Week 7 college football picks and predictions from Adam Burke

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Week 7 best bets for Ohio State vs. Purdue, UCLA vs. Oregon State

Week 7 of the college football season has featured a lot of weeknight action, but the main events are still on Saturday and we’ve got some really good games this week. We’ve also got some really good games to bet on that aren’t marquee games.

 

A lot of games have already featured some weather-related totals moves. It is important to keep an eye on the lines and the forecasts early in the week in hopes of getting some of that line value. Be sure to get in the practice of that as we get deeper into the fall, as the weather only gets worse from here.

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Here are my favorite picks for Week 7:

(odds as of October 12 , 4:50 p.m. PT)

Ohio State Buckeyes (-19, 50.5) at Purdue Boilermakers

The Buckeyes ultimately covered the number against Maryland last week at home, but it was another Ryan Day Special. A slow start followed by a good enough second half to win against the spread. I’m not so sure I like Ohio State this week against Purdue laying three scores. The forecast has the wind picking up after this game concludes, but the forecast could certainly shift a bit and make life even tougher for the quarterbacks.

What I’m looking at more, however, is the total. We’ve got rain in the forecast and that aforementioned wind, but this total didn’t drop all that much because the wind doesn’t appear to be too bad. Ohio State’s defense is elite and any measure of help from Mother Nature should give the Buckeyes that much more success. They’ve allowed just 4.07 yards per play on the season and Purdue has only averaged 5.35 yards per play.

The Ohio State offensive line is a pretty mediocre group this season. QB Kyle McCord has only been sacked five times, but he’s had some trouble stepping up into throws. He also may not have Emeka Egbuka in this one, which can allow the defense to shift any and all attention to Marvin Harrison Jr.

Ohio State’s slow starts and potentially deteriorating weather conditions push me towards the Under 50.5 here.

Pick: Under 50.5

UCLA Bruins at Oregon State Beavers (-3.5, 54)

Oregon State has gotten a lot of love in the betting markets this season, but I think this line is mispriced. Corvallis is a tough place to play, especially for a freshman QB in Dante Moore, but the Beavers are living more on their preseason reputation than what they’ve done this season. Oregon State was not good for the first three quarters against Washington State, in my opinion, the best team that they’ve played this season. The 38-35 score was really misleading, as that was a 35-14 game after three quarters.

The win over Utah was fine, but the Utes have been disappointing this season and have absolutely missed Cam Rising. UCLA did lose to Utah, whose defense is still great, but the Utes had a pick-six that was the difference in the game.

The Bruins defense is elite. They’ve allowed just 3.74 yards per play and only 3.51 YPP in two conference games. Meanwhile, Oregon State has allowed over six yards per play in three conference games. Getting over a field goal with the nation’s top defense by YPP seems like the right play to make and my power ratings actually have UCLA -0.5.

Pick: UCLA +3.5

BYU Cougars at TCU Horned Frogs (-5.5, 52.5)

TCU will send out backup QB Josh Hoover here, as Chandler Morris is out with a knee injury. Hoover was 11-of-19 for 119 yards with a touchdown and a pick against Iowa State. Now he’s been able to prepare as the starter for the week and should also get help from Emani Bailey, who had 152 yards last week on 21 carries. Bailey has rushed for at least 126 yards three times so far this season. 

The BYU defense ranks 92nd in yards per carry allowed, as they’ve struggled, especially in Big 12 play with 5.51 YPC allowed. Bailey should be able to get his and I expect Hoover to be better in his first start than he was in relief last week.

Meanwhile, the BYU offense also has just 5.22 yards per play on offense, which ranks 102nd in the nation. The Cougars have had no luck running the football and the TCU defense has been very stout against the run. They’ve also defended the pass pretty well. BYU has a one-dimensional offense, which makes them easier to defend. Also, the win over Cincinnati was very misleading, as the Cougars were outgained by more than 200 yards.

Even though TCU is going with an inexperienced QB, this line is too short according to my power ratings.

Pick: TCU -5.5

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