Here’s where I’m looking on the Week 8 card for college football.
Follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow — for betting analysis throughout both NFL and CFB season. One quick note if you aren’t following on Twitter, you really need to be. In Week 6 we had Penn State (+110) on the moneyline for 1-unit, which looked good up 17-3 early. But it was obvious when the QB got injured that PSU was not going to be able to hang on and win that game. I tweeted out that we’d be switching sides at halftime, locking up some nice profit on Iowa (+165) for 2-units. While the article will give my favorite plays, we need to keep our heads in the game on Saturday.
Let’s make some money on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Clemson at Pittsburgh
PIT -3 (-115)
4-Unit Play on 10/22
Is laying three points with the No. 23 team in the nation at home against an unranked team surprising? Nope, not at all. However, when you reveal that the teams we’re talking about are laying points with Pittsburgh against Clemson, we realize just how much things have changed since the start of the season.
If the Tigers had any chance of turning into the team we thought they might be, it was going to be coming out of the bye at Syracuse. While they won, it was an underwhelming 17-14 victory as near two-touchdown favorites. Clemson simply doesn’t have it.
The Tigers have lost several starters on both sides of the ball, suffering from multiple injuries at many of the same positions. It’s proven too much to overcome. Clemson’s still solid on defense, but will be going up against an elite Pittsburgh offense. Kenny Pickett has this Panthers offense clicking, and a top-five passing attack in the nation. Clemson better be careful, because it hasn’t seen a team this dangerous through the air yet.
Meanwhile, the Clemson offense is stuck in mud. Outside of a home win over SC State, Clemson has still scored no more than 19 points in a regulation game this season (and 21 in an OT loss to NC State). The Panthers are holding respectable offenses in check, so I’m expecting a lot out of this defense at home against an offense that’s been one of the biggest letdowns in college football.
Small defensive advantage to Clemson. Massive offensive advantage to Pittsburgh. This one is an easy call for me as my biggest bet of the weekend. The Tigers are 0-6 ATS, failing to cover by nearly 12 points per game, yet still being overvalued. The Panthers are 5-1 ATS and covering by over 12 points per game.
Oregon at UCLA
UCLA ML (-120)
1.5-Unit Play on 10/22
You’ll notice we’re diving in on a couple unranked home favorites that are playing host to top-10 teams this weekend. Feels a little gross, but have no fear. The Ducks are 5-1 this season, but just 1-5 ATS — the only cover at two touchdown dogs at Ohio State. Oregon is dinged up, and you can see it in their play recently. This is going to be a very tough road game for the Ducks, with UCLA taking care of business with wins and covers in both games since a disappointing loss to Arizona State. I think the Bruins get up for this one at home.
Oklahoma State at Iowa State
Iowa State -7 (-110)
1.5-Unit Play on 10/22
Plug your nose even more for this one. A top-10 team unbeaten and getting a touchdown against a unranked team here? Too good to be true! As of Friday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook has seen insane sharp action on the cyclones, who hold just 20% of the spread tickets, and yet 77% of the handle. If you dive into the advanced metrics, Oklahoma State is pretty even with their opponents, but credit it for clawing out victories. Meanwhile, Iowa State has been really outplaying its opponents, but had some tough luck thus far. The number here really suggests this is where the Cyclones turn it around, and I agree.
Tennessee at Alabama
Alabama 1H -14.5 (-105)
2-Unit Play on 10/22
I was fortunate enough to scoop the early -14 here, but things have moved in such a busy week in sports. Not much analysis needed here. ‘Bama is 6-1 1H ATS this season, and generally comes out ready to play. Since the devastating loss, the Tide came out and smashed Mississippi State on the road last week. Tennessee’s home loss to Ole Miss turned into a mess on Saturday night, and the Vols will be dealing with injuries as well. I like Alabama to do the usual at home.
NC State at Miami
NCST -3 (-115)
2.5-Unit Play on 10/22
Miami has always been a tough team to predict for me. The Hurricanes always seem to zig when I think they’ll zag. But I’m just simply going to lay a small number here with the much better team. Miami is 2-4 SU/ATS this season, and just 1-5 ATS in the last six home games overall. While the ‘Canes could hang with UNC last week, the NC State defense should be the difference in this game. The Wolfpack had no problem on the road last weekend in the same spot, dominating BC with a 33-7 victory as three-point road favorites. I think their success continues.
Utah at Oregon State
Utah -3 (-110)
2-Unit Play on 10/22
We road Utah last week, and after a disappointing start, the Utes dominated the second half of the game. Oregon State has been impressive so far, but I think Utah is finally becoming what many of us thought they would be towards the start of the season. The Charlie Brewer experiment failed, but the response to the QB chance has been tremendous. As a result of those early season upset losses with a different QB, we’re still seeing value on the Utes.
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