Preview and Top 25 Picks for NCAA Football Week 7
We're halfway through the 2022 college football season, and the most Top 25 match-ups hit the Saturday, Oct. 15 schedule. A total of six contests feature games between AP Top 25 teams, including a pair of Top 10 match-ups. Penn State and Michigan will settle the score between unbeatens in Ann Arbor. Then the spectacular SEC clash features Alabama and Tennessee in Knoxville where the winner remains undefeated.
We cashed in on Tennessee in our Week 6 picks, and the Volunteers make our Pick plays again this week as a feature play and most bet game at the top online sportsbooks. Last week's push on Kansas (+7) may have been a winner for sharp sports bettors who grabbed +7.5 (I did) when it appeared for a bit on game day. The Jayhawks had edges over TCU in a late 38-31 loss in first downs, rushing and passing yards and 540-452 total yards in a zero Net turnover game. TCU had just 1 penalty for 5 yards? I'm still riding No. 19 Kansas (+9) this week at Oklahoma, who is 0-3 in Big 12 play and has failed to cover the spread by a combined 98 points the last three games. The Jayhawks have covered 9-straight games if you include vs TCU!
We double the Top 25 match-ups this week to six big games which will impact the AP and Coaches Polls, conference standings and bowl games picture. Of course, the weekly results also impact the betting lines, and it's up to you to monitor and shop for the best lines on your preferred teams and bets. Become an OSGA Member and VIP, get in the game and get paid.
Week 7 Top 25 Matchups
No. 10 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan | 12 p.m. | FOX
No. 15 NC State at No. 18 Syracuse | 3:30 p.m. | ACC Network
No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 12 TCU | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 3 Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 22 Kentucky | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 7 Southern California at No. 20 Utah | 8 p.m. | FOX
Check back for more bonus analysis and insight as we push towards game day and the biggest Top 25 card of the 2022 season. All Picks, Opinions and Leans are against the spread (ATS) unless indicated. The buzzword this week is 'B' like BookMaker, so check out the leading bookmakers below for more betting action.
No. 10 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan | 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Line: Michigan -7 and Total 50.5 at reduced juice sportsbook BetMania
A battle of unbeatens in the Big Ten East division with the Nittany Lions rested and ready off a bye week. Penn State is much improved this season, and lost 21-17 to Michigan last year in a game with close stats. The Nittany Lions defense has been a top-20 unit while the offense has gained more traction on the ground game to join Michigan with a 200 Club offense. A pair of freshman running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen have combined for 757 yards rushing, 6.4 yards per rush and 8 touchdowns. Dr. Bob Sports notes that Michigan has been 0.4 yards per play better defensively than Penn State has been after adjusting for strength of opposing offenses faced, and the Wolverines offense is even stronger and more balanced than Penn State led by one of the top running backs in the country Blake Corum (735 yards, 6.2 YPR, 11 TDs). Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has been imperious this season, completing 78% of his passes for 1152 yards and a 9:1 TD-INT ratio. Still, Michigan is 1-2 ATS in three Big Ten games this season while getting challenge in all three contests. The Wolverines now get their toughest test to date. Michigan has won 11 straight home games with their last loss at the "Big House" in 2020 to Penn State, 27-17. Nittany Lions QB Sean Clifford returns to the scene of the crime and we call for a closer contest.
Opinion: Penn State
No. 15 NC State at No. 18 Syracuse | 3:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network
Line: Syracuse -3.5 and Total 42 at Bovada
Undefeated Syracuse (5-0) has been a big surprise having already matched last year's win total and projected at or near the bottom of the ACC Atlantic division. This contest and pick/opinion will be determined on game day when NC State coaches decide on the status of QB Devin Leary, who hurt his shoulder late in last week’s fortunate 19-17 win over Florida State. Injuries are a bigger part of handicapping this time of year, and Leary’s is a major one to monitor.
No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 12 TCU | 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Line: TCU -4 and Total 68.5 at BetOnline
Texas Christian (TCU) improved to 5-0 SU, 4-0-1 ATS with last week's win at Kansas. The Horned Frogs have exceeded expectations including the oddsmakers by +56 combined points. Evaluating strength of schedule along with what the preseason or early season betting line would have been is another part of the handicapping process. This line has adjusted a full TD+ based on TCU's rise and results. Yet, Oklahoma State has matched TCU with 232 points scored in five games, and the Cowboys continue to shine in their own undefeated season with their top head coach Mike Gundy leading the way. Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders guides the Cowboys pass offense with a 12:2 TD-INT ratio and 296 passing yards per game against four FBS opponents. How 'bout this ATS stat for coach and the Cowboys: Oklahoma State is on a 10-1 ATS regular season run against Big 12 opponents, including 5-0 ATS away from home. We cashed with the Cowboys in their Week 5 win at Baylor, and plan to do so outright again at TCU in a high-scoring shootout.
Pick: Oklahoma State
No. 3 Alabama at No. 6 Tennessee | 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
Line: Alabama -7.5 and Total 66 at BookMaker
I'm not passing up taking the No. 1 offense in the country averaging 548 yards per game with the balance and efficiency of Tennessee getting us the cash at Rocky Top. See last week's game analysis for more insight as we tackle the top-rated 'Tide this week with Heisman Trophy-winning QB Bryce Young (shoulder) a game-time decision.
No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 22 Kentucky | 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network
Line: Mississippi State -4 and Total 49 at BetAnySports
Here’s another quarterback injury to monitor, and you can check out the coaches comments on next year's first round NFL Draft QB Will Levis of Kentucky. He missed Kentucky’s 24-14 loss to South Carolina as 4-point favorites last week, but hopes for Wildcats fans and betting backers is that he takes the snaps Saturday at home against Mississippi State. The Wildcats have a balanced 200 Club offense with Levis at quarterback, and the 'Cats defense continues to claw and is still strong enough to support against a Bulldogs passing game that is led by the country's leading passer Will Rodgers (2,110 yards, 22 TD passes), who has led the Bulldogs (5-1) to three straight wins scoring at least 40 points (facing opponents backup QBs the last 2 games). Check out more of my matchup and game analysis, stats and insight on the Mississippi State-Kentucky game and bet the Over if Levis plays as expected. Added value on Kentucky from what the Week 1 line would have been but noting the line has dropped the past 24 hours and from the Sunday opener in Las Vegas of MSU -7.
Pick: Over and Opinion: Kentucky
No. 7 USC at No. 20 Utah | 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Line: Utah -3.5 and Total 65 at MyBookie
The Trojans and Utes both average 40 points per game on offense. Other nearly identical offensive numbers include touchdowns (31, 32), yards per play (6.8, 6.6) and 460 yards per game. Quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Cameron Rising rank nearly even in QB passing efficiency and top-3 in the conference, and face opposing defenses than rank first and second in Pac 12 pass defense efficiency and scoring defense (19 PPG). Utah has the slightly more balanced offense, and the Utes have won 11-straight home games. Rising passed for 306 yards and 3 TDs in last year's meeting and Utah win, 42-26. USC games have gone under in 4 of last 5 road games, and my projections lean that way along with Utah.
Lean: Utah and Opinion Under
Top 25 Added Games
Here's a few other games of interest involving current and previous Top 25 teams.
Minnesota (-6.5) at No. 24 Illinois | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
No. 4 Clemson (-3.5) at Florida State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.