10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 8

Can Oregon keep it rolling against Washington?

The Week 8 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by one of the best rivalries west of the Mississippi River — Oregon vs. Washington. Elsewhere, Stanford looks to continue UCLA’s misery; Duke and Virginia meet in a crucial ACC Coastal clash; and South Carolina seeks a second straight upset as Florida comes to town. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

 

Oregon (-3) over Washington

Oregon has quietly been one of the most impressive teams in the nation in the first half of the season. The Ducks lost a tough opener — falling to Auburn after some last-minute heroics by Tiger QB Bo Nix — but have been dominant since. They have allowed no more than seven points in any of their five wins and have given up a total of 16 points in three Pac-12 wins. The loss of senior tight end Jacob Breeland, the team’s top pass-catcher, to injury will no doubt hurt, but the offense has enough playmakers to survive. Washington is talented but inconsistent. The Huskies lost at home to Cal, 20–19, and at Stanford — at a time in which the Cardinal were really struggling. At its best, Washington is arguably the best team in the Pac-12, but we don’t get its best enough. Oregon 21, Washington 14

 

Stanford (-9.5) over UCLA (Thurs.)

Aside from one half against Washington State — and to be fair, it was a very impressive half — UCLA has been among the worst Power 5 teams in the country. The Bruins are 1–5 overall and have scored 17 points or fewer in four of six games. This is not what the school signed up for when it won the Chip Kelly sweepstakes a few years ago. Stanford has also been a disappointment, but at least the Cardinal have shown signs of life. They have won two straight — beating Oregon State in Corvallis by three and Washington at home by 10 — to even their record at 3–3. There are, however, issues at quarterback for Stanford. KJ Costello and Davis Mills have been ruled out. Former walk-on Jack West will get the start. It might not matter against struggling UCLA. Stanford 28, UCLA 17

 

Duke (+3.5) over Virginia

Virginia started fast, with a 4–0 mark that included wins at Pitt and vs. Florida State at home. The Cavs have since lost two straight, due in large part to poor play on the offensive line. Bryce Perkins is one of the top quarterbacks in the league, but Virginia has had a tough time protecting him; the Cavs are tied for 10th in the league with 20 sacks allowed. Duke is 4–2 overall, including two wins on the road (at Middle Tennessee and Virginia Tech). The Blue Devils struggled vs. Alabama in the opener but have averaged 40.4 points per game since. Duke and Virginia are among the four teams in the ACC Coastal with one league loss. It will be difficult for the team that loses this game to win the division. Virginia 31, Duke 30

 

Cincinnati (-17) over Tulsa

Cincinnati improved to 5–1 with a solid 38–23 win at Houston over the weekend and has a very good chance to be 9–1 before a season-ending stretch against Temple and Memphis. After this home game against Tulsa, the Bearcats play at ECU, home vs. UConn, and at South Florida. They will be heavy favorites in each game. Tulsa did not rebound well from the crushing OT loss at SMU two weeks ago; the Golden Hurricane lost at home to Navy, 45–17, on Saturday and are now 2–4 overall and 0–2 in the league. And that record could very quickly be 2–8 with a schedule that includes trips to Cincinnati and Tulane and home dates with Memphis and UCF. Cincinnati 41, Tulsa 17

 

Nevada (+21.5) over Utah State

Nevada took one step closer to bowl eligibility last weekend, beating San Jose State 41–38 on a walk-off field goal for win No. 4. Malik Henry, a former Florida State Seminole and a central figure in the last two seasons of Last Chance U, made his first career start, throwing for 352 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The task this week will be far more challenging. The Wolf Pack visit Utah State, one of the top teams in the Mountain West. The Aggies are 0–2 against Power 5 teams (with losses at Wake Forest and at LSU) and 2–0 in league play (wins over San Diego State and Colorado State). Winning in Logan is a lot to ask of Nevada, but the Pack should be able to keep things interesting. Utah State 41, Nevada 28

 

Florida (-6) over South Carolina

Florida’s midseason gauntlet continues with a trip to suddenly dangerous South Carolina. One week after a bruising 24–13 win over Auburn in Gainesville, the Gators dropped a 42–28 decision at LSU. They did a lot of things well — especially on offense — but did not have enough answers defensively (perhaps no team will against LSU). South Carolina won’t present nearly as many challenges. The Gamecocks are riding high after last week’s stunning win at Georgia, but this team isn’t as talented as Florida’s last two opponents. There is one significant area of concern for Florida: South Carolina’s defensive line, one of the best in the league, will cause serious problems for the Gators’ questionable offensive line. Protecting Kyle Trask will be the top priority for Dan Mullen and the offensive staff. Florida 30, South Carolina 17

 

Ole Miss (+6) over Texas A&M

No team in the SEC has changed its offensive identify more in the past season than Ole Miss. After averaging 346.1 yards passing (first in the SEC) and 164.1 yards rushing (11th) in 2018, the Rebels are averaging 230.0 on the ground (second) and 208.3 through the air (10th) in 2019. They are on pace to record more rushing yards than passing yards for the first time since 2010. The arrival of offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez and the emergence of freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee are the primary reasons the script has been flipped, but the Rebels also feature a quality stable of running backs. Texas A&M arrives in Oxford with three wins over bad teams (Texas State, Lamar, and Arkansas) and three losses to good teams (Clemson, Auburn and Alabama). Ole Miss is neither bad nor good — so this should provide a nice test on the road for the Aggies. Texas A&M 35, Ole Miss 31

 

Temple (+7.5) over SMU

Temple has two wins over Power 5 opponents (Maryland and Georgia Tech) as well as a victory over AAC West favorite Memphis. The Owls also lost 38–22 at Buffalo, which is 0–4 in its other four games against FBS opponents. The offense hasn’t been great, but at least it’s been consistent, scoring between 22 and 30 points in all five games against FBS foes. The Owls will probably need to score a few more than 30 to beat SMU. The undefeated Mustangs rank second in the AAC in both scoring (44.2 ppg) and total offense (498.8 ypg). They are 2–0 in league play, though the schedule has been soft (they won at USF and rallied from 21 points down to beat Tulsa at home in triple-overtime). The perfect record will still be intact after this weekend — but it won’t be easy. SMU 37, Temple 30

 

Indiana (-3.5) over Maryland

Indiana is two wins away from reaching bowl eligibility for the first time since 2017. This trip to Maryland is far from a must-win, but picking up win No. 5 in mid-October would no doubt take some pressure off this team as it heads down the stretch of the 2019 season. The offense has been sharp in every game in which Ohio State was not the opponent; IU has scored at least 31 points in its other five games, and it rolled up 557 yards in last week’s 35–0 win over Rutgers. Maryland made a big splash early, winning its first two games (over Howard and Syracuse) by a combined score of 142–20. It’s been a struggle since (except when Rutgers was the opponent). Last week’s game was especially troubling; the Terps, as a road favorite, lost 40–14 to a Purdue team that is dealing with significant injuries on both sides of the ball. Indiana 34, Maryland 27

 

Western Kentucky (-9) over Charlotte

Tyson Helton is quietly doing a nice job in his first season as the head coach at Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers recovered from a disastrous Week 1 — a 35–28 loss to Central Arkansas — to win four of their next five, with the only loss to Louisville in Nashville. They have allowed a total of 24 points over the last three games, wins over UAB, Old Dominion, and Army. Charlotte has also received a jolt of enthusiasm under a new coach (Will Healy), but the renewed energy isn’t translating to wins — yet. The 49ers have lost three straight and have allowed at least 45 points in each of their four losses. This rebuild will take time. Western Kentucky 34, Charlotte 20

 

Last week: 8-2

Season: 34-35-1

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