College Football Expert Picks: Our Staff’s 12 Favorite Bets for Week 8


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: USC quarterback JT Daniels

Oct 20, 2018, 02:55 PM EDT
  • Our college football experts give their 12 favorite betting picks for Week 8 of the 2018 season.
  • You'll find a few picks on the marquee matchups of the day and a few under-the-radar gems.

It’s Week 8 of the college football season and we now only have eight remaining undefeated teams:

  • #1 Alabama
  • #2 Ohio State
  • #3 Clemson
  • #4 Notre Dame
  • #10 Central Florida
  • #16 NC State
  • #20 Cincinnati
  • #21 South Florida

That list will at least be cut down to seven teams after this weekend, as NC State (+17) visits Clemson for our last regular-season meeting between two undefeated Power 5 teams. The Wolfpack are looking for their first win at Clemson since Philip Rivers was under center way back in 2002.

That’s just one of many appetizing games on the betting menu this weekend. To help you come up with your final college football card for this weekend, we asked a group of our staffers for their one favorite Saturday pick for Week 8.

Regardless of your betting style, you should find something that catches your eye — or at least helps you make more informed betting decisions for Week 8 — in the picks below.

We’ll waste no time getting things started with four bets that kick off at noon ET — and then hit a few other games before closing things out five quick grabs. We hope you take at least one key piece of information away that can help guide you toward a winner or away from a loser. Let’s jump in.

In case you’re curious, our staff’s favorite college football bets are 48-40-1 (54.5%) on the season

*All odds pulled overnight on Oct. 19.

PJ Walsh: Illinois-Wisconsin Under 56.5

Noon ET on FS1

Both Illinois and Wisconsin run the ball effectively, ranking 22nd and sixth in rushing yards per game, respectively. When two teams that average at least 215 yards per game on the ground match up, the under is 228-174-7 (56.7%) since 2003, according to Bet Labs.

The current forecast also calls for swirling 21 mph winds, which should limit explosive plays through the passing game. Since 2003, college football games played in winds of at least 20 mph have gone under 64.3% of the time.

Collin Wilson: Miami Ohio +8 (at Army)

Noon ET on CBSSN

If you listened to the latest episode of The Action Network Colleges podcast or read my weekly CW column, or even read our moneyline underdogs piece, you know my love for Miami Ohio this week knows no bounds.

The RedHawks have the rush defense to contain Army’s triple-option rushing attack. They rank in the top 30 nationally against the rush, allowing 3.29 yards per carry.

On the other side of the ball, Miami ranks 16th in rushing explosiveness, going for 200 yards in each of its past four games. Quarterback Gus Ragland, who led this team to six straight wins and a near upset of Mississippi State in 2016, has continued to play more efficiently in recent weeks.

John Ewing: Michigan-Michigan State Under 41

Noon ET on FOX

The market expects a low-scoring game between Michigan-Michigan State, as the over/under of 41 points is the lowest on the Saturday slate.

The Wolverines rank No. 1 in defensive S&P+, while the Spartans are 21st. Not only should this rivalry game be a defensive slugfest, but the weather will impact scoring, as well. The forecast calls for 17 mph winds during the game, which will impede both passing offenses and kicking games. Since 2005, the under is 471-341-12 (58%) when the average wind speed was 13 mph or stronger.

Casual bettors are ignoring the defensive matchup and the weather as 68% of tickets are on the over. Michigan-Michigan State is one of the most bet games on the slate. Historically, the under has been a profitable play in heavily bet games with low totals.

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