NCAAF College Football Parlays for Thursday of Week 7

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Todays NCAAF College Football Picks and Parlay

Football Pick_West Virginia vs. Houston · Point Spread: West Virginia -3.0

Our Analysis

The West Virginia Mountaineers make a Thursday night appearance as they visit the Houston Cougars. Yes, even the Big 12 is dabbling in mid-week games. The Mountaineers, initially expected to dwell near the conference’s basement, have sprung a 2-0 start, claiming unexpected victories over TCU and Texas Tech. Winning on the road is always a challenge, but West Virginia appears to be the superior side here. On the other hand, the Cougars have struggled to adjust to the Big 12, sitting at 2-3 this season, with a winless 0-2 record in the conference. Given their significant losses to both TCU and Texas Tech, the odds favor West Virginia in this matchup.

A key aspect to consider is West Virginia’s potent rushing attack, ranking 32nd nationally in rushing yards per game. In contrast, Houston’s rush defense is struggling, barely scraping into the top 100 in stopping the run. This contrast tips the scales in favor of the Mountaineers, as they are poised to dominate ball control, time of possession, and the overall game script. With Houston facing difficulties across various facets of the game, West Virginia should capitalize on these weaknesses.

Football Pick_SMU vs. East Carolina · Point Spread: SMU -11.5

Our Analysis

After their bye week, the SMU Mustangs embark on a road trip for two consecutive conference games away from home. Their first stop is a Thursday night showdown against the East Carolina Pirates, who also enjoyed a bye week. The Mustangs hold a 3-2 record straight up (SU) but are 2-3 against the spread (ATS), with an ATS record of 0-2 on the road. Notably, their two losses and non-covers occurred against Oklahoma and TCU. Excluding these games, SMU only failed to cover when they secured a 16-point victory over Charlotte while being favored by 22.5 points.

On the flip side, the Pirates have yet to defeat an FBS opponent this season, and their sole ATS cover against an FBS team was in Week 1 against Michigan, a game in which they failed to score a touchdown. Unfortunately, key offensive players such as Holton Ahlers, Keaton Mitchell, Isaiah Winstead, and C.J. Johnson have moved on, causing a significant regression in the Pirates’ offense. East Carolina’s receiving and pass-blocking grades, as per PFF, are the worst in FBS. Quarterback Alex Flinn, who has 4 interceptions and 7 turnover-worthy plays in three games since being named the starter, faces a challenging task without a strong passing attack. As a whole, the Pirates have struggled offensively, ranking outside the top 100 in adjusted offensive efficiency and sitting at 130th in unadjusted drive efficiency, touchdown rate, and yards per play when excluding garbage time.

Despite a bye week to prepare, overcoming East Carolina’s offensive inefficiencies is a daunting task when facing an SMU offense ranking among the top 35 in adjusted efficiency and averaging over 4.2 points per opportunity in non-garbage time. While the Pirates have decent running backs in Javious Bond and Rahjai Harris, the Mustangs have excelled against the run, boasting top 35 rankings in rushing PPA, success rate, and explosiveness allowed. The double-digit point spread on the road after a mutual bye week indicates oddsmakers consider SMU significantly superior to East Carolina in the power ratings. This assessment aligns with my own, as I predict SMU to win by at least 13, making SMU -11.5 an attractive option. This play is viable up to -13.

SMU -11.5 available at the time of publishing. Playable up to -13.

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