Pick 6: Best bets for Week 8 of college football
Best bet: Washington (+3) vs. Oregon
Oregon has won five games in a row, but I’m still surprised that Washington is getting three points at home. The Huskies are averaging 36.4 points per game, while running back Salvon Ahmed is averaging 5.8 yards per carry this season. Both Oregon and Washington have struggled on third down, so that could prove to be the difference in this game.
Long shot: Tennessee (+34.5) at Alabama
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt joked this week about going for it on fourth down in order to make things interesting. I’m a fan of the Volunteers being more aggressive in an attempt to cover this lofty spread. Alabama is just 2-2 ATS with spreads of 30 points or more this season, and there are not many options for a long shot bet this week.
Betting a favorite: LSU (-17.5) at Mississippi State
This one is pretty simple: LSU is good, Mississippi State is not. The Tigers could be in for a letdown performance, but I refuse to believe this game won’t be a 20-point blowout. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is coming off a 293-yard performance against Florida, so it seems unlikely that Mississippi State will slow him down.
Over of the week: Saints at Bears (38.5)
This isn’t a good college weekend, so I’m dipping into the NFL pool for my over. The idea behind the low point total makes sense, as this game features two really good defenses. I’m banking on the fact that this isn’t a division game, so there should be less familiarity between these two opponents.
Under of the week: Boise State at BYU (47)
The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings in this series, and I expect that trend to continue here. Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier (hip) likely won’t be able to go, meaning sophomore Chase Cord will get his first start. BYU’s quarterback Jaren Hall is also working his way back from concussion symptoms.
NFL action: Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bengals are 0-6, but four losses have come in one-score games. Cincinnati has also played four games away from home, meaning it hasn’t been the easiest schedule to start. Jacksonville is averaging just 19.5 points per game, and I don’t expect this team to score enough to pull completely away.
KU sports staff picks against the spread
Kansas at Texas (-21.5)
Matt Tait: Kansas
Benton Smith: Kansas
Braden Shaw: Texas
Shane Jackson: Kansas
Michigan at Penn State (-9)
Matt Tait: Penn State
Benton Smith: Penn State
Braden Shaw: Michigan
Shane Jackson: Penn State
Baylor at Oklahoma State (-3.5)
Matt Tait: Oklahoma State
Benton Smith: Oklahoma State
Braden Shaw: Oklahoma State
Shane Jackson: Baylor
Arizona State at Utah (-13.5)
Matt Tait: Utah
Benton Smith: Arizona State
Braden Shaw: Arizona State
Shane Jackson: Arizona State
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)
Matt Tait: Ravens
Benton Smith: Seahawks
Braden Shaw: Seahawks
Shane Jackson: Ravens
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
Matt Tait: Cowboys
Benton Smith: Eagles
Braden Shaw: Eagles
Shane Jackson: Cowboys
Shane Jackson: 23-19 (2-4 in Week 7)
Benton Smith: 22-20 (2-4 in Week 7)
Matt Tait: 18-24 (3-3 in Week 7)
Braden Shaw: 16-26 (1-5 in Week 7)