The 2019 college football season moves into Week 6 with another set of matchups which aren’t dazzling, but could offer good opportunities in select situations. Let’s take a look at the over-unders for all of the games featuring Top 25 games.
No. 18 UCF at Cincinnati
The UCF offense isn’t nearly as good on the road as it is at home, so that is a point of concern for anyone who wants to bet the over. The real key, though, is the Cincinnati offense versus the UCF defense. Cincinnati has to prove it can play with the big boys, and that means scoring big with a high-powered offense. Have the Bearcats developed to the extent that they should be expected to keep pace with UCF in a shootout? They were unable to score three touchdowns last year against the Knights. It is hard to expect them to score five or more this time. Take the under.
Purdue at No. 12 Penn State
The Boilermakers watched their best player, receiver Rondale Moore, get injured last week against Minnesota. Purdue will have a very tough time scoring, which means that even if Penn State scores 40 points, this game is still in good position to go under the number.
No. 21 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
Texas Tech’s game last week against Oklahoma went just under the number because the Red Raiders don’t have a good replacement quarterback for the injured Alan Bowman. It is very hard to trust Texas Tech’s offense right now. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State just held Kansas State to 13 points. The indicators in this game point to an under. Texas Tech needs to convince skeptics that it can score without Bowman.
No. 14 Iowa at No. 19 Michigan
This game looks like a total fistfight, with quality defenses containing mediocre offenses, and both teams trying to get good enough field position to kick field goals. This number seems way too high. It would not be a surprise if the winning team scored fewer than 20 points. Take the under here.
Kent State at No. 8 Wisconsin
Michigan scored 14 points against Wisconsin. Kent State is not likely to match Michigan. This game will go over the number only if Wisconsin scores in the low 50s or higher… which is possible, but the Badgers might rest their starters in the middle of the season and try to play this game more conservatively than the Big Ten games they have coming up later in October against teams such as Ohio State. Take the under if you want to make a play on this game, but it will be very close to the number either way.
No. 6 Oklahoma at Kansas
The Sooners are going to score at least 50 points, but will Kansas be able to score 17? The Jayhawks looked terrible last week against TCU, so they do not inspire much confidence right now. The other note about this game is that Oklahoma is probably going to look ahead a little bit to Texas, so the Sooners won’t try to score 70 points here. They could take their feet off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter and will not get the extra touchdown which might make the difference here. Take the under.
Utah State at No. 5 LSU
The LSU offense has been ridiculously strong this season, and LSU has a number of players on defense who are injured. LSU allowed 38 points in its most recent game against Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt does not have an offense which is superior to Utah State’s offense. LSU’s most recent game involved a total of over 100 points. Take the over in this game.
No. 11 Texas at West Virginia
The Texas offense should be able to do whatever it wants against West Virginia’s defense, so the question becomes if West Virginia’s offense will get a few touchdowns against Texas in a blowout loss, or completely fail to score. Since Texas is preparing for Oklahoma on October 12, the Longhorns might have just enough lapses to let West Virginia score in the high teens. This game could be 49-17, so take the over.
Bowling Green at No. 9 Notre Dame
The Notre Dame defense should allow very few points here. The Notre Dame offense might score 45 points, but it will probably have to score at least 56 to push the game over. Will the Irish be focused enough to play four complete quarters on offense? They might send in backups in the second half, and that would take the air out of the Irish’s offense. Take the under in South Bend.
No. 7 Auburn at No. 10 Florida
The Auburn offense looked a lot better last weekend against Mississippi State than against any of the other opponents it had faced this season. However, a lot of people will reasonably wonder if Mississippi State represented a strong challenge for Auburn’s offense. The Florida Gators’ defense will certainly provide a stiff test for quarterback Bo Nix and the rest of the Auburn offense. Auburn’s defense, meanwhile, should be able to handle a Florida offense which is quarterbacked by Kyle Trask, who is replacing Opening Day starter Feleipe Franks, who is out for the year with an injury suffered against Kentucky on Sept. 14. Take the under.
Tulsa at No. 24 SMU
This is a game in which high-flying SMU should once again roar into action on offense and post a huge number. The SMU defense has been more than adequate this season relative to the Mustangs’ needs in each game, but being adequate is not the same as being airtight. SMU will score in the high 40s, but Tulsa will score in the 20s and carry this game over the number.
No. 3 Georgia at Tennessee
Tennessee might not score at all against Georgia, so this depends on Georgia being able to score in the 50s. That is possible, but Georgia likes to run the clock with its ground game, and it doesn’t take as many chances throwing the ball. This feels like a 42-3 kind of game, which will be under the number. Georgia might take a 20-0 halftime lead and then try to sit on the ball rather than do everything it can to run up the score in the second half.
No. 25 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State
The Ohio State offense has been so relentlessly reliable this year that the Buckeyes should be expected to score at least 38 points if not more in this game. That means Michigan State – despite a limited offense – has to score only 13 points to carry the game over the number. That is a reasonable enough bet. This is a surprisingly low total given the powerful nature of Ohio State’s offense. Michigan State has a good pass rush, but Ohio State has way too much speed for the Spartans and is going to be able to make its share of very big plays. This game should go over the total by the time everything is said and done in Columbus.
California at No. 13 Oregon
The big note here is that Cal quarterback Chase Garbers is out with an injury. Devon Modster will replace him. That might hurt Cal to a degree, but the Bears were never going to score big against Oregon. The real key is how well Oregon’s offense plays against Cal’s defense. We saw last week that a team with fast wide receivers can spread out Cal and expose the Golden Bears on the edges. Oregon has those types of players. The Ducks should be able to score a high total, which means that Cal won’t have to do all that much on offense to push the game over the total. This is an over play.
No. 15 Washington at Stanford
The Stanford offense had a very hard time scoring against Oregon a few weeks ago. It scored 31 points against Oregon State last week, but Oregon State is a terrible team, probably the worst team in the Pac-12 Conference. It is hard to see how Stanford will score much against Washington’s defense, and Washington’s offense has not yet hit its stride. The Huskies have scored fewer than 30 points in each of their two Pac-12 Conference games this season, once against Cal and once against USC. This looks like an under game.
No. 16 Boise State at UNLV
The Broncos should win in a blowout, and when blowouts are likely to occur, the key question in resolving an over-under play is if the losing team can at least score 14 points instead of getting shut out or managing only a field goal. This is not an easy game to judge along those lines, but UNLV was handled relatively easily by Wyoming. The game will probably go under, but it is close.