October 17, 2013

NCAA Football Betting: College Football Matchups for Week 8

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2013 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 8!

Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS) @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -28, Total: 48.5

Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL – Saturday, October 19th, 7:00 ET

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The Hogs know that they are in some trouble in this game, and they are going to need a miracle to pull this out. They were beaten 52-0 last season in a game that really wasn’t all that close, and they only have won cover in this series in the last five years and no victories in the last six. Alabama has really just continued to batter its relatively weak schedule, and we have no choice but to believe that this is going to be another one of these games that is going to be a romp. The only question is whether the #1 team in the land is going to get in front of this number or not. As they proved last year, the Tide can win this game by 50+ if they want to, but the question is there whether they are good enough to do it when push comes to shove.

Washington State Cougars (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS) @ #2 Oregon Ducks (6-0 SU, 6-0 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -39, Total: 73

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR – Saturday, October 19th, 10:00 ET

 

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The Ducks haven’t really had a game all season long in which they have been challenged at all, and this is going to be another one of these games that is expected to be a romp. That said, this is the best edition of this Washington State team that we have seen in quite some time, and Head Coach Mike Leach and QB Connor Halliday aren’t going to stop trying to score even though they are going to probably be down by multiple touchdowns for virtually the whole game. The Cougs put up a decent fight last year, losing 51-26 at home, and though Washington State hasn’t had anywhere near the team that the U of O has had in the last three seasons, all three games have ended in covers for the underdogs. This is the fifth straight year in this series that Oregon has been favored by at least 30, and though this is the best version of Wazzu we have seen in quite some time, it might be the best version of the Quack Attack as well.

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0 SU, 4-1-1 ATS)
Spread: Ohio State -17, Total: 55.5

Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH – Saturday, October 19th, 3:30 ET

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The Buckeyes are coming off of a bye last week, and they have a tougher draw than you would expect against Iowa. The Hawkeyes are every bit of a 4-2 team, and those losses to Michigan State and Northern Illinois both came against teams that are legitimately amongst the Top 25 in the country. Remember too, that Iowa was on a bye as well last week. If Head Coach Kirk Ferentz can find a way to pull off this upset, this would be the win that would probably ensure his safety for another season if he wants it, as he is one of these head coaches that has been under extreme fire this year for his job. QB Braxton Miller is going to have to do a lot of work just to win this game against a great defense, and to cover it would be a great trick. The last two meetings with the Hawkeyes have been very close encounters, as Iowa has only lost by three points in each game.

#5 Florida State Seminoles (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ #4 Clemson Tigers (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -3, Total: 64

Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC – Saturday, October 19th, 8:00 ET

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The oddsmakers are insinuating that Florida State is the better of these two teams by about a touchdown, and that’s a heck of a compliment for a team that wasn’t ranked in the Top 10 in the land this year going against a team that has been in the Top 5 for basically the whole season. These two are great, and this is, without a doubt, the most important game of the year – and maybe ever – in the ACC. The winner will certainly win the ACC Atlantic Division this year and will surely be ranked #3 in the land when the weekend is said and done with, while the winning quarterback will probably become the favorite on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy. The loser will be out of the ACC title picture, will be probably finished in the National Championship discussion as well without a ton of help, and the best case scenario is probably a trip to the Sugar Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl after an 11-1 season. Clemson has covered four straight and seven out of eight against FSU, and the Seminoles haven’t won here in Death Valley since 2001.

UCF Knights (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ #6 Louisville Cardinals (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -12.5, Total: 53

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY – Friday, October 18th, 8:00 ET

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We’ve said this a few times this year, but this might be the biggest game in the history of UCF’s football program. The team is finally amongst the big boys of college football, and though it doesn’t get much more important than a game at home against South Carolina (a game that was only just barely lost, mind you), with a prospective berth in the BCS on the line, there’s a chance for some real success for the program. A loss, and UCF is back to one of those teams that is a could be power. A win though, and not only are the National Championship hopes for Louisville gone, but the Knights will be in the driver’s seat to go to their first ever BCS bowl game. These two teams haven’t met since 1985, and at that point, the Cards weren’t even considered a legit program, and UCF was playing in I-AA.

Auburn Tigers (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) @ #7 Texas A&M Aggies (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Texas A&M -12.5, Total: 73

Kyle Field, College Station, TX – Saturday, October 19th, 3:30 ET

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It almost feels like the Aggies are just dodging bullets right now. They have allowed at least 28 points in all but one game this season, and in their SEC games, they have allowed 38, 33, and 49 points. Things aren’t going to go well if you’re giving up that many points to the powers that be in the SEC West, and this very well could be the game where the team gets picked off because of it. Auburn is much better than it has been in the last few seasons since winning the BCS National Championship with QB Cam Newton calling the shots. The team’s only loss was to LSU on the road, and that’s certainly not a disqualifying loss by any stretch of the imagination. The Tigers were trounced last season 63-21 by Texas A&M in the first ever SEC game between these two, but a now healthy QB Nick Marshall seems ready and raring to go for what should be a great game.

#8 LSU Tigers (6-1 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) @ Ole Miss Rebels (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: LSU -8.5, Total: 60

Vaught Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS – Saturday, October 19th, 7:00 ET

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Though the Rebels were beaten in last season’s game in Baton Rouge 41-35, there was a real sense that that was the game where they proclaimed that they were going to be a power in the SEC West really soon. It hasn’t quite panned out this year, but this is the end of a brutal stretch of schedule where the Rebs really had no chance in five straight games and were fortunate to pull out a win in that bunch against Texas. This is a darn good team, and don’t forget that. LSU’s loss to Georgia looks a bit more suspect now, but the 17-6 win last week against UF proved that the Bayou Bengals can still play some awesome defense if need be. There’s a big difference between going against QB Tyler Murphy and going against QB Bo Wallace though, so the Tigers had better be ready for a brawl in Oxford on Saturday. The road team has covered five in a row in this series, but Ole Miss is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 against the Tigers.

#9 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS) @ Tennessee Volunteers (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -7.5, Total: 54.5

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN – Saturday, October 19th, 12:00 ET

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The only game that these two have in common so far this year was a date with Georgia. The truth of the matter is that Tennessee played the better game against the Dawgs, and it really wasn’t even all that close. SC was beaten by 11. UT should have won the game and instead lost in overtime. The question is whether the Volunteers are ready to take that step up in class and actually win this game against a Top 10 team in America. We have seen a lot of weaknesses out of Top 10 teams in the SEC of late, especially when playing on the road (South Carolina, Georgia, and LSU all come to mind), so this might become an interesting game. UT has covered five of the last seven in this series, and it is going to have a good chance to at least stick around in this game as well.

#10 UCLA Bruins (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS) @ #13 Stanford Cardinal (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -6, Total: 54

Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA – Saturday, October 19th, 3:30 ET

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UCLA is in the midst of its biggest two games of the season, as it has Oregon and Stanford on deck. These two games could define it as a National Championship contender or just another Pac-12 team that is going to go 9-3 and make it to the Pac-12 Championship Game, only to get smacked around by either Stanford or Oregon once again. That said, the Cardinal probably already watched their National Championship hopes go up in flames last week with a loss to Utah, one which won’t be looked kindly upon unless the Utes end up winning a ton of games at the end of the season. The Cardinal know that they have to win this game and win it very impressively to get back in the Top 10 in the land, and it’s really tough to get back in the title hunt this time of year when you’re not in the Top 10. These two teams met twice in six days last year with Stanford winning both games, though the Bruins did cover one of the two, the Pac-12 title game here on this field in a 27-24 defeat.

#11 Miami Hurricanes (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) @ North Carolina Tar Heels (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS)
Spread: Miami -8.5, Total: 64

Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC – Thursday, October 17th, 7:30 ET

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This is a very dangerous game for a Top 15 team in the land, and it might not really seem that way. Against one of the tougher schedules in America to date, UNC has only managed to go 1-4, but it has an offense that can score points against anyone in the nation. This is the type of team that can pull off the drastic upset at home on national television without Miami even having a remote chance. That said, “The U” is that third team in the ACC that happens to be undefeated through six games, and it will get its chance against the likes of Florida State and Virginia Tech in the coming weeks. The Canes have to be wary of this one first though, especially knowing that they were beaten at home by North Carolina last year 18-14. Miami has scored three straight covers in this series, and only a fourth straight cover will really have this team happy and likely moving into the Top 10 in the land by the end of the week.

Iowa State Cyclones (1-4 SU, 3-2 ATS) @ #12 Baylor Bears (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: Baylor -33.5, Total: 75.5

Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, TX – Saturday, October 19th, 7:00 ET

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This is a whole heck of a lot of points to be giving an Iowa State team that has been playing reasonable ball of late. The Cyclones have covered three straight games, and they had a shot at beating both Texas Tech and Texas at the end and couldn’t pull off the upsets. Three straight games have been covered dating back to the end of September. Baylor meanwhile, has just been raking teams week after week, and that’s why this number is so high. The Bears only won 35-25 last week, but aside from that, the final scores have been 73-42, 70-7, 70-13, and 69-3. The first four games of the season, Baylor outdid its foes by over 400 yards a game as well. That’s a wow stat if we’ve ever heard one. That said, last season, the Cyclones did win this game 35-21, and yes, they outgained the Bears by 16 yards. Baylor hasn’t won a game by this many points in this series in decades, but this might be the most lopsided margin of victory of the whole week when push comes to shove.

#22 Florida Gators (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS) @ #14 Missouri Tigers (6-0 SU, 5-0-1 ATS)
Spread: Florida -3, Total: 44

Faurot Field, Columbia, MO – Saturday, October 19th, 12:21 ET

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What a bittersweet moment this must for be Missouri! The Tigers won their biggest game, maybe in their school’s history last week on the road against Georgia to get ranked in the Top 15 in the land for the first time in quite some time, but QB James Franklin was knocked out of the game, and he’ll miss at least the next three or four weeks as a result. The timing couldn’t get much worse, as Florida is coming to town. Winning this game would really put the Tigers in a position where they legitimately could challenge for the SEC East title, especially if they could find a way to knock off South Carolina as well. The Gators have been beaten twice this year now, but they still control their own destiny to win the SEC East. This is a tough game though, and it is one that is going to require the defense to be on point. Florida won this game when these two teams played last season 14-7, but it was an ugly game that easily could have gone the other way. The Gators were favored by 17.5.

#15 Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) @ West Virginia Mountaineers (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Spread: Texas Tech -6, Total: 57

Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV – Saturday, October 19th, 12:00 ET

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It’s been a tough season for the Mountaineers, but they are 3-3 and have a chance to get to a bowl game still. Games like this have to be won for that to happen though, and the task isn’t going to be easy at all against the Red Raiders, who have still yet to be beaten this year. QB Baker Mayfield is still up in the air for this game, but with the way that Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury has kept this offense moving with a bunch of walk-on players at the quarterback position, we’re not really all that sure that it matters. Texas Tech knows that the opportunity is there to win the Big XII when push comes to shove, but it has made a habit of tripping in games like this one. Last season in the first clash of these two teams as members of the Big XII, the Red Raiders pulled off a mild 49-14 upset in the midst of the West Virginia collapse that few saw coming, as the hosts put together 676 yards, including 508 through the air in the win.

#16 Georgia Bulldogs (4-2 SU, 1-4-1 ATS) @ Vanderbilt Commodores (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -7.5, Total: 61.5

Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN – Saturday, October 19th, 12:00 ET

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The Commodores are just like the rest of the teams in the middle of the pack in the SEC. They all have the ability to pull off giant upsets if they are given the opportunity to do so, and the Bulldogs had better be careful, or they’ll be the next ones to be sunk by the ‘Dores. Georgia is in a lot of trouble right now. It’s SEC Championship hopes are probably in peril after losing against Missouri, but it’s not all said and done with yet. Winning out should at least get the team to Atlanta. That said, National Championship dreams are certainly done regardless of what else happens the rest of the way, and there’s a wonder how the reaction is going to be in Athens from this team after that devastating second loss. UGA has a history of going in bad streaks, and even though it won this game 48-3 last season, it could be in some trouble. Vandy hasn’t won a game in this series since going on the road and pulling off the upset in 2006.

TCU Horned Frogs (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) @ #17 Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma State -7.5, Total: 50.5

Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK – Saturday, October 19th, 12:00 ET

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This is a clash between two teams that have already been massively disappointing this year in the Big XII. This is part of the reason why this conference is going to be a huge letdown this year, and there might not even be a team ranked in the Top 25 in the coming weeks if clubs keep falling apart. It is clear that the whole scandal in Stillwater is having a negative effect on the Cowboys, but it’s not like TCU is doing much better at 3-3. The Horned Frogs were really supposed to be able to use their awesome defense to challenge this year in the Big XII, but that just hasn’t come to fruition yet this season. Last year was the first time that these two met each other since playing each year from 1990-93, and the Pokes won 36-14 here in Stillwater.

#18 Oklahoma Sooners (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ Kansas Jayhawks (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -23.5, Total: 49

Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS – Saturday, October 19th, 3:30 ET

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The Jayhawks are the sorriest team in one of the sorriest conferences in America, and odds have it, this one isn’t going to play out well for them. The Sooners are coming off of that brutally disappointing game in which they were not just beaten, but destroyed by Texas in the Red River Rivalry, and that isn’t going to be sitting well. The only question that we have is whether Oklahoma is going to give up on the season now that it knows it stands no shot at doing better than the Fiesta Bowl for the season. We deem it a distinct possibility. This is actually the closest point spread between these two in three years. OU was favored by 34.5 (and won by 45) last year and 37 (and won by 30) two years ago. The Jayhawks haven’t won a game in this series since 1997.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ #19 Fresno State Bulldogs (5-0 SU, 1-4 ATS)
Spread: Fresno State -24.5, Total: 73

Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA – Saturday, October 19th, 10:00 ET

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Fresno State just keeps winning games and keeps winning them handily enough to keep moving up in the rankings. This is the interesting week to see where the Bulldogs start in the BCS, and the most important numbers are where they are in relation to the Big XII teams and Northern Illinois. Stay in front of the Big XII champ and in front of the Huskies, and this team is going to be heading to the BCS this year. UNLV has finally taken some massive steps in the right direction, but this team isn’t good enough to challenge. This is the first time that these two teams are going to play a game against each other since the mid-90s, and even back then, this was a series that the Bulldogs were dominating. Don’t expect this one to be any different when push comes to shove.

#23 Northern Illinois Huskies (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ Central Michigan Chippewas (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS)
Spread: Northern Illinois -16, Total: 59.5

Kelly Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, MI – Saturday, October 19th, 3:00 ET

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The Huskies have been living dangerously all season long. Save for a 55-24 win on the road against Purdue, every game has been relatively close, and that’s why the BCS rankings probably aren’t going to look all that favorably on what they have accomplished thus far this season. That said, 6-0 is 6-0 regardless of how the team gets there, and this is going to be a tremendous situation to be in for a team that hasn’t been beaten in a regular season game in quite some time. Central Michigan is still hoping to get to a bowl game this year, something that is going to be quite tough to accomplish knowing the gauntlet that is ahead in the MAC. The Chippies were crushed last year in this game 55-24, and QB Jordan Lynch and the gang put up 622 total yards of offense. They have rushed for at least 217 yards in each of the last three games in this series.

Indiana Hoosiers (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ #24 Michigan Wolverines (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Michigan -7.5, Total: 67

Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI – Saturday, October 19th, 3:30 ET

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Michigan was bounced from the ranks of the unbeaten teams last week in a whopping four overtimes against Penn State, and that ended any hope of the National Championship that it was hoping for. A second loss can probably kiss any hopes of the Big Ten title goodbye as well. Indiana is much improved this season at 3-3, and its offense is one of the best in a conference that is known more for its defense than anything else. The Hoosiers have historically been catty in this series, and though they haven’t won a game in over two decades against Big Blue, they do have back to back covers, losing by seven in 2010 and three in 2009. Remember that this offense put up 44 against Penn State two weeks ago and 28 against Michigan State last week, so anything is possible.

#25 Washington Huskies (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS) @ Arizona State Sun Devils (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Arizona State -3, Total: 65.5

Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ – Saturday, October 19th, 6:00 ET

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The brutal schedule continues for Washington, as it now has had Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State in three consecutive weeks. Head Coach Steve Sarkisian knew that winning one of those games was a reasonable goal and two would have him ecstatic. Alas, none is the most likely total of wins that he gets in this one. The winner of this game will probably be ranked in the bottom of the Top 25 next week, while the loser is going to be knocked out. Washington already knows that it has no chance of winning the conference now that it has gotten beaten by both of the Pac-12 North powers, but Arizona State is still in the thick of the fight. The Sun Devils have dominated this series, going 7-0 SU and ATS in this series since 2001, and that’s about as much dominance as we have seen in college football betting this year.

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Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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