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College Football Week 8 Picks: Predictions for Saturday's Games

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College Football Week 8 Picks: Predictions for Saturday's Games
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Who will win the huge ACC showdown between Florida State and Clemson?

The much-anticipated ACC showdown between No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Florida State is clearly the biggest and most hyped game of Week 8 of the college football season. However, the battle between the Seminoles and Tigers in Death Valley isn’t the only intriguing matchup on Saturday’s slate.

Other conference clashes such as UCLA vs. Stanford, Washington vs. Arizona State, Florida vs. Missouri and Auburn vs. Texas A&M should all be worth tuning in for as well. There’s certainly plenty of quality action to please the palates of fans this weekend. The question is, which teams will ultimately prevail?

After going 6-0 on my “super six picks” in Week 6, and 5-1 last week, here’s a look at the six bets I like the most for Week 8, along with predictions for every single Saturday game.


Saturday’s Super Six Picks


Florida State Seminoles (-3)

When analyzing both Clemson and Florida State in order to figure out which were the true must-watch draft prospects in this matchup, it struck me just how clear of a talent advantage the Seminoles possess.

Sure, the Tigers have their fair share of stars such as QB Tajh Boyd, WR Sammy Watkins and DE Vic Beasley. But overall, Florida State looks to be the better and stronger team on both sides of the ball. It also helps that they have the most talented overall playmaker in this game, freshman sensation Jameis Winston, leading the way on offense.

Before the season started, I picked Florida State to meet Alabama in the national championship game. Through five games, I haven’t seen anything from the Seminoles that would lead me to believe they aren’t a legitimate national championship contender.

Admittedly, playing in Death Valley at night can be an intimidating environment for any visiting team, no matter how much talent it has. However, Florida State just has too many standout difference-makers on both sides of the ball, including key players such as CB Lamarcus Joyner and OT Cameron Erving, who should be able to control Clemson’s most dangerous offensive threat: Watkins, and its best defender: Beasley, respectively.

 

Arizona Wildcats (-4)

This is a situation that would seem to call for a letdown performance from a Utah team possibly dealing with a huge hangover after last week’s huge upset win over Stanford. After knocking off the Cardinal at home, the Utes have the tough task of having to get back up emotionally for a challenging road game against an underrated Arizona team.

After two tough losses on the road against Washington and USC, the Wildcats should be much more comfortable and much more effective at home.

Utah may have one of the most talented and versatile defenders in the nation, defensive end-outside linebacker hybrid Trevor Reilly. However, the Utes defense will still have a tough time slowing down the Wildcats’ dynamic rushing duo of QB B.J. Denker and RB Ka’Deem Carey.

 

UCLA Bruins (+4.5)

After leading UCLA to a 5-0 start, which included big road victories over Nebraska and Utah, the Brett Hundley bandwagon is now starting to get awfully crowded. There will be even more riders hopping on after the quarterback guides the Bruins to a big revenge, road victory over a Stanford squad which got exposed last week in a loss to Utah.

The Bruins remember how bad it felt last year to lose to Stanford in back-to-back weeks, including a devastating defeat in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Hundley, Anthony Barr and the rest of the team’s veteran leaders will be seeking redemption. Not only will they get vengeance with a big road win, they’ll also prove who really is the biggest threat to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship chase.

 

Boise State Broncos (-23)

Boise State has failed to cover the spread in each of its last four meetings with Nevada. However, Chris Petersen's squad should be able to break that trend with a big win in this matchup.

Though the Broncos may not be the vintage BCS buster we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in recent years, they still have the talent it takes to pull off a big blowout win over a Wolf Pack team that obviously misses the leadership of long-time head coach Chris Ault.

Nevada’s defense has looked truly terrible so far this season, allowing 7.1 yards per play and 38 points per game.

The Joe Southwick-led Broncos offense is by no means a juggernaut, but the unit should be able to put up enough scores at home on the smurf turf to cover the sizable 23-point spread 

I don’t like betting against capable, dual-threat quarterbacks like Cody Fajardo. But I believe dangerous DE Demarcus Lawrence and the rest of the Broncos defense will keep him neutralized and out of sync.

 

TCU Horned Frogs (+7.5)

Besides a poor performance against an ultra-talented LSU offense in the season-opener, TCU’s defense has looked very solid and stout so far this season. The Horned Frogs secondary, led by corner Jason Verrett and safety Sam Carter, is one of the best defensive backfields in the country, allowing just 6.2 yards per pass and picking off 10 throws in six games 

Gary Patterson’s talented defense should cause fits for Oklahoma State QB J.W. Walsh, who hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency in his first year as the full-time starter.

If TCU’s defense brings its A-game to Stillwater, and if QB Trevone Boykin can avoid foolish turnovers, I can easily see the Horned Frogs pulling off an upset and sending a statement to the rest of the Big 12.

 

Buffalo Bulls (-20)

After getting outclassed by Ohio State and Baylor and then nearly losing to Stony Brook, Buffalo is a team that seems to have found its footing in the last few weeks, following a big upset win over Connecticut. Though beating up on MAC basement-dwellers like Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan isn’t exactly a huge resume booster, the Bulls seem like they have the pieces this year to be a viable conference contender.

The MVP of the defense, LB Khalil Mack, is an All-American candidate and future first-round NFL draft pick. But Buffalo also has some dangerous offensive weapons as well, including RB Branden Oliver and WR Alex Neutz.

Though the cooler, rainy conditions may affect the offense, the Bulls should still be able to put together another dominant effort against another overmatched opponent.


Predictions For Every Saturday Game
 

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Northwestern Wildcats

Spread: Northwestern (-12)

Total: 53.5

Picks: Northwestern (-12), UNDER

Prediction: Northwestern 31, Minnesota 17

 

Purdue Boilermakers at Michigan State Spartans

Spread: Michigan State (-27.5)

Total: 42.5

Picks: Michigan State (-27.5), OVER

Prediction: Michigan State 45, Purdue 13

 

TCU Horned Frogs at Oklahoma State Cowboys

Spread: Oklahoma State (-7.5)

Total: 50.5

Picks: TCU (+7.5), UNDER

Prediction: TCU 24, Oklahoma State 20

 

Southern Miss Golden Eagles at East Carolina Pirates

Spread: East Carolina (-22.5)

Total: 53.5

Picks: Southern Miss (+22.5), OVER

Prediction: East Carolina 38, Southern Miss 20

 

Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores

Spread: Georgia (-7.5)

Total: 61.5

Picks: Georgia (-7.5), UNDER

Prediction: Georgia 34, Vanderbilt 23

 

Texas Tech Red Raiders at West Virginia Mountaineers

Spread: Texas Tech (-6)

Total: 57

Picks: West Virginia (+6), UNDER

Prediction: West Virginia 27, Texas Tech 24

 

Connecticut Huskies at Cincinnati Bearcats

Spread: Cincinnati (-14.5)

Total: 46

Picks: Connecticut (+14.5), OVER

Prediction: Cincinnati 31, Connecticut 20

 

South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers

Spread: South Carolina (-7.5)

Total: 54.5

Picks: South Carolina (-7.5), UNDER

Prediction: South Carolina 28, Tennessee 17

 

Navy Midshipmen at Toledo Rockets

Spread: Toledo (-9)

Total: 55

Picks: Navy (+9), OVER

Prediction: Toledo 41, Navy 35

 

SMU Mustangs at Memphis Tigers

Spread: Memphis (-3.5)

Total: 46.5

Picks: SMU (+3.5), OVER

Prediction: SMU 34, Memphis 21

 

Florida Gators at Missouri Tigers

Spread: Florida (-3)

Total: 44

Picks: Missouri (+3), UNDER

Prediction: Missouri 23, Florida 19

 

Syracuse Orange at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Spread: Georgia Tech (-7.5)

Total: 54.5

Picks: Georgia Tech (-7.5), UNDER

Prediction: Georgia Tech 30, Syracuse 20

 

Army Black Knights at Temple Owls

Spread: Temple (-2.5)

Total: 59

Picks: Temple (-2.5), OVER

Prediction: Temple 35, Army 27

 

Ohio Bobcats at Eastern Michigan Eagles

Spread: Ohio (-17)

Total: 57

Picks: Ohio (-17), OVER

Prediction: Ohio 42, Eastern Michigan 20

 

Akron Zips at Miami (Ohio) RedHawks

Spread: Akron (-7.5)

Total: 44.5

Picks: Akron (-7.5), OVER

Prediction: Akron 33, Miami (Ohio) 17

 

Ball State Cardinals at Western Michigan Broncos

Spread: Ball State (-19)

Total: 58

Picks: Ball State (-19), OVER

Prediction: Ball State 49, Western Michigan 24

 

Colorado State Rams at Wyoming Cowboys

Spread: Wyoming (-6.5)

Total: 67.5

Picks: Colorado State (+6.5), OVER

Prediction: Wyoming 38, Colorado State 34


Kent State Golden Flashes at South Alabama Jaguars

Spread: South Alabama (-6.5)

Total: 54.5

Picks: South Alabama (-6.5), UNDER

Prediction: South Alabama 28, Kent State 20

 

Northern Illinois Huskies at Central Michigan Chippewas

Spread: Northern Illinois (-16)

Total: 59

Picks: Northern Illinois (-16), OVER

Prediction: Northern Illinois 45, Central Michigan 24

 

UMass Minutemen at Buffalo Bulls

Spread: Buffalo (-21)

Total: 47

Picks: Buffalo (-20), UNDER

Prediction: Buffalo 35, UMASS 10

 

UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal

Spread: Stanford (-4.5)

Total: 54

Picks: UCLA (+4.5), UNDER

Prediction: UCLA 31, Stanford 20

 

Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan Wolverines

Spread: Michigan (-9.5)

Total: 68

Picks: Indiana (+9.5), OVER

Prediction: Michigan 42, Indiana 35

 

Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio State Buckeyes

Spread: Ohio State (-17)

Total: 55

Picks: Iowa (+17), OVER

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Iowa 26

 

North Texas Mean Green at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Spread: North Texas (-3.5)

Total: 54.5

Picks: North Texas (-3.5), OVER

Prediction: North Texas 38, Louisiana Tech 31

 

Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas Jayhawks

Spread: Oklahoma (-23.5)

Total: 49

Picks: Kansas (+23.5), UNDER

Prediction: Oklahoma 27, Kansas 17

 

Auburn Tigers at Texas A&M Aggies

Spread: Texas A&M (-13)

Total: 72

Picks: Auburn (+13.5), UNDER

Prediction: Texas A&M 38, Auburn 27

 

BYU Cougars at Houston Cougars

Spread: BYU (-9.5)

Total: 62.5

Picks: BYU (-9.5), OVER

Prediction: BYU 42, Houston 24

 

Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers

Spread: Virginia (-2)

Total: 52

Picks: Virginia (-2), UNDER

Prediction: Virginia 28, Duke 21

 

Maryland Terrapins at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Spread: Maryland (-5.5)

Total: 51

Picks: Maryland (-5.5), UNDER

Prediction: Maryland 31, Wake Forest 17

 

Washington Huskies at Arizona State Sun Devils

Spread: Arizona State (-3)

Total: 66

Picks: Washington (+3), OVER

Prediction: Washington 37, Arizona State 34

 

LSU Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels

Spread: LSU (-9.5)

Total: 60

Picks: LSU (-9.5), OVER

Prediction: LSU 42, Ole Miss 27

 

Iowa State Cyclones at Baylor Bears

Spread: Baylor (-32.5)

Total: 76

Picks: Baylor (-32.5), OVER

Prediction: Baylor 66, Iowa State 20

 

Arkansas Razorbacks at Alabama Crimson Tide

Spread: Alabama (-29)

Total: 48.5

Picks: Alabama (-29), OVER

Prediction: Alabama 45, Arkansas 13

 

Georgia State Panthers at Texas State Bobcats

Spread: Texas State (-16)

Total: 49.5

Picks: Texas State (-16), UNDER

Prediction: Texas State 31, Georgia State 13

 

USC Trojans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Spread: Notre Dame (-3)

Total: 50.5

Picks: USC (+3), UNDER

Prediction: USC 24, Notre Dame 20

 

Nevada Wolf Pack at Boise State Broncos

Spread: Boise State (-22)

Total: 67

Picks: Boise State (-23), OVER

Prediction: Boise State 52, Nevada 21

 

Rice Owls at New Mexico State Aggies

Spread: Rice (-18)

Total: 58

Picks: New Mexico State (+18), UNDER

Prediction: Rice 34, New Mexico State 20

 

Wisconsin Badgers at Illinois Fighting Illini

Spread: Wisconsin (-14)

Total: 55.5

Picks: Wisconsin (-14), OVER

Prediction: Wisconsin 41, Illinois 24

 

Florida State Seminoles at Clemson Tigers

Spread: Florida State (-3)

Total: 64

Picks: Florida State (-3), OVER

Prediction: Florida State 41, Clemson 30

 

Utah State Aggies at New Mexico Lobos

Spread: Utah State (-10.5)

Total: 52

Picks: Utah State (-10.5), UNDER

Prediction: Utah State 31, New Mexico 17

 

UNLV Rebels at Fresno State Bulldogs

Spread: Fresno State (-24)

Total: 73

Picks: Fresno State (-24), OVER

Prediction: Fresno State 56, UNLV 24

 

Utah Utes at Arizona Wildcats

Spread: Arizona (-4)

Total: 58.5

Picks: Arizona (-4), OVER

Prediction: Arizona 38, Utah 27

 

Washington State Cougars at Oregon Ducks

Spread: Oregon (-39)

Total: 73

Picks: Washington State (+39), UNDER

Prediction: Oregon 49, Washington State 21

 

Oregon State Beavers at Cal Golden Bears

Spread: Oregon State (-10.5)

Total: 68.5

Picks: Cal (+10.5), OVER

Prediction: Oregon State 45, Cal 38


Note: All lines are courtesy of Covers.com. Games featuring FCS teams are not included.

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