Week 7 College Football Picks: Underdog Duke, MSU-PSU ScoringBy Thomas Casale | Published: October 12, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Each week we’ll be providing our top college football picks. (Season record: 6-3.)
Also check out our NFL “Lookahead Lines” story, finding value (or not) by comparing earlier lines, and identifying recency bias.
Back to the college game…
College Football Week 7 Picks: Underdog Duke to Georgia Tech And a Potentially High-Scoring Big Ten Game
MSU heads to Penn State on Saturday to play for Land-Grant Trophy! 👀&👂 from some Spartan players as they prepare for the battle with the Nittany Lions with this week's practice update.#GoGreen #HEAVE pic.twitter.com/gIRbXDHclj
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) October 10, 2018
Michigan State +13.5 over Penn State
Total: OVER 53
Michigan State has struggled this year and is coming off a disappointing home loss to Northwestern as a 10-point favorite, but two touchdowns in this game seems like a bit much.
The Spartans have thrived in this spot going 7-3 in their last 10 games as an away dog. Michigan State is 4-1 ATS the last five meetings and the OVER is 15-3-1 the last 19 meetings. Both of these teams have played high-scoring games over the last two seasons with the OVER 7-1 in Penn State’s last eight and 6-1 in Michigan’s State’s last seven.
The Spartans rank No. 1 in the nation against the run allowing 33.8 yards per game and 1.38 yards per rush. However, the Spartans give up 305 yards per game (122), so expect a lot of passing by both teams Saturday.
I think we see a spirited effort out of the Spartans this week in a high-scoring game. I’ll take the points and OVER 53 (down from a 56 opener) in a game where I had the total in the low 60s.
Note: Located in New Jersey and want to join a quality legal sportsbook with a generous sign up bonus? Read our review of SugarHouse Sportsbook here. Sign up using our link and you’ll get a 100% match bonus on up to $250 on your first deposit (with only a 1x wager requirement). Use code HANDLE when depositing.
Duke +3 over Georgia Tech
There’s one trend I’ve bet blindly over the last couple of years and it’s been very profitable. Bet Duke any time they face an option team. No coach has defended the option offense better in recent years than David Cutcliffe.
Duke is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games versus option teams. The Blue Devils beat Army in the opener 34-14 as 13-point favorites. Duke held Army’s option attack to just 168 yards which is 140 yards below their season average.
Duke has also been money coming off a bye under Cutcliffe going 6-1 ATS in its last seven games. Duke is 4-0 ATS the last four games in the series winning three straight up as underdogs, including a 43-20 win last season as a 6.5-point dog.
I expect Duke to slow down Georgia Tech’s ground game and for quarterback Daniel Jones to exploit a Yellow Jackets pass defense that ranks 80th in the nation. Duke +3 in this spot is one of my favorite plays of the year.
Western Michigan -14.5 over Bowling Green
I typically don’t like laying a lot of points in the MAC, but these are two teams going in opposite directions. After dropping their first two games to Syracuse and Michigan, Western Michigan has won four straight. Meanwhile, Bowling Green has lost its last two games to Georgia Tech and Toledo by a combined score of 115-53.
Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks is under a lot of pressure after losing games by 34, 31, 46, 15 and 16 points this year. The Falcons haven’t been very profitable as a dog under Jinks, going just 3-12 ATS in this spot.
Bowling Green ranks last in the country in rush defense allowing 332 yards per game, while the Broncos average just under 200 yards per game on the ground. Western Michigan is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. I’ll lay the points with the Broncos here against a fading Bowling Green squad with a coach on his way out the door.
[Related: Elite 8 College Football Betting Podcasts]