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If I Were A Betting Man: Week 8 picks

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

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Every bettor wants a trend, a secret, a tried-and-true formula you can lean on when it comes time to pony up.

Here at Betting Man, we predict the five biggest games of the week, (with biggest loosely defined as the games I think are the biggest). Last week, all five home teams covered. LSU pounded Georgia, Oregon upset Washington. Memphis nearly pulled off the upset, but covered against UCF. Michigan and USC easily won on their home fields.

So is that it? In the ‘big’ college games, the emotion of the home crowd trumps all? White-Outs and Death Valleys and Big Houses prove too much for the Vegas lines? Have I discovered something?

I went back to weeks 1-6 to see if indeed the home teams were covering an inordinate amount in these ‘big’ games. In those 24 games (there were six neutral site games), the home teams were … 12-12 against the spread.

So alas, Week 7 proved to be an anomaly, based on this season’s data. And the lesson, as always — Vegas will somehow always get to .500.

Speaking of getting to .500, the Yahoo Sports crew has quite a ways to go to pull that off, but college football editor Cody Brunner is set to get them back as its representative this week. Also joining us is Kevin Noon, publisher of BuckeyeGrove.com, as Ohio State has faced or will face three teams on this week’s slate. Finally, Southeast analyst Chad Simmons will represent the Rivals analyst team, which currently holds a two-game lead for the season.

MICHIGAN (-7) AT MICHIGAN STATE, NOON ET, FOX

Everything points to Michigan State, not the least of which is the Spartans have covered a remarkable 10 straight times in this series. Michigan is due for a come-down after an emotional, "GameDay"-hosted beatdown of Wisconsin. Michigan State is getting better after an uneven start, upsetting Penn State last week. Believe in Michigan State.

Trocchi’s bet: Michigan State to cover, $100

Brunner: Michigan State

Noon: Michigan State

Simmons: Michigan State

OKLAHOMA (-7.5) AT TCU, NOON ET, ABC

Before last season’s pair of blowouts by Oklahoma of TCU, the teams had played five straight seasons where the outcome was decided by a touchdown or less. I’m leaning more toward a repeat of last year’s lopsided games, however, as TCU’s offense simply cannot keep pace. The Frogs are averaging 15.7 points in Big 12 play. OU is averaging 49.3. Case closed.

Trocchi’s bet: Oklahoma to cover, $200

Brunner: Oklahoma

Noon: Oklahoma

Simmons: Oklahoma

NC STATE (+16.5) AT CLEMSON, 3:30 ET, ESPN

The betting trends favor the Wolfpack: NC State is 5-1 ATS in the last six at Clemson, 18-3 ATS off a bye week, 6-2 in last eight vs. Clemson. But a look at the schedule reveals a team that really doesn’t have an impressive win, going against a Clemson team that is also coming off a bye week and already had its shaky game. I like the Tigers big.

Trocchi’s bet: Clemson to cover, $100

Brunner: Clemson

Noon: NC State

Simmons: Clemson

MISSISSIPPI STATE (+6.5) AT LSU, 7 ET, ESPN

This is a letdown spot for LSU after the big win over No. 2 Georgia. Alabama is next, but there is a bye week in between, so that should help somewhat with the focus. Mississippi State is coming off a bye week and beat LSU by 30 points last year, but it surrendered 229 rushing yards to Kentucky.The night atmosphere at Tiger Stadium, plus a relentless running attack, gives LSU enough.

Trocchi’s bet: LSU to cover, $150

Brunner: LSU

Noon: LSU

Simmons: LSU

OREGON (+2.5) AT WASHINGTON STATE, 7:30 ET, FOX

If you hadn’t noticed, one of the themes for the week is letdown level, as in how much are teams going to come back to Earth after big home wins (Michigan, LSU). Add Oregon to the list. The OT win over Washington was huge, and now the Ducks have to travel to play a feisty Washington State team that is hosting "GameDay" for the first time. The spread seems to account for that factor, as it is lower than it probably should be, but give me Wazzu in a wacky game in a wacky environment.

Trocchi’s bet: Washington State to cover, $50

Brunner: Oregon

Noon: Oregon

Simmons: Oregon

Week 8 picks
Michigan-Mich. St. Oklahoma-TCU NC State-Clemson Miss St-LSU Oregon-Wash St.

Trocchi

MSU

Oklahoma

Clemson

LSU

Wazzu

Brunner

MSU

Oklahoma

Clsmson

LSU

Oregon

Noon

MSU

Oklahoma

NC State

LSU

Oregon

Simmons

MSU

Oklahoma

Clemson

LSU

Oregon

Season Standings

Rivals analysts: 20-15

Trocchi: 18-17

Rivals publishers: 13-22

Yahoo Sports: 9-26

One more that I like: Arizona (+10) at UCLA

UCLA finally broke through last week with a 30-point win at Cal, one week after giving Washington a run. It appears the Bruins have not quit on Chip Kelly despite the slow start. Arizona is missing starting quarterback Khalil Tate. I'll take the Bruins.

The bet: UCLA to cover, $200

Trocchi’s Season Stats:

19-22, minus $530