Saturday College Football Picks, Predictions: 3 Situational Betting Spots for Week 8’s Noon Kickoffs, Including Indiana vs. Rutgers & More

Saturday College Football Picks, Predictions: 3 Situational Betting Spots for Week 8’s Noon Kickoffs, Including Indiana vs. Rutgers & More article feature image

Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team.

  • Week 8 of the college football season brings with it a number of incredible games, and Stuckey has been analyzing them all week.
  • He came through with three situational betting spots for Saturday's noon games, including Indiana vs. Rutgers and Cincinnati vs. SMU.
  • Check out all three of his situational betting spots for Week 8's noon college football games below.

Week 8 NCAAF Situational Spots ⋅ Noon ET

Over the first six weeks of the season, I highlighted 10 situational spots I had circled on each Saturday. With conference play now in full swing, there may not be as many on a weekly basis.

Ultimately, the actual spread value still reigns supreme. No matter how great a situational spot appears on paper, you still have to factor in how much value the number holds. A good or bad spot may sway me to bet or not bet when I'm on the fence for a particular game, for but it's certainly more art than science.

Hopefully, I can help you make one or two of those same tough wagering decisions while sharing some key angles, matchups and injury situations for each particular game.

Last week, I identified seven spots that fortunately went 6-1.  This week, I have nine college football matchups circled on Saturday — three games from each of Saturday's major kickoff windows.

This particular article focuses on Saturday's noon ET kickoffs. Click either of the links below to navigate to my afternoon or evening situational betting spots on Saturday:

SMU +3 vs. Cincinnati

Noon ET ⋅ ESPN

The Bearcats will benefit a bit from coming off of a bye week, especially since they have a few injury issues, namely to starting quarterback Ben Bryant and leading receiver Tyler Scott.

However, I still think Cincinnati is ripe for an upset here.

Luke Fickell admitted Ivan Pace Jr. is still "dinged up from last week."

With injuries to Pace, QB Ben Bryant, WR Tyler Scott and RB Corey Kiner, the bye is coming at the right time for Cincinnati. Fickell expects Kiner to be ready after the bye. No word yet on Bryant and Scott.

— Keith Jenkins (@MrKeithJenkins) October 8, 2022

After starting out an expected 1-1 with a loss at Arkansas and a victory over FCS Kennesaw State, the Bearcats have won four straight but haven't looked great in doing so, especially if you dig a little deeper into each result.

  •  Despite snagging an early pick-six, they were in a battle at Tulsa but got a stop on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the game.
  • A bad Indiana team got back in the game before turning it over on downs late, which Cincy turned into a meaningless touchdown.
  • They benefited from facing Miami Ohio's backup quarterback and eventually pulled away after a shaky first half.
  • South Florida actually led in the fourth quarter at Cincy but eventually got stopped when trailing by four on a fourth-down attempt inside the Bearcat 30 before Cincy ran out the clock.

Cincinnati may also have some imminent regression coming its way after getting fairly fortunate in a number of high-variance stats so far. It has recovered eight of its 12 fumbles and converted 5-of-7 fourth-down attempts while holding opponents to just 1-of-11 on fourth-down tries for an FBS-low 9.1% conversion rate.

In contrast, opponents have converted 11-of-18 (61.1%) against SMU.

SMU has also played the much tougher schedule with losses against a trio of top-40 teams in Maryland, UCF and TCU with two of the three coming on the road. Meanwhile, Cincinnati has faced only one team that I have currently power rated as above average nationally.

Overall, I have SMU with a top-50 strength of schedule so far this season, while Cincy's sits outside the top 100.

Facing the best aerial attack they will have seen in 2022, the Bearcats may finally feel the impact of losing three defensive backs to the NFL. Plus, SMU's quick passing attack can neutralize a very strong Bearcat pass rush. On the season, Cincy's defense ranks third nationally in Sack Rate, but SMU's offense ranks 13th in that same category.

In fact, the aggressive SMU defense (32nd Sack Rate) actually might have more opportunities to create negative plays against a Cincy front that ranks 98th in Sack Rate.

Plus, the Bearcats have struggled to consistently run the ball (outside the top 90 in Rush Success Rate), which might provide a break for a porous SMU run defense.

Notable Nugget

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell is just 3-10 against the spread as a conference road favorite, failing to cover by six points per game.

Rutgers -3 vs. Indiana

Noon ET ⋅ Big Ten Network

This will mark the last realistic chance for Rutgers to win a Big Ten game this season. Not only does it get a beatable opponent at home, but it's also a very favorable situational spot.

The Scarlet Knights had 15 days to prepare for Indiana while getting healthier after dealing with a plethora of injuries leading up to the off week.

Meanwhile, Indiana comes off of a tough loss against Maryland with games against Penn State and Ohio State looming on deck. This is a potentially sleepy spot in a noon start in Piscataway.

I assume Greg Schiano will have a few trick plays up his sleeve for this matchup. For what it's worth, he's 10-3 ATS (76.9%) with more than 10 days between games against FBS opponents, covering by 11 points per game on average. That includes a road victory as a short favorite at Illinois last season.

Plus, Rutgers has an element of surprise working in its favor. While it could study film of Indiana's tendencies over the past two-plus weeks, the Scarlet Knights may break out some new looks on offense after firing offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson nine days ago.

Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will take over as the new offensive coordinator. He should also have all three quarterbacks available with the return of Gavin Wimsatt, who missed the past month with an injury.  Wimsatt is the most talented of the platoon and brings an added dimension with his legs to the struggling offense.

Admittedly, it looks odd to see Rutgers as a home favorite in Big Ten play. Since 2015, it has happened only one other time in an outright loss as a 5.5-point favorite against Illinois in 2020

It's Rutgers or nothing for me at a field goal or less.

Notable Nugget

Indiana is just 27-42-3 ATS (39.1%) in road conference games since 2005. Only UConn, UNLV and Colorado have been less profitable.

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UT Martin at Tennessee

Noon ET ⋅ SEC Network

I have to bring up this potential flat spot after Tennessee's thrilling upset over Alabama.

The Vols could certainly come out flat to start. Plus, I doubt Josh Heupel will care about running this score up too much with Kentucky and Georgia on deck. Therefore, you could see the backups get a lot of work.

The Skyhawks obviously have significantly less talent, but they are at least a respectable FCS team ranked in the top 20. For reference, they lost (but covered), 30-7, as 25-point underdogs at Boise State earlier this season.

UTM could cover an inflated number in this spot — especially if Tennessee doesn't get goalposts in time.

Hey @DondePlowman…if you don’t get those goalposts replaced in time, we’ll be happy to move next week’s game to @utmartin. It’s the least we can do. #Family#Football#ThinkingOfYou#beUTMproud 🏈

— keith carver (@KC4UTM) October 16, 2022

In all seriousness, the better look may be a second-half play if the Vols hold a big lead at halftime as expected.

Notable Nugget

Since 2010, Tennessee Martin has gone 3-7 ATS against the SEC, losing by an average score of 53.9-12.2.

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