Syracuse Almost Ripe for Upset Win

We found early line value to start the week, so now let’s close out your college football picks and predictions with a bang (for your buck) on Saturday. Some lines have moved dramatically, while others have not. There’s still plenty of value left.

Week 8 College Football Picks and Predictions

Finding that value is important for even the savviest of bettors. If you are a new bettor, however, it’s silly not to take advantage of all the offerings from multiple sportsbooks out there. Like this one from DraftKings Sportsbook that grants you $200 as a new user just by betting on a $5 moneyline.

Go line shopping with these helpful college football predictions and picks below.

Iowa vs. Ohio State (49.5 points)

Three separate Ohio State players have scored more touchdowns individually than Iowa has as a team. The Buckeyes are favored by 30 points. Iowa’s offense is in shambles.

Do you really trust the Hawkeyes offense to score anything against this Ohio State defense? The answer you should be searching for is: no.

Iowa’s best facet on offense? Their run game. Ohio State’s best facet on defense? Their run defense.

In a battle of strength vs. strength, take the more talented team. The deeper team. Take the home team. Back the Buckeyes and root on their defensive front that features two of the nation’s best in Michael Hall Jr. and Steele Chambers that anchor the unit.

Bucks win, CJ Stroud gets a Heisman moment, and the under hits.

Prediction: Ohio State 44, Iowa 3

Syracuse (+14) vs. Clemson

The Orange have the horses to compete with a Clemson defense that has looked good — not great — in 2022. The Tigers are beatable through the air and right now, and no one has found an answer for Oronde Gadsden II against Syracuse.

In fact, Gadsden was named a Midseason All-American by College Football Network due to his dominance. He wins all over the field and is incredibly hard to gameplan against due to his size at 6’5″, 216 pounds, mixed with his route-running skills and ability at the catch point.

Trenton Simpson and the Clemson D will hope to blanket Gadsden and ultimately mitigate his impact, but by doing so, may leave open lanes for Sean Tucker or Garrett Shrader on the ground.

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Shrader’s athleticism also takes out the Clemson edge defenders. If they get upfield too quickly, Shrader has the ability to take off and scramble up the middle to avoid the pocket collapsing around him, subsequently making something positive out of a potential negative.

Shrader has 300 yards on the ground and 17 total touchdowns this year, while Tucker has accumulated seven scores and another 842 yards of offense. It’s a dynamic bunch that can hang with Clemson’s offense, even with DJ Uiagalelei playing the best football of his career.

Syracuse’s defense is also primed for this matchup as Garrett Williams has returned to form, and their secondary allows the 12th-fewest passing yards per game. Their coverage scheme allows Clemson to eat up the underneath routes but blankets anything deep, having allowed the eighth-fewest passing touchdowns this year.

Cuse keeps it close, too close for comfort for Clemson, and comes a play or two away from a massive upset.

Prediction: Clemson 27, Syracuse 24

Houston (-2.5) vs. Navy

The Midshipmen have found their stride on offense as of late, scoring 87 points over their last two outings. However, their defense has allowed 30+ points, on average, over that same stretch.

Navy’s pass defense is one of the worst in the country and welcomes a buzzsaw into Maryland on Saturday. Clayton Tune and Houston are fresh off their best passing game of the season, as Tune threw for 366 in a win over Memphis.

MORE: NFL Week 7 Picks and Predictions

Tune looked more like himself against the Tigers, a dominant passer who wills his team to victory. He overcame a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and rides into Annapolis on a hot streak.

Navy’s offense is not built to come from behind, and their secondary hasn’t given much hope that they can limit Tune at all. Grab the points and take the Cougars.

Prediction: Houston 38, Navy 28

Southern Miss vs. Texas State (+2)

Texas State’s defense has been nothing short of spectacular as of late. Since allowing 40 points to JMU, the Bobcats have quite literally “eaten them up” in terms of opposing offenses. They allowed just 24 points to a dominant App State offense and just 17 points in a loss to Troy on Saturday.

Levi Bell paces Texas State on the interior of their defensive line. He’s recorded nine tackles for loss and five sacks, pushing the pocket with ease at times this season. Bell sets the defense in motion with his pocket-pushing ability that frees up his edge defenders for easy-win situations and his linebackers and defensive backs for potential errant throws.

Southern Miss doesn’t have the quick game to account for Bell’s ability to win. And they certainly don’t have the offensive linemen to hang with Bell, Jordan Revels, Nico Ezidore, and co. through four quarters.

Prediction: Texas State 27, Southern Miss 17

Toledo vs. Buffalo (BUF +7, over 59.5 points)

Grab the over in this game, as both offenses are firing on all cylinders through MAC play. Toledo rides into Buffalo on the heels of scoring 52 points in a Week 7 matchup that saw their quarterback Dequan Finn account for seven total touchdowns himself.

On the other hand, Buffalo is playing their best football of late, with Cole Snyder anchoring a rushing attack featuring Mike Washington and Ron Cook Jr. They’ve won four straight games and are 3-0 in conference play. First place in the MAC East and MAC West is on the line in this one, so both offenses should come into this game fired up.

MORE: College Football Week 8 DFS Picks

Finn is too much to handle and has the arm talent to push the boundary against Buffalo’s talented cornerbacks while avoiding the middle of their defense altogether. With Shaun Dolac and James Patterson patrolling the middle of the field, that’s a great way to win the game and score some points.

Prediction: Toledo 41, Buffalo 37

Northern Illinois vs. Ohio (+3)

In a battle of two of the nation’s worst pass defenses, the Ohio Bobcats have a distinct advantage against Northern Illinois. The Huskies can run the ball very well, as evidenced by their MAC-leading 15 rushing touchdowns.

However, NIU cannot stop the pass and cannot throw it themselves, making it very difficult to play catch-up against an Ohio team that scores in bunches. And even though their defense has been abhorrent against the pass, they rank fifth in the MAC in stopping rushing attacks on a per-yard basis.

Ohio has the horses to get up (and stay up) against NIU. You may also want to take the points in what is expected to be a shootout.

Prediction: Ohio 44, Northern Illinois 35

Washington (-8) vs. Cal

After a disappointing showing against Colorado on the road, Cal is back at home to face a terrific Washington offense. Cal has looked like a shell of the team that ran over Arizona just three weeks ago, scoring just 22 points since their 49-point outing. Making matters even more favorable for Washington is the fact that Cal’s defense is giving up 258.7 yards through the air per game (98th nationally).

Michael Penix Jr. can sling it to any level of the field, and his rapport with head coach Kalen DeBoer looked strong once again against Arizona on Saturday. Penix and Cameron Davis have been a terrific combination in the backfield for the Huskies, while their run defense ranks as the 32nd-best unit in the country. They’ll stuff Cal for a big win to keep pace in the Pac-12.

Prediction: Washington 38, Cal 13

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Other lines worth looking at

Marshall vs. James Madison (-12.5)

BYU (-7) vs. Liberty

North Texas (+10) vs. UTSA

Georgia Southern vs. Old Dominion (over 66 points)

Texas A&M (-3) vs. South Carolina

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