On paper, the Week 7 college football slate is the best one we've seen to date. We have a marquee game in each of the Power Five conferences. However, the most anticipated game likely comes in Knoxville, where Tennessee is a 7.5-point home underdog against Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 15-0 against Tennessee in the Nick Saban era. However, one bettor has 115,000 reasons to hope that changes on Saturday. At the very least, he hopes the Volunteers can keep it close.
Bettors love Tennessee, including a monster bet
The most marquee matchup of the Week 7 college football slate features No. 6 Tennessee playing host to No. 3 Alabama. Both teams enter the matchup undefeated. Tennessee features the second-highest scoring offense in FBS, averaging 46.8 points per game. Alabama is right behind them, ranking third, scoring 44.3 points per outing. However, there's questions as to whether Alabama quarterback Bryce Young will be ready to go on Saturday.
At BetMGM, 76% of bets and 86% of the money is on Tennessee to cover the spread as an underdog. This includes a monster bet by one bettor, who risked $115,000 to win $100,000 on Tennessee to cover 7 points. Despite all of the money coming in on the Volunteers, the spread is now up to 7.5-points at BetMGM.
At this point, any movement in the spread will be linked to the status of Young. As kickoff approaches over the next 24 hours, his status will become known. Obviously, Young is the reigning Heisman winner and is worth a lot to Alabama's offense, which will likely need to score plenty to keep up with Tennessee. Jalen Milroe, Alabama's backup, is a completely different type of quarterback that relies on his legs. He had just 12 completions against Texas A&M last week.
Tennessee has wins at LSU, at Pittsburgh and against Florida to open the season. Alabama has already played a few close games this season against Texas and Texas A&M. Bettors love the Volunteers to keep it close on Saturday, and one bettor even felt good enough about it to risk six figures. If I had that much disposable income, I probably wouldn't use it to fade Nick Saban. However, scared money don't make money and this feels like the year where Tennessee can finally hang with Alabama.
Bettors also like Penn State to keep it close
Tennessee-Alabama isn't the only marquee top 10 matchup on deck this weekend. In the Big Ten, No. 10 Penn State travels to "The Big House" to take on Michigan.
Penn State opened as a 7.5-point road underdog, but that number is now down to just 7 points at BetMGM thanks to bettors' support for the Nittany Lions. Currently at BetMGM, 59% of bets and 61% of the money is backing Penn State to cover the touchdown as an underdog.
Both teams enter the matchup undefeated. These two teams will be the biggest competition for Ohio State in the Big Ten East. The Nittany Lions had a bye week last week, giving them extra time to rest and prepare for this massive game. You can also argue that Michigan was looking ahead to this matchup, as they had a sleepy effort against Indiana last weekend. That game was tied at halftime before Michigan scored 21 unanswered in the second half.
Both teams feature stout defenses and great running backs in Penn State's Nick Singleton and Michigan's Blake Corum. The quarterback situation is where things get intriguing. Sean Clifford is 24 years old and in his fourth season as the starting quarterback in Happy Valley. J.J. McCarthy is a 19-year-old sophomore for the Wolverines who has yet to play in a big game in his college career.
Will Clifford's experience be the difference? Or at least allow Penn State to keep it close? Bettors certainly seem to think so. Bettors are expecting a low scoring game, as 75% of bets are on the game to go under 50.5 points.
Other popular bets
There's no shortage of marquee games on this weekend's slate. What sides do bettors like ahead of Week 7?
USC is a 3.5-point road underdog this weekend against Utah. Bettors like the undefeated Trojans to cover the spread, as 61% of bets and 66% of the money is on USC. The total is up to 65 points after opening at just 60.5 as 81% of the money is on the over.
Minnesota is now a 6.5-point road favorite against Illinois. The spread opened at just 3.5-points, but 74% of the money is backing the Golden Gophers. Additionally, 68% of the money is on the game to go under 39.5-points.
Oklahoma is a 9-point favorite against Kansas, with the Jayhawks expected to be without Jalon Daniels at quarterback. However, bettors saw enough from backup Jason Bean last weekend to feel comfortable taking Kansas as an underdog. Oklahoma looks to be in shambles, as they've lost three straight games. At BetMGM, 82% of bets and 86% of the money is on Kansas to cover as an underdog.
Bettors like Oklahoma State as a 4-point road underdog against TCU. A nice 69% of the money is on the Pokes. Additionally, bettors are expecting points as 79% of bets and 88% of the money is on the game to go over 68.5 points.
In the ACC, 80% of bets are backing Clemson to cover as a 3.5-point road favorite against Florida State. Despite the heavy Clemson action, the line has moved in favor of the 'Noles. The opening line had Clemson as a 4.5-point favorite.