College football picks, predictions, odds for Week 7: Notre Dame-USC among the best bets

Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the college football weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will feature a team that's at least a touchdown underdog that I'm picking to win outright. I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Until the list of candidates gets whittled down some more, I'll go with utilizing the AP top 12 for now.

I finished 2-1 last week and lost the upset special, but at least it covered. I'm 10-8 overall and 0-6 on the upset picks.

Week 7 picks

USC at Notre Dame (-11): Remember when this game meant something? I mean, it's a rivalry, so it matters to the fans, but it has been a while since this game held any sort of national significance. Right now, the Trojans are the down team, trying to save their coach's job while playing a third-string QB. The Irish have much bigger aspirations and much more talent. Pick: Notre Dame (-11)

Virginia at Miami (-1): The wrong team is favored in this game. Miami has the talent to win but has not been able to put it all together for first-year coach Manny Diaz. Virginia looks like the second-best team in the ACC, although much, much closer to the third-best than No. 1. Pick: Virginia (+1)

Army at Western Kentucky (+4): Army is coming off a loss to Tulane, which has been one of the more pleasant surprises in college football this season. Tulane has the advantage of getting to play Navy every year in preparing for Army. WKU does not, and it also doesn't have the talent to keep Army at bay. Pick: Army (-4)

Upset of the week

Nebraska at Minnesota (-8): I get that Minnesota is undefeated, but I have seen them in person. The offensive line is not especially good and the defense is sketchy. The Gophers have gotten away with it so far, and had their most impressive performance of the season last week at Illinois, but this week is different. Nebraska has not lived up to the preseason hype, but the Huskers are still the best team Minnesota has played so far. The Cornhuskers win a high-scoring affair. Pick: Nebraska (+8)

Other CFP candidates

So which picks can you make with confidence in Week 7? And which national title contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,300 in profit over the past four seasons.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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