6 Best College Football Bets – Top NCAAF Picks (Saturday, Oct. 22)

Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins passes in the pocket during a 34-31 loss to the Oregon Ducks at Rose Bowl on October 23, 2021 in Pasadena, California.
Image Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Here we go with our best college football bets for Week 8 of the NCAAF season.

Each of our Props.com analysts were asked to list their top two NCAAF picks for the weekend. You can view each writer’s overall record in the section towards the bottom of this article.

Also, don’t forget to check out our College Football Parlay Picks article for Week 8. Some of these best bets are used to create parlays each week, and we are up more than 10 units on that front so far.

Best College Football Bets: Week 8

These best college football bets were compiled earlier in the week, so there’s a chance the lines have shifted since publishing this article.

Notre Dame vs. UNLV Under 47.5 Points

Analyst: Justin Bales
Where to bet: Under 47.5 total points 

Notre Dame will face off against UNLV in a mismatch this weekend. It’s a bit odd that the Fighting Irish are getting such an easy matchup at this point in the season, but that’s an advantage of being an independent. 

Both of these teams are going to be slowing the pace of the game down a bit. UNLV ranks 89th in the NCAA in seconds per play (26.7), while Notre Dame ranks 108th (27.7) in the same category. 

Truthfully, I don’t believe I need to get deep into the numbers for the UNLV offense. They’ve found success against lesser defenses, but they’ve scored only 14 points over the last two weeks. They’re going to struggle to put points on the board against Notre Dame. 

UNLV’s defense hasn’t been good in recent weeks. With that being said, they’re holding their opponents to 0.403 points per play this season. Although this isn’t a great number, it also isn’t terrible. 

Notre Dame’s offense has been up and downs throughout the season. They posted only 14 points against Stanford last week after scoring 45 points against UNC a few weeks ago. Marshall also held the Fighting Irish to only 21 points earlier in the season, although that wasn’t with Drew Pyne at quarterback. 

One of the biggest factors in this game is that Notre Dame’s been worse at home and UNLV’s been better on the road. If the Rebels can find any defensive success in this game, the under will be in an elite spot.

Western Michigan vs. Miami (OH) Under 45 Points

Analyst: Justin Bales
Where to bet: Under 45 total points | -112 at BetRivers

We have some MACtion on Saturday afternoon. These two teams haven’t been what we expected entering this season, as they were both expected to be solid offenses with bad defenses. That hasn’t been the case, though. 

First, this game is going to be relatively slow-paced. Western Michigan plays at a neutral pace this season. They rank 62nd in the NCAA in plays per second. Miami is drastically slower-paced, though. They currently rank 128th in the same category. 

The biggest key to this game is both of these offenses’ struggles. Miami (OH) is averaging only 0.282 points per play, which ranks 108th in the country this season. They’ve scored 20 or fewer points in 5 of their 7 games. They only surpassed this number against Robert Morris and Kent State. 

Western Michigan’s been slightly worse. They rank 117th, averaging only 0.245 points per play thus far. The Broncos have scored 14 or fewer points in 4 of their 7 games. They topped that number against Eastern Michigan, New Hampshire, and Ball State. 

Western Michigan hasn’t found much defensive success. They’re giving up 0.545 points per play this season, although Miami will be one of the worse offenses they’ve faced thus far. On the other side, the RedHawks are only allowed 0.353 points per play this season. 

Ultimately, I don’t expect Western Michigan to find much offensive success in this game. The spread is surprisingly close, though, and that suggests a low-scoring game. Miami controlling the ball with their slow pace is going to be a sticking point to the under this week. 

Kansas State Moneyline (at TCU)

Analyst: John Supowitz
Where to bet: Kansas State ML | +135 at Tipico Sportsbook

The TCU Horned Frogs are off to their first 6-0 start since 2017. Enormous credit to Sonny Dykes for bringing in his offensive system, and it has benefitted QB Max Duggan with the sixth-best passing efficiency in the FBS. He has also rushed for at least 50 yards and rushing touchdowns in six straight games. In addition, WR Quentin Johnston has posted back-to-back massive games with 386 total receiving yards and two total touchdowns. Nobody has been able to stop this offense this year.

That could be because they haven’t faced a formidable defense until now. Kansas State comes into this game as the 14th-scoring defense in the league, and it’s the first inside the top 75 that TCU will see this season. The K-State defense has NFL talent, including Felix Anudike-Uzomah, who leads the nation with 1.08 sacks per game and is projected as a top-20 pick in the upcoming draft.

The Horned Frogs will see consistent pressure at the line, and while you love Duggan’s ability to run, there are Wildcats all over, ready to pounce. This will be a wake-up for TCU and Kansas State will come away with the upset on the road.

UCLA vs. Oregon Over 71.5 Points

Analyst: John Supowitz
Where to bet: Over 71.5 total points | -105 at BetFred Sportsbook

With no more divisions in the PAC-12, every game feels like a big one.

We weren’t sure how good this Ducks’ offense would be with defensive-minded HC Dan Lemmings now in charge. It seems that we have gotten a definitive answer. Heading into this game, Oregon is ninth in scoring offense. Auburn transfer QB Bo Nix has been incredibly efficient with a 70.4 completion percentage, 12 passing touchdowns, eight rushing scores, and 15.5 yards per carry in October.

For having a head coach that led one of the best defenses in recent memory last year, the Oregon defense isn’t as good as expected, ranking 91st in points allowed. They’re going to get a tough assignment this week with undefeated UCLA coming into Eugene. The Bruins are not far from the Ducks offensively and are the 12th-best scoring offense in the country.

The UCLA rushing attack has been dangerous, with Zach Charbonnet stepping in as one of the best running backs in this conference.

Just like Nix, Dorian Thompson-Robinson can burn you in the air with the nation’s second-best 74.8 completion percentage and 5.5 yards per carry.

These offenses are scoring a combined 83 points per game, and with each defense not playing well, this will be another fun shootout in the PAC-12 conference.

SMU +3.5 (vs. Cincinnati) 

Analyst: Matt LaMarca
Where to bet: SMU +3.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Cincinnati enters this game at 5-1 and ranked No. 21 in the AP poll, but they’ve been largely untested this season. They lost their only game against a ranked opponent this season – a seven-point road defeat vs. Arkansas – and only one of their wins has come against a Power Five school. That came at home against Indiana, which hardly qualifies as major competition.

SMU is going to be a major test for the Bearcats. They boast one of the most explosive passing offenses in the league, with their average of 373.2 passing yards per game against FBS competition ranking second nationally. They barely had the ball last week vs. Navy, racking up just 19:18 of possession, but that didn’t stop them from totaling 441 yards and 40 points. They were in full control of that game before allowing two garbage-time touchdowns to make the final scoreline look worse than it actually was.

Cincinnati is going to need to put up plenty of points to keep up with the Mustangs, and I’m not sure if they have the firepower. They’ve managed 28 and 31 points against subpar competition over the past two weeks, so I’ll take the 3.5 points with the home underdog.

Baylor -8 (vs. Kansas) 

Analyst: Matt LaMarca
Where to bet: Baylor -8 | -110 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Kansas was one of the best stories of the early season, jumping out to a 5-0 record. They moved up to No. 19 in the AP Poll, but college football is no place for Cinderellas. In college football, Alabama and Ohio State get to marry the prince, while Kansas is left sweeping up at home.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that they’ve come crashing back to reality. Their loss last week against Oklahoma was particularly brutal. The final scoreline wasn’t all that bad, but Oklahoma racked up a ridiculous 701 yards of total offense. They did that despite three turnovers, so it was a complete beatdown.

Remember, Oklahoma is not a juggernaut this season. They were humbled 49-0 by Texas, and TCU beat them by 31 points. They’ve crashed completely out of the top 25 after getting as high as No. 6 in the country.

Meanwhile, Baylor is an undervalued 3-3 squad. Their three losses have all been defensible. They lost road games to BYU and West Virginia by a total of nine points, and they dropped a home game against a very good Oklahoma State squad. TCU has hung an average of 45.8 points per game on the board this season, so their offense is well-equipped to bounce back vs. Kansas. I like them to cover the eight points.

Best College Football Bets: Results

  • Justin Bales: 6-4
  • John Supowitz: 4-6
  • Matt LaMarca: 4-6

More NCAAF Picks: Week 8

College Football Parlay Picks – Best NCAAF Parlays (Weekly Update)

Best College Football Player Props – Top NCAAF Props (Weekly Update)