This is the continuation of the Weekly R & R, but only with Rex going forward. I will provide my best bets for the Saturday slate. I use a power ranking model along with keying in on value spots. Last week, I went 4-1 putting me to 11-9-2 on the season for +1.45 units. Let’s dive into Week 6.
TCU vs. Iowa St. (-3, 44) Oct 5, 12 p.m. EST
Iowa St. is better than their 2-2 record portrays. The Cyclones have suffered two losses under 2 points. This will turn around against a fraudulent Horned Frogs team. TCU’s defense struggled and lost to the only legitimate team they’ve played – SMU. Brock Purdy can pick apart the secondary similar to how Shane Buechele was able to. Playing Arkansas Pine Bluff, Kansas and an injured Purdue team can hide TCU’s flaws. Expect Max Duggan to get exposed this week.
The key to this matchup will be Iowa St. stopping the run. TCU is gaining 5.59 yards per rush, but they have not played a stout run defense yet. The Cyclones’s defense can slow them down as they are allowing 3.19 yards/rush.
This has the potential to be a defensive battle, so I am backing the proven quarterback at home. Matt Campbell will have his squad ready for a commanding home win. If the Cyclones lose, they can kiss their Big XII hopes goodbye.
The Pick: Iowa St. -3 (-105).
Marshall vs. Middle Tennessee (4, 53.5) Oct 5, 3:30 p.m. EST
Marshall should win this game in the trenches and the Blue Raiders’ line is beaten up and worn out. After facing Iowa’s dominant line, the weak play could linger into this week. MTSU cannot get to the opposing quarterback or create pressure in the backfield. They have only generated 4 sacks (117th overall) and 19 tackles for losses – ranks in the bottom 25, 6% of their defensive plays. Isaiah Green will have all the time in the pocket to pass. MTSU has been susceptible to opposition’s passing attack. They are allowing 12 yards per completion which lead to explosive plays for the Herd.
The Herd will take over the game with their rushing attack. Marshall is averaging 206 yards per game with 5.66 per carry. They pound the rock and drain the remaining life out of the defensive front of the Blue Raiders. MTSU is allowing 254 rushing yards per game, which ranks 127 out of 130 teams.
My model makes Marshall a 7 point favorite. Lay the points on the road as the Herd can win this game by double digits.
The Pick: Marshall -4 (-105).
Northwestern vs. Nebraska (-7, 49) Oct 5, 4 p.m. EST
Pat Fitzgerald’s squad puts up a fight on the road. He is 11-2 ATS on the road as an underdog since 2015. What jumps out to me is the Wildcats ability to create turnovers and Nebraska throwing the ball away on offense. They have created 6 forced fumbles while the Huskers have fumbled 15 times already! Add on to that 5 interceptions for Nebraska as well. Northwestern will be able to create havoc throughout the afternoon. The Huskers rank as a bottom 6 team in havoc allowed, so expect Adrian Martinez to have pressure in his face frequently. Additionally, Northwestern ranks 11th in SP+ total defense.
If Nebraska struggles to score more than 24 points, they will be relying on their inconsistent defense. Hence, the Wildcats will hang in this game. Nebraska’s defense has gone asleep at the wheel for a quarter at a time, so Northwestern will need to capitalize.
Northwestern will make this game ugly, it is their signature in the B1G upset wins. My model makes Northwestern as only a 4 point underdog, so take 7 points.
The Pick: Northwestern +7 (-105).
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