College football fans and bettors looking for some action this weekend will have no trouble finding it. While there isn’t an Alabama-Tennessee game on deck, several games feature ranked teams facing off and a few that could have College Football Playoff (CFP) implications. Here are a few of our favorite college football picks and parlays for Week 8.
Syracuse vs. Clemson Betting Odds Point Spread, Total, Moneyline, Pick
Clemson is a 14-point favorite as of Friday. The last time Syracuse beat the Tigers was in 2017. Here are current odds from the top sportsbook apps.
NCAAF · Sat (8/26) @ 2:42pm ET
|Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC|
Should you believe in this Syracuse (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) team? Sure, they are undefeated and have the No. 6 scoring defense in the country (No. 11 rushing defense, No. 12 passing defense, No. 8 total defense). Their offense isn’t spectacular, but it is good (No. 30 scoring, No. 11 passing efficiency).
But who have they played?
Louisville and Purdue are good teams, but they aren’t in the same class as Clemson. You can’t count North Carolina State since they were without their starting quarterback. Also, Wagner, UConn, and Virginia are not impressive teams.
Clemson (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS) is a little more battle-tested (but not much), having survived a barnburner against Wake Forest and an NC State team that had Devin Leary. Florida State may be the best 4-3 team in the country. The offense doesn’t generate a ton of stats, but they do score points (No. 21 scoring offense). But it is hard to know what to expect from the defense.
Is the run defense ranked No. 4 because it’s that good, or because teams are too busy throwing on their porous secondary (No. 96)? Does the secondary look that bad because it is that bad, or because teams throw a lot to catch up? They are giving up an average of 19.6 points per game (No. 27).
Syracuse is playing with house money. They were not supposed to be as good as they have been. So, if they lose, it will not be shocking. That freedom may be what the Orange needs to keep this one close. Can they win? Eh, it’s possible. But they will likely give Clemson a good fight and keep it within the number.
Our Pick: Syracuse +14
UCLA vs. Oregon Betting Odds Point Spread, Total, Moneyline, Pick
A win for either will give their CFP resume a nice boost. Oregon has won nine of the last ten games against the Bruins.
NCAAF · Sat (8/26) @ 2:42pm ET
|Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR|
There is some merit to playing a weak non-conference schedule like UCLA (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) had this year. They were never in danger of losing their first two games, which gave them a chance to work out the kinks on both sides of the ball. While South Alabama made the Bruins earn the win, UCLA was able to win despite playing a less-than-perfect game.
But since conference play began, they’ve bowled over the competition, taking down Colorado, a ranked Washington team, and a Utah team many expected to contend for the national championship. Chip Kelly has Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins offense reminding people of his day at Oregon.
Factor in a competent defense, and UCLA is hard to beat.
As for Oregon (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS), there is undoubtedly merit to taking on one of the best teams in the country to start the season (then-No. 3 Georgia)—but only if you win. Getting destroyed 49-3 just looks terrible; there is no way to put a positive spin on a beating like that. However, the Ducks have been able to bounce back, get back in the rankings, and work their up to No. 10 in the AP Poll.
How? By scoring 40+ points a game and beating up on a schedule that’s a combined 14-20.
The Ducks are a good team, but they are ridiculously overrated. Dorian Thompson-Robinson will have a field day against the Oregon secondary, while the UCLA defense reminds fans why Auburn didn’t mind when Bo Nix transferred.
Our Pick: UCLA +205 (or take the points, +6.5 if you are a more cautious bettor)
Texas vs. Oklahoma State Betting Odds Point Spread, Total, Moneyline, Pick
Oklahoma State needs a win to remain in the hunt for the Big 12 title game. Texas has won two of the last three meetings, but Oklahoma State has won five of the last seven.
NCAAF · Sat (8/26) @ 2:42pm ET
|Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK|
Hudson Card did an admirable job while Quinn Ewers was out for Texas (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS), but running back Bijan Robinson carried the team. While Ewers has been back for a couple of games, Robinson has still been doing the heavy lifting. But it may be time for both Robinson and Ewers to feast against a lackluster Oklahoma State (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) defense.
The Cowboys allow 130+ yards a game on the ground; Robinson has averaged 130+ since the loss to Alabama. Ewers has lived up to the hype when he has played and could get his first 300+ yard passing day as a college quarterback against Oklahoma State’s dreadful secondary.
But the key to the game could be the health of Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury. He’ll give the Texas secondary a workout if he plays. But if he doesn’t, Oklahoma State will end up going with the coach’s so, freshman Gunnar Gundy.
If Sanders plays, it will be a close, hard-fought game with many points scored. If he doesn’t play, Texas should run away with a game that will see a lot of points getting scored (just primarily by one team).
Our Pick: Over 60.5
Kansas State vs. TCU
This battle between the Big 12’s unbeaten teams could have CFP implications.
NCAAF · Sat (8/26) @ 2:42pm ET
|Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana|
It looked like the shine was going to come off Max Duggan and TCU (6-0 SU, 4-1-1 ATS) last week. But instead, Duggan showed why he deserves to be in Heisman conversations by helping the Horned Frogs overcome an early 17-point deficit to a win in two OTs. Their defense is a weakness, but it has managed to adjust and get the job done in recent weeks.
However, it may not be as easy to do so against Kansas State (5-1 SU, 4-1-1 ATS). The Wildcats do not have a stellar defense, but they have one of the better ones in the Big 12 (No. 1 turnover margin and passing efficiency defense, No. 2 in sacks and scoring, No. 4 in total defense). But K-State’s best defense may be its offense.
The Wildcats have the No. 1 rushing offense in the conference (No. 8 in the country). It will be hard for Maxx Duggan to throw touchdown bombs if he isn’t on the field.
Neither team turns the ball over much; K-State is the only team in the country that has yet to throw an interception.
K-State is good enough to keep this one interesting, but the absence of a passing game will cost them. Their defense and run game will keep it close in the first half. But Max Duggan will take over in the second half and have this one out of reach early in the fourth quarter.
Our Pick: TCU -3.5
College Football Parlays: Week 8 (odds via DraftKings)
Parlays give the house an even greater advantage than straight bets, but they are fun and give you a chance to win more money. Of course, with that chance comes an increased risk of losing. You can empty your bankroll in no time if you aren’t careful. So, if you are going to bet on a college football parlay or two, keep them short.
Let’s look at a few parlays based on the games above.
Parlay No. 1: Syracuse vs. Clemson
- Syracuse +14
- Garrett Schrader 245+ passing yards +130
- Parlay Odds: +380
Clemson is the better team and should win this game, but Syracuse has enough talent to keep the game relatively close. How? By taking advantage of Clemson’s porous secondary late in the game and scoring a touchdown or two in garbage time (giving Schrader a chance to go over 245+ yards for the game).
If you are a little more pessimistic about Schrader and the Syracuse passing game, go with 220+ yards at -140 (new parlay odds +255).
A $100 bet at +380 will result in a $480 payday — your original stake and $380 in winnings.
Parlay No. 2: UCLA vs. Oregon
- UCLA +185
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson 280+ passing yards +120
- Parlay Odds +500
Oregon is overrated and has made a name for itself this season by beating weak teams. UCLA has faced some weak ones, but they’ve also taken down teams like Utah and USC. How have they been doing it? Behind the strong arm of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. They’ll win this game after DTR carves up a lackluster Oregon secondary for a big day.
A $100 wager will result in a $600 payday — your stake plus $500 in winnings.
Parlay No. 3: Three-team point spread parlay
- Syracuse +14 (-115)
- TCU -3.5 (+100)
- UCLA +6 (+100)
- Parlay odds: +647
Syracuse has an outside shot of beating Clemson, but they are more likely to make it look respectable with a touchdown or two in garbage time to win ATS. K-State is having a great season, but they will not be able to keep up with TCU’s passing game. It will be a close game early, with the Horned Frogs pulling away late for the win.
As for the Bruins, Dorian Thompson-Robinson will have a day against the Oregon defense and win this one by at least one touchdown.
A $100 bet will result in a $747 payday — your stake plus $647 in winnings.