CFB Best Bets Week 8

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2023

After going 3-4 on my college football picks two weeks ago, I swore I wouldn’t repeat that record. I didn’t. I went 2-5 last week.

That brings my season record to an embarrassing 21-26-2 (45%). At least Saturday Night Live didn’t lampoon me like they did Deion Sanders after his Colorado Buffaloes blew a 29-0 lead against Stanford.

Borrowing some of Sanders’ unlimited confidence, I’ll say I won’t go 2-5 in Week 8.

Stephen Nover’s TGD Picks Record: 21-26-2

CFB odds used in these betting tips are current as of Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 1:00 a.m. ET

CFB Week 8 Best Bets

Tennessee @ Alabama

BEST BET: Alabama -8.5 (-110)

bet365 Sportsbook WAGER: 2 Units

I don’t trust Joe Milton and Tennessee to step up, and that’s what the Volunteers will need to do. They haven’t played a more complete team than Alabama all season.

Milton has a big arm, but he lacks accuracy, and the Crimson Tide held a good Mississippi offense to 10 points.

The last time the Volunteers were on the road was four games ago, losing to Florida 29-16.

Tennessee only scored 20 points at home against Texas A&M last Saturday, and Milton has yet to prove he can produce against strong defenses. Alabama is easily the best defense Milton will face.

On the flip side, Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe has gotten better. He’s definitely a plus quarterback, accounting for 1,397 passing yards and 16 combined passing/rushing touchdowns.

Milton was 11-for-22 passing against Texas A&M for 100 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Milroe, by comparison, was 21-of-33 throwing for 321 yards with three touchdown throws and one interception.

Tennessee hasn’t beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa since 2003, and the Volunteers have lost nine straight road games to the Crimson Tide.

Buffalo @ Kent State

BEST BET: Under 45 (-110)

BetRivers Sportsbook WAGER: 2 Units

Put two lousy, Mid-American Conference offenses together in bad weather and what do you have? Well, yes, a highly boring game but also what should be an Under.

Buffalo ranks 112th in total offense. The Bulls have committed 22 turnovers, second-most in the nation. They’ve had only five plays of 30 yards or more all season.

Kent State’s offense is even worse. The Golden Flashes are second-from-the-bottom in scoring at 13.4 points per game and 128th in total yards at 273.4.

If you discount their non-lined game against non-board team Central Connecticut State, they would be averaging 9.3 points in their six other games.

Buffalo’s defense has been respectable when playing MAC teams. The Bulls are giving up 4.8 yards per play in league play.

There is a 50 percent chance of rain during the game, and the wind will be blowing at around 15 miles per hour.

UCF @ Oklahoma

BEST BET: UCF +19 (-110)

BetMGM Sportsbook WAGER: 2 Units

The last time we saw Oklahoma, the Sooners were pulling out a 34-30 victory against Texas in their annual Red River Rivalry game, nipping the Longhorns by scoring a last-minute touchdown.

The Sooners have had two weeks to celebrate that great win having been idle last week. Their motivation doesn’t figure to be nearly as high for this matchup against UCF.

The Knights were off last week. The extra time has allowed starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee to get healthy after he missed the last four games with a leg injury.

UCF is 2-1 in games Plumlee has fully played in this season, including defeating Boise State.

Plumlee is one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks in college. The Sooners rank 87th in pass defense, while UCF averages 516.7 yards per game, which is 10.7 more yards per game than Oklahoma averages.

The Knights rank 27th in pass defense, and they are familiar with Oklahoma’s star quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who played three seasons for UCF from 2019-21.

CFB Week 8 Betting Prediction Leans

Penn State @ Ohio State

BET LEAN: Penn State +4 (-110)

BetRivers Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Ohio State escaped Notre Dame, but I don’t see the banged-up Buckeyes getting past Penn State – at least not winning by more than three points.

Penn State has been a point-spread-covering machine under James Franklin, going 13-0 ATS and 6-0 this season.

The Nittany Lions rank in the top three in the country defensively in total yards, pass defense, rush defense, and scoring defense, giving up only 8.0 points a game.

Ohio State has been hit hard by injuries at the skill positions. The Buckeyes’ top three running backs – TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams and Chip Trayanum – are all questionable.

So is Emeka Egbuka, who is the Buckeyes’ second-best wide receiver next to Marvin Harrison Jr. but still one of the best wideouts in the country.

Army @ LSU

BET LEAN: Army +30.5 (-110)

BetMGM Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Army vs. LSU. Doesn’t exactly fit, does it? The Tigers have only played against one service academy, and that was against Army back in 1931.

But this rare and unlikely matchup leads to a play on heavy underdogs the Black Knights.

I can’t see LSU getting up for this matchup having just played five straight SEC games, including burying Auburn, 48-18, at home this past Saturday. The Tigers have Alabama up next.

Army has a respectable defense, giving up 20.2 points a game. But it plays at one of the slowest paces in the country, and with the clock constantly moving, that is good news when backing a big underdog.

Minnesota @ Iowa

BET LEAN: Over 32 (-110)

BetRivers Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

I get that Iowa averages the fewest yards per game of any Division I team, and Minnesota isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, either.

But I’ve never seen a total this low for a major conference game, so I have to go Over.

There will be some wind, but it will be a beautiful, sunny day in Iowa City with temperatures in the 60s.

Neither team has much of a passing attack, although Minnesota quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis has a big arm.

However, the teams do have respectable running attacks. The Gophers rank 43rd in rushing, and Iowa just got 174 yards rushing from Leshon Williams in their upset victory against Wisconsin last week.

Texas @ Houston

BET LEAN: Texas -23 (-110)

Unibet Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Texas has had two weeks to stew about Oklahoma scoring a touchdown with 15 seconds left to nip the Longhorns, 34-30, in their heated rivalry matchup on Oct. 7.

Look for the Longhorns to unleash their pent-up frustrations and emotions on a bad Houston team.

The Cougars, who have lost to Rice and been blown out by TCU and Texas Tech, enter this matchup fat and happy after an improbable 41-39 win against West Virginia last week, scoring on a 49-yard Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the game.

The Longhorns expect to get back a number of key players who were injured – center Jake Majors, tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders and cornerback Ryan Watts.

How To Bet College Football Week 8

Mostly conference games

Now that September is over, most of the remaining regular season games are going to be conference matchups. This means that for those games, you must properly analyze what teams playing non-conference games will do against opponents close to their skill level.

The difference between bad and awful

The key to handicapping many games this weekend is figuring out the difference between bad and awful. Many weak teams are playing each other this weekend, and the trick to picking winners in those games is figuring out the degree to which certain teams are bad.

Some teams are bad, but decent against other poor-performing teams, and other teams just perform poorly against everyone.

Read more about how to bet on college football.

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