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

LSU hosts Florida in another epic SEC clash

The Week 7 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by the huge Florida-LSU game in the SEC. Elsewhere, Wake Forest looks to stay unbeaten with Louisville coming to town; Tennessee seeks its first SEC win against Mississippi State; and Baylor hosts Texas Tech for the first time in over a decade. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

 

LSU (-13.5) over Florida

The game of the day in the SEC pits two undefeated teams that have emerged as serious challengers to the favorites in their respective divisions — Georgia in the East and Alabama in the West. Florida scratched out a win over Auburn last week in Gainesville, but this remains a flawed team. The offensive line is still a huge concern, and the status of starting quarterback Kyle Trask is in doubt after he suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s win. LSU has fewer issues. Sure, the defense might not be up to usual standards, but it’s still very good. And the offense is among the best in the country. LSU has scored at least 42 points in all five games and leads the SEC with 571.0 yards per game. The line seems high, but it’s high for a reason. LSU 30, Florida 14

 

Louisville (+7) over Wake Forest

Wake Forest is one of 12 unbeatens in the Power 5 ranks. But it hasn’t been easy. The Demon Deacons squeaked by Utah State in the opener — thanks to a late touchdown on a fourth-down play — and also have one-score wins over North Carolina and Boston College. This is a good team that is finding ways to win close games. Louisville is one of the most improved teams in the nation. The Cardinals have improved their yards-per-play differential from minus-1.6 in 2018 to plus-1.2 in ’19. That’s a huge swing. The Cards flirted with an upset in their last ACC road game before falling 35–24 at Florida State. They are ready to break through this weekend. Louisville 41, Wake Forest 37

 

Navy (+1) over Tulsa

Navy: college football picks against the spreadNavy has been a very good team when quarterback Malcolm Perry has been healthy. He got banged up in the 35–23 loss at Memphis two weeks ago but returned to action to lead the Midshipmen to a 34–25 win over Air Force on Saturday. Tulsa is fresh off of a disheartening 43–37 loss to SMU in which the Golden Hurricane blew a 21-point second-half lead. This team is clearly improved in 2019 — Tulsa’s two other losses are to Michigan State and Oklahoma State, and it has a win over Wyoming — but this is a tough spot coming off such a devastating loss. Navy has won all four matchups since the formation of the AAC, including both games at Tulsa, by 10 and 23 points. Navy 34, Tulsa 27

 

Tennessee (+6.5) over Mississippi State

Tennessee played its best half of football last weekend — yet still trailed Georgia 26–14 after two quarters. That is a telling snapshot of the state of this once-elite program. Still, it was a sign of progress for a team that opened the season with losses to Georgia State and BYU and was uncompetitive in a loss to Florida. It might be a stretch to call Mississippi State a disappointment, but the Bulldogs are probably a bit worse than expected on both sides of the ball. The last time out, two weeks ago, they lost at Auburn, 56–23, in their first true road game of the season. Mississippi State is probably the better team, but Tennessee’s roster has a lot of talent — especially at the skill positions — and the Vols are good enough to win this game outright. Tennessee 24, Mississippi State 21

 

Baylor (-10) over Texas Tech

Baylor has emerged as a serious threat in the Big 12 after beating Iowa State and Kansas State to open up its league slate. The Bears have been rock solid on both sides of the ball. Now, Texas Tech visits Waco for the first time since 2007; the last 10 meetings have been played at a neutral site. The Red Raiders are coming off a 45–35 win at home over Oklahoma State, an important offensive breakthrough after they scored a total of 30 points in losses to Arizona and Oklahoma. Does that performance say more about Texas Tech’s offense or Oklahoma State’s defense? The guess here is it’s a bit more of the latter. Baylor 34, Texas Tech 23

 

Middle Tennessee (+10.5) over Florida Atlantic

Middle Tennessee has taken its lumps against the three Power 5 opponents on its schedule — losing to Michigan, Duke, and Iowa by an average score of 43–14. The Blue Raiders are 2–0 in their other games, highlighted by last week’s 24–13 win over a solid Marshall team. There is a chance that Rick Stockstill’s team can remain a factor in the C-USA East race despite the departure of the coach’s son, QB Brent Stockstill (who is now on the FAU coaching staff). FAU has met a similar fate in 2019, losing the games decisively that it was supposed to lose (by 24 to Ohio State and 34 to UCF) and beating the teams it was supposed to beat (Ball State by 10, Wagner by 35 and Charlotte by 18). Middle Tennessee has dominated this series, winning 12 of 15 matchups, including five of six since both teams joined Conference USA. Middle Tennessee 34, FAU 31

 

Louisiana Tech (-31.5) over UMass

Louisiana Tech has won four straight after a Week 1 loss at Texas. The Bulldogs haven’t exactly been dominant — they beat Grambling by six and Rice by 3, for example — but they have been good enough to win. UMass does have one win, a 37–29 epic victory over Akron two weeks ago, but has been blown out in its five losses. The Minutemen’s closest defeat was by 25 points at home to Southern Illinois in Week 2. This is a very bad team that really struggles on the defensive side of the ball. Look for Tech to have a big day on offense. Louisiana Tech 47, UMass 14

 

Penn State (-4.5) over Iowa

Penn State has won its two Big Ten games by scores of 59–0 and 35–7 over Maryland and Purdue, respectively. And both performances were as dominating as the scores indicate. This trip to Iowa City will be the Nittany Lions’ toughest test to date. The Hawkeyes are 4–1 overall, with one noteworthy win (at Iowa State) and one loss (last week at Michigan). In two games against Power 5 opponents not named Rutgers, Iowa has averaged only 287 yards of offense. Statistically, Penn State is better than both Iowa State and Michigan on defense and has also been superior on offense. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success for Iowa. Strange things do happen in Iowa City, but Penn State should take care of business. Penn State 27, Iowa 20

 

ULM (-3) over Texas State (Thursday)

ULM continues to progress under coach Matt Viator, now in his fourth season in Monroe. The Warhawks are 2–3 against a difficult schedule that has included games at Florida State (lost in OT) and Iowa State and a home date with Memphis. They beat South Alabama 30–17 in their only Sun Belt game to date. Texas State is also 2–3, with wins over Georgia State by three and Nicholls by 21. The Bobcats are clearly better in Year 1 under Jake Spavital, but this program still has a long way to go. ULM 37, Texas State 27

 

Indiana (-28) over Rutgers

After covering a 17-point spread in a Week 1 win over UMass, Rutgers is 0–4 outright and 0–4 against the spread. The Scarlet Knights simply have not been competitive. Last week, in the first game after Chris Ash was fired, they lost at home to Maryland 48–7. Indiana is superior to Rutgers in every facet and should have little trouble winning this game (and hopefully covering the lofty spread). Indiana 44, Rutgers 10

 

Last week: 2-8

Season: 26-33-1

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