After an exciting Week 7 where my bets fell flat, I have four games that I like in Week 8. With most of the regular season completed, we have a better idea of where teams stand going into bowl season.
Despite the amount of data coming in on all 130 FBS programs, bettors are starting to overreact to recent games. As a result, there are a few key spots this week where the lines are off.
Below, I discuss four games that I am betting on.
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CFB Week 8 Predictions
Eastern Michigan (4-3) @ Bowling Green (2-5)
Of all ten FBS conferences, the MAC is regarded as the weakest conference. Within the MAC, Bowling Green is arguably the weakest team, while Eastern Michigan has a decent chance of qualifying for a bowl game.
According to ESPN’s College Football Power Index, BGSU has a 1% chance of winning six or more games, while EMU has a 89.9% chance. Despite this, EMU is only a three-point favorite on the road.
There was some excitement for Bowling Green after they beat Minnesota outright as a 30.5-point underdog a month ago. However, after losing 35-20 against Akron as a 14-point favorite two weeks ago, the Falcons have shown their true colors.
BGSU may have a lackluster offense which has shown signs of life, but their defense allowed 34 points against Northern Illinois last week, and 35 points against Akron the week before.
Eastern Michigan has also struggled this season, as they are just 1-2 in conference play. However, in their two losses, EMU only fell by a touchdown.
One promising sign for the Eagles has been senior quarterback Ben Bryant. He’s posted a 72.9% completion rate on the season, so I am not too worried about him throwing only eight touchdowns to four interceptions. Against Ball State last week, Bryant threw for 331 yards and had only one passing touchdown.
BGSU has allowed red zone scores in 92% of red zone possessions this season, which ranks second-worst in the MAC, and the No. 18 in the FBS. If Bryant can push the ball up the field, EMU should be able to score rushing touchdowns in the red zone.
Eastern Michigan vs Bowling Green Prediction: Eastern Michigan 27, Bowling Green 13
Best Bet: Eastern Michigan -3 (-110) at WynnBET (would bet up to -6)
Wager: 1 Unit
Bowling Green is legitimately one of the worst teams in the FBS. According to ESPN FPI rankings, BGSU ranks in the bottom 10. Despite this and EMU playing decently, EMU is favored by only three points.
While I am generally optimistic about Eastern Michigan’s program, the reason why I like them so much in Week 8 has more to do with BGSU than anything else.
Clemson (4-2) @ #23 Pittsburgh (5-1)
If someone got into a coma in late August and then woke up this week, they would not recognize this year’s Clemson Tigers team. Sure, the Tigers lost QB Trevor Lawrence to the NFL, but Clemson is like the hottest girl in school because they can get any football player they want.
Since 2018, Head Coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers have had a top 10 recruiting class every year. Despite having the pick of the litter, Clemson had disappointing losses against NC State and Georgia, and slim victories against Syracuse, Boston College, and Georgia Tech. In fact, Clemson is 0-6 against the spread this season.
Pitt, on the other hand, is 5-1 against the spread this season, nationally ranked, and coming off a dominating victory against Virginia Tech. As a result, the Panthers are small favorites at home against the Tigers.
Pitt’s offense is led by a dynamic quarterback in Kenny Pickett who has 1934 passing yards, a 69.8% completion percentage, 21 passing touchdowns, and only one interception this year. This is a far cry from his mediocre numbers as starting quarterback from 2018-2020. However, despite Clemson’s troubles, they have put together a strong defense this season.
Clemson is allowing only 14.4 points per game, which is the fourth-best in the FBS. This includes limiting Georgia to only 10 points and Boston College to only 13 points. The Tigers have a struggling offense led by quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, so for the Tigers to pull off the upset on the road, they probably need to win a low scoring game.
Clemson vs Pitt Prediction: Clemson 17, Pitt 10
Best Bet: Clemson Moneyline (+150) at DraftKings (would bet up to +120)
Wager: 1 Unit
Clemson has been a disappointment this season, but based on talent alone, they should win as underdogs on Saturday. While I am hesitant to back Clemson as a heavy favorite this season, they don’t scare me as underdogs on Saturday against Pitt.
While the Clemson teams of the past liked blowing out their opponents, this year’s team seems to just care only about winning.
Kenny Pickett should face a brick wall in Clemson’s defense, and as a result, I believe that Clemson wins a close, low-scoring game.
#8 Oklahoma State (6-0) @ Iowa State (4-2)
Oklahoma State is the No. 8 team in the country, racking up a 6-0 record that includes wins over three ranked teams in a row. OSU beat Texas last on week on the road and topped Baylor and Kansas State at home.
Despite Oklahoma State’s impressive resume, Iowa State as a strong unranked team is a 7-point home favorite. The Cyclones lost to Iowa and Baylor this season, and the only team they have beaten that is likely to qualify for a bowl game is Kansas State. Despite all of this, Iowa State is a much stronger team than they appear to be.
ISU allows only 17.6 points per game, which is the best in the Big 12 and ranks No. 14 in the country. Most importantly for Saturday’s matchup, the Cyclones allow only 3.0 yards per carry, which is tied with the Cowboys for the best in the Big 12 and No. 10 in the country.
Oklahoma State loves to run the ball, particularly with running back Jaylen Warren. The question for the Cowboys is if they are break through Iowa State’s stout run defense.
Like Iowa State, Oklahoma State complements their opponents’ tendencies well. The Cyclones are led by senior quarterback Brock Purdy who has a 73.9% completion rate this season. Unfortunately for Purdy, OSU has limited opposing QB’s to a completion percentage of only 56.5%.
In what should be a low-scoring game, the question is over which team can win.
Oklahoma State vs Iowa State Prediction: Oklahoma State 30, Iowa State 17
Best Bet 1: Oklahoma State Moneyline (+225) at BetMGM (would bet up to +150)
Wager: 1 Unit
Usually, the AP Top 25 rankings are deceptive, as they rank teams based on how well they have played rather than how well they should play. As a result, bettors may back the ranked team against an unranked team even when the unranked team is better. For Saturday’s game, this is not the case.
Oklahoma State has been able to beat strong teams this season based on their strong defense. It will be a sweat, but at (+225), their moneyline is too good to pass up. After all, they did just beat Texas on the road last weekend at similar odds.
Best Bet: Oklahoma State +7 (-105) at DraftKings (would bet up to -115)
Wager: .5 Units
Let’s say that I am wrong, and Iowa State is a slightly better team, and they win at home. Chances are it won’t be by a large margin. Both teams have strong defenses, and as such, the total has been set at only 47.5 points. Generally, the score is closer in lower-scoring games.
I believe that Oklahoma State should win, but if they don’t, it will probably be by only one score.
#22 San Diego State (6-0) @ Air Force (6-1)
I will admit that I am a night owl and a nut. I start watching College Football at noon every Saturday, but usually I continue until the final non-Hawaii games are over at 1:00 a.m. ET. Of those late-night games that I watch and bet on, most of them are Mountain West conference games.
This Saturday night, there is a Mountain West conference game between two teams that should be nationally ranked — No. 22 San Diego State and the unranked Air Force Falcons. SDSU is undefeated with a 6-0 record, while Air Force has a 6-1 that includes a win over Boise State.
As a service academy, Air Force can’t get the biggest and best players in college football. As you can imagine, it is probably very hard to fit a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman in a fighter jet. Due to these recruiting difficulties, the Falcons opt for a run-heavy triple-option offense.
Unfortunately for Air Force, San Diego State has a terrific run defense. The Aztecs allow only 2.3 yards per carry, which ranks No. 4 in the country. The only issue with SDSU is that their offense is weak, and as a result, it usually is a bad idea to rely on them covering more than a touchdown as favorites.
For Saturday night’s game, they are road underdogs, so there is no need to worry about if they can cover as a favorite. But can they beat a strong Air Force team on the road?
San Diego State vs Air Force Prediction: San Diego State 17, Air Force 13
Best Bet: San Diego State Moneyline (+155) at Caesars (would bet up to +110)
Wager: 1.5 Units
San Diego State is my favorite bet all week for the entire college football slate. All Air Force does is run the ball, and the Aztecs are great at stopping the run. While home field advantage is important, for Air Force to win, they need some good luck and to break through SDSU’s defense.
I don’t see either happening, and that is why I would bet them to win outright at (+155) odds and even up to (+110) if the price drops.