The 2023 college football season has been the closest thing to parity that the sport has seen in years, and with half of the season already played, there is still so much to learn about the teams with playoff hopes.
The Georgia Bulldogs have held steady atop the polls throughout the first six weeks despite some less-than-impressive wins against South Carolina at home and Auburn on the road.
Michigan and Florida State are the only other schools that have received at least one first-place vote in the AP poll each week since the season started, and 11 teams in the ranks of the Power Five remain undefeated through at least five games.
Oklahoma’s thrilling victory over Texas in Week 6 has boosted the Sooners to fifth in the AP and seventh in the Coaches’ polls. The only remaining ranked team on their schedule currently is the #23 Kansas Jayhawks on October 28.
Ohio State and Florida State are firmly in the top four, though the Seminoles have the more manageable schedule ahead. The Buckeyes will host #6 Penn State on October 21 and travel to the Big House to play the Wolverines on November 25.
The Week 7 slate is a tantalizing one that pits two of the remaining unbeatens in the Pac-12 in a matchup that could determine the fate of both programs' seasons.
Oregon will play Washington in Seattle, with the Huskies favored by a field goal in a game where the total is set at 67 points. #10 USC also puts their perfect record on the line against Notre Dame on the road, where the Irish are home favorites of three points.
Other ranked matchups with close spreads include Texas A&M at Tennessee (-3.5), Kansas (-3) at Oklahoma State, Miami at UNC (-3.5), and #18 UCLA at #15 Oregon State (-3.5).
We’d like to pair this incredible schedule with a selection of props at DraftKings to give you a little side action throughout this early fall afternoon and present those plays next.
Ohio State faced Sam Hartman and Taulia Tagovailoa over their last two games and allowed neither passer to hit the 200-yard mark. The only QB to accomplish that against the Buckeyes this season is Western Kentucky’s Austin Reed, who connected on multiple passes of 30+ yards during a 63-10 defeat at the Shoe.
Card is the Big Ten’s second-leading thrower behind Tagovailoa and has attempted a conference-high 214 passes through six games.
His worst effort came against Wisconsin at home despite the Badgers being 99th in pass defense this season. We expect him to struggle against OSU this Saturday.
The Huskies are almost as tough to throw on as they are to stop from gaining yards through the air, ranking 17th in pass defense and generating 1.6 interceptions per game, the fifth-best mark among FBS programs.
The nature of playing against Washington involves being forced into track meets, and for most teams that’s meant turning the ball over in an attempt to keep pace. The Huskies are first in total offense and third in scoring offense this season.
Nix was turnover-free in the Ducks’ loss during last season’s meeting and has only thrown one pick in 163 pass attempts in 2023. Oregon averages 227 yards per game on the ground, which should help them control the clock and allow Nix more opportunities to stay within the flow of the offense. We like the fifth-year senior to avoid throwing an interception in this matchup.
When Estime gains more than 80 rushing yards, the Irish are 5-0 this season. When Estime rushes for a touchdown in a game, the Irish are undefeated in those games, too. Translation: give this man the football.
We expect Marcus Freeman to lean on his experienced, bruising back against a Trojan defense giving up 157 rushing yards per game this season.
If Notre Dame can establish the run with Estime leading the way, they’ll have the best path to victory against a vulnerable USC team that hasn’t been impressive defensively.