Week 7 NCCA Football: Picks and Predictions

Last Week in Review By Dr. Senkbeil

All hail the mighty coin!  The home team is heads.  The coin went 9-4-2.  If you just took the home team in every game last week you would have been 5-8-2.  Clearly the coin knew better.  I went 8-5-2 and so did Sagarin.  Auburn letting off the gas after comfortably being ahead created 1 push and Fresno vs SJSU was the other.  Let’s see if we can beat the coin this week.



Weekend of 10/14/17 game lines as of Wednesday 10/11 1pm EDT:

14 favorites and only 1 dog this week



  • Washington State -14 at CAL

Prediction: Washington State 35 CAL 17

Sagarin: Washington State by 16

Coin:  CAL

Washington State 17th overall (26,18)  appears to have a defense this year to balance their potent offense.  It took Mike Leach several years, but he has finally put together a complete team at Wazzu.  I can’t wait until they play Washington.  CAL started well under Justin Wilcox but is fading fast losing to Washington 38-7 last week. This usually indicates lack of depth.  CAL plays better at home but loses by 18 to Wazzu.


  • Eastern Michigan +6.5 at Army

Prediction: Army 17 EMU 16

Sagarin: Army by 9

Coin: Army

These 2 teams are almost identical in both S&P and Sagarin ranking 74th and 77th overall in S&P.  EMU (107,39) has a decent defense and Army is (59,84).  This suggests a close game.  All of EMU’s games have been decided by 7 points or less except for their win over Charlotte.  Army’s last 2 opponents were UTEP and RICE, numbers 129 and 130 overall.  EMU will be a big step ”up” in competition.


  • UCONN at Temple -10

Prediction: Temple 27 UCONN 10

Sagarin: Temple by 16


UCONN (ESPN bottom 10 nickname UCANT) is terrible at # 121 overall (88,127).  They have almost identical numbers to ECU whom Temple beat 34-10 last week.  The Owls at home to win by more than 10 points sounds good to me.


  • NC State -11 at Pittsburgh
    Prediction: NC State 33 Pittsburgh 14

Sagarin: NC State by 12

Coin: Pittsburgh

The last time I hyped the Wolfpack 27 overall (20,54) was in week 1 and they lost to South Carolina.  Now, they seem to be transforming into the team they were predicted to be.  I continue to read about their front 7 on defense but their defensive efficiency is only ranked 54th?  Does their secondary stink?  Finley and the offense are solid.  Pittsburgh # 86 overall and 94th on defense is not very good this year.  NC State avoids a road choke and fans get excited.


  • Kansas at Iowa State – 21.5

Prediction: Iowa State 52 Kansas 24

Sagarin: Iowa State by 38

Coin: Iowa State

Iowa State 48 overall (28,81) is much improved and shocked OU last week using a new qb.  Will that momentum continue?  Kansas is awful losing by 46 at home to Texas Tech last week.  The Nayhawks of the ESPN bottom 10 will score on ISU, but 21.5 on the road?


  • Florida State – 7.5 at Duke

Prediction: FSU 38 Duke 17

Sagarin: FSU by 5

Coin: Duke

Florida State 12th overall (33,11) is much better than their 1-3 record indicates.  They have played the toughest schedule in the nation so far.  The weakest team they have played was Wake on the road and Wake is #34 overall.  The Seminoles are a little dysfunctional with their backup qb but they should be able to overwhelm Duke 65th overall (74,50).  That extra 0.5 hook bothers me on the road but FSU should be able to create some cushion.


  • Virginia -3.5 at North Carolina

Prediction: Virginia 28 UNC 20

Sagarin: Virginia by 4

Coin:  Virginia

Virginia’s confidence is soaring under Bronco Mendenhall.  They have climbed to 40th overall (62,28).  They beat Duke by 7 at home last week.  Poor UNC is injury depleted and limping now at 79th overall (72,78).  Virginia keeps their hot streak going in this one.


  • Auburn – 6.5 at LSU

Prediction: Auburn 27 LSU14

Sagarin: Auburn by 18

Coin:  Auburn

It sounds absurd to take anybody to cover in Death Valley, but Troy won there 2 weeks ago.  Auburn has not won there since 99.  LSU 25th overall (44,15) beat UF by 1 last week but still looked “off”.  It may also suggest that UF is a very average team, which is more likely.  Auburn 9th overall (36,7) has a nasty defense and an offense that tends to sputter against elite defenses.  LSU is good but not elite on D.  The LSU offense will have to invent something to score on Auburn’s D.


  • Houston -13.5 at Tulsa

Prediction: Houston 42 Tulsa 21

Sagarin: Houston by 17

Coin: Houston

Tulsa was engulfed by the Green Wave of Tulane 62-28 last week to fall to 1-5.  Tulsa is good on offense (40) but defense is (129).  Houston (57,23) handled SMU 35-22 last week and SMU is (11,93).  Tulsa will not score that many points on Houston’s D and everybody scores against Tulsa.


  • ECU at UCF -35

Prediction: UCF 56 ECU 17

Sagarin: UCF by 54

Coin:  UCF

This is too high and screams backdoor cover, but I am hurting for games to get to 15 this week.  UCF is dominating opponents and has climbed to 24th overall (23,47).  ECU is bad at 127 overall (92,130)!  UCF scores early and often and gets this to 49 points without too much effort.  Then the backups come in and what happens then?  USF beat ECU by 30, V Tech beat them by 47 and WVU beat them by 36.  I will go with UCF to hang in there and win by 39.


  • Tulane -13.5 at FIU

Prediction: Tulane 42 FIU 24

Sagarin: Tulane by 28

Coin:  Tulane

Tulane 70th overall (58,77) is hot right now and FIU 110th overall (104,111) is languishing near the bottom of the list of worst teams.  FIU has wins over Charlotte and Rice who are even worse. Tulane takes care of business on the road.


Sagarin: Texas A&M by 3 (I predict my scores first and then check this)

Coin:  Florida

Was it just the Kyle Field adrenaline, did Bama have an off day, or has aTm 44th overall (42,57) improved that much?  Any team that can play Bama within 2 touchdowns should be able to beat Florida 41st overall (75,24).  Give me aTm and the points.

  • Ohio State -24 at Nebraska

Prediction:  Ohio State 45 Nebraska 13

Sagarin: Ohio State by 32 ( I predict my scores first and then check this)

Coin:  Ohio State

Ohio State 1st overall (3,6) is quietly starting to have a season like 2014 where an early loss obscures a statistically dominant team.  Since losing to OU, the Buckeyes have found their groove.  Nebraska 50th overall (73,35) is still bumbling.  The Buckeyes will spend the rest of the season trying to make statements to erase the memory of the OU game from the minds of voters.


  • Missouriat Georgia -30

Prediction:  Georgia 49 Missouri 14

Sagarin: Georgia by 44

Coin:  Georgia

Missouri 88th overall (43,113) continues to suffer in misery.  UGA 5th overall (35,4) has similar numbers to Auburn and that ended 51-14 at home for a Missouri loss.  UGA has a bye after this, so I do not see them resting too much.  They are hungry this year.


  • Boise State +7.5 at San Diego State

Prediction:  SDSU 23 Boise 17

Sagarin: SDSU by 9

Coin: Boise

Statistically these teams are similar, but Boise (71,31) is 39th overall and SDSU (64,43) is 51st.  The difference is special teams where Boise ranks 2nd.  With the Mountain West title potentially on the line, Boise fights a close game and that half point is critical.

Be sure to keep your eye out for our weekly blog with Dr. Senkbeil’s picks every Thursday. Challenge your college buddies and coworkers on your Alma Mater’s game and raise money for charity in the process! Don’t have the GoodBookey app? Download it below. Talk some smack and give back!