Wilson: College Football Week 7 Games I Bet Right Away, Including Memphis-Temple
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joseph Dorceus
The SEC continues to dominate the college football futures market. And after Week 7, one of the big names on the board will be knocked off as Florida visits LSU. And the drama won’t be limited to the SEC, as Penn State at Iowa and a Cotton Bowl trip for the two best teams in the Big 12 have major CFP implications.
A preseason 30-1 ticket on Oklahoma and 12-1 on Georgia were placed on the Action App, but any number of 8-1 or better on Ohio State must be considered at this point. The Buckeyes host both Wisconsin and Penn State, and project to be greater than 10-point favorites per the Action Network’s power ratings.
While I’m watching my futures tickets closely this weekend, that’s not where I’m headed for the games I bet early in the week.
This article will look at the numbers I have already hit in Week 7, plus my projected spreads for every game so you can keep an eye on lines as they move.
All odds above as of Monday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
College Football Games I Bet Early and Projected Spreads
Note: A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; inverse for a positive number.
Memphis at Temple (+5)
A good hour on the elliptical machine was accompanied by trusty classic alternative playlist recently. As a teenager of the 1990’s, there was a 99% chance my ears heard a band out of the Seattle area circa 1992. Soon enough, Hunger Strike came on as Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder wailed a soliloquy of beauty before I had a revelation about Temple of the Dog.
Temple is a dog? The Temple Owls are an underdog in Week 7?
If there is anything I trust more than classic alternative music, it is Temple at home as an underdog.
Memphis comes to Philadelphia on back-to-back travel after a 52-33 victory over ULM. A closer look at the box score shows ULM had more total yards thanks to 89 total plays. Memphis went just 2 for 8 on third down and feasted on explosive plays.
Memphis went on the road and put up 52 points against ULM!
— American Football (@American_FB) October 5, 2019
That has been the Tigers’ entire season — a completely inefficient offense with explosive plays to get points on the board. Memphis is 85th in the nation in first downs but ranks top 5 in passing plays of 40-plus yards or more. It is imperative the Tigers score from deep, as their red zone scoring percentage is 98th in FBS.
If there’s a team built to stop this kind of attack, it is the Temple Owls. Rod Carey’s crew has allowed just three rushes to go over 20 yards and eight passes over 20 yards, second best in the nation.
Temple will be off extra rest for this affair after a wild trip to East Carolina. Memphis may have overlook to Tulane, a game that could decide the AAC West and determine who is the best Group of Five team.
This game sits at +5 where I have taken a shot on the Action App. Any rise in the number to +6 or +7 will only further my investment into the Owls.
Pick: Temple +5
Michigan at Illinois (+21.5)
How lucky can the Minnesota football team be? A week removed from Elijah Sindelar and Rondale Moore exiting for Purdue, Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters left mid-game against the Gophers with injury.
But backup Matt Robinson was not much a downgrade from Peters, throwing for 125 yards but more importantly zero interceptions. Illinois was in the driver’s seat looking to cover heading into halftime.
OH NO 🤦♂️
Minnesota’s attempt to ice the kicker backfires big time for Minn 1H (-7) bettors…
After missing the first kick, Illinois drills the second attempt and trail 16-10 at the half
Illinois 1H cover ✅
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 5, 2019
Lovie Smith made it clear that his team must get better in rush defense after Nebraska and Minnesota each went for 300 on the ground. Illinois may be in luck, as Michigan ranks outside the top 100 of rushing offenses.
The Fighting Illini are respectable in line yards and stuff rate on the defensive line, but a power success rank of 119th means teams have consistency converted on third and short.
Michigan had a terrible offensive performance against Iowa in a 10-3 victory. With only 267 yards on offense, the defense saved the day with their best Havoc game of the year.
The Wolverines picked off the Hawkeyes three times and recovered a fumble. Havoc may play a factor in this game, as the Illinois defense ranks 20th against Michigan’s havoc allowed rank of 68th.
The Wolverines have not been particularly good away from Ann Arbor, covering just one number in their past eight games. Plus, Michigan may have overlook to a Penn State clash in Week 8.
The weather may also give this number plenty of value. A kickoff temperature of 38 degrees with winds over 15 mph may make this a heavy ground game. That is good news for Illinois, as Michigan has just one rush this season over 20 yards.
Pick: Illinois +21.5