Skip to content

CFB Week 8 big games: Reading over resumes

Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / Getty

It doesn't get better than that, Folks. Week 7 lived up to a great deal of hype, and even losing bets provided a silver lining of experiencing outstanding games in electric atmospheres.

Last week, we thought that all the home teams in Saturday's incredible slate of games might have a more considerable edge than what was perceived, and sure enough, all six of them won. Unfortunately, TCU and Utah didn't win by enough, and we thought Penn State could muster more than merely the occasional first down. It's OK, though - we would make up for it elsewhere.

There aren't the same headliners this week, but don't sleep on a quintet of quality matchups that have significant stakes.

No. 14 Syracuse @ No. 5 Clemson (-13.5, 50)

"Syracuse?! What are YOU doing here??" - everyone in college football's "Undefeated Lounge."

The Orange are the only member of the nine-team undefeated club to have already cashed the over (4.5) on their season win total. However, that's partially the issue. There was a reason that Syracuse was rated so relatively low coming into the campaign. While Dino Babers has done wonders with the Orange defense, and the offensive trio of Garrett Shrader, Oronde Gadsden, and Sean Tucker has led a resurgence, Clemson is a different deal.

If you take a deeper look at their schedule, the Orange pulled off a miracle at home against Purdue, and a late field goal to beat a disappointing Virginia side is better than losing - but a true contender would have taken care of the Cavaliers. Then North Carolina State noticeably came to 'Cuse without their star quarterback last week.

Syracuse's only road game all season was at UConn. Death Valley will be quite a different environment, and the Tigers have a defense that can handle what the Orange do on offense.

Line outlook: Clemson -13.5

No. 7 Mississippi @ LSU (-1.5, 66.5)

This week's SEC clash sees one-loss LSU hosting still-undefeated Ole Miss in the other Death Valley, which will be just as troublesome for the road team. We've already seen the favorite flip after Mississippi opened -1.

The Tigers still only have just one conference loss after hammering Florida in "The Swamp," keeping alive their hopes to cause a problem in the SEC West. Like Syracuse, the Rebels' resume is lacking, and road wins over Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt aren't going to prepare anyone for Baton Rouge. The way Ole Miss escaped Kentucky even resembles the Orange's aforementioned Houdini acts.

Signal-caller Jayden Daniels took a big step forward with last week's dominant performance, and adding a passing game to what the Tigers can do on the ground would be a problem for Mississippi. Meanwhile, Florida ran all over LSU last contest, but the Tigers forced the ball into Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson's hands, and he couldn't beat them through the air. I don't believe Jaxson Dart can either, especially in hostile environments.

Line outlook: LSU -1.5

No. 9 UCLA @ No. 10 Oregon (-6, 69.5)

If the theme of the week is dissecting resumes, Oregon's best win was a miracle comeback at Washington State - the same Cougars that lost by two touchdowns the last two weeks to USC and Oregon State.

Meanwhile, UCLA has shown that its talent could overwhelm Washington and Utah, but this is the program's first test on the road. However, the Bruins are not being asked to win outright - though that would be helpful for their futures ticket-holders. Burgeoning Heisman candidate Dorian Thompson-Robinson is merely tasked with keeping UCLA close. In this week's lone top-10 head-to-head matchup, expect a thriller and bet accordingly.

Line outlook: UCLA +6

No. 20 Texas @ No. 11 Oklahoma State (+6.5, 62.5)

Texas opened under a field goal on Sunday, and when this line started to push up, red flags rose with it. Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders has been playing through injury, and a move this significant is almost identical to last week's Mississippi State-Kentucky game discussed in this space.

I can't back the Cowboys without Sanders, but like Will Levis last week, Oklahoma State becomes a very live underdog at home in the first part of the Big 12's "separation Saturday" if the passer can go. You can take the risk to bet the Pokes now, but I'd wait for news on Sanders - even if it means only getting a little more than a field goal.

Line outlook: Oklahoma State +3 or better with confirmation of Sanders starting

No. 17 Kansas State @ No. 8 TCU (-3.5, 56.5)

In part two of a big weekend in the Big 12, the two prime preseason sleepers have their showdown. If you backed TCU with us in August, knowing they'd be the favorite at home here, you're probably set for a bet.

If you're coming into this game without a predetermined side, Kansas State by more than a field goal is an awfully attractive bet. Outside of a hiccup against Tulane, K-State's season has been better than expected. The Wildcats defense is sixth in Football Outsiders' DVOA, and the 1-2 punch of Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn is lethal.

TCU ideally wins by three points again, but the Horned Frogs are coming off last week's taxing game against Oklahoma State, while K-State just had a bye.

Line outlook: Kansas State +3.5

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.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox