Week 8 College Football Best Bets: Why I’m Backing A Lame Duck Coach

Written By Eli Hershkovich on October 23, 2021 - Last Updated on October 24, 2021

Saturday’s slate includes zero top-25 games, but there are a pair of profitable angles to hit on with No. 8 Oklahoma State at Iowa State and LSU at No. 12 Ole Miss. Let’s break down my Week 8 college football best bets, along with the sportsbook perspective.

No. 8 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Iowa State Cyclones

As of Wednesday at PointsBet Sportsbook, 84% of the spread tickets are on the Cowboys while attracting 59% of the handle. Regarding the total, 76% of the bets are backing the under, but 64% of the handle is on the over.

We cashed with Mike Gundy’s crew at Texas in Week 7, yet I’m looking the other way this time around.

If you dig deep into the Iowa State’s two losses (vs. Iowa, at Baylor), Matt Campbell’s team outgained both of its opponents in yards per play (YPP). What cost the Cyclones was the Hawkeyes’ defense forcing four turnovers and settling for a trio of field goals before the fourth quarter in Waco, Texas.

Nevertheless, Iowa State is accruing 15th-highest expected points added (EPA) per play, led by senior quarterback Brock Purdy (No. 13 EPA per dropback). EPA is determined by expected points scored based on the down, distance, and field position at the start of a play — compared to the conclusion of the play.

Purdy is very familiar with the Pokes’ unique 4-2-5 scheme — unlike Texas’ Casey Thompson and Baylor’s Gerry Bohanan, who both recently lost to the undefeated Cowboys. But Iowa State tailback Breece Hall should be better suited to take advantage of Oklahoma State’s rushing defense (No. 46 in EPA per carry). The 6-foot-1 junior boasts the most explosive runs at his position (21) across Division I.

On the other side of the ball, the Cyclones top-30 defense should be an onerous matchup for the erratic Spencer Sanders. But with the spread sitting at a key number, I’ll look to add Iowa State as a live bet among my Week 8 college football best bets.

Behind The Counter at WynnBET Sportsbook

“I’ve been stubborn on both ends, thinking Oklahoma State isn’t that good and Iowa State is as good,” WynnBET senior trader Mo Pearson said. “We were immediately met by Cyclones bets that got us to Iowa State -7. We’ll be weary of how the market forms on this team moving forward, but I’m expecting Oklahoma State buy-back soon.”

Eli’s Potential Bet: Iowa State live -3.5 or better
Best Available Line: Iowa State

LSU Tigers at No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels

Over at PointsBet, 74% of the bets and 55% of the handle are on the Tigers. The total may seem high, but 64% of the handle is on the over while 76% of the tickets are on the under.

The headlines have been surrounding Tigers coach Ed Orgeron and his ensuing exit after this season, but Heisman candidate Matt Corral is dealing with an undisclosed injury that could hold him out of this matchup.

“He’s not in very good shape,” Rebels coach Lane Kiffin said of Corral Monday. “He hasn’t been for the last two days. You guys know how we are on injuries. Hopefully he will play, but I don’t feel good about that right now.”

While Luke Altmyer or Tyrell Pigrome would still be opposing this LSU passing defense that ranks No. 104 in EPA, the betting market would surely rush to back a road underdog above a key number. Even if Corral suits up, Tigers signal caller Max Johnson (No. 11 EPA per dropback) is facing a bottom-30 unit, lending more reason to back Orgeron’s bunch.

“Regardless of all the negative news with Orgeron, our power rankings respected them (the Tigers) against Florida,” Pearson said. “Even with some lingering issues with Corral, we’ve seen some action on both side, as we side at Ole Miss -10 (EV).”

Eli’s Bet: LSU +9.5 (bet down to +8.5 — PointsBet at 4pm ET on Tuesday, Oct. 19)
Best Available Line: LSU

Mo’s Week 8 College Football Best Bet: East Carolina at Houston

“ECU has been playing much better in its last couple games and coming off this bye week, we see that they may be getting two or three points more than it should against a surging Houston team,” Pearson said.

Mo’s Bet: ECU +13
Best Available Line: ECU

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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