College Football By The Odds: Vegas Preview And Picks Of Every Week 7 Game

Michigan RB Blake CorumMichigan RB Blake CorumTony Ding/Associated Press

No. 10 Oregon (5-1) at UCLA (5-2), 3:30 p.m. ET

Have you watched Oregon play since the earth-shattering road win over Ohio State?

It hasn't been pretty.

Still-winless Arizona went on the road and gave the Ducks a run for their money into the fourth quarter in Week 4. Stanford upset them in overtime the following week. And given 13 days to prepare for 1-4 California, the Ducks scored just 10 points in the first three quarters and needed a pair of touchdowns in the final 12 minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. (Cal also ran eight plays inside the Oregon 10 in the final minute with a chance to force overtime, but it couldn't cross the plane.) Let's not forget the Ducks narrowly survived their season opener at home against Fresno State too.

The moral of the story is that the Oregon-Ohio State result feels like an even bigger anomaly with each passing week, and I have no faith in the Ducks to get this road win over UCLA.

Arizona, Cal, Fresno State and Stanford all rank in the bottom half of the nation in rushing offense, while UCLA has rushed for at least 198 yards in six of its seven games. The ground-and-pound attack of Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown will stake the Bruins to an early lead, UCLA's front seven will keep Ducks running back Travis Dye reasonably under wraps and Oregon's Anthony Brown has never been the type of quarterback to take over a game with his arm.

Add it all up, and yet another Top 10 team goes down.

Prediction: UCLA 35, Oregon 27

              

No. 9 Michigan State (7-0) idle

After a hard-fought 20-15 road victory over Indiana, Michigan State gets the week off to prepare for an absolute gauntlet of a closing stretch. The Spartans will return in Week 9 for back-to-back games against No. 6 Michigan (home) and No. 25 Purdue (road). Then after a home game against Maryland on Nov. 13, it's back into the meat grinder against No. 5 Ohio State (road) and No. 7 Penn State (home). If they still have a zero in the loss column by early December, it'll be a miracle.

             

No. 8 Oklahoma State (6-0) at Iowa State (4-2), 3:30 p.m. ET

The come-from-behind win at Texas was the pop quiz for Oklahoma State, but this is the real test.

Iowa State was a preseason Top 10 team that was quickly forgotten after losses to Iowa and Baylor knocked the Cyclones out of the Top 25. But this is still a good, well-balanced squad that simply had a few too many tough moments against two teams that are currently 6-1.

Iowa State gains 187.7 more yards per game than it allows. That's better than Alabama (179.3) and Ohio State (175.4) and is the fourth-best mark in the nation. The Cyclones run defense hasn't been quite as impenetrable in Big 12 play as it was in nonconference play, but we came into the season expecting this to be one of the best front sevens in the country, and it hasn't disappointed.

And that's going to make for an intriguing showdown between excellent running backs and excellent run defenses. Iowa State's Breece Hall ranks sixth in the nation in rushing at 124.7 yards per game. Oklahoma State's Jaylen Warren is in eighth place at 117.5 YPG. And both defenses are holding opponents below 100 rushing yards per contest.

In theory, that'll be a stalemate and this one will boil down to the quarterback battle and special teams. In the former, it looks like a sizable advantage for the home team, as Brock Purdy has only had one dud this season, while Spencer Sanders has only had one good game. But the Cowboys do have quite the return tandem in LD Brown and Brennan Presley to potentially balance things out.

I'm going with another upset, though.

Prediction: Iowa State 24, Oklahoma State 21

            

Illinois (2-5) at No. 7 Penn State (5-1), Noon ET

We still have no clue whether Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford will play in this game after he suffered an upper-body injury against Iowa in Week 6. Given how much difficulty Ta'Quan Roberson had against the Hawkeyes in relief of Clifford (7-of-21 for 34 yards with two interceptions), you'd have to be quite brave to lay the points (23.5 of them at last check) before we find out for sure what's going on at QB for the Nittany Lions.

Considering Wisconsin rushed for nearly 400 yards and held Illinois below 100 yards of total offense in the Fighting Illini's most recent game, though, Penn State will find a way to win regardless of who's fielding the snaps. Illinois has now been held to 10.0 points per game in its last four losses, and Penn State's defense is good enough to bump that number down a bit.

Prediction (with Clifford): Penn State 38, Illinois 7

Prediction (without Clifford): Penn State 23, Illinois 7

              

Northwestern (3-3) at No. 6 Michigan (6-0), Noon ET

Michigan is leading the Big Ten in rushing offense by more than 35 yards per game. Northwestern is in dead last in the Big Ten in rushing defense by more than 40 yards per contest.

Throw in the facts that the game is at the Big House and that Northwestern has only averaged 21.8 points per game against defenses nowhere near as good as Michigan's, and it's not hard to see this one getting ugly in a hurry. Blake Corum, Hassan Haskins and Michigan's defense cruise to victory.

Prediction: Michigan 42, Northwestern 10

Source : https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2949483-college-football-picks-week-8-predictions-for-every-game

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