A couple of early Midwest contests will do just fine for our top college football picks on the Week 7 NCAA football card, with a Power 5 game in the Big Ten paired with a rivalry in the MAC.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Michigan Stadium
What You Should Know
It’s a Bloody Mary morning on Saturday when nearly a quarter of the top 25 is part of the early boots on the Week 7 slate, or at least it will still be the morning hours in time zones west of Ann Arbor where a top 10 collision between Penn State and Michigan is on tap.
This matchup’s result will determine whether the Nittany Lions or the Wolverines are going to be the top challengers in the Big Ten to the Ohio State Buckeyes, who were heavy favorites on the college football futures odds before the season and still are.
Nittany Lions Coming Off a Bye Week
After winning scores in their first five games, James Franklin and the Nittany Lions took Week 6 off to rest up and get healthy as they begin a crucial 3-week stretch that includes a home game against the Buckeyes on Halloween weekend.
Up to now, Penn State’s toughest opponent was a win in the season opener at Purdue, with the Boilermakers up to No. 41 on the latest CBS Sports Rankings, so taking on a Wolverines squad that ranks fourth in that poll will be a huge step up.
Wolverines Back Home After 2 Roadies
This is also a step up in competition for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines, and are returning home following a trip to Bloomington where they posted a 31-10 win over Indiana that just fell short of covering the college football odds that had them laying 23½.
Michigan will have next week off and had to take on the Hoosiers without the services of wide receiver Roman Wilson, who is tied for the team lead with 3 touchdown receptions, and the junior is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Teams Meet for the 26th Time
This is still a developing rivalry with all 25 previous matchups taking place since Penn State joined the Big Ten, and Michigan holds a 15-10 lead after a 21-17 win and cover in Happy Valley a season ago. The last two meetings failed to reach the totals.
On what is forecast to be a cool, cloudy, and breezy afternoon in Ann Arbor, Michigan is favored by 7 at BetMGM where the total is 51½. The unbeaten run ends for Penn State with the right play being to lay the points on the Wolverines.
NCAAF Pick: Michigan -7 (-110) at BetMGM
Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Akron Zips
Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at InfoCision Stadium
What You Should Know
With 0-2 records in the Mid-American Conference standings, and 1-5 records overall, neither the Central Michigan Chippewas nor the Akron Zips will be going bowling this year, but that doesn’t mean bettors should ignore their 29th meeting.
Chips Own 17-10-1 Advantage in Series
If we are to believe the numbers at top sportsbooks, this should be an enjoyable trip for the Chippewas who are favored by nearly 2 touchdowns in a contest that is also carrying a 58½-point target on the scoreboard.
Central Michigan has indeed enjoyed taking on Akron in recent years by winning eight of the last nine meetings with the Zips, and Chippewa backers have profited from this domination in the series by cashing six of those nine games, along with one push.
Chips and Zips Coming Off Defeats
It certainly wasn’t enjoyable last week for Jim McElwain and the Chippewas who were favored by a touchdown at home against Ball State, losing a 17-16 decision after holding a 10-0 lead in the opening quarter.
Allowing that one to slip away was likely tougher on Central Michigan’s psyche than the 55-34 whipping Ohio administered on Jim Moorhead’s Zips, with the Bobcats taking control early in front of their home fans and snuffing Akron’s third-quarter comeback effort.
As anyone at the Zephyr Pub in Akron will tell you, Akron isn’t struggling because of a bunch of injuries, and the same is true for Central Michigan as both schools are simply playing bad football up to this point on the 2022 schedule.
Losing a game that they should have won will leave the Chippewas down, and a good chunk of the spread they’re being asked to give up is based on prior history in the series. The right college football pick is to take the points on the home side.
NCAAF Pick: Akron +13½ (-110) at BetMGM