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College football Week 7 betting primer: What's the best play in Auburn vs. South Carolina?

Sam Cooper
·4-min read

I had another .500 week in Week 6, going 2-2. I nailed two underdog plays (Kansas State and East Carolina both won outright), but was way off in my two other picks — especially my under play in the Notre Dame vs. Florida State game. Yikes.

At this point in the year, I have a respectable 15-13 record. I’ll take it.

Compared to last week, Week 7 is looking a little less enticing from a quality standpoint. That’s other than the No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Alabama game, of course. But there are still opportunities on the board at BetMGM — including four weeknight games. Two of those are highlighted below.

(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Coastal Carolina at No. 21 Louisiana

Time: 7:30 p.m. (Wednesday) | TV: ESPN | Line: UL -7.5 | Total: 58.5

I had this game in my picks last week before it was postponed from Saturday to Wednesday due to Hurricane Delta. Last week I liked Coastal Carolina at +7, and I like CCU even more with the hook.

CCU is averaging 44.3 points per game after trouncing Arkansas State 52-23 in its most recent game. Louisiana opened the season with a road win over Iowa State but has won its last two games by a combined five points against two subpar Sun Belt opponents, failing to cover the spread both times. CCU is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games as a road underdog. Let’s make it 6-1.

Pick: Coastal Carolina +7.5

No. 14 BYU at Houston

Time: 9:30 p.m. (Friday) | TV: ESPN | Line: BYU -3.5 | Total: 63

BYU is off to a 4-0 start, but last week’s 27-20 win over UTSA was the first time this year it didn’t thoroughly dominate its opponent. Perhaps it was because the Cougars were looking ahead to this game against Houston. Houston, after several false starts due to COVID-19 issues with its opponents, finally opened its season last week with a 49-31 win over Tulane.

BYU doesn’t have many high-profile matchups this year, so I like Kalani Sitake’s team to come out swinging and refocused on Friday night in a primetime matchup. BYU QB Zach Wilson should be able to have plenty of success through the air, and I think Houston will have a tough time protecting turnover-prone QB Clayton Tune.

Pick: BYU -3.5

No. 15 Auburn at South Carolina

Time: Noon | TV: ESPN | Line: Auburn -3.5 | Total: 50.5

The natural inclination here with these two programs is to lean toward the under. But I think this could end up being a fairly high-scoring game. Auburn has been nasty on defense in recent years, but not so far this year. Just last week, the Tigers allowed 437 yards to Arkansas in a game they barely won. South Carolina has been able to move the ball fairly well with transfer Collin Hill at quarterback. On the other side, Auburn finally got its ground game going with Tank Bigsby last week to take some of the pressure off Bo Nix.

There’s also a South Carolina trend I like. Under Will Muschamp, South Carolina has played seven SEC games as a single-digit home underdog. The over is 6-1.

Pick: Over 50.5

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix throws a pass against Arkansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix throws a pass against Arkansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Kentucky at No. 18 Tennessee

Time: Noon | TV: SECN | Line: Tennessee -6 | Total: 46.5

Tennessee was blasted in the second half by Georgia last week and gets to face another tough, physical defense this week in Kentucky. Kentucky, coming off a 24-2 win over Mississippi State, doesn’t have the caliber of athletes that Georgia has (not many do) but is still one of the better defenses in the SEC.

Tennessee will likely try to get its rushing game going after doing a whole bunch of nothing against Georgia. That makes me confident in a low-scoring game, as does the general inefficiency of the Kentucky passing attack. The under has been a strong play in these spots for Kentucky, too. Under Mark Stoops, Kentucky has been a road underdog of fewer than seven points in SEC play nine times. The under is 8-1.

Pick: Under 46.5

Kansas at West Virginia

Time: Noon | TV: Fox | Line: WVU -22.5 | Total: 53

West Virginia’s offense struggled in its first two Big 12 games, a 27-13 loss to Oklahoma State and a 27-21 double-overtime win over Baylor. WVU has especially struggled generating explosive plays with just 12 plays of 20-plus yards over its first three games. Nine of those came against Eastern Kentucky, an FCS team. Two weeks of practice and then a game against Kansas seems like a nice recipe to get the offense going, but I can’t trust WVU to cover 22.5. The under, though, seems like a safe play. Kansas shouldn’t score many points.

Pick: Under 53

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