After another weekend of shake-ups in the top 10 of the college football polls, the Week 6 slate will likely cause even more drastic movement. One team in the top five will take its first loss of the year in the matchup between Penn State and Iowa, and other top teams have a real chance to falter based on some of the early betting lines.
Here, I’ll go over my model’s biggest edges early on in the week and try to give you some plays that will beat the closing price. Before digging into this article, be sure to check out PFF Greenline first for the top value plays of Week 6.
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Auburn Tigers (+14.5) vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Projection: Auburn +10.9
It doesn’t feel great to jump in front of this Georgia train right now, but getting two touchdowns and a hook for Auburn here looks like good value. The Tigers are coming off a road victory over LSU in Death Valley and enter the game with very good efficiency in the ground game on both sides of the ball.
Starting on offense, the Tigers are sitting on top-10 rankings in rushing grade and EPA per rush after five games. They have two very productive running backs in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, who have combined for 877 yards on the ground. Bigsby is the bell cow, and his 82.9 rushing grade ranks 19th among all running backs with at least 50 carries. Hunter hasn’t quite hit that threshold (42 carries), but he's produced an elite 90.8 rushing grade, 10.6 yards per carry and an explosive gain on nearly one-third of his attempts. Georgia has been great against the run, but there’s no question Auburn will be the best ground attack the Bulldogs have seen so far in 2021.
The other side of the ball will be interesting to watch as well, as each line has performed extremely well in both facets. This matchup will feature Georgia’s top-10 rushing attack against Auburn’s top-10 run defense by PFF grades. Additionally, Auburn’s pass rush, which ranks second in grade and third in win rate, will be facing an offensive line that grades out as the 20th-best in the nation. The Tigers will need a big day from defensive tackle Colby Wooden, as his 89.3 overall grade ranks third in the nation among defensive tackles with at least 100 snaps.
Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels is dealing with a back injury, which forced him to sit out of last week’s game. Coach Kirby Smart said that Daniels’ injury is a week-to-week situation and did not indicate when the signal-caller would be ready to return. If he is out, that would leave things up to Stetson Bennett, who didn’t inspire much confidence in his time as a starter last season with just 7.1 yards per attempt. Meanwhile, Auburn will be hoping that quarterback Bo Nix’s high-variance play style results in more big moments like this one last week against LSU:
The Bo Nix Experience ????#CFB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 3, 2021
LSU Tigers (+3) @ Kentucky Wildcats
Projection: LSU -0.6
After beating Florida despite a grand total of 224 yards on offense, Kentucky has a quick turnaround with LSU coming to town this weekend. The Wildcats are 5-0 but rank just 72nd in EPA per play on offense — and Florida’s defense dominated the unit in Week 5. Quarterback Will Levis’ 34.7 passing grade ranked as the worst among all college football quarterbacks in Week 5, and this was after he threw for just 4.4 yards per attempt against South Carolina. The run game has been better, but this passing offense has been concerning ever since the Chattanooga game in Week 3, where the Wildcats barely escaped with a win.