It was quite the Week 7 in the college football world with just 11 of the 21 ranked teams covering. Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Washington State all lost outright to unranked teams. There are plenty of options in Week 8 when looking for college football upset picks.
Those upset specials don’t even factor in the wild turn of events when Colorado went from leading by 29 points at halftime to losing in overtime to Stanford. Or when Notre Dame pretty much ended not only USC’s title hopes but the Trojans’ Caleb Williams dream of winning back-to-back Heisman Trophies.
There are 11 Football Bowl Subdivision teams still holding perfect records and eight come from Power-5 conferences. Keep that in mind when making NCAA football picks this week.
Second-half meltdowns by Indiana and Miami kept us from having a pretty solid week for picking upsets. Only Missouri came through among our Week 7 upset specials. The Tigers not only covered but won the game outright against Kentucky.
We have highlighted four games in Week 8 where it would be wise to keep tabs on the underdog as part of the NCAAF free picks and parlays to consider. Four ranked teams are listed as underdogs in Week 8 thanks in large part to games between ranked opponents.
Let’s take a closer look at some NCAA football odds worth considering.
Northwestern Wildcats (+11½) at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Saturday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Sorry, but it is hard to trust Nebraska as a double-digit favorite.
Nebraska has covered in just one of its last four games as a double-digit favorite in Big Ten play. While that one happened to come at the expense of Northwestern back in 2021, the Cornhuskers not only failed to cover versus Northwestern as a 12½-point favorite in the 2022 season opener, they lost 31-28 in one of the most surprising results in the Big Ten a year ago.
While it might be pushing it to call for another Northwestern win among this week’s NCAA football predictions, Nebraska is just 2-8 against the spread in its last 10 games when listed as the favorite.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (+3½) at West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
It is easy to write off Oklahoma State after a head-scratching performance in a 33-7 home loss to South Alabama.
The Cowboys bounced back by sweeping the two Big 12 games against the Kansas-based teams with the 29-21 win over Kansas State and a 39-32 victory versus Kansas as running back Ollie Gordon went over 100 yards both rushing and receiving to earn the Doak Walker National Player of the Week Award.
Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon II posted a career-best game in Saturday’s 39-32 win over No. 23 Kansas, recording 284 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 35 offensive touches. pic.twitter.com/98g7J3rcDn
— Doak Walker Award (@DoakWalkerAward) October 17, 2023
West Virginia snapped a seven-game losing streak to Oklahoma State with a 24-19 win in 2022 as a 5½-point underdog.
The Cowboys have won four games in a row in Morgantown and the 3½-point spread gives Oklahoma State some room for error even if it doesn’t win outright.
Take A Look At These Other 2 NCAAF Special Articles
- NCAAF Week 8 Parlay: Look for Plenty of Points in the UNC-Virginia Matchup
- Week 8 Top 25 Props: Running Backs Gone Wild
Pittsburgh Panthers (+1) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Saturday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
Was it really just two years ago that Wake Forest and Pittsburgh were meeting in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game?
Pittsburgh just snapped a four-game losing streak by taking down a nationally-ranked Louisville team at home.
Wake Forest narrowly avoided upsets to Vanderbilt and Old Dominion. It has been some rough sledding since starting conference play as the Demon Deacons averaged 13.7 points in dropping games to Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.
Two of the most dynamic offenses in the ACC in 2021 are now ranked 11th and 12th in the ACC in yards per game in conference games.
There won’t be much of a reward for picking this game since it is approaching Pick’em status but let’s go with Pittsburgh to pull off the minor upset on the road.
Tennessee Volunteers (+9) at Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
A few years ago, it would be a case of naming your final score when Alabama was playing a team that beat the Crimson Tide the previous year.
Something seems a little off about this Alabama team. Yes, the Crimson Tide has yet to lose in SEC play and is sitting atop the SEC West standings. However, offensive lineman Tyler Booker summed it up best after last week’s 24-21 win over Arkansas when he said Alabama “should be dominating.”
That has not been the case.
This is not the same Tennessee team that led the nation in total offense a season ago. However, the nine-point spread seems a little on the high side. Tennessee is tied for the SEC lead with a 4-2 mark against the college football spreads and look for the Volunteers to keep things close against Alabama.
Question of the day
Which team is the best value bet upsetting a highly ranked team in Week 8 of the NCAAF season?
There aren’t many great options but perhaps Penn State can finally beat Ohio State in a showdown of top-10 ranked Big Ten teams.