Upcoming Match-ups

College Football Week 6 Upset Picks: Can Iowa Pull off Upset at the Big House?

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Oct 3, 2019 · 7:44 AM PDT

Iowa Hawkeyes get ready to play
Iowa is looking to knock off Michigan in Ann Arbor this weekend. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. [CC License]
  • Week 6 of college football begins on Thursday, October 3rd
  • No.14 Iowa is listed as +3.5 road underdogs at No.19 Michigan
  • Which teams should you bet on for an upset?

Week 6 of college football kicks off Thursday, October 3rd. There are a couple games with strong upset potential this weekend.

Iowa aims to earn a big road victory against Michigan at the Big House, while Army looks to extend their home winning streak against a solid Tulane team.

Here are my two best upset picks for Week 6.

#14 Iowa vs #19 Michigan Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Iowa +3.5 (-115) +145 O 47.5 (-110)
Michigan -3.5 (-105) -165 U 47.5 (-110)

*Odds taken 10/03/19

Iowa is ranked ahead of Michigan in the latest AP Poll, but the Hawkeyes are being considered underdogs by oddsmakers when they visit Michigan Stadium to face the Wolverines on FOX’s Big Noon Saturday showcase game.

It’s always tough for road teams to earn victories at the Big House, but there’s value in betting Iowa this week. The Hawkeyes have been very consistent this season, ranking fifth nationally in total defense and committing just one turnover through four games.

Iowa Similarities to Wisconsin 

Iowa can pulling off the upset by beating up the Wolverines the same way Wisconsin did two weeks ago.

Both the Badgers and Hawkeyes are well-experienced teams that can wear you down with the run game. Iowa has six returning starters on offense and four on defense who should be able to handle the intense Michigan atmosphere.

Iowa’s rushing offense ranks 29th and is led by Mekhi Sargent, Toren Young and Tyler Goodson. Wisconsin has a similar trio of talented running backs in Jonathan Taylor, Nakia Watson and Garrett Groshek.

Each trio has over 700 rushing yards between them and matchup well against weak defensive lines.

The Wolverines have an inexperienced defensive line, and the Heisman candidate Taylor took advantage of that in Week 4. Look for Iowa’s experienced offense to follow a similar path this week.

Nate Stanley vs. Shea Patterson

Michigan QB Shea Patterson had a solid outing against Rutgers in Week 5, going 17-of-23 for 276 yards with one interception and one touchdown. Against competition not named Rutgers, however, Patterson has struggled this season, including posting a 43.8 completion rating vs. Wisconsin.

Iowa’s Senior QB Nate Stanley has been a rock this season, going 76-of-118 for 965 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception. The Wolverines have the better group of receivers, but Iowa still has six receivers with at least eight catches this season.

Patterson fumbled in three straight games to start the season and has battled injuries. He hasn’t performed well when pressured this season, and Iowa’s defense will challenge him. The Wolverines are allowing 2.3 sacks per game, while Iowa is allowing just 1.5.

Bet on Iowa

Iowa has won two straight against Michigan and have been the more consistent team this season.

All the pressure is on Jim Harbaugh and Michigan to deliver, while Iowa has consistently been doing their thing and should turn in another strong effort.

The Hawkeyes have the experience to handle the Big House and can follow in Wisconsin’s footsteps by using their strong run game to wear down Michigan’s defensive line.

Pick: Iowa (+145)

Army vs. Tulane Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Tulane -3.0 (EVEN) -140 O 43.5 (-110)
Army +3.0 (-120) +120 U 43.5 (-110)

Tulane (3-1) and Army (3-1) are both coming off bye weeks as they prepare to face off in Week 6 at Michie Stadium at noon on Saturday.

Tulane was trailing Houston by 21 points in Week 4, but a late 53-yard catch-and-run by Jalen McCleskey with three seconds left helped the Green Wave complete the comeback. Army is coming off a decisive 52-21 victory over Morgan State.

Army’s Home Field Advantage

Army has won 15 straight games in West Point and will look to stop the momentum of a Tulane team that has won two straight.

The Black Knights rank 20th nationally in total defense and have allowed fewer than 21 points in each of their first four games. Tulane is only averaging 182 passing yards per contest and is going up against an Army pass defense that ranks 18th nationally.

Expect Army’s defense continue their strong play at home. Tulane QB Justin McMillan thew three touchdowns against Houston in Week 4, but he only completed seven of his 20 pass attempts for 186 yards. He’s a decent dual-threat QB, but he hasn’t put up big numbers this season and is going to be slowed down by this Army defense.

The Black Knights demonstrated how efficient they can be defensively when they held a dangerous Michigan offense to just 24 points a few weeks ago. Look for them to follow suit against a mediocre Tulane offense that ranks 67th in the country.

Kelvin Hopkins Jr. Expected to Return

Starting QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. is expected to return for Army after missing the last two games with injury. He’s hasn’t played since going 2-of-4 for 43 yards against Michigan in Week 2.

Hopkins Jr. was considered questionable heading into the Week 4 game against FCS Morgan State, where he took part in warmups, but was held out of the game. With a bye week to get rested, it’s likely he makes his return against a stronger Tulane team.

Hopkins Jr. finished with over 1,000 yards in both rushing and passing in 2018 and will provide a big boost to Army’s dangerous triple threat offense that hasn’t looked it’s best this season. The Black Knights currently have five running backs with over 100 rushing yards.

This will be the game for the Black Knights to really flex their dual-threat offense.

Bet the Black Knights

Army has one of the best defenses in the nation and have looked unbeatable at home.

The return of Hopkins Jr. will be a big aid to the offense, as the Black Knights should have the advantage in the air while still being able to dominate the run game.

Pick: Army (+120)

Author Image