Underdogs, upsets, favorites and covers for betting both NFL and college football
These are the lines to like betting the NFL Week 8 and College Football Week 9. Here are our football locks of the week, as well as the numbers to know when picking games for Saturday and Sunday. This week’s locks include banking on Georgia’s rushing attack in the Cocktail Party, betting against the Bills QB situation on Monday night, riding the Purdue-engineered rocket to road victory and riding the Chiefs’ bandwagon until the wheels fall off.
Georgia (–6.5) vs. Florida (Under 52)
Googling for point spread information on the “Florida Georgia line” will not turn up the results you’re looking for, unless creepy guys in distressed denim vests and tank tops is what you’re searching. But the 95th or 96th meeting (Florida denies a 1904 loss) in the rivalry formerly known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” should be even more entertaining. A pair of top-10 ranked teams — No. 7 Georgia and No. 9 Florida — with identical 6–1 records will decide the fate of the SEC East.
The team with the most rushing yards has won the last 12 meetings in this “neutral” site game in Jacksonville. The Dawgs have the edge in every rushing category — ranking 22nd in rush offense (compared to Gators’ 39th), 40th in rush defense (compared to UF’s 73rd) and have scored 16 rush TDs with a 5.78 per-carry average (comp’d to 10 TDs and 5.1 ypc). Both teams have multiple backs, but only UGA has freshman flight risk Justin Fields. Expect Kirby Smart to take the training wheels off his prized recruit to give Georgia even more traction on the ground.
Patriots (–14) at Bills
Buffalo has a Russian roulette of QB options — with injured rookie Josh Allen, first-man-off-the-couch Derek Anderson and pick-six superhero Nathan Peterman. Those are not good options against New England’s Tom Brady, who is 28–3 all-time against the Bills and 14–2 on the road at Buffalo. (Brady’s 28 wins is the most any QB has ever had against a single team.) Last year, the Pats cruised to a 23–3 win at Buffalo and a 37–16 win at Foxboro.
The Bills will be hard-pressed to score enough to cover; they are last in scoring offense (11.6 ppg), last in pass offense (129.4 ypg), 31st in total offense (234 ypg), allowed 26 sacks for 186 lost yards and have scored just seven TDs in seven games. The magic number is 40, as Bill Belichick is 39–0 since 2000 when the Patriots score 40 points.
Purdue (+1.5) at Michigan State
Purdue’s 49–20 upset win over No. 2 Ohio State was one small game on the schedule but one giant leap for Boilermakers football. The “cradle of astronauts” — whose alums include the First Man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, and the most recent man to walk the lunar surface, Gene Cernan — is poised to continue its ascension.
Purdue opened the year with three losses (to Northwester, Eastern Michigan and Missouri) by a combined eight points. Since then, Purdue has won four straight (against Boston College, at Nebraska, at Illinois and OSU) by a combined 99 points. Freshman Rondale Moore is a name to know; the 5’9” triple threat has accounted for at least one play of 40-plus yards in every game this season — including a 76-yard run and 70-yard reception. Aside from the Boilers being hot, Michigan State is banged up. QB Brian Lewerke has injured throwing shoulder and receiver Felton Davis III is out with a torn Achilles.
Chiefs (–10) vs. Broncos (Under 53.5)
Kansas City is 6–1 against the spread this season, easily covering as 7-point favorites last week against Cincinnati, 45–10 — although falling two points short of the 57-point over due to failing for a late fourth-down conversion rather than kicking a chip shot covering field goal. The only game the Chiefs failed to cover? Against the Broncos, during a 27–23 win at Denver as a 4-point favorite on Oct. 1.
While the attention will be focused on KC’s pass offense led by MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes II and Denver’s pass rush led by former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, the real battle will be KC’s running game against Denver’s sieve rush defense. Sure, the Chiefs lead the league in scoring (37.1 ppg), but they’re also 10th in rushing (124.3 ypg). The league’s third-leading rusher Kareem Hunt (542 rush yards, 9 total TDs) will carve up the Broncos’ 31st ranked rushing defense (148.1 ypg). One tidbit of note, Denver has never been a 10-point underdog against division-rival Kansas City, according to BetDSI’s records dating back to 1985.