Another college football Saturday is here and there are some massive Top 25 matchups on the board! And we’ve spent all week looking up and down the Week 7 college football betting odds, compiling the best picks and predictions on spreads, totals, props and everything in between.
THIS ONE’S GONNA HURT(S)
The Texas Longhorns haven’t been able to stop opposing pass attacks – and they’ll face one of the most dangerous QBs in the nation this weekend as they square off against Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. The Longhorns come into this one having allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game in the nation (325.0) – and that’s very bad news for a team tasked with containing a QB that is averaging over 300 passing yards per game and has already accounted for 21 touchdowns. Texas’ lone saving grace in that department? It has “held” teams to 11 passing touchdowns through five games.
The Longhorns have already given up 30+ points three times this season, including back-to-back games against Oklahoma State and West Virginia. This Oklahoma team is far more dangerous – and should finish Over its lofty team point total.
NO REST FOR THE WEARY
The Michigan State Spartans are getting a much-deserved and much-needed week off – but not until after they tangle with the powerhouse Wisconsin Badgers in what will be the third road date in four games for MSU. And you can expect Wisconsin to be at full power, coming off a 48-0 drubbing of Kent State in which the Badgers were able to give most of their key players – chiefly standout RB Jonathan Taylor – some much needed rest. Wisconsin has already posted three shutouts and will be looking to extend that defensive dominance against a Spartans team ranked in the bottom half in total offense (393.5 YPG).
This is the first time the Spartans will have played true road games in consecutive weeks since October 2017 – and with the Badgers fully rested and looking dominant, we like the home team on a bigger spread; take -13.5 with confidence.
DON’T BE FOOLED
The Army Black Knights have played back-to-back slugfests that both finished well above the Vegas total – and bettors are wondering if a third straight Over is in the cards this weekend against host Western Kentucky. But not so fast: the Hilltoppers boast one of the most impressive run defenses in the nation, having limited opponents to just 2.82 yards per carry and four rushing TDs all season. On the flip side, WKU have struggled mightily on offense and rank near the bottom of the country in average rushing yards. The Hilltoppers have also seen an average of just 28 total points scored over their past two games.
While the total for this one might scare Under bettors away given how Army’s recent games have gone, both sides are capable of slowing down the opposition offense sufficiently to make the U43 play the superior option here.
WIN SOME, LOSE
Where the Florida Gators are, turnovers aren’t far behind. The Gators will look to maintain their ball-hawking ways – and take much better care of the ball on the offensive end – as they travel to Baton Rouge for a marquee encounter with LSU. Florida comes into the game with the most forced turnovers of any team in the country, having recovered five fumbles while adding 12 interceptions. Unfortunately, things have been quite the opposite when the Gators have the football; only four teams have turned the ball more often than Florida, which has coughed it up 13 times.
While LSU has seen far less turnover turmoil this season, the mere presence of the Gators in this game puts a special teams or defensive touchdown in play; we think it’s worth a look at +225.
JACKSON UNLIKELY TO PLAY
The Maryland Terrapins will be without starting quarterback Josh Jackson for Saturday’s encounter with Purdue. Jackson suffered a high-ankle sprain in last weekend’s victory over Purdue; he had hoped to make sufficient progress to return, but Maryland head coach Mike Locksley says that’s doubtful. Jackson has had a mediocre season at the helm of the Terrapins’ offense, throwing for 10 touchdowns with four interceptions but completing just over 51 percent of his pass attempts. Tyrell Pigrome would get the start in Jackson’s place; Pigrome is 17-of-27 for 171 yards and a TD on the season.
The Maryland offense shouldn’t see a dropoff with Pigrome at the helm against a Boilermakers unit allowing a whopping 290 passing yards per game (117th in FBS). Look for the Terrapins to rally behind their backup QB and pull out the upset win.
ARMANI NOT SUITED TO START
UNLV will once again turn to redshirt freshman Kenyon Oblad as their starting quarterback this weekend against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Junior QB Armani Rogers will not start for the Rebels due to a lingering knee injury that kept him off the field for last week’s 38-13 drubbing at the hands of the Boise State Broncos – and while he might see action this week, it won’t be in a starting capacity. Oblad finished with decent numbers against the Broncos (262 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) but needed 55 pass attempts to get there as the Rebels found themselves down by 17 points at the half.
Oblad isn’t nearly the rushing threat that Rogers is, which is a major reason why BSU was able to limit UNLV to 2.2 yards per carry last week. And while Vanderbilt is allowing 5.14 YPC on the season, the downgrade in running ability between Oblad and Rogers makes the Rebels a fade as two-TD underdogs vs. the host Commodores.
BRYANT SET TO RETURN?
Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant says he’s “90 percent” sure he’ll be able to play this week against Ole Miss. Bryant left last week’s victory over the Troy Trojans with what was diagnosed as a left knee sprain, but he has participated in practice this week and told reporters he’s good to go for the weekend encounter with the Rebels. While not a true dual-threat quarterback, Bryant has 47 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown on the season to go along with 1,246 passing yards and 11 touchdowns (against three interceptions). More importantly, he has been sacked just eight times through the Tigers’ first five games.
It’s doubtful that Bryant will be 100 percent when he takes the field this weekend, and that could be a concern against an Ole Miss defense that averages 2.8 sacks per game (24th-best in the country). Whether Bryant plays or not, we like the Rebels to cover as a double-digit road underdog.
BLACKMAN IS BACK
James Blackman will return to action this weekend as he leads the Florida State Seminoles against the powerhouse Clemson Tigers.
Blackman missed the Seminoles’ previous game against North Carolina State after suffering a knee injury early in a September 27 victory over Louisville. Alex Hornibrook was sensational in his absence but will return to a backup role against the Tigers (-27).
Blackman has had a great start to the season (970 passing yards, nine TDs, two INTs) and has been particularly effective in the first half of games, completing 73.1 percent of his passes with six TDs, zero INTs and a 187.8 QB rating.
Florida State ranks 21st in the nation in first-half scoring at 21.4 points per game – a significant improvement over last season (9.5). And while Clemson is expected to roll here, we see enough from the Seminoles to lean their way on the first half cover.
Nothing went right for the Nevada Wolf Pack in their 56-3 loss to Hawaii last week, so the coaching staff is doing something about it, naming junior Malik Henry the new starting quarterback for Saturday’s encounter with San Jose State.
Henry gets the call for Nevada (-1.5) after Cristian Solano and Carson Strong combined to throw for just 105 yards with two interceptions in the loss to the Warriors – Nevada’s second 50-point defeat of the season. Henry has appeared in one game for the Wolf Pack this season, completing all three of his pass attempts for 28 yards in a 37-21 victory over UTEP back on September 21.
Even if Henry excels as the starter, he can’t fix a Nevada pass defense that ranks 109th in the country and could get manhandled against SJSU’s 33rd-ranked pass attack. We like the Spartans to earn the outright victory here.
WAIT AND SEE
The Nebraska Cornhuskers could be without their sensational sophomore quarterback for this weekend’s Big Ten showdown with host Minnesota (-7.5).
Adrian Martinez left late in the third quarter of last week’s 13-10 triumph over Northwestern, and Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost said the team is in “wait-and-see” mode on Martinez’s status for Saturday.
Martinez is the lynch pin of the Nebraska offense, leading the team in passing (1,245) and rushing yards (341) while accounting for 10 touchdowns. Noah Vedral would get the call at quarterback if Martinez isn’t able to suit up.
With the Golden Gophers limiting foes to a 57.9-percent completion rate and 211.8 passing yards per game, Martinez’s absence would be particularly damaging to Nebraska’s chances. It’s a good time to grab this line, as Nebraska could struggle even if Martinez suits up. If he’s ruled out, you could see this one climb to double digits.