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College football Week 8 odds, picks and viewing guide

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October 20th, 2020

It took until Week 8, but not only is Big Ten football finally set to return to the field, but so too will late Mountain West Conference games! After weeks of delays and postponements, there should be plenty on the buffet to choose from.

Let's dive into all the stats, trends, analysis and scheduling info you'll need to navigate Week 8 of the 2020 college football season.

Date, timeMatchupTV station
Friday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m.
Illinois at #14 Wisconsin
BTN
Saturday, Oct. 24, noon
Syracuse at #1 Clemson
ACCN
Saturday, Oct. 24, noon
Nebraska at #5 Ohio State
FOX
Saturday, Oct. 24, noon
#23 NC State at #14 UNC
ESPN
Saturday, Oct. 24, noon
Kansas at #20 Kansas State
FS1
Saturday, Oct. 24, noon
Georgia Southern at #25 Coastal Carolina
ESPNU
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2:30
Florida Atlantic at #22 Marshall
TBD
Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30
#2 Alabama at Tennessee
CBS
Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30
#3 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
ABC
Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30
#17 Iowa State at #6 Oklahoma State
FOX
Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30
#8 Penn State at Indiana
FS1
Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30
#19 Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
ESPN 3
Saturday, Oct. 24, 7:30
#18 Michigan at #21 Minnesota
ABC
Saturday, Oct. 24, 8:00
Virginia at #11 Miami
ACCN
Saturday, Oct. 24, 9:00
#9 Cincinnati at #16 SMU
ESPN 2
Saturday, Oct. 24, 10:15
Texas State at #12 BYU
ESPN

#9 Cincinnati vs. #16 SMU

Sun, October 25 2020, 1:00 AM

Southern Methodist Mustangs

Spread

-3

Moneyline

-145

Total

O 57

Cincinnati Bearcats

Spread

+3

Moneyline

+120

Total

U 57

Cincinnati had its game against Tulsa postponed last week, and while the Bearcats probably enjoyed the bye, I’ll be looking to play against them in their matchup this weekend against SMU.

This game opened with Cincinnati as a one-point favorite on the road, but early money has flipped favoritism with undefeated SMU now 2.5-point favorites. The Mustangs are 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS, while Cincinnati is 3-0 SU and 1-2 ATS.

SMU is a high-powered offense led by head coach Sonny Dykes. Dykes has ties to Mike Leach, having been an assistant for him back at Texas Tech, and his spread offense tactics have been successful at all three of his coaching stops.

Louisiana Tech, California, and now SMU have all improved with Dykes at the helm. Dykes’ offense relies on a talented quarterback, and he has that in 2020 with Shane Buechele, who already has 1,710 passing yards on the season.

SMU is seventh in the nation in points scored per game and fifth in passing yards per game. Thanks to the openness and attention the passing game receives, primary running back Ulysses Bentley IV is averaging 6.8 yards per carry and has eight touchdowns through five games.

Cincinnati has the better defense, giving up over 100 fewer yards per game and 13 fewer points. The Bearcats also rank first in the nation in points allowed per play. But with one of those games being against Austin Peay and another against hopeless South Florida, there is reason to doubt just how good Cincinnati really is.

I won’t be surprised if this game with a short line ends up being a double-digit victory, whichever way it ends up, but Buechele and company should continue their success and move to 6-0.

Pick: SMU -3


#17 Iowa State vs. #6 Oklahoma State

Sat, October 24 2020, 7:30 PM

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Spread

-3.5

Moneyline

-165

Total

O 54

Iowa State Cyclones

Spread

+3.5

Moneyline

+135

Total

U 54

A critical matchup in the race for the Big 12 title takes place this weekend, with the Iowa State Cyclones traveling south to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Iowa State is 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS, while Oklahoma State is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS. The line has Oklahoma State favored by 3.5 points.

Iowa State struggled in its first game, with key tight end Charlie Kolar out with injury, but since Kolar has returned, Iowa State’s offense has been potent.

Scoring 37, 37, and 31 in conference play, they are 12th in the country in offensive yards per point over the last three games. This comes in significantly higher than Oklahoma State’s offense over the previous three games.

Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback, Spencer Sanders, has been out since an injury in the first game against Tulsa, and true freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth has been serviceable in relief, but hardly a dynamic difference-maker.

Brock Purdy and the Iowa State offense is better than Oklahoma State, and the defense may be just as good. I like the underdog to pull the upset.

Pick: Iowa State +3.5


Iowa vs. Purdue

Sat, October 24 2020, 7:30 PM

Purdue Boilermakers

Spread

+3

Moneyline

+130

Total

O 52

Iowa Hawkeyes

Spread

-3

Moneyline

-155

Total

U 52

I’m holding out hope that the first game of the season for these two Big 10 teams won’t be derailed by Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm’s positive COVID-19 test, but all indications are that it won’t.

Both teams have yet to play, so we have little résumé to work off in this matchup. But if we review the 2019 season, offseason reports, and expectations from new arrivals, it’s easy to see why Iowa is a 3.5-point favorite in this matchup.

Iowa finished the 2019 season at 10-3, and while its starting quarterback from last season is good, new quarterback Spencer Petras has two excellent weapons to support his arrival. Running back Tyler Goodson is a hard runner, and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette is a talented athlete on the edge.

However, the offense will be anchored, as it always is, on the strength of the offensive line.

Purdue is pleased that electric playmaker Rondale Moore has opted back in after initially planning to sit out the season, but Brohm has announced that his starting quarterback won’t be named until Saturday.

While this provides some degree of competitive advantage through uncertainty, it is always an alarming sign to me that none of the options have emerged as the leader of the team.

Purdue was 4-8 last season and will start 0-1 in 2020, after it is overpowered in the trenches by Iowa.

Pick: Iowa -3


NCAAF Week 8 betting trends

  • SMU is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 home games.
  • Iowa State is 20-7-1 ATS in its last 27 games as an underdog.
  • The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 games between Iowa State and Oklahoma State.
  • Iowa is 17-5 ATS in its last 22 games as a road favorite.
  • The road team is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 games between Iowa and Purdue.

Wager on Week 8 of the 2020 college football season now at BetAmerica!

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