We didn’t make any progress on getting above .500 for the season in Week 6 but we didn’t lose any ground either. An even 4-4 week carries us into Week 7 with hopes that we find a little extra luck. Thankfully, 2023 has been such an incredible year that even if we don’t find success in the gambling picks. We’re 19-29 so far this season. As always, the odds* for the below picks come courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook. This blog does not constitute financial advice.
Liberty at Jacksonville State Under 58.5
We kick things off with some midweek CUSA action that takes place TONIGHT. A Tuesday night fixture feels strange to be sure but you certainly won’t hear me complaining. Though Jacksonville State has surrendered points in their last two contests, both games came on the road. I expect their defense to perform better at home. Their opponent, Liberty, remains undefeated in 2023 meaning this contest represents a battle for the top spot in the conference. 58.5 feels like a generous amount of points for this contest. I like the under here.
SMU at East Carolina Over 49.5
SMU hasn’t been the points-scoring offensive force of years past in 2023 but it feels like they are due for an explosion at some point. This week the Ponies take on a reeling ECU squad that finds themselves without an FBS win so far this season. 49.5 really isn’t a ton of points for this contest and I like our chances here. Hammer the over in this Thursday night kick.
Tulane at Memphis Under 56
Tulane may have a loss on their record, but the Green Wave still look like one of the best teams in the Group of 5. They’ve won games with both their offense and their defense but I’m leaning towards the latter being more of a factor when they take on Memphis on Friday night. I’m not sure who comes out on top in this one as the Tigers also appear to be a very serious contender for the AAC crown. I’m taking the under here.
Michigan State +5.5 at Rutgers
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that Rutgers would be 4-2 and favored against Michigan State I would’ve called you a madman. Of course, there have been a number of issues for Sparty that have led us to this point but it’s still strange to see nonetheless. However, I do think Michigan State’s team, at some point, buckles down and shows some fight. On the road against Rutgers, I like the Spartans to keep it within a field goal. Michigan State +5.5 is the play here.
Georgia Southern +4 at James Madison
The Sun Belt East features some of the best teams in the Group of 5. Currently sitting at the top of the division are Georgia Southern and James Madison. The two former FCS powers will meet on Saturday in what should be one of the better contests of the weekend. This one should be an incredibly hard-fought contest. I think JMU likely secures the win but GaSo keeps it within a field goal. Take Georgia Southern +4.
Oregon at Washington Over 67
The Ducks and Huskies produced an absolute instant classic in 2022. Expect another such contest when Oregon makes the journey up to Seattle on Saturday. Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. (my Heisman pick) will likely participate in one hell of a quarterback duel. What does that mean? Lots of points. I am hammering the over in what I expect will be the game of the weekend.
USC at Notre Dame -2.5
I realize the Irish are coming off a disappointing loss to Louisville but having watched this USC defense give up points left and right in 2023, I think this is a perfect opportunity for Notre Dame to get back in the win column. Notre Dame likely represents the best defense USC has faced so far this season. Sure, the Trojans will still score points but if Notre Dame can get even a few stops, I don’t see USC stopping the Irish. Take Notre Dame in this one.
Iowa +10 at Wisconsin
This game is going to end with a score of 16-10. 10 points is a big spread for a Wisconsin team that hasn’t been overly impressive. I think the Hawkeyes keep this one close in Camp Randall.
Miami at North Carolina -3.5
Another real threat to win the Heisman in 2023, Drake Maye has appeared to be one of the best quarterbacks in the nation as expected. The Tar Heels have looked fantastic so far this season and I think that continues when the Hurricanes come to town on Saturday. Look for UNC to win by a touchdown or more against Miami.
UCLA at Oregon State -4
Admittedly, my reasoning for picking Oregon State in this one is perhaps not the most logical. UCLA and USC’s departure for the Big Ten represents the tipping point for the dissolution of the Pac-12 as we knew it. You can bet the Beaver faithful won’t forgive or forget. I’m expecting the crowd in Corvallis to be extremely vocal come Saturday night. I also expect the players on the Oregon State roster will have a little extra motivation as well. Take the Beavers to win this one at home.
Upset Special: Wyoming +300 at Air Force
I confess I don’t understand the line in this one at all. This is not a shot at Air Force but for the Cowboys to be +10.5 in the spread and +300 moneyline? What does Vegas see here? Wyoming has been one of the most impressive teams in the Group of 5 through this point of the season. They secured a big victory against Texas Tech at home earlier this year. They carried a tie game into the fourth quarter on the road against Texas. They just knocked off the reigning Mountain West Champs just last week. Now they are big underdogs against Air Force? Make it make sense! I think this contest will end up being an absolute banger between two of the best squads in the MWC, and at +300 I love the value on Wyoming.
What games are you looking forward to most in Week 7?
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See http://draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.