It's wild to think that Week 8 of the college football season is already upon us, but it is, and it's a loaded slate. The Big Ten showcases a massive matchup in the horseshoe, while the SEC, Pac-12 and ACC have games that should be riveting and meaningful. Here's a breakdown of the five biggest games.
No. 7 Penn State at No. 3 Ohio State (-4.5), 12:00 EST, O/U 45.5
The Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0) has lived up to its hype all season long, winning every game so far this year. Drew Allar has been a solid quarterback, but he hasn't put the team on his back very much. The same can be said for the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) quarterback Kyle McCord. McCord led a game-winning drive against Notre Dame which was impressive, but he's been mostly a game manager other than that.
I don't expect either quarterback to rise to a high level of play, but I think the team that makes the fewest mistakes will find a way to win. I'll take the better team at home.
Pick: Ohio State -4.5
No. 17 Tennessee at No. 11 Alabama (-9.5), 3:30 EST, O/U 48.5
The Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1) host a familiar foe in the Tennessee Volunteers (5-1) on Saturday. After losing in a thriller in Knoxville, Alabama looks poised for a revenge game. This feels like the perfect spot to play a teaser. I like sticking with the home team, as this being in Tuscaloosa provides a massive advantage for the Tide. I don't necessarily trust either quarterback, so a low-scoring win by the Crimson Tide seems feasible for me.
Pick: (7-pt Teaser) Alabama -2.5, Under 54.5
Washington State at No. 9 Oregon (-20), 3:30 EST, O/U 62.5
Earlier in the season, this line would've looked crazy. But as the Washington State Cougars (4-2) travel to Eugene to play the Oregon Ducks (5-1), this feels like a blowout opportunity. Washington State is coming off an embarrassing loss at home against the University of Arizona by a score of 44-6. Now they must turn around quickly against an angry Oregon team who obtains a massive home-field advantage. The Ducks need a bounce-back game, and this might be it.
Pick: Oregon -20
No. 16 Duke at No. 4 Florida State (-14.5), 7:30pm EST, O/U 49.5
The Duke Blue Devils (5-1) have been one of the most interesting stories of the year. They started off the year hot defeating ACC powerhouse Clemson, and have remained steady since. A heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame was one to build on, as they proved they can hang with anyone. The Florida State Seminoles (6-0) have survived and advanced all year long, having nearly lost to the same Clemson team that Duke defeated. This line is way too big for an important conference game regardless of where it's being played.
Pick: Duke +14.5
No. 14 Utah at No. 18 USC (-7), 8:00pm EST, O/U 53.5
This might be my favorite game on the board, Saturday. The Utah Utes (5-1) had a good start to the season, but have struggled as of late, and continue to miss the presence of Cam Rising. The USC Trojans (6-1) have also been very good... until they weren't these past two weeks. Struggling to beat Arizona, and then getting dominated by Notre Dame has USC fans scratching their head. Heisman trophy winner Caleb Williams didn't look like himself, and that defense is atrocious. So in a battle between struggling teams, I like the team with the consensus No. 1 overall pick. I also think the total is far too low given the matchups on either side of the ball.
Picks: USC -7, Over 53.5
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