Weather-impacted games to monitor in Week 8
Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

It isn't out of the norm for market moves to send college football totals flying one way or the other after the opening line.

Oftentimes, there's a reason for it, such as what's looming in Week 8.

Mother nature is expected to play a role in the Midwest and East Coast games on Saturday, prompting bettors to make early moves on a number of potentially weather-impacted contests.

Knowing what's a myth and what's useful is more important than monitoring games with nasty weather looming. Over the summer, Jake Troch of SB Nation dug into how precipitation affects college football totals, and he came away with the following:

  • As wind speeds increase, so do the chances of the game going under the total (although sample size diminished with games featuring winds greater than 17 mph).
  • Blindly betting rain-affected games has been profitable. The more rain, the better.
  • The scoring of pass-heavy teams isn't affected more than rush-heavy teams during windy games.

Here are some games to monitor in Week 8, including nuggets to keep in mind as rough weather threatens to roll in.

Buffalo at Toledo

Opening odds: Toledo -3 / 65.5 O/U

Current odds: Buffalo -1 / 62.5 O/U

Forecast: 14 mph winds; 35 percent chance of showers

There's been a shift in both the total and spread here. Toledo opened up as three-point chalk, but the Rockets are currently the home underdog. That could be a market move, or it could be tied to how weather may affect both offenses.

A combination of wind and rain can render a team's offense irrelevant. It would likely affect Toledo more than Buffalo through the air, as Rockets quarterback Mitchell Guadagni is 12th in the country in average passing yards per attempt (9.22), while Bulls signal-caller Tyree Jackson ranks No. 52 (7.72).

If Saturday turns into a ground game, neither MAC club would complain. Both the Bulls and Rockets have had more success running than passing this season. Although both offenses are averaging 4.9 yards per carry, Buffalo's defense has been significantly better in opponent yards per rush (3.9) than Toledo (5.9).

Illinois at Wisconsin

Open: Wisconsin -26 / 52.5 O/U

Current: Wisconsin -25 / 56.5 O/U

Forecast: 17 mph winds; 50 percent chance of showers

Saturday's forecast in Madison might be the cherry on top of one big hangover for the Badgers.

Wisconsin will likely be returning home to extremely sloppy conditions fresh off a 24-point loss to Michigan, laying nearly four touchdowns against the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Not much passing is expected in this one, as Wisconsin's offense is calling the 12th-most running plays in the country (63.9 percent of their plays), and Illinois isn't far behind in 27th (59.1 percent). But defenses might lose footing in the rain while trying to defend the run.

On the other hand, both units should be able to stack the box and play a messy game in the trenches. With a clock that should move a ton and this total over eight touchdowns, it could be one of the better under plays on the board in Week 8.

Virginia at Duke

Open: Duke -8.5 / 45 O/U

Current: Duke -7.5 / 45.5 O/U

Forecast: 8 mph wind; 70 percent chance of showers

The defenses will likely shine on Saturday when Virginia visits Duke. The Cavaliers and Blue Devils both rank in the top 25 in scoring defense, and potentially-heavy rain could hinder two offenses struggling to create explosive plays this season.

The 45.5 total will be the lowest for either team this season. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is - teams with combined scoring averages greater than the set total go under 58 percent of the time.

Bowling Green at Ohio

Open: Ohio -17 / 73

Current: Ohio -16.5 / 69

Forecast: 13 mph winds; 50 chance of showers

Bowling Green is a team I highlighted earlier in the week as a fade candidate. The Falcons are in a prime hangover spot following a narrow home loss to Western Michigan as 14-point underdogs after holding the lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Considering the conditions in Athens, Ohio, I like the Bobcats even more in this situation.

The lone positive from Bowling Green this season has been its ability to score points, and the vast majority of the Falcons' offensive production comes through the air. They're calling the 12th-most passing plays in the country (55.5 percent of their overall plays). That's partly due to consistently playing from behind, and partly because Bowling Green can't run the ball.

They'll likely have to throw a ton on Saturday as 16.5-point underdogs to Ohio. I wouldn't trust Bowling Green in clear conditions, so I certainly wouldn't invest in the Falcons' offense in wet conditions, and their defense is also giving up points at will.

If Ohio needs to run the ball in the rain, so be it - Bowling Green is ranked in the basement of the country in rushing yards allowed at a whopping 325.1 yards per game.

Comments
Weather-impacted games to monitor in Week 8
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!