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Wilson: My Projected Odds for Every Week 7 College Football Game

Wilson: My Projected Odds for Every Week 7 College Football Game article feature image

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Lawrence.

Saturday continued to provide entertainment in the form of college football.

While Week 6 had its twists, the only top-25 upsets came from Oklahoma downing No. 22 Texas, Missouri toppling No. 17 LSU, and No. 21 Texas A&M taking down a top-five Florida squad after a Malik Davis fumble in Gators territory set the Aggies up for the game-winning field goal after they trailed by 11 in the third quarter.

In the eyes of the oddsmakers, the Sooners were the favorites and pulled off the victory in four overtimes. Texas had just one quarterback hurry and one sack in the contest. The Longhorns never held a lead until overtime and recorded just two scoring drives from their own territory. The game allowed Oklahoma to maintain a goal of winning the conference. Also in the Big 12, Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State remained undefeated to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Clemson and Georgia played fantastic defensive football in covering the spread against Miami and Tennessee, respectively. Ole Miss generated 647 yards against Alabama in a game that totaled 111 points with a field soaked from Hurricane Delta. Bo Nix threw a backward pass that should have ended Auburn’s night in an upset to Arkansas, but the SEC officials helped the Tigers secure a winning field goal.

This is a backwards pass and a fumble. If you want to have a discussion about who recovered it (it was Arkansas) because the play was blown dead, then sure. But to rule this anything but a fumble is bull

— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 10, 2020

From a Group of Five perspective, UTSA gave BYU all it could handle in an easy cover. Marshall remained undefeated after recovering three fumbles against Western Kentucky. Liberty trucked UL Monroe to go 4-0 and now gets a Syracuse team that may have overlook to Clemson.

Every Sunday, The Action Network publishes updated Power Ratings — including FCS teams — to project point spreads for every game of the following week in anticipation of Sunday’s opening lines. Clemson overtook the top spot in Week 7, with a cluster of teams ranked just outside the top five. 

Look here to identify early betting value when opening lines are released, and follow me in The Action Network App to see when I bet those lines on Sunday afternoon.

Here are the projections for Week 7:

Check out our new NCAAF PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.

Projected College Football Odds, Week 7

A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; a positive number means the home team is an underdog.

Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.

Week 7 Notes

  • UMass is playing its first game of the year against Georgia Southern. The Minutemen lost to Army — the only triple-option team on their schedule — 63-7 in 2019. As of this past Thursday, head coach Walt Bell did not have a depth chart.
  • Georgia State, SMU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Central Florida, Memphis, South Alabama, Cincinnati, Tulsa, UAB, Southern Miss, Kansas and West Virginia are all coming off a bye week (or COVID-19 disruptions).
  • Temple overtook BYU in offensive success rate but had just 62 offensive snaps in Week 6.
  • Kansas State, Miami and Louisville are the top three explosive offenses per expected points.
  • Clemson is now third in the nation in defensive success rate.
  • Georgia remains in the top three in the nation in defensive explosiveness with respect to expected points.
  • Florida leads the nation in finishing drives, averaging six points per trip past the opponent’s 40-yard line.

Week 7 Situational Spots to Play

  • Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin must get the Rebels ready to travel to Arkansas after a much-anticipated game with former boss Nick Saban.
  • Tulsa leads the nation in defensive Havoc and will take on Cincinnati, which may have overlook to a top-25 game against SMU.

Week 7 Injury News

  • Auburn wide receiver Eli Stove and defensive end Big Kat Bryant are day-to-day with South Carolina up next.
  • Florida tight end Kyle Pitts left the game with a left foot injury, and his status for LSU is in question.
  • Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito left the game with a heel injury and is likely done for the season.
  • UTSA quarterback Frank Harris was limited and is questionable with a lower-body injury against Army.
  • Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong was removed from the game with a head injury and is questionable against Wake Forest.
  • Virginia Tech was missing a minimum of five players in the secondary against North Carolina.

#VaTech is down 15 players today vs #UNC. Among that group: five DBs, including two starting defensive backs, per source. That'll make it tougher to deal with Sam Howell and that #UNC attack. #BigNoonKickoff

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 10, 2020

Terms to Know

Postgame Win Expectancy is a calculation of all variables in a box score that dictate who would win the game if it was played a high number of times. Turnover luck, success rate and yards per play are notable components of this calculation and can influence a single game. But over a large sample, the team that moved the ball better would win more often than not.

There have been plenty of box scores in which a team wins as an underdog, but a negative value is applied to that team’s power rating because the result was fluky rather than systematic.

Coach scheme changes can adjust a power rating quickly. For example, Oregon will undergo a change from Marcus Arroyo’s conservative play-calling to new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s system. Moorhead’s offense features a heavy dose of 11 personnel, west coast spread concepts and modern RPOs.

That offensive philosophy has led to more explosiveness and higher rates of success on standard downs at each of Moorhead’s previous stops at Penn State and Mississippi State. In a situation like this, a power rating can be useful to quickly adjust a team’s forecast for future games. In the case of Mike Leach, an adjustment of totals is coming with an increase in plays per game.

Success Rate, Finishing Drives and Explosiveness were first defined in Bill Connelly’s Five Factors and are strong indicators for future box scores. While EPA (Expected Points Added) and IsoPPP (Isolated Points Per Play) can be highly variable from season to season, Success Rate is a stable data point for handicappers to use for projections.

Simply put, if a team consistently achieves the desired amount of yards — determined by down and distance — then this is a “play-on” team with your bankroll. Texas A&M ranked 17th in offensive success rate last season and returns 80% of its offensive production for 2020; that combination makes the Aggies a play-on team.

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