10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 7

Georgia's prolific offense to be tested at Tiger Stadium

The Week 7 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by a key SEC East vs. West showdown as Georgia makes a rare trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU. Elsewhere, red-hot Notre Dame hosts Pittsburgh, Miami heads to Virginia for a tougher-than-expected battle with the Cavs and Memphis hosts UCF in a clash of AAC heavyweights. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

 

Georgia (-7) over LSU

Georgia: college football picks against the spreadSome of the luster was taken off this game due to LSU’s loss at Florida on Saturday. Still, this will be a big test for a Georgia team that has won its first six games by an average of 30 points, including two on the road in SEC play by an average of 19 points. Coach Kirby Smart continues to find flaws in his team, but there’s really no discernible weakness to be found; Georgia leads the SEC in total defense (both in yards allowed per game and per play) and ranks third in the league in yards per play on offense (7.5) thanks to a balanced attack that averages 240.0 yards passing and an SEC-best 245.2 yards rushing. LSU, which lost for the first time last week, doesn’t appear to have the firepower on offense to keep up with the Bulldogs. Georgia 31, LSU 17

 

Virginia (+6) over Miami

Virginia: college football picks against the spreadMiami somehow beat Florida State despite gaining only 306 yards of offense and having its quarterback (N’Kosi Perry) throw 19 incomplete passes (in 32 attempts). At some point, the Canes will need to play well offensively to beat a good opponent. Is Virginia good? Not sure if good is the right word — let’s say improved. The Cavs are 3–2 overall and have won their only two true home games (they “hosted” Ohio in Nashville due to Hurricane Florence), over Richmond and Louisville by a combined score of 69–16. Bryce Perkins has been a nice surprise at quarterback; the junior college transfer and former Arizona State Sun Devil is second in the ACC in total offense with 293.2 yards per game. The Canes need to be wary of this trip to Charlottesville. Virginia 27, Miami 24

 

Pittsburgh (+21) over Notre Dame

No team has changed its long-term outlook more in recent weeks than Notre Dame, which has gone from good to great since inserting Ian Book as its starting quarterback. In the first three games, with Brandon Wimbush starting, Notre Dame averaged 5.1 yards per play. In Book’s three games as a starter, that number has jumped to 6.7 yards play. Sure, the return of tailback Dexter Williams (339 yards rushing in two games) has helped, but Book is the primary reason for the offensive improvement. Pitt is coming off of a nice win, in overtime, over Syracuse. The Panthers have lost their two games against ranked opponents, to Penn State and UCF, by an average of 38 points, but they should be able to keep things from getting out of hand in South Bend. Notre Dame 41, Pittsburgh 21

 

New Mexico (+1) over Colorado State

New Mexico has scored 40 points or more against every team not named Wisconsin on its schedule. Last weekend, the Lobos opened their Mountain West slate with a 50–14 win at UNLV. They outgained the Rebels (who were playing without their starting quarterback) 502 to 166. Colorado State won for the second time this season last Saturday, beating San Jose State (one of the worst teams in the nation) 42–30 on the road. The Rams have been one of the most disappointing teams in college football in 2018. New Mexico 40, Colorado State 23

 

Army (-14.5) over San Jose State (Santa Clara, Calif.)

Army is 3–0 against Group of 5 teams (Liberty, Hawaii and Buffalo) and 0–2 against Power 5 teams (Duke, Oklahoma). San Jose State is showing signs of progress — the Spartans have lost their last two games by three points (Hawaii) and 12 points (Colorado State) — but still figures to be the worst team on the Black Knights’ entire 2018 schedule. Army 38, San Jose State 14

 

Northwestern (-5.5) over Nebraska

Northwestern snapped a three-game losing streak with a 29–19 win at Michigan State. The Wildcats continue to have issues running the ball, but they have still had 380 yards or more in four of five games this season. Nebraska remains winless, and none of the Cornhuskers’ three Big Ten losses has come by fewer than 14 points. And despite playing only five games, they are one of only two Big Ten teams that has allowed more than 1,000 yards rushing and passing this season. The slow rebuild continues. Northwestern 33, Nebraska 24

 

Iowa State (+6.5) over West Virginia

Iowa State broke through with its first Big 12 win of the season, beating Oklahoma State 48–42 in Stillwater. The story for ISU was the emergence of true freshman QB Brock Purdy, who threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns and added 84 yards on the ground. The Cyclones are 2–3 but have three respectable losses — by 10 points at Iowa, by 10 points at home to Oklahoma and by three points at TCU. This is still a good team. West Virginia is 5–0, with only one game decided by fewer than 10 points (a 42–34 win at Texas Tech, its only true road game to date). I don’t think the Mountaineers will stumble in Ames, but it could be a struggle. West Virginia 38, Iowa State 34

 

UCF (-4.5) over Memphis

This was supposed to be the Game of the Year in the AAC, but Memphis is 1–2 in the league with losses at Navy and Tulane. The loss at Tulane was especially alarming; the Tigers managed only 277 yards of offense against a team that ranks 10th in the AAC in total defense and doesn’t have another win over an FBS opponent this season. UCF has lived up to the hype, winning its first five games by an average score of 49–17. The Knights have not really been challenged. That could change on Saturday — but don’t expect a loss. UCF 48, Memphis 34

 

Maryland (-25) over Rutgers

Things aren’t going well at Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have lost six straight, highlighted (if that’s the right word) by a 41-point loss at Kansas, a 29-point loss at home to Buffalo and a 21-point loss at home to Illinois. Maryland has been a bit schizophrenic this season; the Terps beat Texas in the opener, lost at home to Temple by 21 points two weeks later and then defeated Minnesota by 31 the following week. This team has some nice weapons on offense and should roll up a big number on a Rutgers team that has yet to prove it can be competitive against a top-100 team. Maryland 41, Rutgers 10

 

Fresno State (-19.5) over Wyoming

Wyoming “erupted” for 29 points in a Week 0 win at New Mexico but has since failed to score more than 19 points in any game. Last week, the Cowboys managed only 244 yards in a 17–13 loss at Hawaii. Fresno State has been rolling since its 21–14 loss at Minnesota in Week 2. The Bulldogs have defeated UCLA, Toledo and Nevada by an average of 21.3 points per game. Fresno State 37, Wyoming 13

 

Last week: 7-3

Season: 25-35

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