All wagers at -110 odds unless otherwise noted. My picks are in bold, with that team’s spread attached. Visit Odds Shark for updated lines throughout each game week.
Season record: 68-51. A 15-6 Week 7 puts me at 57 percent on the year, which is excellent. I am 21-18 in sides decided by a single score, but within that, 5-8 in those decided by a field goal or less.
Let’s get to Week 8’s bets.
1. Air Force at Nevada +7: Nevada is getting it together after a rough start.
2. Marshall at Middle Tennessee +3: Last week I went against MTSU at UAB, but this week, I like the value.
3. USC at Notre Dame -3.5: USC is quite banged up on the defensive line. Look for Notre Dame to consistently run.
4. Arizona State at Utah -9: I like Arizona State at home catching points, but this is a tough road turnaround. I don’t think ASU’s defense is necessarily for real.
5. Boston College at Virginia -6: This is a bet against BC’s inflated price, coming off its win against Louisville. Virginia’s defense is disciplined.
6. Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) -2.5: Buffalo is undefeated against the spread, and that has to end at some point.
7. Central Florida -7 at Navy: UCF is a covering machine and should continue to roll.
8. Central Michigan at Ball State +3: I am surprised Ball State is not favored in this spot.
9. Coastal Carolina +24 at Appalachian State: Wow, this is a lot of points to lay for App State!
10. Colorado at Washington State -9.5: Colorado was rather lucky to escape Oregon State with a win and now must turn around and head to Pullman. That is a tough travel spot.
11. Fresno State +7.5 at San Diego State: Fresno State can stop the run. San Diego State is not a consistent passing team. This opened at +11.5, but that was five days ago.
12. Georgia Southern at UMass -6.5: Georgia Southern is an absolute mess, and I will look to fade them whenever my numbers support doing so.
13. Indiana +7 at Michigan State: I like Indiana’s ability to score, and Michigan State has played a couple of difficult games in a row.
14. Kentucky at Mississippi State -11: Kentucky has won games in which its win probability was 7, 24, and 17 percent. That does not seem sustainable.
15. LSU at Ole Miss +7.5: Ole Miss has some serious athletes at receiver, whom I believe will put up some points on LSU.
16. North Texas at FAU -3: FAU is stating to catch its rhythm.
17. Pitt +8 at Duke: Pitt’s defense can be beaten by chucking it deep. Duke is one of the worst in the ACC at throwing the ball down the field.
18. Southern Miss +3 at Louisiana Tech: I believe in the Eagles’ defense. They held UTEP under 150 yards last weekend.
19. Temple +7 at Army: I went against Temple last week and won outright with UConn, but in no way should Army be laying a full TD.
20. Tulsa -5.5 at UConn: The situation bothers me a bit, with Tulsa coming off a blowout win over Houston and having to play at SMU next Friday night. But this number is just too short. Perhaps I am a sucker.
21. UAB at Charlotte +7.5: I have been on the UAB bandwagon several times this year, but laying this many points on the road is too rich for my blood.
22. West Virginia at Baylor +9.5: If you wait until game time, you might be able to snag a full 10. I had West Virginia and a win last week, but Baylor regrouping while coming home is a strong play.
23. Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan +3: EMU is an underrated team, in that they are bad, but not like “bottom-30 in college football” bad. If you grabbed the opener of +4, congrats.
Games of the year
A set of wagers I like a lot are those known as “Games of the Year” offerings, in which casinos offer lines on games weeks ahead. Maximum bet sizes are understandably low, but they are interesting nonetheless. Here are the lines for the major playoff contenders.
- Alabama is favored by 24 hosting LSU and by 11 at Auburn.
- Clemson is favored by 9 at NC State, by 12.5 hosting Florida State, and by 19 at South Carolina.
- Georgia is favored by 13.5 vs. Florida, an underdog of 3 points at Auburn, and favored by 7 at Georgia Tech.
- Miami is favored by 19.5 at North Carolina, by 4.5 hosting Virginia Tech, by 3 hosting Notre Dame, and by 16.5 at Pittsburgh.
- Notre Dame is an underdog of 4 points at Stanford.
- Ohio State is favored by 9 hosting Penn State, 20.5 at Iowa, 21 hosting Michigan State, and by 9 at Michigan.
- Oklahoma is favored by 1 at Oklahoma State, by 4.5 hosting TCU, and by 17 hosting West Virginia.
- Oklahoma State is favored by 7 at West Virginia
- Penn State is favored by 7 at Michigan State
- TCU is favored by 10.5 hosting Texas.
- USC is favored by 11 at Arizona State, by 14 at Colorado, and by 15.5 hosting UCLA.
- Washington is favored by 18.5 hosting UCLA, by 2.5 at Stanford, 11.5 hosting Utah, and 11 hosting Washington State.
- Wisconsin is favored by 14 at Minnesota, and by 7 hosting Michigan.