NCAA Football Betting: College Football Matchups for Week 7

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 7!

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ Missouri Tigers (3-3 SU, 2-3-1 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -21, Total: 43

Faurot Field, Columbia, MO – Saturday, October 13th, 3:30 ET

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We have already seen Missouri struggle this year at home against teams from the SEC East, as they have been beaten by Georgia and now Vanderbilt. As we saw last week, the Bulldogs aren’t the best team in the SEC by any stretch of the imagination, and Vandy clearly isn’t one of the best in the biz either. Alabama on the other hand, is as good as it gets, not just in the SEC, but in the entire nation. The Missouri offense is clearly going to be shut down in this one barring a miracle, especially with the Tide coming off of a bye week. Alabama is rolling on the way to the National Championship Game, and this should be just another bump in the road and nothing more. The last time that we saw Alabama favored by this many points on the road in the SEC was the game against Arkansas, a game that ended 52-0. This one might be just as ugly.

#3 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) @ #8 LSU Tigers (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Spread: LSU -2.5, Total: 40

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA – Saturday, October 13th, 8:00 ET

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There aren’t many games that you’re going to find over the course of the next few weeks that mean more than this one. LSU and South Carolina both know that they really can’t afford to lose this game. The loser is probably going to be out of the running for the BCS National Championship Game, though obviously, the Gamecocks have a longer rope than do the Bayou Bengals. LSU has a lot more to lose, as it will almost surely be out of the BCS all together with a defeat, knowing that it won’t catch the Crimson Tide even with a win when these two teams play here at Tiger Stadium in a few weeks. The Gamecocks will still control their own destiny in the SEC East for sure, knowing that they beat Georgia last week and have Florida next week. These two teams have only played four times over the course of the last decade, and all four games have been won by the Tigers. Three of the four were covered by LSU.

#4 West Virginia Mountaineers (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: West Virginia -3.5, Total: 77

AT&T Jones Stadium, Lubbock, TX – Saturday, October 13th, 3:30 ET

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This is the second straight road trip the West Virginia has to take to the state of Texas, and that could be a heck of a lot of trouble. Last week’s game was a huge emotional boost against the Longhorns, and this is just considered a significantly less important of a game. Still, it’s a road trip for the No. 4 team in the nation, and a conference road game at that. The Red Raiders weren’t good enough to hang around against the Sooners last week, and they are clearly going to be overmatched in this one. However, the truth of the matter is that this is a bad letdown spot for the Mountaineers, and that’s what Head Coach Tommy Tuberville is going to be preaching to his team all week long. This is a game that is here for the taking, and winning it would likely ensure a bowl game this year for T-Tech and safety for Tuberville for at least one more year.

#5 Kansas State Wildcats (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ #25 Iowa State Cyclones (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Kansas State -6.5, Total: 49.5

Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA – Saturday, October 13th, 12:00 ET

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With so many big teams like Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia in the Big XII, it almost seems laughable that a game between Kansas State and Iowa State is oh so important. Alas, that’s exactly what the case is right now, as these two teams are a combined 9-1 to start the season, they are both ranked, and they both are believers that they can contend for the Big XII title. Obviously, the Wildcats are the favored team coming into this one, knowing that they are the one of the two that legitimately have a shot at playing for all of the marbles this January. The road is going to be a tough one though, and the Cyclones are most memorable of late as being the team that spoiled the party for Oklahoma State last year, which would have played for the BCS National Championship if not for the fact that ISU beat it. The Cats have won four in a row SU in this series, though all four games were decided by eight points or fewer. This series is split right down the middle at five games apiece from an ATS standpoint over the course of the last decade, and it could be a close one once again on Saturday at Jack Trice.

#6 Florida Gators (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ Vanderbilt Commodores (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Florida -8.5, Total: 40.5

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN – Saturday, October 13th, 6:00 ET

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You have to go back five presidents to find the last time that Vanderbilt knocked off Florida, but the last time that the Commodores even remotely stood a shot of winning this game was in 2003. That was QB Jay Cutler’s sophomore season, and that year, Vandy was -3 on the road against the Gators. Since that point, UF has been favored by at least 12.5 in all of its games against Vanderbilt, though the results at times have been mixed. There have been some truly heartbreaking results for the Commodores, including a five-point loss in the Swamp last year when these two hooked up. This though, is a real chance at an upset, knowing that the Gators are in a bad sandwich spot. This one is crammed dab smack in the middle between a win over LSU and games against South Carolina and Georgia, and it is going to be easy to lose focus. Remember that the Commodores were looked upon as a solid team in the SEC East this year, and though they were never really expected to contend, there was never a doubt that they were going to be able to at least hold their own in some of these big time games. The ‘Dores are 4-3 ATS over the course of the last three years in this series.

#17 Stanford Cardinal (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ #7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: Notre Dame -7.5, Total: 44.5

Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN – Saturday, October 13th, 3:30 ET

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The Cardinal and the Irish are traditional rivals for the time being, though we know that that could be changing in the near future with Notre Dame’s move to the de facto ACC in the coming years. The games generally have been pretty tight, as five of the meetings since 2004 have been decided by eight points or fewer and none have been decided by more than 23 in that stretch. This is a series that has gone in cycles. Notre Dame won and covered all three meetings from 2002-04, Stanford then turned around and covered both games in 2005-06 as huge underdogs, the Irish fired back and covered games in 2007-09, and since, Stanford has gone 2-0 SU and ATS. This is a big one for Notre Dame, which is really counting down the games that it has left to this season. Seven more wins, and it is going to be really tough to see how the Golden Domers aren’t playing for the BCS National Championship.

#9 USC Trojans (4-1 SU, 1-4 ATS) @ Washington Huskies (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Spread: USC -12.5, Total: 54.5

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Saturday, October 13th, 7:00 ET

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And the Pac-12 carousel continues to turn. USC has already been beaten by Stanford this year, and Stanford was beaten by Washington just a week and a half later. Since, the Huskies have been beaten twice and knocked clear out of the Top 25 in the land. That could all change this week if they end up winning this game, though the Men of Troy certainly aren’t going to lose focus on this one. Washington has already picked off USC twice in the last three years since Head Coach Steve Sarkisian has arrived here in Seattle, and this is definitely a dangerous game as well. The Trojans know that their National Championship hopes hang in the balance, though a second Pac-12 loss would also put them in some trouble in the chase for the Rose Bowl if they aren’t careful. Washington knows that this would be its second Pac-12 loss, too though, and that wouldn’t sit well with the Huskies either.

#15 Texas Longhorns (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) @ #10 Oklahoma Sooners (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -3, Total: 61

Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX – Saturday, October 13th, 12:00 ET

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We really have to question just how good either the Longhorns or the Sooners are, but we are going to get an answer this week, knowing that both of these teams are going to have a tough task against the other. The loser may as well pack it up for the season and head to the Alamo Bowl or something of the sorts, because this would be a second loss in the Big XII after both already have amassed one home defeat with several tough games left to play on the slate. The winner though, will be ranked in the Top 10 in America in all likelihood and will still have a chance to play for all of the marbles this year. This is a series that has gone in waves of course, as the Red River Rivalry has been all over the place. Oklahoma has won and covered two in a row, but prior to that, the Longhorns had gone 4-1 SU and 4-0-1 ATS. The Sooners dominated the series before that all the way back to 2000.

Boston College Eagles (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) @ #11 Florida State Seminoles (5-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -27.5, Total: 54.5

Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL – Saturday, October 13th, 5:30 ET

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There really isn’t a much better way to describe what Florida State did to itself last week than shooting itself in the foot. The Noles should have had NC State dead to rights in Raleigh, but they let the Wolfpack off the hook and back into the game. The punishment is the fact that their National Championship hopes are toast without a miracle, and one more slip in the ACC, and they’ll be going from the Orange Bowl to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in a hurry. Boston College comes to Tallahassee this week knowing that it needs an upset to have any chance of saving Head Coach Frank Spaziani, who is in the hottest water in the world at the moment. The good news is that the Eagles have covered all three of their meetings since moving to the ACC here at Doak Campbell Stadium and had covered three straight before getting thumped last year. The bad news? The garnet and gold are the biggest favorites on the board in Week 7.

#14 Oregon State Beavers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) @ BYU Cougars (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: BYU -6, Total: 37.5

Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT – Saturday, October 13th, 3:30 ET

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Right now, it feels like the Beavers are a Top 15 team in the land in name only, and they just seem destined to sail clear out of the Top 25 this week with a beating at the hands of the Cougars. QB Sean Mannion is out of the fold for Oregon State, and to make matters worse, QB Riley Nelson is going to be back in the lineup for the Cougars after he missed a few games with back problems. There is just zero confidence that OSU is going to be able to get anything going on this stout BYU defense, which has now held three straight foes to single digits in scoring this year. The Beavers are going to have to win this game on defense for sure without Mannion, but they don’t exactly have history on their side either. Oregon State has lost both of the games in this series in 2011 and 2009, and both games came as favorites at home against the Cougars. BYU still has very outside hopes at the BCS, and winning this one could put it back on the map and in the discussion.

#16 Louisville Cardinals (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ Pittsburgh Panthers (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -3, Total: 48.5

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – Saturday, October 13th, 11:00 ET

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The Panthers really have screwed the pooch for all intents and purposes over the course of the last few weeks, but they have a chance to make up for that this week when the top team in the Big East comes to Heinz Field. Lose this one, and it is almost a certainty that U-Pitt is going to be in a lot of trouble just to make a bowl game this year. Win it, and the BCS is at least still potentially in sight. Not only are the Cardinals trying to make sure that they stay in the BCS discussions as well, but QB Teddy Bridgewater knows that he has to run the table if he wants to see himself have a shot at being in the Heisman Trophy discussion as well. The Cards have had absolutely no luck in this series, losing the last four games SU and the last five from an ATS standpoint. Also worth nothing is that all of the last five meetings have stayed ‘under’ the ‘total’, and none of those games have gone beyond 48 points.

Tennessee Volunteers (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ #18 Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Mississippi State -3, Total: 57.5

Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS – Saturday, October 13th, 9:00 ET

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The Bulldogs are very quietly a 5-0 team right now, and they are going to hope to make a bit of a jump this week into the Top 15 if they can win and get a bit of help along the way. This is a team that truly believes in itself is legit, and though we’re not all that sure that there is any real hope of beating Alabama, all of a sudden, winning against LSU doesn’t seem like an impossibility. Could a trip to the Cotton Bowl be in order? It would be a massive accomplishment for a team that was in the dumps seemingly forever before Head Coach Dan Mullen got there. This is a team that the Bulldogs don’t see all that often, knowing the last time that these two played was in 2008, and the last trip to Starkville for the boys from Rocky Top came in ’07. Tennessee has covered four in a row in this series for what it is worth, and the last time MSU came away with an SU victory over the Volunteers was back in 1994.

Syracuse Orange (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) @ #19 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Rutgers -7, Total: 44.5

High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ – Saturday, October 13th, 12:00 ET

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It still really seems odd to see Rutgers ranked in the Top 25, but it is hard to argue considering the fact that they really have played a bit of a schedule this year, including a rare trip to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas. It still just seems like an inevitability that the Scarlet Knights are going to trip up at some point, and this might be the game in which that happens. Syracuse is a mentally tough team, and it is a club that has a chance to seriously win the Big East this year. There have been some tough losses already though, and getting to a bowl game is nowhere near a guarantee. Last year, Rutgers pulled out a 19-16 win in the Carrier Dome in overtime when these two met, and that stopped a brief run of two wins and covers by the Orange. That came on the heels of the Scarlet Knights winning and covering four in a row from 2005 through 2008 in this series.

#21 Texas A&M Aggies (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) @ #24 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (5-0 SU, 3-1-1 ATS)
Spread: Texas A&M -7.5, Total: 80.5

Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA – Saturday, October 13th, 9:00 ET

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Of all of the games in the Top 25, this might be the most intriguing one this week, as it pits very interesting teams against each other. Remember that this game was supposed to be played the first week of the regular season, but Hurricane Isaac had other ideas for that. It was considered a dangerous game for A&M at that point, and now, it is considered even more dangerous now that the WAC reps are 5-0, ranked in the Top 25, and thinking about the BCS. Winning this game would be the last real statement that the Techsters had the chance to make this year, knowing that the rest of the games against WAC teams aren’t really considered all that notable, though the winner of the San Jose State/Utah State game will be getting some serious Top 25 consideration after this week is over with. These two have had a real rivalry over the course of time, but it has been all one-way traffic as you would expect in favor of the Aggies. The Aggies have never lost to the Bulldogs, and they have covered four in a row, winning all four by at least 20 points dating back to 1999.

Fresno State Bulldogs (4-2 SU, 6-0 ATS) @ #22 Boise State Broncos (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Boise State -7, Total: 57

Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID – Saturday, October 13th, 3:30 ET

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Going back and looking at the tape of the last six years of tape for the Broncos and the Bulldogs hasn’t been pretty. Boise State is gone 6-0 SU and 6-0 ATS over the course of those games, and it has logged a whopping average margin of victory of 34.2 points per game in that stretch, including four straight games in which it has scored at least 51 points. Fresno State knows that it has a chance this year though, as this is the worst Boise State team that we have seen in quite some time. First place in the Mountain West is on the line, but more importantly for Boise State, any hopes at the BCS are on the line as well. One figures that a loss on the Smurf Turf would eliminate the Broncos from BCS consideration for the second straight year.

#23 TCU Horned Frogs (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) @ Baylor Bears (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Spread: Baylor -9, Total: 68

Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, TX – Saturday, October 13th, 7:00 ET

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Here is a game where we know that we are going to see these two teams flip their spots when it is all said and done. TCU is going to ultimately end up falling out of the Top 25 after it loses to the Bears, while Baylor should be able to hop back into the polls in all likelihood as long as it finishes this one off. The Horned Frogs look like a shell of their old selves. Gone for the year are RB Waymon James and QB Casey Pachall, and it doesn’t look like RB Michael Tucker is going to be able to give it a go either. Now on the schedule, comes Baylor, one of the best offensive teams in the Big XII, and that means that it is going to be an ugly game for sure unless the defense truly has a yeoman’s effort. Remember that last year, the Bears scored 50 on the Horned Frogs in the mild upset on the second night of the college football season, and that was the first game that spurned the Heisman Trophy run for QB Robert Griffin III. TCU had won three straight and covered four straight in this series dating back to 1995 before the Baylor upset last year.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.