FCS Charleston Southern and a 1-3 Florida Atlantic team. Prediction: Under 52.5
When: Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET | Where: Mountain America Stadium -- Tempe, Arizona
Before the season started this game might have been at worst a tossup, but it's pretty clear at this point that Colorado is the better team. The Buffaloes have already exceeded expectations, with a 3-2 record against the hardest schedule in college football. They've already beaten better teams than Arizona State, and came within seven points of shocking a USC squad that some see as a College Football Playoff contender.
The Sun Devils, meanwhile, are 1-4. Their lone win was a three-point triumph against FCS Southern Utah in the season opener. To make matters worse, ASU is down to its third-string quarterback for Saturday's game, as starter Jaden Rashada and his backup Drew Pyne are both out with injuries. Colorado's defense has been a concern this season, but it should be able to get enough stops against a shorthanded Arizona State. Prediction: Colorado -4
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 6? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past seven seasons -- and find out.