Pick Ohio, Bet Florida, Fade Utah

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After describing the value of the top row for week 7 of the college football season, the rows have changed, the totals are different, and the money rows have changed. Enjoy what you can now as the college football betting lines are set in our college football picks and predictions.

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Week 7 college football picks and predictions

We went shopping early to start the week, and we’re back at it with the value of the fence line to give you the edge this week in college football.

MORE: Pro Football Network to launch College Football Network

Ohio vs. Western Michigan (Pick them)

The Ohio Bobcats are as electric as they come in the MAC this season. Kurtis Rourke is at record pace and is lighting up defenses left and right. The thing is, unfortunately, his defense is letting him down and averaging over 40 points per game, fifth in the nation.

It’s been a tough road for the Bobcats defense, while the West Michigan defense was just torn apart by East Michigan a week ago. Defenses can certainly take a back seat in this one, and WMU’s offense needs to keep up. As bad as Ohio’s defense is, WMU’s offense could be worse.

Catch the Bobcats in a decisive MAC victory.

Prediction: Ohio 44, West Michigan 27

LSU vs. Florida (-2.5)

While the much-maligned Anthony Richardson wowed Florida last week, his final statistical performance was pretty poor. His athleticism and top players continue to conjure thoughts of elite play from the most important position, but that elite play has yet to exist for four quarters in Gainesville. Against a solid LSU defense, is it a safe bet to rely on Richardson’s flash-in-the-pan high-level play? No. Is it the one that will pay off if it produces at least three-quarters of a solid game? Yes.

Therein lies the problem, though, because you have to hope that Richardson can bring his A-game for the majority of the contest, as LSU’s defense will make the Gators pay if he doesn’t. Of course, LSU’s offense does literally nothing to scare a solid Gators defense.

Florida wins with defense and some of Anthony Richardson’s plays that take your breath away.

Prediction: Florida 27, LSU 20

Clemson (-3.5) vs. Florida State

It was a fun story, but the reality has fallen apart for Florida State that they are over a year away from competing in the ACC again. What they were able to accomplish to start off the year, however, is nothing short of amazing. They were just games away from picking up wins over top-25 ranked teams at Wake Forest and NC State and instead sit at 4-2 with Clemson coming to town.

With a primetime kickoff against a top-five opponent, history is against them in Tallahassee. Clemson, too, brings its own historically beneficial factors, as the FSU has struggled over the past decade to limit quarterbacks in the field. Look what Malik Cunningham did to them earlier this season, and now add DJ Uiagalelei’s new jamming ability to the fold.

Clemson is a complete, complete team, and FSU is looking for a new identity on defense. It’s a close game, but it’s a four-quarter contest that leans toward the deeper roster. Clemson in a two possession game.

Prediction: Clemson 34, State of Florida 24

Stanford (+16.5) against Notre Dame

This in no way means that Stanford will beat Notre Dame. But Notre Dame is by no means a better three possession team than the Cardinal. Stanford needs to figure out how to finish games before they can close that gap, apparently.

Notre Dame needs to learn the same thing, as they almost let their big lead against BYU dwindle late in the first half and into the third quarter. Relying on their strength is key, which means running the ball. It’s something Stanford hasn’t stopped and something the Fighting Irish could exploit. Currently, the Cardinal ranks 121st in the nation for stopping the run while Notre Dame’s rushing offense is ranked 51st.

However, Notre Dame hasn’t taken many trips to the red zone and has only seven scores on the ground. The Irish win, convincingly, but with healthy Brycen Tremayne and Michael Wilson, Stanford can shoot within two possessions behind.

Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Stanford 24

USC (+3.5) vs. Utah

As we stated in our front row preview, USC is a great bet on the road as an underdog. They have a ball-peddling secondary with a heavy ground game that attacks and drains life from opposing defenses. That was Utah’s recipe for success during the Kyle Whittingham era.

And yet, the Trojans have Caleb Williams and a slew of talented pass catchers at their disposal to capitalize on cheating safeties and linebackers. Jordan Addison can create separation with the most talented of cornerbacks, and he will face the best he has seen so far in Clark Phillips III. It is the battle that should decide the outcome of the game, or at least contribute to it.

Can Phillips stay with Addison throughout the game, and how will that affect the rest of the coverage unit who have to deal with Mario Williams, Brenden Rice, Tahj Washington and running backs out of the field back? Even Utah doesn’t have the horses to withstand this offensive onslaught.

Prediction: USC 35, Utah 27

North Carolina (-7) against Duke

If Georgia Tech’s offense could do anything against Duke in their overtime upset, it was a fatal flaw in the Blue Devils defense. Their pass defense was exposed in off-platform situations by Jeff Sims.

It’s very much in Drake Maye’s wheelhouse, as he’s already drawn – unfair at that – comparisons to Patrick Mahomes for doing such things last weekend. Even still, Maye should have a field day in the off-rig throwing department against this Duke team that’s notorious for causing a ton of rim pressure but holding no coverage.

Prediction: North Carolina 41, Duke 24

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