After outlining early line value in Week 7 of the college football season, the lines have shifted, the totals are different, and the money lines have changed. Take advantage of what you can now that the college football betting lines are set in our college football picks and predictions.
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Week 7 College Football Picks and Predictions
UTSA vs. FIU (under 63.5 points)
As great as this UTSA team is, the points are in question here solely because of FIU’s inept offense. Rashad Wisdom is back playing his best football for the Roadrunners, setting the program record for solo tackles this past week, and his play anchors the UTSA defense.
Coming into this matchup, FIU mustered just 12 points against a UConn team that gave up at least 41 points in three of their previous four games. UTSA will certainly score points, but their defense has steadily improved in seemingly every game this year.
Look for Wisdom to center this emerging secondary of Corey Mayfield Jr., Clifford Chattman, Kelechi Nwachuku, and Nicktroy Fortune as they limit Grayson James to short, underneath passes that suit this UTSA defense. Roadrunners run away with it, but the points stay limited.
Prediction: UTSA 44, FIU 17
Penn State vs. Michigan (-7)
Grab this line while you can as Michigan should vault up once everyone understands just how talented this front is. Or stand pat and wait for the line to come back down to the mean, capitalizing on overanxious bettors to move it in your favor for Penn State.
Either way, the Wolverines are far more than a touchdown better than the Nittany Lions this season, and J.J. McCarthy is playing great complementary football to his team’s strengths. Michigan’s defense has given up just 68 total points this year, allowing an average of just 11.3 points per game, or fifth-best in the country.
Penn State QB Sean Clifford will have trouble moving the football, and his offense will become too reliant upon the run game. That pits to the Wolverines’ strength on defense, as they’ve given up the seventh-fewest rushing yards per contest this year. Even better, Michigan is allowing just 2.62 yards per carry on defense, the sixth-best figure nationally.
This is all being said without mentioning Penn State’s top-10 rushing defense, but they’ve certainly not faced an offensive line or rushing attack quite like Michigan’s yet. It’ll be old-school football, run-first, heavy sets, grinding out the yardage in any type of situation.
Points are in play here, taking the under, but expect the better team to emerge from this top-10 matchup. That’s the Wolverines.
Prediction: Michigan 27, Penn State 17
Arizona (+15) vs. Washington
The UCLA Bruins shredded the Washington pass defense like a slice of Swiss cheese, and Arizona State utilized the services of a backup quarterback to do the same. In the past two outings, Washington’s pass defense has given up six passing touchdowns. They get the privilege of facing Jayden de Laura and the high-flying Arizona aerial assault that has thrown for 15 touchdowns this year already.
De Laura, a former Washington State transfer, knows a thing or two about beating his former in-state rivals. He orchestrated a thorough beatdown of the Huskies to close out the year for Washington last season, completing 84.5% of his throws in the process.
This season, the play of both de Laura and Michael Penix Jr. have been terrific, in spurts. Each quarterback has had their moments as Penix emerged from the shadows of an injury-marred final two seasons at Indiana under former offensive coordinator, now head coach Kalen DeBoer.
Though Washington is certainly the better team at this point, getting two touchdowns+ is a big number to overcome. Garbage time scores are in play here to eclipse that number easily just as the total points are.
Prediction: Washington 41, Arizona 34
Cal (-14.5) vs. Colorado
Imagine the thought it must take to grab a former bottom-tier Pac-12 team as a two-touchdown favorite on the road in a conference game. Then look up just how bad this Colorado team has been since Karl Dorrell took over the program. With Dorrell now out, the strain leans heavily on the players who arguably have nothing left to play for than film for their transfer-portal résumés this offseason.
Cal, on the other hand, has seemingly turned things around. They’re 1-1 in conference play and have run the ball significantly better than expected this season. Bill Musgrave’s pro-style system features one of the nation’s top up-and-coming backs in Jaydn Ott while the Golden Bears’ defense is lined with potential stars.
Colorado’s run defense is the worst in the country, giving up 294.2 yards per game, more than 40 yards more than the next-closest team (Charlotte, 253.3). Even worse, the Buffs are giving up 6.7 yards per carry on defense. That’s the worst figure in the country by half a yard.
Ott is in line for a big day, and the Bears can take the air out of the ball riding their multi-RB backfield with complementary carries from DeCarlos Brooks among others.
Prediction: Cal 31, Colorado 10
Buffalo (-16) vs. UMass
The Buffalo Bulls are playing some of their best football of late, and UMass seemingly has no identity on offense. The Bulls have rattled off three victories in a row, each one more impressive than the last. With QB Cole Snyder, Buffalo’s rushing attack of Mike Washington, Ron Cook Jr., and Snyder have combined for 10 rushing touchdowns over their past three outings.
Comparatively, UMass’ run defense has been atrocious this season. They’ve given up 16 touchdowns this year on the ground, the fifth most in the country. UMass is banged up and hosts an inferior defensive line against Buffalo’s run blockers to boot.
And yet, the talk should center mainly around the fact that this Buffalo defense can limit what UMass does offensively very well. With a heavy dose of the QB-run game, UMass has centered their offensive attack with Gino Campiotti anchoring the ground game. He’s been successful, but the Minutemen have struggled with this scheme when they have to play from behind.
Daymond Williams and George Wolo will pay big dividends to the Bulls and to savvy bettors that look past Buffalo’s early-season loss to Holy Cross.
Prediction: Buffalo 36, UMass 10
USC (+4) vs. Utah
Get this line while you can. Sure, UCLA is good, but USC is on par with UCLA more so than they should be a four-point underdog to the Utes, even on the road. We’ll get into this matchup more later this week, but for the time being, grab USC as a road dog if you can.
Prediction: USC 34, Utah 27
Other Lines To Monitor This Week
Clemson (-4.5) vs. Florida State
After falling to the same opponent Clemson had beaten the week prior, the two perennial ACC powers square up for their annual must-see matchup. As feel-good of a story as the Seminoles were to open the season, the dredges of their incredibly difficult ACC schedule have taken a toll on them. And now, their toughest test to date.
FSU can’t handle mobile quarterbacks let alone one with a big arm. Treshaun Ward’s injury is also a big loss despite FSU’s strength in numbers from their backfield. If this backs down anywhere to Clemson (-3), grab it and don’t look back. But you’re pretty safe even at (-4.5).
North Carolina (-6) vs. Duke
If the Georgia Tech offense was able to do anything against Duke in their overtime upset, it was expose a fatal flaw in the Blue Devils’ defense. Their pass defense was exposed in off-platform situations from Jeff Sims.
That’s right up Drake Maye’s wheelhouse as he already drew comparisons — unfair ones at that — to Patrick Mahomes for doing such things this past weekend. Even still, Maye should have a field day in the off-platform throw department against this Duke team that has been known to cause a ton of pressure off the edge but not contain in coverage.