High/Low Spreads & Totals for Week 8 College Football Picks

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, October 16, 2014 8:13 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 8:13 PM UTC

Welcome to Week 8 of High/Low, a look at the highest and lowest spreads and totals on every NCAA football game on Saturday. Last week we put up a  2-2 mark and now stand at 14-14 for the year. 

Washington vs. Oregon (-21 at 5Dimes)
To be fair, this was tied with the highest spread at sportsbooks as of this writing with Marshall at Florida International, but I looked at the Thundering Herd last week. They bit me last week at -24.5 against Middle Tennessee -- winning by 25. This is the second time Oregon has been the biggest favorite of the week and last time the Ducks didn't cover as 43.5-point favorites on NCAA football odds against Wyoming. This is by far the lowest spread of the biggest favorite this year. I previewed Washington's game against Cal last week and that worked out well as the Huskies were 3.5-point dogs at Cal and I took the points. Washington rolled 31-7. That defense has played really well all season sans a head-scratching 52 points allowed against Eastern Washington in Week 2. Of course Oregon presents an entirely new dynamic. The Ducks are feeling good about themselves again following last week's 42-30 win at UCLA. That got Marcus Mariota right back into the Heisman race. Todd Gurley's suspension helped as well. The Ducks have won 10 straight against UW, their longest current winning streak against any Pac-12 opponent. The average margin of victory is 25.4 points. The closest win has been 17, back in 2011.

College football pick: I believe the Huskies can cover on college football odds. They are well-coached by Chris Petersen and might be able to get to Mariota as UW ranks third in the nation with 24 sacks. The Huskies also have one of the best defensive players in the country in Shaq Thompson, who tends to reach the end zone. He has an amazing four defensive scores already. That's more defensive touchdowns than any team in the country has other than Temple. The Ducks also have covered just one of their past seven Pac-12 games at sportsbooks.

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Baylor vs. West Virginia (80 total on NCAA football odds)
We finally get a total of 80 this season at sportsbooks and there's little question this will stand as the highest of the 2014 season. Could you have imagined five years ago that there would be a total of 80 in a college football game? Baylor leads the nation in scoring at 52.7 points per game and the Bears needed 61 to escape an upset bid by TCU last week. The Bears were down 58-37 with 11:38 left in the fourth quarter and scored the next 24 points -- former powerhouse programs like Texas or Michigan generally don't score that many points in a game. The 61-58 win was the highest-scoring game ever between Top-10 teams in the Associated Press poll. Bryce Petty reignited his Heisman Trophy campaign by throwing for 510 yards and six touchdowns against the Frogs. WVU is no offensive slouch, ranking seventh in passing yards and 28th in points (27.2 per game). WVU has scored at least 33 points in its past five games. The problem is the defense. It has allowed at least 30 points in four games. These two have met twice as Big 12 foes. Last year Baylor won 73-42 with a Big 12-record 864 total yards. Two years ago WVU won 70-63 behind eight TD passes from Geno Smith -- he was a Heisman favorite after that game, which seems funny now that you see Smith's performance with the Jets.

College football pick: Every betting trends leans 'over' on these teams and obviously both meetings have gone well 'over' at sportsbooks. However, I simply can't recommend 'over' 80 points. Maybe I'm old school. It is supposed to be somewhat cool and rainy. That should help keep scores down.

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Western Michigan vs. Bowling Green (-1 on NCAA football odds)
This line at sportsbooks honestly baffles me. Bowling Green looks like one of the best teams in the Mid-American Conference despite losing star quarterback Matt Johnson early in the season to injury. His backup, James Knapke, has been very solid in Johnson's place. The Falcons are atop the MAC East Division at 3-0 in the conference and they have a win over decent Big Ten team Indiana under their belts. Bowling Green can score but it definitely is not a good defensive team. Western Michigan is 1-1 in the MAC, losing at home in overtime vs. Toledo and winning last week at Ball State, one of the MAC's worst teams. Western is one of the youngest teams in the nation. Western Michigan has won three straight games in this series, outscoring the Falcons 131-42 since 2005. They don't play every year and haven't since 2011 so I take nothing from that three-game winning streak.

College football pick: Bowling Green. The Falcons have a combined record of 11-1 in games played inside the state of Ohio since the start of last season. WMU is 2-6 ATS at sportsbooks in its past eight games after a win. BGSU is 6-2 ATS in its past eight conference games.

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Akron vs. Ohio (42 total at sportsbooks)
Will we see a total in the high 30s this season? I'm doubting it. We stay in the Mid-American Conference for Week 8's lowest total as the Zips visit the Bobcats. Akron is a game behind Bowling Green for first place in the MAC East. The Zips, coached by Terry Bowden, are solid, having won at Pittsburgh 21-10. They have won both Mid-American games by double digits, allowing a combined 25 points. Akron ranks 10th nationally in defense in allowing 17.3 ppg. Akron leads the MAC in that category as well as in sacks (21), turnover margin (+1.7), and red zone defense (.667). Ohio, also in the MAC East, has been blown out the past two weeks in conference play by Bowling Green and Central Michigan. This team can't score, ranking No. 120 in points at 18.1 per game. It has been held to 17 or fewer in five of seven games. The only two times the Bobcats, who are coached by Frank Solich, topped that was against weak opponents Idaho and Eastern Illinois. Last year Ohio won 43-3 at Akron.

College football pick: 'Under.' It has hit at sportsbooks in Akron's past 12 on the road. When chosing your college football picks its worth noting the 'under' is also 4-1 in the past five meetings.

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