With conference season heating up, facing daunting spreads will diminish. The first few weeks have featured plenty of big spreads, but they’ve been necessary in some cases, especially with Alabama.

The Crimson Tide are resembling a team that we haven’t seen in Alabama during their dominance. The Crimson Tide have long been big favorites, but they’ve had difficulties in the past covering those big spreads. This year, that’s not the case.

An SEC that isn’t as good as they’ve been and a team with a better offense than in past is contributing to the success for Alabama. For the favorites I’m backing, here’s the three best week 6 college football favorites that will cover the spread.

Favorites: 9-6 ATS

Overall: 21-9 ATS

Penn State (-14.5) at Northwestern

I’m more jazzed about Penn State than the betting public. I think we’re still caught up on that close call in Iowa City two weeks ago, and not paying attention to the rest of the resume.

The Nittany Lions have been dominant in four of five games. And even in that game against Iowa, Penn State was by far the better team. Northwestern, meanwhile, looked terrible against Wisconsin for three quarters and was dominated at Duke earlier this season.

The Wildcats don’t have the athletes to move the ball consistently against Penn State’s top-tier defense. This game might be close heading into halftime, but Penn State’s defense will frustrate Northwestern enough that this score won’t be close. — Go Chalk with Penn State

Notre Dame is one of the top week 6 college football favorites that will cover the spread. Flickr/http://bit.ly/1MjD6h3

Notre Dame (-15.5) at North Carolina

I like the road favorites this week because of the discrepancy in talent. North Carolina isn’t good. They’ve shown that weekly this season.

They’re not playing defense and the offense was completely absent in week 5 against Georgia Tech. I can’t completely blame North Carolina, with double-digit players gone to season-ending injuries. North Carolina was coming into this season eyeing a rebuilding effort. That has become more complicated with the amount of injuries.

The talent difference is immense and I’m surprised this spread is just barely more than two touchdowns. This game should be closer to the three-touchdown mark. — Go Chalk with Notre Dame

Stanford (-4) at Utah

The Utes shouldn’t be surprising us anymore. The Utes have consistently been one of the most solid Pac-12 teams in recent years, and this season doesn’t look any different.

But Stanford plays a similar style as Utah — only better. The Cardinal look to be getting better, running at will with Bryce Love. The defense is physical and the Utes are battling with injury issues, most importantly with quarterback Tyler Huntley.

The Cardinal have had some stumbles this season, but they’re looking much better in the last two weeks.

Forget about that ugly loss to San Diego State. This team is different and it will show in week 6. — Go Chalk with Stanford

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