College Football Betting Picks: Week 8

It’s time to examine the Week 8 college football betting board and find some matchups that present contrarian value. If you are new to using a contrarian approach for sports betting then give yourself a primer by reviewing our first edition posted 4 weeks ago.

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As a refresher, the three steps we use for choosing contrarian sides to play are:

1. The public is heavy on one side of the game
2. The betting volume is high
3. The line stays at or reverses from the opening number (a good indicator of sharp money)

Looking at no. 3; you will need to continue to monitor line movement for a game you are interested in playing. Just because a line has exhibited reverse line movement doesn’t always mean it will always stay below the opening number. The public can be responsible for inflating the number back up after sharp money has hit. We always need to be paying attention to line movement to get the best number possible.
Week 8 has seven games offering solid value, including two for Friday night.

College Football Picks Week 8 – Contrarian Plays for Friday

Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic (6:30 p.m. Eastern)

Marshall opened as 5.5 dogs across the market, and despite 72% of the public backing FAU, the line has slowly crept down. At the time of this writing, there are still plenty of books offering Marshall at 5 or 5.5 so be sure to shop around.

The College Football Pick: Marshall +5.5

Ohio State vs. Northwestern (8:30 p.m. Eastern)

Oh, the joy of being a contrarian bettor! Who doesn’t look forward to backing a 1-4 team against an opponent who is undefeated and steamrolling opponents? However, there are two aspects to keep in mind here. Ohio State has a showdown with Wisconsin next week, and the market is showing signs of reverse line movement in favor the Wildcats. Northwestern has only 24% of bettors backing them, but the line now sits a half-point lower than the opening number of 27.5. Look for Northwestern to slow this game down any way possible (including letting the grass grow another half-inch or so) and get the cover with an inflated number. The line now sits at 27 at most books, but there is still 27.5 available if you shop around.

The College Football Pick: Northwestern +27.5

College Football Picks Week 8 – Contrarian Plays for Saturday

Florida vs. South Carolina (12:00 p.m. Eastern)

The #9 ranked Gators will be on the road at Williams-Brice Stadium, taking on a 3-3 South Carolina team that stunned Georgia between the hedges last Saturday. This matchup is intriguing from a contrarian standpoint. Usually the public will be down on a side that is fresh off a loss and high on a team that is coming off an incredible win. That is not the case this week, but there is still contrarian value to be had. 82% of the public sees this game as an easy win for a top ten ranked Florida team. However, the 18% of tickets coming in on the Gamecocks have moved this line from its opening number of 6 down to 5 and even 4.5 at some books. Side with the 18% that has oddsmakers moving the line down and take the Gamecocks.

The College Football Pick: South Carolina +5

Toledo vs. Ball State (2:00 p.m. Eastern)

Here is one of those rare situations where the team that opened as the favorite now finds themselves as the underdog. Despite nearly 75% of the public backing Toledo they have moved from -1.5 to +1.5. While the line has swung 3 points, I still feel there is value backing Ball State on the moneyline, but wouldn’t play them at anything higher than -125.

The College Football Pick: Ball State -120

Coastal Carolina vs. Georgia Southern (3:00 p.m. Eastern)

Here is another under the radar matchup that sharps have found an interest in. Georgia Southern opened as 6 point favorites, and since then smart money has steamed the Eagles from -6 to the key number of 7 at some books. I will join the 28% of tickets responsible for driving the line and join the sharp side. I’ll play this at 6.5 or better.

The College Football Pick: Georgia Southern -6.5

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Missouri vs. Vanderbilt (4:00 p.m. Eastern)

Missouri comes into this game ranked for the first time and sitting at 5-1 on the season. Vanderbilt finds themselves at 1-5 in a disappointing season thus far. Oddsmakers installed Mizzou as 21.5 point favorites, and 80% of the public was more than happy to take the Tigers at that number. However, the 20% of tickets backing Vanderbilt have reversed the line down to 20.5 at some books. I feel like the number should be closer to 18 for this matchup and will back Vandy in this situation.

The College Football Pick: Vanderbilt +21

Arizona State vs. Utah (6:00 p.m. Eastern)

This game presents a great situation for contrarian bettors. When the public sees two closely ranked teams and a double-digit spread they almost always back the underdog. The sharps see it differently and are taking Utah at 13.5. This has caused some books to move the line to 14 despite only 30% of tickets coming in on the Utes. At 13.5 I feel Utah offers solid value and will play them at anything better than 14.

The College Football Pick: Utah -13.5

Army vs. Georgia State (7:00 p.m. Eastern)

Georgia State has been a profitable contrarian team this season going 2-0 and winning outright on both occasions against Tennessee and Arkansas State. They find themselves as 4.5 dogs against Army this week, and once again, the public isn’t showing them any respect. 80% of tickets are backing Army, but the line has moved from the opening number of 5.5 down to as low as 4 at some books. Look for Georgia State to continue their run and makes it 3-0 when in a contrarian position.

The College Football Pick: Georgia State +4.5

Check out more tips to help you make college football betting picks.

Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images

About the Author

  • James Ivy (LiverpoolReds)

  • James Ivy will soon begin his career as a history teacher. Ivy has always been interested in the forces that drive sports betting markets. His favorite sports to watch and bet on are soccer and Formula 1. When he’s not watching sports, you can find him behind a steering wheel sim racing or viewing films in the Criterion Collection.

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