College Football Player Props & Odds: 7 Top Picks for Michael Mayer, Tavion Thomas & More

College Football Player Props & Odds: 7 Top Picks for Michael Mayer, Tavion Thomas & More article feature image

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer.

  • College football's Week 7 is here, and we have a loaded slate.
  • That means plenty of value in the player props market, including with Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer and others.
  • Dive in below to see all our picks.

Week 7 is shaping up to be one of the best weeks we've had this college football season. The slate features three showdowns with undefeated top-15 teams playing each other, along with plenty of other intriguing matchups.

Because there's so much going on, individual player props can get lost in the shuffle. That's where we come in.

Our staff loves the player prop market for this Week 7 Saturday slate and broke down seven of their favorite picks below. Whether you're looking for an established star like Notre Dame's Michael Mayer or an up-and-coming freshman like Cal's Jaydn Ott, we have you covered.

Read on for all seven of our top player props for Saturday's college football slate below — and be sure to check out our other best bets for the noon, afternoon and evening kickoff windows.

Let's have a day.

College Football Player Props for Week 7

In the table below, you'll find each of our college football staff's top player prop picks from Saturday's slate of games. Click on any pick or team logo to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

Time (ET)
Player Prop
2 p.m. ET
2 p.m. ET
4 p.m. ET
5:30 p.m. ET
6 p.m. ET
7:30 p.m. ET
8 p.m. ET
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Cal vs. Colorado

2 p.m. ET ET
Saturday, Oct. 15
Pac-12 Network

RB Jaydn Ott Rushing Yards

By Kyle Remillard

The Golden Bears look to bounce back in conference play after losing their first Pac-12 matchup to Washington State. Luckily for Cal, it has the perfect opportunity against the only winless FBS program in Colorado.

The Buffaloes have been horrifically bad. They’ve been double-digit underdogs in all five matchups and are 0-5 against the spread, missing the cover by an average of 10 points per game.

There are plenty of holes in this Colorado program but none as big as the rushing defense. The Colorado front seven is allowing an astonishing 6.7 yards per carry and 294 rushing yards per contest. Four of the Buffaloes’ five opponents have rushed for over 250 yards.

That trend should continue against a Cal program that averages 150 rushing yards per game. The Golden Bears are over two-touchdown favorites and should be rushing the ball often to maintain its lead in this matchup.

That will mean plenty of carries for freshman running back Jaydn Ott, who is averaging 7.3 yards per carry this season. Ott dismantled the Arizona defense for 274 rushing yards on 19 carries.

The freshman running back is poised to replicate that effort against a Colorado program who will be playing its first game with a new head coach and defensive coordinator.

Pick: Jaydn Ott Over 97.5 Rushing Yards · Play to 105.5

RB Jaydn Ott Rushing Yards

By Dan Keegan

Jaydn Ott has burst onto the scene in California.

The true freshman running back was a four-star recruit, according to 247Sports, and held offers from the likes of Georgia, USC, Wisconsin, Oregon and Utah. He stuck with the Bears, though, and he has been feasting so far in the early season.

Ott is reviving the Cal lineage of great running backs. He’s PFF’s highest graded true freshman offensive player on the early season. He has 532 yards on the season, rushing for a preposterous 7.4 yards per carry, which is fifth in the country among players with at least 50 carries.

He has been slowed by the tough defenses of Washington State and Notre Dame but feasted on the rest of the schedule.

The Colorado defense will not be able to slow down Ott. This unit was so bad, the school just fired the coordinator Chris Wilson midseason. The Buffaloes defense ranks 109th in SP+ and dead last in rushing yards, surrendering 294.2 per game.

Colorado has played only five games, yet rank 130th out of 131 in total rushing yards allowed.

The Buffs have played against three superstar-level running backs at Ott’s caliber: Air Force’s Brad Roberts, Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim and UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet. These three studs averaged 18.6 carries for 160 yards in those three contests. That works out to 8.6 yards per tote.

Ott will have a monster game on Saturday. Make sure to take his rushing yards over prop in all of your PrizePicks plays this week.

Pick: Jaydn Ott Over 97.5 Rushing Yards · Play to 104.5

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State

4 p.m. ET ET
Saturday, Oct. 15

QB Graham Mertz Passing Yards

By Cody Goggin

Last week was Jim Leonhard’s first as the interim head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. The team responded positively to this change, demolishing Northwestern, 42-7.

Graham Mertz tallied 299 yards passing and five touchdowns in the blowout win.

The impressive part of this was that Wisconsin, which still ranks 108th in passing rate this season, threw the ball much more than usual — even in the blowout. It would seem that Leonhard wants to throw the ball more, and the books haven’t caught up to that notion yet.

After throwing on just 42% of their plays entering that game, the Badgers threw on about 44% of their plays against Northwestern for a slightly more balanced attack.

Mertz has been having his best season in Madison so far. He has the seventh-best PFF passing grade in the country among quarterbacks who have played at least 20% of their teams’ snaps.

Despite typically preferring to run, this Wisconsin offense owns the 28th-best Success Rate through the air and the 14th-best explosiveness ranking in the country.

Michigan State’s pass defense has been atrocious, ranking 113th in the country in PFF coverage grade. The Spartans sit 119th in Defensive Success Rate and are not good at limiting explosive plays, ranking 87th in passing defense explosiveness.

With Michigan State having a decently successful run defense, Wisconsin may find itself having to throw the ball more. This should lead to Mertz having plenty of opportunities to rack up more yardage against a poor Michigan State passing defense.

Pick: Graham Mertz Over 239.5 Passing Yards · Play to 239.5

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Arizona vs. Washington

5:30 p.m. ET ET
Saturday, Oct. 15
Pac-12 Network

QB Jayden de Laura Passing Yards

By Alex Kolodziej

Jayden de Laura went off for back-to-back 400-plus yard passing games before being limited to 242 last week against Oregon.

I won’t guarantee another four-piece for the Wazzu transfer, but over 275.5 is certainly playable against a fraudulent Washington defense.

The Huskies allow only 3.5 yards per pop on the ground — a huge improvement from their 4.9 clip last year — but can be exploited through the air.

They’ve coughed up more than 280 yards per contest over the last three, and Saturday’s matchup vs. Arizona will feature the highest over/under (73) of them all.

de Laura and the Wildcats, meanwhile, rank sixth nationally in both passing yards per game (342.5) and pass play percentage (61.5%).

For what it’s worth, Washington’s better in both categories. I’m thinking track meet, passing yards aplenty and (hopefully) a win mid-third quarter on this passing total.

Pick: Jayden de Laura Over 275.5 Passing Yards · Play to 299.5

college football odds-picks-predictions-for-arizona vs washington-saturday oct 15
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayden de Laura (Arizona).

Rice vs. Florida Atlantic

6 p.m. ET ET
Saturday, Oct. 15

RB Larry McCammon Rushing Yards

By Patrick Strollo

Larry McCammon III is the lead back for Florida Atlantic’s rush-heavy offense. Through six games this season, McCammon is averaging 85.33 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry.

McCammon and the Owls are facing a Rice team that has been mediocre against the run this season, giving up 148.20 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses.

Florida Atlantic will be sure to get the rock to McCammon too, as it runs the ball on 53.4% of snaps.

The weather in South Florida is supposed to be questionable on Saturday with showers in the morning and potential thunderstorms at night. The weather should yield a damp field, which should up what will already be a large workload for McCammon.

The Owls rank 29th in the nation in long rushing plays, whereas the Rice Owls rank 93rd nationally in defending long rushing plays. As a consequence, there should be ample opportunity for McCammon to break off a couple of long ones.

Back McCammon on a total that’s below his season average in what will be a game played in soggy, run-heavy conditions.

Pick: Larry McCammon Over 72.5 Rushing Yards · Play to 75.5

Stanford vs. Notre Dame

7:30 p.m. ET ET
Saturday, Oct. 15

TE Michael Mayer Receiving Touchdowns

By Keg

I love this play for a lot of reasons, first and foremost being that Michael Mayer is the best tight end in college football right now. If you disagree, feel free to reach out, and I’ll be more than happy to tell you why you’re wrong.

Mayer ranks 19th in the country among all receivers in terms of receptions per game, and he ranks fourth among tight ends in receiving yards.

Second, he’s the best player on this Notre Dame team. The Irish, as a team, have nine receiving touchdowns on the season — Mayer has five of those. No other receiver has more than one.

He leads the team with 33 receptions, and the next closest player has only 19.

He has recorded a touchdown in every game this season except the first against Ohio State. Last time out against BYU, he posted a season-high 118 yards and scored twice.

He’s already the first option in the passing offense, but if the Irish run into trouble against Stanford’s defense, they’ll rely even more heavily on Mayer.

Finally, Mayer’s odds to score a touchdown on DraftKings are -150. Combine this with any two player props listed in our best bets, and the parlay comes out between +390 and +442. Combine it with two others on PrizePicks, and it settles at +500.

Pick: Michael Mayer Over 0.5 Receiving Touchdowns (-150)

USC vs. Utah

8 p.m. ET ET
Saturday, Oct. 15

RB Tavion Thomas Rushing Yards

By Alex Hinton

USC and Utah has long been billed as the Game of the Year in the Pac-12. However, UCLA might have stolen some of their thunder when it knocked off Utah last week.

The Utes will look to get back on track when they welcome USC to Salt Lake City.

The best way to do that may be to attack the Trojans on the ground. Utah is a bad matchup for USC by many because of its physical style.

Few backs in the country are more physical than Utah running back Tavion Thomas. The redshirt junior ran for 1,108 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. By those standards, he has gotten off to a slow start this season with 386 rushing yards and five touchdowns. However, he may be starting to get his legs under him, as he had 91 yards rushing and a touchdown on 18 carries last week.

USC ranks 82nd in the FBS in rushing yards allowed, giving up 152.7 per game on 4.6 yards per carry. Its run defense hasn’t been exposed as much as it probably should’ve been because the Trojans have often played with large leads for most of this season.

Thomas should be in line for another heavy workload, as running the ball effectively will allow Utah to control time of possession and keep Caleb Williams and the high-powered USC offense off the field.

It just so happens that Utah’s back is 2-for-2 in going over this line when he receives 18 or more carries this season.

DraftKings is offering a softer line here, as Thomas is up to 82.5 yards on FanDuel.

At negative odds, I would play this line up to 84.5. However, I expect him to have a 100-yard night. You can take Thomas to gain 100 yards on FanDuel at +154 and all the way up to 125 yards at +320.

Pick: Tavion Thomas Over 80.5 Rushing Yards (-115) · Play to 84.5

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