I started out the year strong, but I’ve been hovering around .500 the last few weeks. I actually needed some late games to go my way last week to make it out alive. Upsets happened all over the place. I knew last week was going to be weird when both Clemson and Washington State lost Friday night. The ‘weirdness’ continued into Saturday.
Let’s hope this week’s games have a little more consistency and less wild upset blowouts. Every bettor I know took a wash in some form last week.
There are some big marquee games this weekend with one of them being the yearly contest between USC and Notre Dame. The Trojans have gotten the best of the Irish over the last two decades, but can the Irish cover the 3.5-point spread in South Bend?
We at ‘America’s White Boy’ pick 25 college football games against the spread in Week 8 of the NCAA Football season (October 21st, 2017). We also focus on small conference games…our bread and butter!
Louisville at Florida State (-6.5) – My pick is Louisville Cardinals
These two teams have been death against the spread. Louisville are 4-3 outright and 1-6 against the spread. Florida State comes into this game 2-3 outright and 0-3-2 ATS. The Seminoles have just been a deflated team since QB Deondre Francois was lost for the season in their first game of the year. They’ve had a tough schedule with games against Alabama and Miami early in the season. Louisville has lost two-straight games, but QB Lamar Jackson still putting up good numbers. It’s the Cardinals defense that is letting them down. Florida State struggles on offense and I see them having a hard time covering this spread. I may even put a few jellybeans on the Louisville moneyline for shiz and gigz.
Oklahoma State at Texas (+7) – My pick is Oklahoma State Cowboys
Texas played neck-and-neck with Oklahoma last week, but gave up a late touchdown pass to lost by five points. The Sooners were able to stop Texas freshman QB Sam Ehlinger through the air. He only completed 48% of his passes. This is good news for Oklahoma State, who has done well at pass defense. OSU QB Mason Rudolph has a lot of weapons to help him out. RB Justice Hill is durable and WR James Washington is one of the most explosive receivers in college football. He could break a big play at any moment. Texas has been very good against the spread this season. They are 4-1-1 ATS, but they come into this game beaten up. They’ve played in tight games since their 56-0 win against San Jose State. Two of their last four games were overtime games. The Cowboys have had some cake opponents and the starters even rested late in their 59-16 win against Baylor last week. I’m taking OK State to cover.
Pittsburgh at Duke (-8) – My pick is Pittsburgh Panthers
Duke has a winning record against the spread (4-2-1 ATS), but it’s been sloppy. Duke QB Daniel Jones has not been good this season. He’s been ‘good enough’ I suppose. The Blue Devils have lost three-straight outright and nothing has went well in those games. Two weeks ago, Pitt lost starting QB Max Browne for the season. They’ve been playing QBs Ben Dunucci and Kenny Pickett and riding the hot hand. They’ll be fine and nothing they’ll do will jump off the screen. Pitt’s biggest issue is their run defense. Duke doesn’t have much of a running game, so I don’t see it being a huge factor. Both of these teams are bad on offense and also have their issues on defense. I predict that for three quarters of the game, each team will look like they are purposefully trying to lose. They won’t be throwing the game, they are just bad on offense. That being said, this game will be dreadful to watch. I’m taking the points.
Indiana at Michigan State (-7) – My pick is Michigan State Spartans
I really thought Indiana was going to knock-off Michigan last week. Michigan was clearly the better team, but the Hoosiers were able to force overtime after not being able to do anything on offense for 9/10ths of the game. The Hoosiers were unable to stop Michigan’s running game in overtime and lost the game. The inability to stop the run is why I’m taking Sparty to cover at home. I don’t see the Hoosiers being able to stop MSU RB LJ Scott or even QB Brian Lewerke’s running ability.
Central Florida at Navy (+7) – My pick is Central Florida Knights
Both of these teams have played a baker’s dozen of cupcake teams this season. The Knights are both 5-0 outright and against the spread, but are only ranked #20…so you can figure out the level of FBS teams they’ve played. CFU QB McKenzie Milton has been fantastic against the lower talent. He’s passed for 1,489 yards with 15 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He’s completed 70% of his passes and also has 198 yards on the ground. Navy comes in with their triple-option rushing attack that is always difficult to gauge since CFU and Navy have never played each other. Navy is a solid team, but I like what I’ve seen from Central Florida so far. I have to take them to cover.
Arizona State at Utah (+9) – My pick is Arizona State Sun Devils
I’ll keep this one pretty short. The Utes are 5-0-1 against the spread and Vegas knows bettors are habit-forming humans. If a guy has won four or five games betting on a certain team, he will probably ride them until they lose. This is a ‘I dare you’ line from Vegas. This line is too lofty for my taste. I’m taking the sweet, sweet points.
Oregon at UCLA (-7) – My pick is UCLA Bruins
The Oregon Ducks were looking like some of their former teams early this season. Their defense was just good enough to keep them able to stay with a team on offense…if that makes sense. QB Justin Herbert broke his collarbone earlier this month and backup QB Braxton Burmeister just isn’t up to the task. Their offense is leaving their defense with bad field position. I do fear that my man love for UCLA QB Josh Rosen might be fogging up my rose-colored glasses, but I don’t think Oregon’s offense will be able to put up the points to keep up with the Bruins.
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech (-6.5) – My pick is Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Oh man, both of these teams have been monsters against the spread. Wake Forest (4-1-1 ATS) and Georgia Tech (5-0 ATS) have been in my parlays all season. Wake Forest is coming off back-to-back outright losses. Those games were against Florida State and Clemson, so those weren’t bad losses at all. Georgia Tech is a very good team. Their running attack will always caught problems, but it’s actually their run defense that has impressed me the most. They have a lot to improve on in their secondary, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue against Wake Forest, who is just an average passing team. I have to keep riding the Jackets and taking the cover.
USC at Notre Dame (-3.5) – My pick is USC Trojans
I can’t believe I’m actually picking this game. It’s been years since I’ve posted my USC/Notre Dame pick on the site. I’m not really a ‘fan’ of Notre Dame, but I live somewhat near the school and I think some homerism seeps into my body indirectly through local television news. I’ve been off on this game for many years. I would avoid this game and it turned into me avoiding all Notre Dame games. I actually started picking Irish games against this year and with great success. USC beat Notre Dame last year 45-27 at the L.A. Coliseum. Notre Dame RB Josh Adams had a 180-yard game in the loss. USC QB Sam Darnold didn’t turn the ball over in last year’s game, a feat he has only accomplished once this season. The Trojans have made games ‘interesting’ this year, which is why they are so bad against the spread (1-5 ATS). The reason most of those games were close were due to turnovers. I’m not sure how ready this Notre Dame team is for a big game like this. They lost to Georgia in their last marquee game. I’m taking the points.
Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan (+3) – My pick is Western Michigan Broncos
This is when we pick a game with smaller conference teams. The battle of the directional Michigans! I rode Western Michigan all season last year and I’ve nearly done the same with Eastern this year. The Eagles haven’t been winning games, but they’ve been keeping things interesting all season. The Broncos have probably the second-best offense in the MAC. Eastern has been able to keep things close on defense this season. They’ve lost to Toledo, Kentucky and Ohio by a touchdown or less. If this line was +6 or greater, I’d take Eastern, but with it being a field goal, I’m going with Western to cover at Rynearson Stadium.
Marshall at Middle Tennessee (+3) – My pick is Marshall
Akron at Toledo (-14.5) – My pick is Toledo
Temple at Army (-6) – My pick is Army
Tulsa at Connecticut (+6) – My pick is Tulsa
Syracuse at Miami (FL) (-16.5) – My pick is Syracuse
Kentucky at Mississippi State (-10.5) – My pick is Kentucky
Arizona at California (+3) – My pick is Arizona
Colorado at Washington State (-10.5) – My pick is Colorado
Iowa at Northwestern (+1.5) – My pick is Iowa
Georgia Southern at Massachusetts (-7) – My pick is UMass
Boston College at Virginia (-7) – My pick is Virginia
BYU at East Carolina (+5.5) – My pick is East Carolina
South Florida at Tulane (+11.5) – My pick is South Florida
SMU at Cincinnati (+7.5) – My pick is SMU
Buffalo at Miami (OH)(-3) – My pick is Buffalo
Sweetbob’s college football picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.