Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 8!
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ Tennessee Volunteers (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -20.5, Total: 55.5
Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN – Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 ET
The Volunteers know that they are going to have to prove that they can win a game like this at some point, and this might be the last chance that they have this year to do just that. Head Coach Derek Dooley’s job might be relying on it as well. QB Tyler Bray is going to be the most NFL ready quarterback that Alabama sees this year, and at least that has to put a bit of fear in the top defense in the country. The Tide just keep rolling though, and considering the fact that they are scoring 35+ against every team that tries to challenge them this year, it is impossible to think that there is an offense in America that is going to be able to keep up with that when push comes to shove. The Tide are 7-1 SU and 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight games in this series, though Tennessee has logged some outright victories here on Rocky Top in the last decade.
#2 Oregon Ducks (6-0 SU, 2-4 ATS) @ #24 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1 SU, 5-0-1 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -8, Total: 68
Sun Devil Stadium, Tucson, AZ – Thursday, October 18th, 9:00 ET
The Ducks really haven’t been challenged this year, though we do know that this is the third Top 25 team that just cracked the polls that they are going to face already this year. This is the first legitimate road game though, and Head Coach Chip Kelly can’t help but be a bit concerned about how his signal caller, QB Marcus Mariota is going to react in that first true road test. Arizona State has at least pushed all of its games from an ATS standpoint this year, and this is a game that it has had circled on the calendar for quite some time. Head Coach Todd Graham has done a remarkable job in his first year with the team, and he is going to be loved here in the desert if he can figure out how to pull off this upset. You have to go back to 2004 to find the last win for the Sun Devils in this series, though.
#3 Kansas State Wildcats (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) @ #15 West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Spread: West Virginia -2.5, Total: 74
Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, WV – Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 ET
Two of the men that would likely be Heisman Trophy finalists at the moment are going to square off against each other on Saturday in Morgantown in a game that means more to the Big XII this year than perhaps any other game. Kansas State might be the only hope left that the conference realistically has for the National Championship now that West Virginia was blasted by Texas Tech and knocked down a dozen spots because of it, but WVU still might have the most talented and dangerous team when push comes to shove. QB Geno Smith will do it with his arm, while QB Collin Klein will do it with his legs. The question is going to be whether either defense can slow the other’s offense down. This is the first meeting of these two newly acquainted conference foes, and it should be a great one that you don’t want to miss.
#8 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1 SU, 6-1 ATS) @ #4 Florida Gators (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS)
Spread: Florida -3.5, Total: 41
Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL – Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 ET
Head Coach Steve Spurrier would love to take another one against his former team, and if he were able to do just that, it would definitely go down in the history books as one of the most important games in the history of the South Carolina football program. The Gamecocks have played arguably their most brutal three-game stretch ever, as all of the teams that they are facing in this run either were ranked in the Top 5 in the land when they played them, or were ranked in the Top 5 the week before. Matters settle down quite a bit for South Carolina after this one, but this is a game that it has to have if it wants to stay in the BCS Championship discussions. These two defenses are as nasty as could be, and they might be two of the best three or four in the land. South Carolina has won back to back meetings and has covered three in a row. The Swamp knows that this is definitely no walk in the park.
BYU Cougars (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS) @ #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Spread: Notre Dame -13.5, Total: 40
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN – Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 ET
Notre Dame is six wins away from playing for the BCS National Championship in all likelihood, and a few of those games appear to be slam dunks. This is one of those games that would seem like it was insanely easy, but that just might not be the case. BYU is a team that legitimately has Top 25 talent, and it is going to be playing this game as if its whole season depended upon it. Notre Dame’s defense is still on just an insane roll, as it hasn’t given up a touchdown in seven weeks and hasn’t allowed a team to score a rushing touchdown all year long. BYU’s offense has been sporadic, but it should be a bit better now that QB Riley Nelson is back in the fold. The two defenses could be in for big days. These two independents haven’t met since 2005, but the home team has won and covered three straight since the Cougs came to South Bend and won in 1993.
#6 LSU Tigers (6-1 SU, 2-5 ATS) @ #19 Texas A&M Aggies (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: LSU -3.5, Total: 52
Kyle Field, College Station, TX – Saturday, October 20th, 12:00 ET
The Midnight Yell is going to keep some of the fans up late in College Station, but even though this game is going to take place just 11 hours after the yell takes place, the house at Kyle Field should still be rocking. LSU is coming to town for the first time in almost two decades, and this is the biggest game of the year for the Aggies, who have won five in a row to get in the Top 20 in the land very quietly. No one thinks of this team as a legit contender in the SEC this year, but maybe we’ll all rethink that if A&M can take care of the Bayou Bengals. LSU saved its season last week with a late win over South Carolina, but the difficult tasks aren’t nearly done yet. The Tigers have a lot of work to do just to win this game against a great offense led by QB Johnny Manziel.
Kansas Jayhawks (1-5 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ #7 Oklahoma Sooners (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Oklahoma -35, Total: 57.5
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK – Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 ET
Thanks to back to back blowout wins over Texas Tech and Texas, the Sooners are back in the discussion for the BCS National Championship, and this shouldn’t be a game that deters that in any way, shape, or form. The Jayhawks flat out stink, and the fact that they stuck around last week at home against Oklahoma State does absolutely nothing for us whatsoever. QB Landry Jones has played well over the course of the last few weeks, but the man that they call the “Belldozer” is really making the difference, as QB Blake Bell already has seven touchdowns on the campaign, four of which came last week. Kansas has covered two of the last three in this series, but there hasn’t been a win over Oklahoma in this series since 1997.
Colroado Buffaloes (1-5 SU, 1-5 ATS) @ #9 USC Trojans (5-1 SU, 1-5 ATS)
Spread: USC -40.5, Total: 57.5
Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA – Saturday, October 20th, 6:00 ET
This is going to be one of the ugliest games of the weekend, knowing that it is the biggest point spread on the board this week. Colorado is getting a lot of public action, and there is good reason for it. USC went on the road last year and dominated the Buffs, but winning by six TDs seems to be out of the question. Remember that the Men of Troy have only beaten one team by more than three scores this year, and that was a win in Week 1 against Hawaii. Even that only came by 39. Colorado only has one cover this year, but if the Buffs are getting a second any time in the near future, it feels like this is a game in which it should happen. There is a clear divide between these two teams, and QB Matt Barkley and the Trojans have to have been looking forward to this one all week long.
#10 Florida State Seminoles (6-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ Miami Hurricanes (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -21, Total: 56.5
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Saturday, October 20th, 8:00 ET
There was once a time when it was clear that Florida State and Miami were on level terms. In fact, the average point spread over the course of the last 10 years when these two teams have met has been just 4.5 points. The Seminoles are the only contending team this year, though the Canes at least had shown some flashes of brilliance over the course of the first portion of the season. Still, when QB Stephen Morris went down last week, it almost felt like Miami’s season went with him. This is a team that is beaten up pretty badly right now, and in comes the No. 10 ranked team in the country that still has a massive chip on its shoulder for its last road game, a shocking 17-16 loss to NC State that probably took it out of the National Championship running. A loss in this one, and Florida State can probably do no better than the Chick-Fil-A Bowl without some massive help.
Utah Utes (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ #11 Oregon State Beavers (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
Spread: Oregon State -10.5, Total: 47
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR – Saturday, October 20th, 10:30 ET
The initial BCS rankings came out last week, and it was all good news for the Beavers, who are 5-0 and are right in the thick of the fight for the National Championship. There’s still a long way to go though, and the truth of the matter is that four of the team’s five wins have come by 13 points or fewer. This isn’t a particularly great spot in terms of motivation against a team like Utah, who badly needs to pull off an upset or two over the course of the rest of the season just to make it to a bowl game. QB Cody Vaz started the year as Oregon State’s backup, while QB Travis Wilson was the third stringer for Utah, but these are the two men that are going to be on the field squaring off against one another versus some pretty stout defenses with a heck of a lot of talent.
#12 Georgia Bulldogs (5-1 SU, 2-4 ATS) @ Kentucky Wildcats (1-6 SU, 1-6 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -27.5, Total: 58.5
Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY – Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 ET
About the only chance that the Wildcats have of scoring an upset in this one is if somehow, Georgia is significantly more worried about the Florida game next week in Jacksonville than this one. That’s not all that likely though, especially with the Bulldogs coming off of a bye week and off of a brutal loss on the road to South Carolina before that. Head Coach Mark Richt knows that there is no margin for error in games like this one. Head Coach Joker Phillips likely will see his fate sealed when this one is lost, as that will ensure that UK won’t be going to a bowl game this year, and that will probably send him out the door. Whether the Cats keep him through the end of the campaign is still very much so up for debate. The Wildcats did at least hang around in last year’s battle of these two teams, losing just 19-10 “Between the Hedges.”
Virginia Tech Hokies (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS) @ #13 Clemson Tigers (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Spread: Clemson -8, Total: 61.5
Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC – Saturday, October 20th, 12:00 ET
Last year, Virginia Tech and Clemson met in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers were the only team to beat the Hokies all year long in the regular season, and they did it to them twice. Clemson is back in the Top 15 in the land once again, and if this hurdle is passed, there is a real chance that the team could end up going 11-1 and either playing for the ACC title once again or perhaps playing in the BCS as an at large selection. The Hokies aren’t all that far out of the discussion for the ACC Championship, knowing that they are a 4-3 team that only has one loss thus far in conference. Winning out will ensure that the are back in the ACC Championship Game, and the truth of the matter is that two or three losses might get the job done in the Coastal Division as well. There is still hope for these two after all, though the loser is going to be severely damaged.
South Florida Bulls (2-4 SU, 1-4-1 ATS) @ #14 Louisville Cardinals (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -6.5, Total: 54
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY – Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 ET
The time is here that the Bulls need to put up or shut up. The talk of the town in the Big East this year is that this was the year that South Florida was going to end up making it to the BCS. In the end though, what is left is a 2-4 team with a senior quarterback in BJ Daniels that never has taken the appropriate steps forward to try to resurrect his career. A bowl game is in serious question. Louisville just keeps rolling, though covering games isn’t the norm. QB Teddy Bridgewater might have his work cut out for him against a defense that has had some strong performances. The road team has won two straight games, but before that, it was all the home teams since these two were joined together in the Big East. The Cards have covered three of the last four, and the one that they didn’t was a 24-21 overtime loss here at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS) @ #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Spread: Mississippi State -18.5, Total: 56
Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS – Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 ET
The Blue Raiders have played three road games this year, including one against another AQ school, Georgia Tech, and they are 3-0 to show for their work in those games. Mississippi State has already played against a Sun Belt school this year and has a very narrow victory to show for it. Could this be some trouble brewing for the Bulldogs? It just isn’t all that likely. This series has been played four times over the course of the last decade and a half, and there never really has been a serious threat of an upset. The meat and potatoes of the SEC schedule are still ahead for MSU, and Head Coach Dan Mullen has to be reminding his team just how important all of these small games are. Why? Because there just aren’t all that many of them that are going to be left for the taking. Remember that the Sun Belt has done incredibly well against the SEC this year, and it even has a pair of major upsets to show for its work.
#17 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) @ Temple Owls (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Spread: Rutgers -6, Total: 41.5
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA – Saturday, October 20th, 12:00 ET
Offense most certainly is going to be a cause for concern for both of these Big East teams in this one. If Rutgers is going to get upset in the City of Brotherly Love, it is because its offensive line fails to handle the Temple defense, which ranks 10th in the nation in total sacks. The Owls haven’t played a game this big in the Big East since getting kicked out of the conference, and there is a real chance to make a real statement that perhaps this team could contend for a spot in the BCS this year. Why not, right? After all, most of the rest of this teams in this conference feel like fly by nights, and though there are three teams ranked in the Top 25, none really feel like they are runaway favorites. The Owls are 4-2 ATS and 4-2 SU over the course of the last six in this series, though the most recent game was played in 2004.
#18 Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) @ Toledo Rockets (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
Spread: Cincinnati -7, Total: 64.5
Glass Bowl, Toledo, OH – Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 ET
Had the Rockets figured out how to claim victory in overtime against Arizona way back in Week 1, we would be talking about a team that is 7-0 and a potential BCS buster. However, Toledo wasn’t able to get the job done, and instead, we’re talking about a cute team from the MAC that might be able to add to the miseries of the Big East this year instead. Cincinnati can’t lose this one if it has any hopes of being an at large team into the BCS, something that isn’t out of the question for the Big East this year for the three teams that are currently undefeated. These teams haven’t met since the 2001 Motor City Bowl, a game that was won by the Rockets 23-16. It’s a dangerous game for sure, as it any game that is played on the road at the Glass Bowl regardless of what the names are on the fronts of the uniforms.
#20 Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS) @ #21 TCU Horned Frogs (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Texas Tech -1, Total: 55
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX – Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 ET
There are a ton of teams in the Lone Star State that are ranked right now, but it is a bit surprising that both Texas Tech and TCU are amongst those teams. The Red Raiders scored their biggest win since QB Graham Harrell and WR Michael Crabtree were playing together when they beat West Virginia last week, and many think that this is a vintage letdown spot on the road against a TCU team that figured to be dead in the water. The hardest part of the Big XII schedule isn’t quite here yet for the Horned Frogs, but the fact that they are still in the potential BCS discussion is quite the accomplishment. QB Casey Pachall is gone from the club, and the weight of the offense has been on the back of QB Trevone Boykin instead. This is the first meeting of these two as conference rivals since the days of the old Southwest Conference. The home team won and covered the last five dating back to 1992.
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (1-6 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) @ #22 Boise State Broncos (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Spread: Boise State -28, Total: 54.5
Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID – Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 ET
Boise State and UNLV are clearly going in different directions right now. The Broncos are hoping to catch some luck and get back into the BCS once again this year even though they probably don’t really have all that much of a chance to do so, while UNLV is just trying to figure out how to be competitive, something that most certainly isn’t coming easily to it. At least the Rebs are starting to score some points, something that, if it happens this week against the vaunted Boise State defense, might really put the Broncos in some trouble. That’s the only way that anything bad happens to the men from the Smurf Turf though, as it should have no troubles disposing of a team that was a 42-point underdog at home when these clubs played last year. The Broncos won that game 48-21, but it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the hefty NCAA football odds.
#23 Stanford Cardinal (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) @ Cal Golden Bears (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -2.5, Total: 48.5
AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA – Saturday, October 20th, 3:00 ET
The “Big Game” this year probably won’t end up changing anything in the chase for the Pac-12 title, but it is still a vitally important game for both of these teams. Stanford is trying to make sure that it doesn’t slip into the depths of obscurity, and losing this game would go a long way towards making that be what happens. Losing the “Big Game” would really hurt the Cardinal in the short term and in the long run as it tries to get back to prominence in the post-Andrew Luck era. Cal is the team that is really under fire. Head Coach Jeff Tedford probably already has one foot in the grave, and the second foot would basically be stepping on a banana peel if this one is lost. If the time comes that Cal loses a seventh game this season, it’s probably all over for Tedford, who probably has worn out his welcome and needs to go to get some fresh blood here in Berkley.
Michigan State Spartans (4-3 SU, 4-2 ATS) @ #25 Michigan Wolverines (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Spread: Michigan -10, Total: 42.5
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI – Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 ET
The Spartans and the Wolverines both had to think that they were going to be Top 10 teams in the land when they met here in East Lansing, but as it is, we’re lucky just to see one of them sneak into the bottom of the polls. Michigan has no shame in its losses to Alabama and Notre Dame, but there is a long way to go to get back in the discussion for the Rose Bowl as a legitimate club. Losing this game would be a long drop for the conference as a whole, as there would likely once again be no team in the Top 25 in the entire conference since Ohio State is ineligible for the postseason. The Spartans just haven’t picked it up on offense, and unless QB Andrew Maxwell and the gang plan on doing something truly special in Ann Arbor, there is no reason to think that this game will be even remotely close when push comes to shove.
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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