College Football Week 8 Picks: Backing A Pair Of Road Teams

Written By Brett Gibbons on October 21, 2022 - Last Updated on October 22, 2022
college football week 8 picks

Week 8 of the college football season presents us with a tough board. The more data oddsmakers have to work with, the harder it is to find value. For college football Week 8, I have a pair of picks that both ride road teams. This article lays out my best bets for Ole Miss at LSU and Cincinnati at SMU.

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College Football Week 8 Picks, Best Bets

To place a bet on any of the games below, click on their odds in the tables.

Ole Miss Rebels At LSU Tigers

I’ve been burned a few times this season with suspicious lines that, in retrospect, were obvious traps. This week, I’d like to present to you #7 Ole Miss as an underdog on the road at unranked LSU.

The difference in this game is that we know what both teams are. LSU is a defense that struggles to defend the run despite allowing the 20th-lowest rushing success rate (46.7%) a middle-of-the-road rank in yards per attempt allowed (4.1). The sample size that’s garnered those numbers includes Mississippi State (lowest run rate in FBS), New Mexico (lowest rated offense per SP+), Auburn (second-lowest yards per play in SEC), and Southern (FCS). Against Tennessee and Florida, LSU allowed 200 yards on the ground apiece.

Behind a dynamic trio of backs– Zach Evans, Ulysses Bentley, and freshman star Quinshon Judkins– Ole Miss is one of the best rushing teams in the country. They’ve posted the 10th-best rushing success rate and the eighth-most yards per rush (6.7) on the year en route to a 7-0 record.

Aggregate power ratings (including SP+, FPI, Sagarin, more) favor Ole Miss by 2.2 points on the road– a 3.7-point deviation from this point spread. I have no shortage of confidence in who the better team is in this game.

Final note: This game is a 2:30 p.m. local kickoff. Death Valley doesn’t intimidate me in 2022 and especially not during the day.

  • Brett’s Bet: Ole Miss ML +105, placed Oct. 19 at DraftKings Sportsbook
  • Best Available Number: Ole Miss

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Cincinnati Bearcats At SMU Mustangs

Quarterback Ben Bryant and top receiver Tyler Scott are both expected to return for Cincinnati. In their last three outings together, Bryant and Scott connected for 21 receptions, 381 yards (18.1 yards per reception) and five TDs. (Note: Scott was injured against USF and missed a majority of the game.)

The market this year hasn’t quite been able to pin SMU. The Mustangs are 1-5 against the spread in what’s been a disappointing start to the Rhett Lashlee era in Dallas. Not just a bad mark ATS, but the spread’s missed by an average 4.3 points per outing, as well. The prospect of Tanner Mordecai and Rashee Rice makes for an enticing offensive play, but it hasn’t translated to wins this season. Rice also missed practice Wednesday and might not play in this game (week-to-week).

Cincinnati’s struggled to run the ball so far this season, coming in 97th in rushing success rate after seven weeks. The fix? A defense that’s 121st in rushing EPA. SMU’s defense hasn’t inspired in any facet of the game, also coming in 108th in dropback EPA.

Aggregate ratings favor Cincy by 5.5 points on the road. Their Week 1 loss at Arkansas has successfully swept them under the rug, but the Bearcats have rattled off five straight wins even without their starting QB for one of those games.

This feels like a good spot to buy low on Cincinnati and capitalize on a market that doesn’t quite have a grip on SMU.

  • Brett’s Bet: Cincinnati -3 (-105), placed Oct. 19 at PointsBet Sportsbook
  • Best Available Number: Cincinnati

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Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons