College Football Predictions Against The Spread For Early Saturday Games

Minnesota Golden Gophers players

Friday, October 7, 2016 2:31 PM GMT

Capper Matthew Jordan comes back to provide us with an against the spread preview of Saturday's Early games. He carefully selected games that provide the best betting value to start your day winning.

A 1-2 ATS mark on my early picks last Saturday, hitting on Virginia (+3.5) over Duke but missing on Navy (+7.5) at Air Force and West Virginia (-3) vs. K-State. Here are three early Saturday picks on Intertops college football odds for Week 6.

*editor's note: this article included a pick for LSU vs Florida, it was written before the game was suspended

Iowa vs Minnesota +1.5

A noon start on ESPN2 for this Big Ten matchup and the Battle for Floyd of Rosedale, which is a solid bronze pig that is 15.5 inches tall, 21 inches long and weighs 98.3 pounds. And you try to win that? Remember when Iowa was ranked 13th in the nation? Clearly overrated as since that point the Hawkeyes have lost at home to FCS school North Dakota State, barely won at a bad Rutgers team, and then last week lost 38-31 at home to struggling Northwestern. How can that Hawkeyes defense allow 38 points to an NU team that entered 125th nationally in scoring? Iowa, which ranks 87th nationally in rushing defense, has allowed an average of 210 yards on the ground in the past three games.

The NU loss ended Iowa's nine-game regular-season Big Ten winning streak. How's that recent Kirk Ferentz contract extension looking now? That said, in the previous five seasons Iowa was a road favorite 13 times as it is here and covered 10 of those. Minnesota lost at Penn State 29-26 in overtime last week. The Gophers connected on a field goal on their first OT possession but then allowed a 25-yard TD run on PSU's first play. Because both these teams already have a conference loss, the loser probably has no shot of taking the Big Ten West Division as Iowa did last year. Minnesota and Iowa have split the past six meetings.

NCAAF Free Pick: The Gophers have three good running backs and will take advantage of that Iowa rushing defense. Take the points on the college football odds board. Iowa has covered one of its past six Big Ten games. Minnesota is 6-0 ATS in its past six after a loss.

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East Carolina vs South Florida -20

This American Athletic Conference game is also at noon in Tampa on ESPNEWS and should go off as scheduled as Tampa isn't expected to be hugely affected by the Hurricane except for maybe a bit of rain. Unless weather plays a major role, this should be a shootout. Behind QB Philip Nelson, the Pirates are fourth nationally in passing yards (392.0 per game) and score 29.2 points per game. Alas, ECU gives up 31.6 points and has given up 101 combined the past two games, blowouts by Virginia Tech and Central Florida. The Pirates are looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak in 12 years. Nelson is dealing with an undisclosed injury after leaving the UCF loss and is questionable. ECU thinks he will play, ditto with top receiver Zay Jones, who suffered a foot injury against Central Florida.

South Florida has one of the best offenses in the country behind dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack. With 229 points, USF is off to the best five-game scoring stretch to start a season in program history. The Bulls have scored at least 35 points in nine straight games (school record), rushed for at least 200 yards in 10 in a row (FBS high) and their four wins this season are all by blowout. The loss was 55-35 at home to Florida State. It's homecoming at USF and the school will honor members of the first USF football team in 1997. South Florida won at ECU 22-17 last year.

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NCAAF Free Pick: South Florida. ECU is 3-8 ATS in its past 11. USF has covered five straight conference games.

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