10 best predictions for another huge Saturday of college football. What games appear to be the best bets and best picks for the Week 8 games?
10 Best College Football Predictions: Week 8
Results So Far: 43-37-1
I am freaking off.
Usually the mid-October lack of REM sleep makes everything more focused, but that sure as shoot wasn’t happening last weekend.
Colorado beat Cal outright? Eastern Michigan didn’t show up at home against Northern Illinois? Ole Miss and Miami can’t hang on to cover late?! TIME OUT …
The recent picks on the site haven’t been that bad %-wise – ATS I’ve got a decent handle on the big ones – but something is weird.
The Mountain West has gone haywire and I’ve been on the wrong end on all of it lately, but somehow I’m nailing the SEC ATS, which in most years I’m fighting at this point to stay above water.
I’ve been mashing the Big 12 point totals – which you’ll see more of in a moment – but completely whiffed the Big Ten last week.
Just when I thought I had the Sun Belt locked down, Georgia State couldn’t stop turning the ball over against Appalachian State on Wednesday, and Troy’s defense rose up and proved it really might be the 2000 Baltimore Ravens with a stuffing win at South Alabama on Thursday. But those are weeknight games. Those are weird, too.
It’s all about steadiness, reason, rationale, and consistency, and there’s been next to none of that over the last month.
So now what?
1. Just take the info I’ll spew and use it to confirm or deny your previously held beliefs – which you should always do anyway.
2. FADE AWAY knowing that something needs to be recalibrated, or …
3. Forget all of that, because after the last two weeks I’m WAY overdue to mash a hanging curve.
Forgive all the point total predictions this week, but whatever. Let’s go.
Click on each game for the preview
POINT TOTAL 36
As a rule, always go under on 70ish or over – over the long haul that works – and even it if doesn’t make any sense, go over on the mid-to-low 30s.
The hope will be that this drops a wee bit by the time this kicks off for your 10:30 pm ET late night fun, but it’s 36. That’s a tad obscene for any college game.
Fair warning on a two fronts. 1. Nevada has totally hosed me over the last two weeks. This is a spite pick. 2. If you’re having a bad day, stay away, because nothing will frustrate you more than watching San Diego State’s offense – and when it’s playing well the defense – when you need an over.
With that said, the Aztecs desperately looked and played against Hawaii like a team that needed a week off. It got it, and now the running game that got stuffed by Boise State and struggled against the Rainbow Warriors should be rejuvenated against the miserable Nevada run D.
It’s going to be like crawling across the finish line tied to an anchor, but you should get there.
POINT TOTAL 47.5
No one likes unders, and no one likes people who go with unders. Even unders’ moms don’t like unders.
This is an early game, go low, go quietly, and ease into the rest of your college football Saturday.
It’s not like the Indiana defense can do much of anything, but it also went against a slew of great offenses over the last month. Out of the last six, every game but the 31-10 loss to Michigan went past 48. But again, that was because of the other side.
And then there’s Rutgers.
Only one of the five FBS games it played so far went over 48, and that was the 49-10 loss to Ohio State. Rutgers doesn’t score.
It didn’t score against Nebraska, and everyone scores against Nebraska.
That was 14-13, and it wasn’t any more fun than the 16-14 win over Temple. Bad offense, good defense, and two teams that play at about the same level.
Think about Indiana getting 3.5, and assume both teams hang around in the mid-to-low 20s. You’ll sweat, but if Rutgers goes off, it’ll be an anomaly.
POINT TOTAL 63.5
FIU has only scored more than 12 points once against an FBS team, and that was in a 21-7 win over New Mexico State.
In every conceivable way it’s one of the worst offenses in college football, but in every conceivable way Charlotte has one of the worst defenses in college football.
I know how the 49ers do business, but I’ve seen too much FIU football. I can’t shake that team’s inability to score.
Granted, Charlotte couldn’t hold up at home against UTEP in a 41-35 loss. William & Mary is actually pretty good, but it’s an FCSer and it cranked up almost 560 yards and 41 points. The 34 put up by UAB last week were the fewest points allowed all year by the 49ers.
You could be on crutches and averaged 5.5 yards per carry on this D.
I still can’t buy that the FIU offense can do enough to help the total get to 64.
(With that said, this REALLY falls into the fade category if you came into this thinking the other way … Charlotte’s defense is just that bad.)
LINE Duke +9
ATS PICK Duke
You owe me, Miami.
The Hurricanes were a lock. They had everything well in hand against Virginia Tech last week with a nice and comfy 20-0 lead until the Hokies threw up 14 points in the fourth quarter to screw it all up.
It’s irresponsible to suggest a money line pick – which is why I’m going ATS here – but the Canes struggled against the mediocre Hokies, lost to Middle Tennessee, and only rocked Bethune-Cookman and a Southern Miss team without an offense.
Duke might be fighting a bit, but the losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina were by three each, and it gave a fully functional Kansas a fight in Lawrence in a 35-27 loss.
Until Miami beats a Power Five team by double-digits …
LINE Alabama -21.5
ATS PICK Mississippi State
I never, ever feel right picking against Alabama.
I didn’t feel right picking Tennessee ATS last week, but I actually liked Texas A&M getting more than three touchdowns.
Texas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Arkansas for three quarters – what has Alabama shown you to suggest it can roll a solid team with ease?
The problem – besides being Alabama at home in a bad mood – is that Mississippi State has been road kill for the Tide for most of the Nick Saban era from Year Two on.
However, Bama has a struggling secondary – to be nice about it. Now it has to go against one of the best precision passing games in the country that’s going to spread out these defensive backs and attack, attack, attack.
There’s a chance the O doesn’t click. It had a hard time last week in the 27-17 loss at Kentucky, and it stalled in the 31-16 loss at LSU. It beat Arizona in Tucson, but going on the road is an issue.
Again, though, you can throw on the Tide, and Mississippi State will.