Week 8 College Football Picks, Odds: Our 3 Best Late Bets, Including Indiana vs. Ohio State & Hawaii vs. New Mexico State (October 23)
Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors defensive back Nalu Emerson (28).
- It's been a fantastic day of college football, but it rolls on once again.
- Our college football staff broke down three games to bet for the late-night slate, including Indiana vs. Ohio State and Hawaii vs. New Mexico State.
- Check out all three of our breakdowns and picks for late Saturday night below.
It’s been a long day of football — a fun day, of course, but long. Well, grab a Red Bull and get ready for this evening’s slate.
The action starts relatively early with an intriguing Mountain West matchup between San Diego State and Air Force at 7 p.m. ET. Then, Ohio State and Indiana go to battle in the Big Ten, and even though both teams aren’t in the top 10 like they were last year, it boasts plenty of betting value.
Finally, we’re heading to the Island to close the night. Trade out your Red Bull for a nightcap because the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors host the New Mexico State Aggies in a game that seems like it was created just for bettors.
Saturday College Football Best Bets for Week 8
Our Top Picks for Saturday Night
The set of college football team logos below represents each of our college football staff’s best bets for games kicking off from 7 p.m. to midnight ET on Saturday evening.
Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific pick discussed in this article.
Looking for more of our college football staff’s top picks for Week 8? Check out our best bets for each of Saturday’s three kickoff windows:
No. 22 San Diego State vs. Air Force
The San Diego State offense is built on having an effective rushing attack. The Aztecs run the ball on 66.7% of their plays, which is one of the highest percentages for a non-triple option offense.
The rushing attack is led by Greg Bell, who has carried the ball for 5.0 yards per carry and has the Aztecs ranked 31st in Rushing Success Rate, fourth in rushing explosiveness and 41st in EPA/rush.
San Diego State will be going up an incredibly stout front seven from Air Force that is only allowing 3.6 yards per carry and ranks eighth in rushing success rate allowed. However, the Falcons are 128th in rushing explosiveness allowed and 90th in EPA/Rush allowed.
The triple-option has been humming this season for Air Force, which is averaging 5.0 yards per rush and ranks fifth in Rushing Success Rate. However, the Falcons aren’t getting that big of a push on the offensive line because they’re only 50th in offensive line yards.
That is a problem against a San Diego State front seven that is is third in the country in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, third in defensive line yards, second in EPA/rush and only allowing 2.3 yards per rush.
Even though the Falcons triple option has been really efficient, this is by far the best front seven they’ve seen all season long.
I only have Air Force projected at -1.25, so I love San Diego State at +3.5 or better.
Pick: San Diego State +3.5
No. 5 Ohio State vs. Indiana
Last year, the Hoosiers gave Ohio State a run for its money with a 42-35 loss in the first month of the season, with quarterback Michael Penix Jr. throwing for nearly 500 yards and five touchdown passes.
Fortunately for Ohio State, Penix is doubtful to play in this matchup, which leaves the Hoosiers with redshirt junior Jack Tuttle. On the season, Tuttle completed 51% of his passes and accounted for one touchdown pass to three interceptions. Last week against Michigan State, he threw for a whopping 188 yards on 52 attempts (3.6 yards per attempt).
Since Ohio State lost to Oregon in Week 2, it has been showing no mercy to opponents. The Buckeyes have scored 55 points per game and won by an average margin of 40 over the last month.
C.J. Stroud has quietly been making his case for the Heisman after throwing five touchdown passes in each of his last two games. He’s averaging 10.8 yards per pass attempt while completing 66% of his passes and leading the Buckeyes to the No. 1 scoring offense.
Stroud has the help of a dominant receiving corps in Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Nijgba, who account for 71% of the teams receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. Treveyon Henderson has been a monster at running back, as well, averaging an astonishing 8.7 yards per carry with nine touchdowns.
The Indiana defense will be outmatched by all the weapons the Buckeyes present and will be forced to pick its poison on who it hopes to slow down. Indiana’s offense, likely with its backup quarterback, won’t be able to keep up.
This one should be another blowout for Ohio State, which continues to work toward improving its resume to the College Football Playoff committee.
Pick: Ohio State -21
New Mexico State vs. Hawaii
Colt Brennan day, a living Hawiann legend. Back in his day, Brennan was must-see TV for everyone, shattering records seemingly every week while leading the Rainbow Warriors offense. He especially won the hearts of bettors, as his teams chased their losses in the late-night action.
Sad news struck the world when it was revealed that Colt Brennan passed away at 37 years old in May. Hawaii will honor his legacy this weekend when the Rainbow Warriors host the New Mexico State Aggies.
Don’t let the emotion of the night fool you, Hawaii will be that much better than New Mexico State, which stinks. The Aggies offense is horrible in nearly every aspect except the passing game. A slight cause for concern as Hawaii is near 100th in Def Pass Success, except for the fact that NMSU is incapable of putting up points past the 40-yard line.
On the other side of things, NMSU is also laughably bad on defense. The Action Network staff could move the chains on them. The Aggies rank 100th or worse in nearly every defensive metric, including Pro Football Focus’ Tackling.
While Hawaii is nothing special in any metric, the Rainbow Warriors are far and away better in nearly all of them when compared to New Mexico State. With question marks at quarterback with Chevan Cordeiro potentially returning from injury, whoever is under center for Hawaii should have no problem moving the ball down the field.
I grabbed this when it opened at Hawaii -17 and would play it to -21.