This is a collaborative article, This week’s contributors include: Will Schwartz; XXLonteXX; RustyHHSports; Andy Chase; Aaron Kinney; & Pat Taylor.
Will’s Picks for Week 8 of College Football Action
#7 PSU @ #3 OSU | OSU -4.5 | O/U 45.5
Back when Ohio State squared off with Notre Dame, and the total was set in the low 50s, I told anyone who would listen that I’d bet under 30 before over 40. Well, the game ended up seeing 31 points after a very late Buckeyes score, but I think the premise was correct. This game feels almost identical to me; two slow-paced, talented but flawed offenses and two elite defenses in a huge ranked matchup. The only difference is that neither team in this one has an experienced passer like Sam Hartman, nor an explosive ball carrier like Audric Estime. Kyle McCord has mostly been horrible, while Drew Allar has flashed the talent that made him a highly-valued prospect but has also left too much meat on the bone, showing his greenness.
The defenses are phenomenal, as Penn State leads the country in defensive EPA per play and average yards allowed per game- a staggering sub-200 figure- and they’re second in scoring defense as they allow an even 8.0 points per game. Ohio State is once more trotting out a filthy edge rushing duo, and with Olu Fashanu to protect him, Allar might just have enough time to make a few plays, which is why I do lean towards the Nittany Lions in this one, but there’s no way we’re betting on an essentially un-tested freshman heading into the Horseshoe.
These are two of the very best defenses in the country, and offenses in which you cannot invest; the under is absolutely screaming to me. Welcome to football in the Midwest, where every play is enormous and top-10 rivalry games end with around three touchdowns scored between the two sides. This is how the game was meant to be played, and I for one cannot wait for this one.
The Pick: Under 45.5
#2 Michigan @ MSU | Michigan -24.5 | OU 46.5
Let’s dig right into another classic Big Ten rivalry, and another line where I’m just not quite sure how it exists. Michigan’s defense is very nearly the best in the whole sport, as their average of 6.7 points allowed per game is the best figure in the country, and their defensive EPA per play and 233.1 yards allowed per game both place them in second. They’ve allowed no more than 10 points in any game, and that long double-digit opponent output took a minor miracle in the form of Minnesota QB Athan Kaliakmanis unleashing a gorgeous deep ball for quite literally his only big time throw of the year, as per PFF.
You could say that Michigan has just been roughing up horrible opposing offenses, and you’d be pretty much correct, but this game is not about to be the exception. Sparty ranks 123rd in the country in EPA per play, hasn’t won a game since the dismissal of Mel Tucker, and is trotting out Katin Houser for his second-ever start at QB after he tossed for 133 yards in an ugly loss to Rutgers.
Yes, we could pick Michigan against the spread as this should be a blowout, but in what could be a cold, rainy October night game in a rowdy road environment, let’s not bet on the Wolverines to light things up on the scoreboard. And we’re also not going to bet the under, as even though Michigan could play things conservatively, they could also opt to absolutely dial it up to 11 and bury their rival for an emphatic statement win. Instead, let’s just stick with the relative guarantee that the Spartans offense will amount to a complete failure to launch.
The Pick: Michigan State Team Total u10.5
Rutgers @ Indiana | Rutgers -5 | O/U 40
Huge shocker, the Big Ten alum is picking another Big Ten game! This time, it’s my hometown team, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. It’s heartwarming to see the Knights as road favorites, even against one of the absolute worst teams in Power Five, but it’s also well-earned; they’re 5-2 right now, surpassing their win total from all of last season, and their defense is comfortably top-20 in the nation by EPA per play. They’re also eighth in yardage allowed per game, despite having endured matchups with Michigan and Wisconsin.
On the other side of things, Indiana does not have an offense or defense that ranks inside the top-100 for EPA per play, and needed a missed chip-shot field goal to even make it to overtime at home against Akron, who have yet to pick up a win in six FBS games this year. The Hoosiers don’t have the ground game to take advantage of Rutgers’s less than elite run defense, and definitely don’t have the air-based firepower to throw on the Knights seventh-ranked, by EPA, pass defense. On the other side of the football, the Rutgers ground game based around star running back Kyle Monangai is an absolute force, and Indiana has no chance to slow it down; chalk up the Knights to secure bowl eligibility in week eight after their preseason win total was around four. Rutgers is back, baby.
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Lonte’s Picks for College Football Week 8
Old Dominion (+6.5) vs. App State | Total: 54.5
Both teams will be well rested here. ODU is coming off of a bye, while App State is coming off of a weekday game in which they lost a tough one at home to CCU. This ODU offense has a real advantage with their ground attack. They have a solid two back system where both average north of four yards per carry. This App State defense ranks outside the top 120 in rush success rate allowed and EPA per rush.
At home, ODU has covered two of the three games which includes one possession losses to Wake Forest and Louisiana. Two games they were in control of for about three quarters. I think the ODU offense can control the clock with their run game and limit the explosiveness of App State. The pass defense of ODU is a concern (121 in success rate allowed) but with two weeks to prepare, I think they will be well prepared.
ODU should be at an advantage every possession on both sides of the ball with App State ranking outside the top 120 in both starting field position offense and defense. Long fields will be beneficial for the ODU defense and on offense I don’t think they have trouble moving the ball.
App State Is 1-2 against the spread on the road this year and 1-3 as a favorite. ODU has covered four of their six games and are 4-1 as an underdog. Don’t be surprised if they win outright.
Rusty’s Picks for College Football Week 8
PSU @ Ohio State | OSU -4.5 | O/U 45.5
In my humble opinion Ohio State is a bunch of frauds. Do I have anything to back this up statistically? No, and I’m not going to research it because it would probably kill my vibe I am going off of here. Sure PSU has a very sketchy history #JoePaParticipated. Sure the locker room showers probably aren’t too safe to hang out around. BUT I love Penn State here. No idea why. I think we’re going to see them win outright but I’m gonna play it safe and just take the spread.
The pick: PSU +4.5
Oklahoma State @ WVU | WVU -3.5 | O/U 50.5
I’m embarrassed to admit I’m a graduate of WVU. They are an embarrassment to the entire state. To blow that game against Houston in the way they did was insulting. This team sucks. They do this every year. Build our hope and then crush us. Feels like this is the start of the WVU yearly mega collapse.
The pick: OKST +3.5
Michigan @ Michigan State | Michigan -24 | O/U 46.5
Michigan has been laying out Molly whop after Molly whop this season. I don’t see it stopping against the Spartans. Gimme that team total.
The pick: Michigan TT o34.5
Andy’s Week 8 College Football Betting Picks
Rutgers (-5) @ Indiana | Total: 40
I am in agreement with Schwartz here that Rutgers is back. I love this matchup for the Scarlet Knights as they head into Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers. The run game has been this squad’s bread and butter, with Kyle Monangai leading the way averaging over 90 rushing yards a game. The run game will be the key to victory for Rutgers once again, and I cannot believe that Kyle’s rushing yards number is as low as it is.
The Indiana Hoosiers have allowed 178.6 rushing yards per game against FBS schools this season. That number ranks IU at #107 in the country, ranking the Hoosiers in the bottom 20% in rush yards allowed per game across college football. I also like the under here as Rutgers are averaging 13.5 points per game allowed this season in games that are not against Michigan who they allowed 31 to which ties for Michigan’s second lowest point total allowed this season. The Scarlet Knights have slipped up a bit recently allowing 24 to Wisconsin and Michigan State in back-to-back games, but do we really think Indiana should be held in that same regard?
Give me Rutgers -5, under 40, and Kyle Monangai to rush for 66 or more rushing yards all to win a unit. You can find the Monangai play on most fantasy sites such as Underdog Fantasy, or find his number on your sportsbook’s prop builder. If you are looking for some great sign up deals be sure to utilize some of these great sign up bonuses here, as we have got you covered!
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Aaron’s Week 8 NCAAF Betting Plays
Utah @ USC | USC-7 | O/U 54.5
The Caleb Williams hype is the only reason the Trojans are favored by a touchdown in this game (or even to win at all). While their swiss cheese defense was on full display to the entire nation in last week’s 48-20 dismantling at the hands of Notre Dame, I’ve been making money on them failing to cover spreads in the wee hours of the morning for weeks. After allowing Cameron Skattebo and a banged up Arizona State team to hang around for three quarters before finally pulling away, they failed to cover subsequent spreads against a Travis Hunterless Colorado squad and the unranked Arizona Wildcats (requiring multiple overtimes to sweat out a win against the latter). I know they are playing at home and should be motivated to perform well after an embarrassing loss, but none of that changes the fact that their defense couldn’t stop a toddler from reaching into a cookie jar, much less the number 14 team in the country from reaching the end zone.
The Pick: Utah+7
Patrick’s Best Bet for Week 8 Of College Football 23-24′
Michigan @ Michigan State | Michigan -24.5 | O/U 46.5
This game screams slog as Michigan’s defense has allowed double digits just once (and it was 10 points). I expect another Wolverine blowout, a better Sparty defensive effort than we got the last few weeks from Indiana and Rutgers.
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