2014 College Football Picks: Week 7 Odds and Predictions – Free College Football Picks 10/11/14: After a loaded slate of games in Week 6 that featured plenty of upsets and surprises, Week 7 of the 2014 college football season is shaping up to be another great one. Five games between ranked opponents are on tap with No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 Mississippi State highlighting a great trifecta of SEC matchups. Crucial battles in the Big 12 and Pac-12 are also on the schedule, and all five games will have an impact on both conference title races and the race to secure a spot on the college football playoff. With that in mind, here is a closer look at the big games for Week 7 of the college football season.
No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs at No. 23 Missouri Tigers
This game could ultimately decide the SEC East, and the winner will be in the driver’s seat for a spot in the conference title game. Missouri knocked of Georgia last season and comes into the game off a bye following a big win against South Carolina. However, it is worth noting that the Bulldogs were without running back Todd Gurley last season, and the Heisman contender has been nothing short of brilliant this year.
Both teams have been a little unpredictable this year with Georgia losing to a South Carolina team that continues to underwhelm and Missouri suffering a shocking loss to Big Ten doormat Indiana. The loss to the Hoosiers is particularly glaring for the Tigers because they allowed Indiana back Tevin Coleman to run wild in that game, and while Coleman has proven to be a good back, Gurley is probably the best back in the country. Look for the Bulldogs to ride Gurley to a big win.
Prediction: Georgia Bulldogs (-3) Cover the Spread
No. 2 Auburn Tigers at No. 3 Mississippi State Bulldogs
The winner of this game will still control its own destiny in the brutal SEC West and could also be the No. 1 team in the country when next week’s polls come out. It is also a showcase game for a pair of Heisman candidates. Both Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott are dual-threat weapons that have been the focal points of high-powered offenses, and both teams head into this matchup ranked in the top 15 nationally in both rushing yards and points per game. Meanwhile, both teams looked very impressive in dominant victories over LSU in recent weeks.
Thanks to his ability to throw the ball and run with power, Prescott gives the Bulldogs the best individual offensive player on the field in this game. However, Marshall is a dynamic playmaker in his own right, and the Auburn ground game attack has more weapons overall. More importantly, the Tigers have shown to be the much better defensive team thus far. Mississippi State has overwhelmed opponents with their offense, but against LSU and Texas A&M, the games took on a shootout feel at times. Auburn on the other held LSU and Kansas State to less than 300 yards of offense, and in the end, I expect the Tigers’ defensive unit to make more stops in a game that should feature plenty of big plays.
Prediction: Auburn Tigers (-2.5) Cover the Spread
No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs at No. 5 Baylor Bears
Fresh off an upset of Oklahoma, the Horned Frogs will try to do the same to the Bears and take control of the Big 12 in the process. In fact, TCU would have a great chance to run the table if it gets past Baylor. Granted, the Bears are once again looking like an offensive juggernaut, and they head into this matchup leading the country in scoring with quarterback Bryce Petty leading a unit that ranks eighth in passing and 18th in rushing. Of course, TCU has looked much better on offense this year thanks to a new up-tempo system and the emergence of quarterback Trevone Boykin as a true dual-threat weapon.
In addition to looking strong on both sides of the ball this year, recent history says the Horned Frogs could give the Bears all they can handle and then some this weekend. After all, TCU beat Baylor in Waco two years ago and fell by just three points last season. More importantly, the Horned Frogs tamed Baylor’s powerful passing attack in the loss. TCU just went toe to toe with a very balanced Oklahoma team and beat them on both sides of the ball. Baylor could be heading for a similar fate this weekend.
Prediction: TCU Horned Frogs (+8) Cover the Spread
No. 12 Oregon Ducks at No. 18 UCLA Bruins
After both teams suffered upset losses last weekend, this meeting has become a little less juicy than previously anticipated. That being said, the game may have become even more important considering the loser of this one will likely have no chance of making it into the college football playoff. In fact, the loser may not even be able to win its own division, and a game that seemed like a lock to be a preview of the Pac-12 title game has become a de facto elimination game for Oregon and UCLA.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota will headline this battle of powerful offenses, but while both units come armed with plenty of speed and firepower, both have been suffering from horrific offensive line play. Not surprisingly, both quarterbacks are less than 100 percent heading into Saturday’s game. Mariota has been particularly vulnerable lately, taking 14 sacks over his past two games. Offenses will likely rule the day on both sides, but the Bruins have been the slightly better team on that side of the ball. Throw in the fact that they will also be playing at home, and I like the Bruins to nip the Ducks in a shootout.
Prediction: UCLA Bruins (+2.5) Cover the Spread
No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels at No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies
This matchup will be a battle of contrasting styles as the Texas A&M and its third-ranked scoring offense takes on an Ole Miss defense that ranks second in the country in points allowed and fifth in yards allowed. For the Aggies, quarterback Kenny Hill has played himself into the Heisman conversation by leading a passing attack that ranks fifth in the nation.
Yes, this has all the makings of a trap game for the Rebels. They are coming off a huge upset against Alabama, and they are on the road against a Texas A&M bunch that needs to win to realistically remain in the hunt in the SEC West. However, the bottom line is that Ole Miss has the far better defense in this matchup. In fact, the Aggies have been gashed by every decent offense they have faced while the Rebels just finished stifling the Crimson Tide offense. Throw in the fact that Hill has looked a little more like a first-year starter in recent weeks, and Ole Miss should be able to ride its defense to a big road win. The fact that the Rebels are getting points is just icing on the cake.
Prediction: Ole Miss Rebels (+2) Cover the Spread
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