College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread for the key top 25 games in Week 7
A closer look at the top games on the slate in Week 7 of the 2019 college football season
After a start to the season that has seen few weeks filled with multiple high-caliber matchups, Week 7 delivers five of them that should have the college football world buzzing by the time Saturday night comes to a close. Not only are there four matchups between ranked opponents, there is a top-10 showdown as a night cap as No. 5 LSU hosts No. 7 Florida in Death Valley.
The day began with the Red River Showdown as No. 6 Oklahoma took down No. 11 Texas, and there was also a shocking upset with No. 3 Georgia falling at home as three-touchdown underdogs to South Carolina. We are in the middle of a hot SEC West battle as No. 1 Alabama travels to No. 24 Texas A&M. The Big Ten also has a big game on the slate with No. 10 Penn State visiting No. 17 Iowa, and No. 9 Notre Dame hosts a USC team looking to rebound after an uneven start to the 2019 season.
With action starting early in the day and continuing late into the night, let's take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our college football picks and predictions for what will transpire in those contests. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff.
All times Eastern
No. 6 Oklahoma (-10.5) vs. No. 11 Texas -- Noon on Fox: Normally, a double-digit spread for a game between two highly-ranked teams would give me pause, but Texas has a legitimate shot. The Longhorns have a physical defensive line that can get pressure on Jalen Hurts and take him off his reads, and the offense can be a grind to defend for 60 minutes. What I'm less sure of is that they'll be able to contain all of those options to the point where it can get a lead on the Sooners. Hurts as a designed runner gives Oklahoma a plus-one advantage on offense and everything else builds around that. I'll take the Longhorns to cover 10.5, but I can't quite convince myself to take them straight up. Pick: Texas +10.5 -- Ben Kercheval
No. 1 Alabama (-17.5) at No. 24 Texas A&M -- 3:30 p.m. on CBS: The Crimson Tide defense hasn't been up to their lofty standards this year, but coach Nick Saban's crew is fully capable of shutting down the Texas A&M rushing attack. Is Kellen Mond going to be able to do it all himself? He has great receivers to work with, including Jhamon Ausbon and Quartney Davis, but it won't be enough this time. Alabama will slant Texas A&M to death to build an early lead, force Mond to win with his arm, take advantage of mistakes generated from pressure and pull away in the fourth quarter to get the win and late cover. Pick: Alabama (-17.5) -- Barrett Sallee
No. 10 Penn State (-3.5) at No. 17 Iowa -- 7:30 p.m. on ABC: This conference clash will come down to which defense can control the night. The Hawkeyes offensive line didn't look so hot last weekend against Michigan, as the Wolverines defense absolutely worked Iowa's blockers. Nate Stanley struggled under an endless array of blitzes and now enters this weekend having to face the Nittany Lions, which lead the nation in sacks. Penn State's defense will provide another tough test for Iowa -- especially given that they know the script against Stanley. This will be the third time James Franklin has had to coach his team against the Hawkeyes' senior signal-caller with the Lions defense getting the best of him last year in Beaver Stadium. Pick: Penn State (-3.5) -- Emily Caron
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USC at No. 9 Notre Dame (-10.5) -- 7:30 p.m. on NBC: Michael Pittman's message of "embrace the suck" -- conveying to younger USC teammates the uncomfortable feeling of playing on a crisp Indiana night in lower temperatures -- also carries over to what the Trojans need to show in this game to inspire confidence in its outlook for the rest of the season. I'm with Pittman. I think USC having an extra week to unpack that Washington loss allowed for some recalibration that helps the Trojans keep this a one-score game. Pick: USC (+11.5) -- Chip Patterson
No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU (-13.5) -- 8 p.m. on ESPN: I think asking Florida to win back-to-back games against top-10 teams is a bit much. I also think it's too much to ask the Gators to cover two weeks straight as well. Simply put, I don't think Florida's offense will be able to hang with LSU for a full 60 minutes. Florida's defense will slow LSU down and not allow it to put on the kind of show it's put on against other teams this season, but LSU's defense has picked up in recent weeks itself. I see the Tigers getting into the mid-30s on the scoreboard, and I don't believe Florida's offense can muster more than three touchdowns in this one. I'd lay the points. Pick: LSU (-13.5) -- Tom Fornelli
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.
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