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Underdogs Against the Spread: Best Week 7 G5 College Football ATS Picks

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The return of Underdogs Against the Spread was a whirlwind in Week 6, and it felt so good to be back.

That’s the joy of making picks. You win some; you lose some. But the rollercoaster of emotions is what makes it so much fun.

The party got started with a bang. Coastal Carolina jumped out to a 31-0 lead early in the third quarter. There was a quick scare but the Chants closed it out with two touchdowns for the 1-0 start.

Then came Friday night, when Temple, my alma mater, got absolutely obliterated by Cincinnati. The Owls were overmatched by the G5’s top team and College Football Playoff contender.

Saturday afternoon kept the emotions flowing. BYU turned the ball over four times in a stunning home loss to Boise State, while Navy is now 6-0 ATS in their last six games at home against SMU.

I tried to get greedy in the New Mexico vs. San Diego State game with two picks to close out the night. While the Aztecs did cover the 19.5-point spread, the over of 42.5 did not hit. I got what I wanted when I said “we only need one score from the Lobos,” but we needed just one more from either side.

So here we are, sitting at 3-3 after last week. We’ll get back on the right side of things in Week 7 with a little help from a couple teams featured in last week’s piece.

2021 Record: 3-3

*All lines are according to ScoresAndOdds.com and are accurate at the time this article is published


No. 24 San Diego State Aztecs (-8.5) vs. San Jose State Spartans

I’m going back to the well with another play on the Aztecs. The Spartans have turned the ball 12 times this season, which ties for 116th in the nation. San Jose State is also 112th in total offense, 113th in scoring and 126th in time of possession. Not a good recipe going against San Diego State’s sixth-ranked defense. The Aztecs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games and have covered in four in a row, while SJSU has failed to cover five straight. Those trends will continue as San Diego State wins this one by double digits.

UCF Knights vs. No. 3 Cincinnati Bearcats (-20.5)

This game could have had the makings of a terrific storyline. UCF, the self-proclaimed national champions in 2017, against Cincinnati, the G5’s best chance at a playoff spot, since, well, UCF. But the Knights are without quarterback Dillon Gabriel and a bunch of other players on offense, while the Bearcats are firing on all cylinders. The numbers favor Cincinnati as well. UCF is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 conference games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 overall. Cincy is 5-1 ATS in their last six and ranks in the top 10 in scoring offense and defense. And that storyline I mentioned? Don’t think Cincinnati has forgotten how UCF made headlines during their run. This is their shot to make a statement of their own.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-13) vs. Old Dominion Monarchs

Both programs are with just one win but things could not be any different between them. Old Dominion has two wins since the 2019 season. Those have come against FCS teams Norfolk State and Hampton. While the same can be said for WKU this season, they have been in tight games against Army, Indiana and UTSA, and made Michigan State’s defense look like Swiss cheese. All games they were expected to lose by much bigger margins. The Hilltoppers are the nation’s top passing offense and 11th in scoring. The Monarchs are 117th in passing, 101th in scoring offense and 97th in scoring defense. WKU quarterback Bailey Zappe is averaging 447 passing yards per game and if he can put up those numbers against top-level competition, he’s going to light up a porous Monarchs defense.

Toledo Rockets (-5.5) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

Each squad is 3-3 overall and 1-1 in MAC play but I’m going to back a Toledo team that’s been a covering machine in road games. The Rockets are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games as a road favorite and 5-0 ATS in their last five away from home. On top of that, the Chippewas are 2-9 ATS in the last 11 games against Toledo. Central Michigan is middle of the pack on both sides of the ball, while Toledo is 20th in scoring defense and 11th against the pass. I like my chances with this spread under a touchdown.

Rice Owls vs. UTSA Roadrunners (-18.5)

There are 13 undefeated teams remaining in college football and only one isn’t ranked: UTSA. That alone is reason to take advantage of a Rice team that is 117th in scoring offense and 125th in scoring defense. The Roadrunners are 5-1 ATS on the season and 7-1 ATS in their last eight contests, while Rice is 1-4 ATS for the year. Frank Harris and company win by at least three touchdowns and with some help around the college football landscape, crack the top 25 in next week’s rankings.

Check back with us next week for more and let me know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter. Until next week, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!