This week’s football schedule brings yet another major showdown with playoff implications in college football. On Sunday, two major NFL showdowns should shape the future of this year’s playoff field.
Chargers at Chiefs
Sunday, Oct. 22 | 4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
The Chiefs (5-1) have won two Super Bowls in the last four years and currently have the longest active winning streak in the NFL. The Chargers (2-3) are a weekly target of scorn and bad luck. At a glance, this matchup looks like a foregone conclusion … right?
Not so. Thanks to Justin Herbert and aggressive playcalling, the Chargers actually play the Chiefs closer than pretty much any other team in the NFL. Los Angeles has covered five of its last six games against Kansas City, including two outright wins at Arrowhead Stadium.
That makes Sunday’s afternoon game a key entry for anyone betting into the division’s AFC West odds market.
But the Chargers will be playing with some additional challenges this week. It’s a short week of rest for the Chargers, who played Dallas on Monday Night Football. Justin Herbert has a fractured finger on his non-throwing hand, which could potentially affect ball security and handoffs.
Dolphins at Eagles
Sunday, Oct. 22 | 8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
This week’s Sunday Night Football game carries major postseason implications, as two 5-1 teams will face off against one another.
The Eagles are the reigning NFC champions, so NFL fans have a general sense that Philadelphia is a real top-end contender.
The Dolphins are a little bit more of a mystery. Miami (+900) is just below Philadelphia (+750) in the Super Bowl odds table, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the Dolphins have played the easiest schedule in the NFL so far. They’ve won games against the Chargers (2-3), Patriots (1-5), Broncos (1-5), Giants (1-5), and Panthers (0-6).
Excluding the Chargers, PFF grades those teams as four of the bottom five in the NFL.
Miami’s only game against a team with a winning record – the Bills – was a 28-point loss.
So, how will Miami stack up against a second team with a winning record? That’s the biggest question of the NFL’s Week 7. BetMGM’s current NFL odds have the Eagles as a 2.5-point favorite.
Penn State at Ohio State
Saturday, Oct. 21 | 12 p.m. ET | FOX
College football has at least one showdown with major College Football Playoff implications every week from here to the end of November. This week, it’s the first of the high-stakes Big Ten games, with undefeated Penn State traveling west to play undefeated Ohio State.
According to the college football betting odds market, the Buckeyes are a 4.5-point favorite.
The winner will be seen as the top challenger to Michigan for the conference championship and playoff access. The loser would need to hope for an eventual three-way tie.
Penn State has looked dominant this year, albeit against lesser competition, but the Nittany Lions haven’t fared well historically against Ohio State. It’s been seven years since their last win against the Buckeyes and 12 years since their last win in Columbus.
Curiously, both teams are two of the final dozen teams still alive for this year’s CFP, yet neither team has a bona fide Heisman contender as quarterback. BetMGM’s current Heisman odds have PSU quarterback Drew Allar at +6000 and OSU quarterback Kyle McCord at +5000.
Other playoff-contending quarterbacks, like Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel and Michigan’s J.J McCarthy, are in the +1000 range.