College Football Odds & Picks: Week 8’s Biggest Stat Discrepancies, Including TCU vs. Kansas State & Northwestern vs. Maryland

College Football Odds & Picks: Week 8’s Biggest Stat Discrepancies, Including TCU vs. Kansas State & Northwestern vs. Maryland article feature image

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Maryland’s Ramon Brown.

The Week 8 college football slate features a number of statistical discrepancies for categories that are key to covering the spread.

This week's slate features a number of intriguing matchups from a betting perspective, including TCU vs. Kansas State, Northwestern vs. Maryland and Fresno State vs. New Mexico.

Each of these games features major statistical discrepancies between the two combatants in several key statistics like Success Rate, Havoc, Finishing Drives and more.

Check out three key discrepancies for Week 8 below.

Fresno State at New Mexico

Fresno State Havoc, 19th · New Mexico Havoc Allowed, 94th
New Mexico Havoc, 33rd · Fresno State 130th Havoc Allowed, 130th

Fresno State secured a monster victory over San Jose State in regard to the Mountain West Conference.

The Bulldogs have thrust forward in the West Division even without one of the best quarterbacks in the Group of Five. Jake Haener was seen throwing in street clothes with a brace before the game with the Spartans, as his availability is still questionable heading into Week 8.

Pressure on the quarterback has been one of the issues concerning the Bulldogs' offensive line all season, ranking near dead last in Havoc Allowed.

Fresno has posted more than a dozen interceptions and fumbles, which are expected to be problematic against New Mexico. The Lobos are tied for second in the country in forced fumbles with a total of 10 this season.

The same story can be told on the other side of the ball, where Fresno ranks top-20 in Defensive Havoc. The driver for the Bulldogs defense has been pass breakups, a stat that may only come into play on passing downs considering New Mexico's 65% rush rate.

While both teams are strong in Havoc, Fresno State’s dominance in coverage is diminished with the Lobos' heavy ground attack.

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Northwestern vs. Maryland

Maryland Defensive Finishing Drives, 22nd · Northwestern Offensive Finishing Drives, 117th
Maryland SP+ Special Teams, 6th · Northwestern SP+ Special Teams, 126th

There are too many advantages on paper for this Maryland home spot.

The Terrapins are one of the best teams converting scoring opportunities into touchdowns. Mike Locksley’s team ranks third nationally in red zone touchdown rate, scoring six points on 23-of-26 attempts inside the 20.

Northwestern struggles defensively to keep teams from scoring, but its struggles on the offensive end are what point this game in the direction of a blowout.

Northwestern ranks 117th in Offensive Finishing Drives, averaging just 3.1 points on 30 scoring opportunities this season. The Maryland defense shores up with its back to the end zone, allowing just 3.2 points per opponent trip for a rank of 22nd in FBS.

The gap in special teams is also worth consideration, as Northwestern is a bottom-five team and Maryland ranks sixth, per SP+. With an Action Network projection of just over two touchdowns, there's plenty of value in this spread.

TCU at Kansas State

Kansas State Offensive Stuff Rate, 30th · TCU Defensive Stuff Rate, 105th
TCU Pass Explosiveness, 12th · Kansas State Defensive Pass Explosiveness, 69th

We have come a long way from the preseason content, where Action Network directed Big 12 futures in the direction of TCU and Kansas State.

Both teams enter the back half of the season undefeated in conference play, with the Horned Frogs standing tall as one of the few remaining undefeated Power Five teams.

Both Kansas State and TCU are heavy on the ground attack, each boasting a top-20 offense in rush explosiveness. Both teams also field dual-threat quarterbacks in Max Duggan and Adrian Martinez, who are posting the best seasons of their collegiate careers.

2022 Max Duggan & Adrian Martinez
20 Passing TDs, 1 INT, 13 Rushing TDs, 4 fumbles

Pre-2022 Max Duggan & Adrian Martinez
86 Passing TDs, 50 INTs, 54 Rushing TDs, 60 fumbles

— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) October 17, 2022

There are hidden advantages for each offense.

Kansas State features a ground-based offense that runs on 64% of snaps. The Wildcats are the 30th-best team in terms of Stuff Rate, not allowing opponents into the backfield or at the line of scrimmage.

The Horned Frogs defense hasn't controlled the trench, ranking just 105th in Defensive Stuff Rate. While Martinez gets under center with multiple running backs in the formation, TCU will look to expose Kansas State through the air.

Duggan has been just as deadly as a passer, ranking 12th in pass expected points thanks to receiver Quentin Johnston, who averages nearly three yards per route run.

The total sits just below the key number of 59, as there will be a battle of pace when Chris Klieman looks to grind the Wildcats offense at 28.4 seconds per play to keep the explosive Frogs offense off the field.

A Kansas State win would correlate with the under, but a high-scoring affair heavily favors TCU.

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