Week 8 college football schedule and situational betting spots

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College football schedule Week 8

Games are increasing in importance as the weeks peel off the college football calendar. Every game means something to the players, but bowl eligibility, conference and division standings, rankings, and the College Football Playoff are all considerations as we go forward. That means that we’re going to have no shortage of situational spots this week or in following weeks to consider.

 

As always, the disclaimer has to be said that these are not justifications for a bet. They are simply a piece of the puzzle that eventually becomes a completed picture. So, what does Week 8 have in store? Let’s find out.

Week 8 Hub | College football odds | College football betting splits

(Games sorted by Kickoff Time; odds as of October 16, 8:00 p.m. PT)

James Madison Dukes (-3.5, 52.5) at Marshall Thundering Herd

Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

James Madison put a little extra oomph into last week’s game against Georgia Southern. The Dukes were placed in the Top 25 last season and then immediately lost to the Eagles to kick off a three-game losing streak and promptly fall out of the rankings. They left no doubt in last week’s 41-13 beating, as now they’ll head on the road for a tricky trip to Huntington, West Virginia on a short week. Marshall is coming off of a blowout of their own, but they were on the receiving end. With James Madison 26th in both the AP and Coaches Poll, there’s some pressure this week.

Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio State Buckeyes (-4.5, 47)

Saturday, Noon ET

The first of two big tests for Ohio State is this one against Penn State, but this will be a dramatic step up in class for Penn State. It is Week 8 and the Nittany Lions have played the 77th-ranked schedule. They’ve played one top-30 team and that was the offensively-challenged Iowa Hawkeyes. Ohio State is much more explosive on offense and brings a top-five defense into the fray, though Penn State’s defense has certainly held its own. They have not allowed more than 15 points in a game. Huge game for both teams and it is worth keeping an eye out for a letdown next week for one or both.

Air Force Falcons (-11, 37.5) at Navy Midshipmen

Saturday, Noon ET

The first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series takes place this weekend in Annapolis. Air Force just slid into the Top 25 for the first time during the regular season since 2010 and is favored in this rivalry game for the first time since 1997. The Falcons are clearly the better team, but it can be tough to have a target on your back as a ranked squad. Air Force won 13-10 last year in Colorado Springs to make it three straight over Navy for the first time since 1997-2002 when the Falcons won six in a row and eight of nine.

Mississippi State Bulldogs at Arkansas Razorbacks (-7, 49.5)

Saturday, Noon ET

Arkansas will play in Fayetteville for the first time since September 16 in this one. The Razorbacks have played three of the last four games on the road and their September 30 game against Texas A&M was in Arlington, so they haven’t played a true home game in over a month. I would have felt like Arkansas was in for a bit of a letdown spot after the three-point loss in Tuscaloosa, but maybe heading back home will fire up the Hogs a bit.

Washington State Cougars at Oregon Ducks (-19.5, 60)

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

This is a pretty interesting spot both ways. Oregon just lost a thriller in heartbreaking fashion to Washington. Meanwhile, Washington State got absolutely embarrassed in Pullman by Arizona. That loss to the Wildcats marked the second straight poor effort from Wazzu, so they should be looking to have a short memory and get back on track. The Ducks still have a path to the College Football Playoff and a Pac-12 title, so they should remain focused, but it had to be a tough Monday and maybe even Tuesday at practice. Guess we’ll see how they come out for this one.

Colorado State Rams at UNLV Rebels (-8, 61.5)

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

Colorado State beat Boise State for the first time in program history last week on a Hail Mary and extra point by scoring 21 points in the final 4:01 of the game. It was a very emotional win and fans stormed the field in Fort Collins. UNLV, meanwhile, put a beating on rival Nevada to keep the Fremont Cannon painted red for another year. I think it’s fair to say that both teams are in some pretty gnarly spots this week, but Colorado State off the huge win seems worse than the Rebels with a win that was never really in doubt.

Arizona State Sun Devils at Washington Huskies (-28, 58.5)

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET

Pac-12 After Dark could get weird this week. First, we’ve got Washington and a really beat-up Michael Penix Jr. laying a massive number against Arizona State. Penix took a lot of hits, but kept getting up for the Huskies in that win. He’s now the Heisman Trophy favorite, so Kalen DeBoer can ill-afford to sit him and let him get rested up for a week or two (Stanford is on deck). The Huskies defense also defended a lot of plays last week because Washington kept getting chunk plays. Oregon ran 84 offensive plays to Washington’s 61. So, the defense was out there a ton. We know who the better team is, but a hangover is very, very possible from UDub.

UCLA Bruins (-17, 55) at Stanford Cardinal

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET

UCLA is laying a big ol’ number in this one against Stanford, who had one of the most absurd and improbable comebacks in recent memory by erasing a 29-0 halftime deficit to win 46-43 in overtime in Boulder. Stanford’s prize is a visit from a very upset UCLA team that lost in hideous fashion to Oregon State last week.  I’m not really sure where either team’s mind is after what transpired last week, but this sure is a spot to think long and hard about both ways.

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