College Football Week 8 Underdogs Who Will Cover the Spread

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College Football Week 8 Underdogs Who Will Cover the Spread
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One of the best underdogs you'll ever see, the Tajh Boyd-led Tigers are one of four underdogs poised to cover the spread this weekend.

While the litany of upsets in college football last week surely has favorites on upset alert, I've still managed to find four underdogs who are a lock to cover the spread in Week 8.

With that said, let's identify who these underdogs are and why they'll cover.

Lines courtesy of VegasInsider.com.

 

Duke (+3) at Virginia

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
While Cutcliffe's Blue Devils have had their problems in ACC play, beating the Cavaliers isn't one of them.

Don't get me wrong, Virginia has a respectable 3-3 record against the spread. Problem is, only one of those wins has come as the favorite.

Oh, and it came against the Virginia Military Institute Keydets!

So pardon me if I have little to no faith in the Cavaliers covering the spread as the favorite, let alone against Duke. The same Blue Devils team slaughtered Virginia 42-17 in Durham last season.

While Duke is again explosive on offense, Virginia has managed to get worse on that end. Starting quarterback David Watford only has four touchdowns and has thrown seven interceptions.

Yes, Duke has had its struggles against ACC opponents under head coach David Cutcliffe. But as Joedy McCreary of the Associated Press notes, Virginia is the lone exception to that, as "Duke has gone 4-1 against Virginia since the coach's first season in 2008 and 5-32 versus the rest of the league."

This one could get ugly real fast. Duke wins big here. 

Prediction: Duke 37, Virginia 20.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/10/15/2877572/duke-looking-to-continue-winning.html#storylink=c

 

Florida State at Clemson (+3)

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Expect Clemson to squelch the hype surrounding Winston on Saturday.

As great as Florida State has looked thus far, the fact remains that they haven't played anybody.

Maryland and Pittsburgh simply don't measure up to the Georgia team Clemson beat to open the season.

So as good as the Seminoles and whiz kid Jameis Winston have looked, spare me if I'm wary about how they'll perform against elite competition.

I have no such qualms about Tajh Boyd and the Tigers. Boyd has tallied a 6-7 record against ranked teams in his career.

Even with that said, this pick comes down to Clemson being at home. The Tigers have won five straight games in Death Valley against Florida State.

Seeing that Clemson rattled Florida State's former NFL first-round quarterbacks, Christian Ponder and EJ Manuel, during that stretch, corralling Winston shouldn't be a problem.

Not only will they cover, the Tigers will win outright in this one.

Prediction: Florida State 27, Clemson 34

 

Texas Tech at West Virginia (+6)

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports
Expect West Virginia to give Holgorsen plenty to smile about on Saturday.

No team showcases the importance of home-field advantage more than Dana Holgorsen's Mountaineers.

They're 3-0 at home and 0-3 on the road.

This discrepancy is best illustrated in their 37-0 loss to Maryland and their 30-21 win over then-undefeated Oklahoma State.

Add in the fact that Texas Tech hasn't played anybody with a record above .500 and, regardless of record, we have a pretty even matchup in Morgantown.

Those factors alone are enough for me to take West Virginia and the points. But it's the coaching edge that makes the Mountaineers the lock pick.

As ESPN.com's Max Olson details, Holgorsen and Kliff Kingsbury know each other pretty well, dating back to their days on Houston's staff:

The Oklahoma State game already serves as a example of what Holgorsen can do when faced with a familiar opponent.

Then there's the extra week West Virginia has had to prepare.

I'm not liking Texas Tech's odds in this one, and neither should you.

Prediction: Texas Tech 24, West Virginia 28.

 

SMU (+3.5) at Memphis

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
With a significant edge at quarterback, the Mustangs will ride Gilbert's arm to victory.

Even with a 3-2 record against the spread, it's worth noting that Memphis hasn't been favored in any of its contests.

With a schedule featuring the likes of Duke, Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State, Central Florida and Houston, this speaks to how bad of a football team Memphis is.

SMU on the other hand, while also 1-4, has faced a daunting schedule. Losses to the likes of TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Rutgers are more than forgivable.

Aside from a tougher schedule, SMU also possesses the better quarterback.

Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch hasn't even totaled 1,000 yards passing yet and only has two touchdown passes.

In comparison, SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert has thrown for 1,775 yards and has nine touchdown passes.

Then there's the 44-17 beatdown SMU put on Memphis last season.

All that said, we now have our fourth lock of the weekend.

Prediction: SMU 28, Memphis 16.

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