CFB Week 8 best bets: Pumpkin picking Saturday
We had a minor step back last week with a 3-4 record, which sends us to 29-19-1 on the year. From an entertainment standpoint, if there was ever a day to bet it and forget it and go looking for your Halloween pumpkins, this might be the week.
That's not what we do though, is it? What we do is find underdogs who are getting more points than they should.
We're starting this week in the deep recesses of the Sun Belt conference. How appropriate!
The Bobcats scrambled back to take the lead over Troy last week only to see a pick-6 derail their chances for victory. Meanwhile, Georgia State beat Louisiana-Monroe comfortably, which makes Darren Grainger's takeover at quarterback look more impressive than it actually is.
Jake Spavital's squad has had a tendency to lose close games during his tenure, but we just need Texas State to cover the number. Since there's not much between either team, I think it will.
Pick: Texas State +10.5
I know what you're saying: "Washington State just lost its head coach!" I know that, you know that, and you know who else knows that? Oddsmakers. So that's built into this line, which I believe is inflated.
Things have taken a turn for the worse for a BYU team that was getting attention after a perfect start to the season. But while people may be selling Washington State after Nick Rolovich cut off his nose, I'll buy it as a home underdog, as I expect another strong performance.
Pick: Washington State +4.5
Boston College failed us last week in a big way as it couldn't hang with N.C. State at home, and now the Eagles take on a dangerous offense in Louisville. However, it's the defensive side of the ball I'm relying on here. The Eagles can slow down the Cardinals' run game, and Louisville will make Boston College look much better than its offense actually is. While we'll wait to see if we can get +7, the Eagles can hang in and will have a chance to win late.
Pick: Boston College +6.5
Simply put, South Florida should not be favored over anyone in the AAC. The Bulls are 126th out of 130 teams in FBS in stopping the run, which is going to allow any team a chance to beat them.
While Temple is nothing to write home about, the Owls qualify as "any team." Last we saw of them, they got smoked by Cincinnati. But a win over Memphis shows they can be functional with D'Wan Mathis under center. Getting the full +3 would be ideal, but I'll take the Owls to join the group of schools that have beat South Florida.
Pick: Temple +2.5
Houston comes rolling in with five straight wins, with many of them decisive covers. While wins over Navy, Tulsa, and Tulane aren't exactly as significant as they might have been in recent seasons, the Cougars still aren't to be taken lightly.
ECU has the same convincing win over Tulane, as well as a trio of tough, character-building losses. Holton Ahlers and the Pirates' offense can score with Houston, and they're going to have to. The hope is to get +14 before Saturday's kickoff, but even if we can't, look for this to be more competitive than oddsmakers think.
Pick: East Carolina +13
Blasphemy! Yes, it's true. It's time to fade our beloved Roadrunners. UTSA made its first appearance in the top-25, but that can be heavy weight for teams not usually ranked.
Now the Runners go to Ruston, Louisiana, to take on the feisty Bulldogs, who were embarrassed by UTEP last week. That should add fuel to the fire as they return home, which is critical as we'll need Austin Kendall to be much better in order to stay close with UTSA.
Pick: Louisiana Tech +6.5
Oregon State was the victim of hype when they were 3.5-point favorites on the road at Pullman, only to get upset by the Cougars. Now it plays home underdog to a Utah team that's looked good against USC and Arizona State; Cameron Rising has gotten things under control offensively.
However, it's a tough spot for the Utes, who head to Corvallis after those two victories to face a rested Beavers team. Whether it was Oregon State a couple of weeks ago, or virtually any team in the conference for the last handful of years, once a team wakes up atop the standings, the pressure hits. Throw another big one on the schedule with UCLA coming to Salt Lake City and the Utes may slip up this week.
Pick: Oregon State +3
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.