Week 8 College Football Picks: Early Odds Six-Pack & Leans

Doug Upstone

Monday, October 19, 2015 12:58 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 12:58 PM UTC

As presumed by this time of the season, the sportsbooks are really getting tuned into all the college football teams and their betting odds are increasingly sharper with each passing week.

For football handicappers like yours truly, this suggests fewer early opportunities to jump on, at least from my perspective. In this article we will change it up a bit and look at three games with favorites who are likely to go up as the week progress and a trio of squads whose fortunes have really changed over the last two to three weeks and are reflected in their college football odds.


Northwestern +8 Point Road Underdog vs Nebraska
Just two weeks, Northwestern was thought to be a real contender in the Big Ten West, but after successive blowout losses to Michigan and Iowa by combined scores of 78-10, places like Heritage and those making sports picks are no longer enamored with the Wildcats. This is shown in the fact they are this large an underdog to Nebraska, who finally put a team away early last week. The talk had been about Northwestern defense, but after surrendering 495 yards on the ground the last two games and with an offense only averaging 19.6 points a contest, the Wildcats look like they are rolling down a couloir.

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USC -3 Point Home Favorite vs Utah
Another USC season began with such promise, but so did the possibility they would finish the year with the same head coach. Instead, the Trojans are a .500 team at the midpoint of their season. Utah can all but wrap up the Pac-12 South with a victory and they are three-point road underdogs. In truth, from talent perspective and venue, the spread is seemingly accurate, but consider this is down four points from the Golden Nugget's early football releases in June, when the Men of Troy were -7. Good line to watch if you like the Utes for college football picks.

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Georgia Tech +5.5 Point Home Underdog vs Florida State
This has turned in an immensely disappointing season for Georgia Tech at 2-5. The Yellow Jackets have dumped five in a row SU and ATS, thanks to a faulty defense and an offense with limitations. The defense has been beat in every way possible in allowing 35.2 PPG and when the option offense is forced to throw on third and long, they have no solution. Georgia Tech has played Florida State tough in covering five consecutive times over the Seminoles, but those were with far better clubs.

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Houston -20.5 Road Favorite vs Central Florida
Sure Houston is on the road, but they are still averaging 45.7 PPG and even 38 PPG away from home. Central Florida's salad days have disappeared and this year's offense ranks 127th out of 128 teams in scoring at 15.7 PPG. The Cougars also have quite a few individually talented defensive players who can blow up what few drives the Knights might put together. If you like Houston, best guess is to snap them up early, because -24 is a real possibility.

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Western Michigan -22.5 Point Home Favorite vs Miami-O
Western Michigan lost some luster with its 1-3 start, but they are regaining their swagger with wins over Central Michigan and clobbering a solid Ohio U. club in Athens 49-14. This week the Broncos are back home against Miami-O, who is even worse than the aforementioned Central Florida when it comes to scoring, listed dead last at 14.6 PPG. The impression one has is this still youthful Western Michigan squad is beginning to find its rhythm, while the Redhawks are out of tune. With only Eastern Michigan up next , the Broncos moving to -25 is expected.

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North Carolina -15 Point Home Favorite vs Virginia
Larry Fedora was brought to Chapel Hill to turn around the football program and after three seasons of pedestrian play and off the field problems, Fedora's fanny was on the hot seat. Since losing a game they should have won against South Carolina in the opener, the Tar Heels are 5-0 and 4-1 ATS, outscoring the opposition by 28.6 PPG. With Virginia playing like Virginia, UNC will be a larger favorite by the weekend if not sooner.

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