College football predictions, picks, and odds against the spread for Week 8

Which Week 8 games present the most value early on, and which could swing to your favor with some early line movement this week?

The college football season continues after a weekend full of expected results and a stunning upset that wasn’t so stunning. Purdue’s defeat of Iowa wasn’t all too outlandish, but how the Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes gives us pause for Iowa’s long-term success. Now, we take a look back to move forward. Looking at some opening early line value in our picks, predictions, and odds for college football Week 8, we examine what games could net serious value.

College Football Week 8 Predictions, Picks, and Odds

Last week, we cashed in on three of our four favorite bets of the weekend. Despite Western Kentucky pulling away late, ODU still held their own for the majority of four quarters before collapsing in the end. Still, getting in on the early lines is helpful and a necessity to generate good value each and every week.

Here are the lines for every Week 8 game as of Monday, October 18 at 3 PM ET.

Wednesday

  • Coastal Carolina @ Appalachian State (+4)

Thursday

  • Tulane @ SMU (-13.5)
  • Louisiana @ Arkansas State (+18)
  • Florida Atlantic @ Charlotte (+5)
  • San Jose State @ UNLV (+5)

Friday

  • Middle Tennessee State @ UConn (+15.5)
  • Memphis @ UCF (-2)
  • Colorado State @ Utah State (+3)
  • Washington @ Arizona (+17.5)

Saturday

  • Cincinnati @ Navy (+27.5)
  • Northwestern @ Michigan (-21.5)
  • Illinois @ Penn State (-23)
  • Wake Forest @ Army (+3)
  • Kansas State @ Texas Tech (pick ’em)
  • Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan (-5)
  • Eastern Michigan @ Bowling Green (+3)
  • Oklahoma @ Kansas (+38)
  • UMass @ Florida State (-35)
  • Syracuse @ Virginia Tech (-3)

 

  • Kent State @ Ohio (+5.5)
  • Texas State @ Georgia State (-10.5)
  • Wisconsin @ Purdue(+3)
  • Clemson @ Pittsburgh (-3)
  • Oregon @ UCLA (-2.5)
  • Rice @ UAB (-23)
  • Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (-7)
  • New Mexico @ Wyoming (-20)
  • Maryland @ Minnesota (-5)
  • LSU @ Ole Miss (-10)

 

  • Miami OH @ Ball State (-6)
  • Colorado @ California (-9)
  • BYU @ Washington State (+2)
  • Buffalo @ Akron (+11)
  • Western Michigan @ Toledo (+2.5)
  • East Carolina @ Houston (-13.5)
  • Boston College @ Louisville (-6)
  • Mississippi State @ Vanderbilt (+21)
  • Liberty @ North Texas (+21.5)
  • Western Kentucky @ Florida International (+15)

 

  • South Alabama @ UL-Monroe (+13.5)
  • Tennessee @ Alabama (-25)
  • UTSA @ Louisiana Tech (+7)
  • San Diego State @ Air Force (-4)
  • Nevada @ Fresno State (-3)
  • Temple @ South Florida (-2.5)
  • Ohio State @ Indiana (+19)

 

  • USC @ Notre Dame (-7)
  • South Carolina @ Texas A&M (-21)
  • Georgia Tech @ Virginia (-7)
  • NC State @ Miami FL (+3)
  • Utah @ Oregon State (+3)
  • West Virginia @ TCU (-4)
  • New Mexico State @ Hawaii (-18.5)

Early Week 8 College Football Picks and Predictions

Let’s break down some of my favorite early lines for Week 8.

Coastal Carolina (-4) @ Appalachian State

Time: Wednesday, October 20, 7:30 PM ET

This game has swung to the Chanticleers’ side of things since opening in favor of the Mountaineers. Still, the Chants are the cream of the crop in the Sun Belt and likely are playing ticked off after opening the weekend as underdogs.

Grayson McCall is the nation’s leader in completion percentage at 79.8%. That figure would be the best in college football history if he were to continue playing at this pace. It’s not because he’s dinking and dunking, either — he averages the highest yards per pass attempt in the country at 13.6. His rare breed of accuracy, touch, and control over the football makes him one of college football’s best quarterbacks.

App State opened as a 1-point favorite. That was for a good enough reason as they’re historically tough to beat in Boone, at night, in the middle of a week. Still, Coastal is top-31 in both passing and rushing defense. They’ve especially dominated against the pass, ranking third in the country in total pass defense, while App State hasn’t quite excelled to their usual standards through the air.

Coastal is the better team through and through in 2021. A lot lies on McCall, but the defense is more than able to clear this App State mid-week hurdle, especially after a bye week.

Cincinnati (-27.5) @ Navy

Time: Saturday, October 23, 12 PM ET

The Midshipmen are certainly capable of rushing on anyone, as they always are. The Bearcats have proven their star power with Ahmad Gardner and Coby Bryant leading the charge against the pass this season. Still, they haven’t really been tested on the ground in the way Navy can test them.

Navy likely stands no chance of actually winning this game, but in a battle of two excellent rushing attacks, Navy’s line is likely to grow. If you can get in ahead of the curve, the Midshipmen should be able to play keep away enough to keep this within 4 scores — but nothing less. The trouble, though, is the fact that Navy can’t pass to make up points in a hurry. With that in mind, wait to see if this line gets north of 29 points before making any play on Navy.

Cincinnati ranks 36th in rushing yards allowed per game and 33rd in yards allowed per carry. Navy, on the other hand, has allowed 17 rushing touchdowns this season, 10th-most in the country. Jerome Ford is in for another big day.

Kansas State @ Texas Tech (Pick ‘Em)

Time: Saturday, October 23, 12 PM ET

The noon slate sees a rare pick ’em game between the Wildcats and Red Raiders. Texas Tech has lost the last five to Kansas State, but the way Henry Colombi is playing, it looks like this could be the year the Red Raiders get off the proverbial schneid. Colombi is 2-1 since taking over as the starter, and if you count the second half against Texas as a game, he has looked good in all four outings this year.

The best part about Colombi’s game is that it’s tailormade for the Texas Tech offense. He’s completing passes at a high rate when staying inside the structure. Colombi presents a much better option for this passing attack than Tyler Shough did.

The Wildcats are losers of three in a row since Big 12 play started. They rank just 96th in passing yards allowed per game but have surprisingly given up only 7 touchdowns through the air. The numbers look like an anomaly, as most offenses changed their game plan against Kansas State once they got inside the red zone.

One of these programs is outplaying the other right now, and they’re playing at home. Go with Texas Tech in this pick ’em situation.

Georgia Tech @ Virginia (-7)

Time: Saturday, October 23, 7:30 PM ET

The Yellow Jackets have allowed passing attacks — even subpar units — to throw all over them this season. The Virginia aerial assault is nothing short of spectacular. Tech has some potential stars in the making on their offense but lacks star power on the defensive side of the ball.

They have given up 228.3 yards per game but 8.2 yards per catch this season. Virginia, on the other hand, is averaging the nation’s second-most yards per game (405.9), including 8.4 yards per pass. QB Brennan Armstrong has had no trouble finding receivers in space or throwing them open.

The Cavs dominate from the slot, and Tech relies heavily on their linebackers to cover inside receivers. That’s a mismatch if there ever was one. Back the Hoos here.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of NFL News/Analysis for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor

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