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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 8 Picks and Odds

Larry Rose

Larry Rose

The college football season rages on as we get closer to the postseason. I'll admit that last week was the first time I truly had misreads when it comes to handicapping. Still, we were just a few points away from a winning record last week. I'll keep plugging away with picks and you can do what you'd like with the information that I provide.

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Record: 17-20 (1-4 last week)

Note: All games are on Saturday, Oct. 22 and all times ET.

Indiana (3-3) at Northwestern (3-3), 12 p.m.

I'm going away from my mid-major roots to dip into the Big Ten. Northwestern has won two straight and three of its last four entering this one and it's because the Wildcats have found some offense to go along with some solid defense. The Wildcats are gashing teams on the ground and that's a recipe to beat the Hoosiers. Justin Jackson is a real good running back and it's taking pressure off sophomore quarterback Clayton Thorson. Indiana has lost two straight as its offense has suddenly dried up. The Hoosiers are coming off a tough home loss against Nebraska. Northwestern has won seven of its last nine at home in this series and in essentially a pick 'em situation, I'll take the Wildcats, who have the coaching advantage as well. SELECTION: Northwestern -1.5

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Idaho (4-3) at Appalachian State (4-2), 3:30 p.m.

This is my Hail Mary play of the weekend although there is some logic to it. App State has won three straight, but hasn’t really looked that impressive since starting Sun Belt play. The Mountaineers failed to cover against Georgia State and only won 24-0 at UL Lafayette. Their offense hasn't been right in four of their six contests this season. The bigger thing to consider here is that a road tilt with Georgia Southern is just five days later so that's where their focus could be. Idaho should be familiar with traveling considering, the Vandals already have played four road games with two of them turning out to be victories. The Vandals throw it around the yard and have been clicking offensively to the tune of 89 points in their last two games. Idaho has covered in nine of its last 16 road games. The Mountaineers have covered just once in their last nine home contests where the total is between 49.5 and 56. SELECTION: Idaho +21

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Memphis (5-1) at Navy (4-1), 3:30 p.m.

Navy has had two weeks since its win over Houston and that'll help keep the focus for this one on Saturday. If the Midshipmen had played last week, they might have been on upset alert. Now they get a Memphis team that is putting up more than 40 points per game while allowing just 19.3. The Tigers did play Tulane’s run-based offense last week so that will help a little bit with the preparation although no one runs the triple option like Navy. Memphis lost at home last year to the Middies 45-20 as a 10.5-point favorite. Navy has covered in 11 of its last 16 home games including all three this year. I think it's a bit of a gift to be getting a few points with the Midshipmen at home. SELECTION: Navy +2.5

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Georgia Southern (3-3) at New Mexico State (2-4), 8 p.m.

It's been a rough stretch for Georgia Southern, who has lost three straight and will be playing a fourth straight game away from home, which has to be taking a toll. This is a squad that can run the ball really well, but the Eagles have struggled with consistency. New Mexico State has been awesome at home, beating New Mexico and UL Lafayette. The Aggies have a great running back in Larry Rose and a decent passing attack led by Tyler Rogers. Georgia Southern finally gets to go home five days later to face Appalachian State so focus could be a bit of an issue. The last time these two teams played out west was back in 2014 when a better Georgia Southern team barely covered as 17.5-point favorites. I think the home team keeps this one close and as long as you can get the hook, take New Mexico State. SELECTION: New Mexico State +14.5

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ULM (2-4) at New Mexico (3-3), 9 p.m.

New Mexico has to be feeling good after beating Air Force last time out. The Lobos run the ball as well as any team in the country and should be able to score on a defense that has allowed 34 points or more four times already this season. Heck, ULM gave up 21 at home to FCS member Southern back in week one. The good thing for the Warhawks is that their offense has perked up, scoring 71 points at home against Idaho and Texas State. Every single New Mexico game has gone over because its defense has allowed at least 30 points in five straight. This is a non-conference game, which means both teams may take it a little less serious. New Mexico has gone over in nine of its last 11 as a favorite including all four games as a fave of 10.5 to 21 points. SELECTION: Over 62

Notes:

— The line movement keeps me away from making this a play, but North Texas at Army is intriguing. The Mean Green are 4-1-1 ATS this season and have already won at Rice. They had an extra week to prepare for the triple option so that should help in facing the Black Knights. UNT has a decent offense that might be able to move the ball. Normally for games off the radar any sort of movement makes for a good potential play.

— Sometimes I wish I was more familiar with bigger conference action because Iowa seems real juicy to me. Wisconsin is coming off a very difficult loss at home to Ohio State and now has to travel to play the Hawkeyes, who are fresh off of two road victories. Badgers linebacker Vince Biegel's status will be big for this one as he is a key member of Wisconsin’s defense, which is among the stingiest units in the nation.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.