One game in the Big 12 and another in the Big Ten have prompted free college football picks as the best bets in Week 6.
Let’s look at Saturday’s Wisconsin vs. Northwestern and Kansas State vs. Iowa State matchups.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Ryan Field
Getting paid $11 million to not show up for work is a dream job for many folks, and that’s exactly what the University of Wisconsin is going to pay Paul Chryst after he was fired as head football coach with the Badgers off to an 0-2 start on the Big Ten schedule.
Just how much the change at the top of the program will affect the Badgers when they travel to Evanston for a matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats remains to be seen, though it has left a fishy smell around the program with Chryst’s solid 67-26 record during his tenure in Madison.
Is There More to the Chryst Firing Than Bad Football?
There’s no question that Wisconsin played some pretty bad football in dropping its first two conference games, first a 52-21 blowout loss at No. 3 Ohio State, and then a 34-10 loss as 6½-point home chalk at the top sportsbooks last week against former Badgers coach Bret Bielema.
But to fire a head coach with a .720 win percentage after two quick losses is a huge knee-jerk reaction, and when that coach leaves $9 million in guaranteed salary on the table with no explanations, that has everyone guessing if there’s more to the story.
Did the Wildcats Leave Their Good Luck in Ireland?
Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats haven’t won a game since beating Nebraska over in Ireland to begin the season, the closest thing to victory coming in a hard-fought 17-7 loss at Penn State last week that at least made bettors holding 25-point tickets happy.
Teams Have Split Last 8 Meetings
With both teams in the red as far as the standings go, the positive news here is this has been an even matchup the last eight years with the two sides splitting those meetings, though it should be mentioned Wisconsin still owns a healthy 61-37-5 edge in the rivalry.
Mother Nature and a Pick
Another positive note is that all signs point to a beautiful, crisp fall afternoon in Evanston where the weather is calling for temps in the upper-50s at kickoff with plenty of sunshine over Ryan Field.
Caesars Sportsbook has the Badgers at -10 with a 44-point total that is among the lowest on Saturday’s board.
The play here is to count on Wisconsin players rallying around interim coach Jim Leonhard for the win and the cover.
NCAAF Pick: Wisconsin -10 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Jack Trice Stadium
Kansas State is off to a fast start with a couple of key wins to begin Big 12 play, but could the Wildcats be in for a letdown this week or could Iowa State be feeling the blues after the Cyclones came up short in a tough conference setback?
‘Cats Draw Road Chalk for Matchup
That’s the storyline for Saturday’s 106th meeting between the two old foes, well, that and the fact we have tight college football odds, with Kansas State showing up as a 2-point road favorite in what is projected to be a low-scoring affair with a 45-point total.
K-State Suffers No Letdown in Beating Texas Tech
Many thought the Wildcats might be in for a letdown last week following the win over Oklahoma, but they came out ready to play while building an early lead over Texas Tech and then closed strong for a 37-28 win as touchdown favorites.
Iowa State played its heart out in a 14-11 loss to still-unbeaten Kansas, a game that could’ve easily gone into the win column for the Cyclones if not for three missed field goals, two of them clanging off the uprights.
Adding injury to insult for Iowa State was the ankle injury that leading rusher Jirehl Brock suffered early on, and he’s questionable for this matchup.
Cyclones Cruise to Victory in Last 2 Meetings
This has been a close rivalry over the total of the series, with Iowa State owning a 52-49 lead over Kansas State, plus 4 ties, but the Cyclones have made it look easy by winning the last two games with a combined score of 78-20.
The Cyclones have won the last two contests on their home field in Ames, and three of the last four at Trice Stadium sailed past the totals.
Contradicting the Computer
If Brock is not available to help the Cyclones on the ground, that could lead to things getting out of hand since Adrian Martinez has been on fire throwing and running the football for the Wildcats the last two weeks.
The OddsTrader computer picks the Cyclones in a mild upset, but the right play is on the visitors in a 28-17 final.
NCAAF Pick: Kansas State -2 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook