While last Saturday was filled with big college football games throughout the day, Week 8 feels a little underwhelming.
Oregon’s battle with Washington was thought to have major implications before the season, but with Washington already losing two games this year, it becomes less significant in the national landscape. And while Penn State is hosting Michigan in an important Big Ten matchup, the game could get ugly if the Wolverines’ offense continues to struggle.
That being said, Week 8 does include a number of potential “trap games” or matchups where one of the opponents might have a situational disadvantage on the betting market. Here are a few teams that have caught my eye — for better or worse — this week:
Tom Herman’s amazing underdog run continued in Week 7 as Texas’ late touchdown against Oklahoma secured their bettors an against-the-spread cover. A lot had to go in the Longhorns’ favor to keep the final score within the number, as the Sooners had two red zone turnovers in the first half and then out-gained Texas 511-310 in the yardage department. Coming off a misleading — and disappointing — final score, I’m going to look to bet against a Texas team that I still believe is overvalued. Texas is a 22-point favorite against Kansas in Week 8, and while Kansas isn’t a team I would normally rush to bet on, they’re coming off a bye and Les Miles knows this is a big opportunity for his program.
It turns out a bye week didn’t help much for the Aggies, who are coming off a 47-28 loss to Alabama in their marquee home game of the season. After failing to meet market expectations in an “all-in” game, you have to wonder about the motivation of a team with three losses already. This week, Texas A&M travels to Ole Miss and is currently installed as a six-point road favorite. This could be a good spot to fade the Aggies in a letdown game.
Wisconsin pitched their fourth shutout of the season on Saturday with a 38-0 win against Michigan State. In Week 9, they’ll be featured in one of the games of the week when they play at Ohio State, but before that, they have to leave their campus for the first time since Week 1 to battle Illinois. The spread for this game has ballooned to Wisconsin -31 after opening at -28 on Sunday afternoon. I can see Wisconsin running all over Illinois and the Illini struggling to score. However, I’ll likely stay away due to this being a textbook trap game for the Badgers.
LSU fits into a similar situation as Wisconsin. They are coming off a big home win against Florida, where their offense shined on a national stage. Two weeks from now, LSU will take on an impressive Auburn team, but they first have to travel to Mississippi State and face a reeling program that just lost at Tennessee in Week 7. This would be a perfect sandwich game to bet against LSU, but I can’t trust Mississippi State to cover despite them having 19 points to play with as of Monday afternoon.
Before playing LSU next week, Auburn faces off against Arkansas in Week 8. The Tigers having to finish their October schedule on the road makes it very tempting to bet on the Razorbacks in this spot. Arkansas, who recently showed some life in losses to Texas A&M and Kentucky, is an 18.5-point underdog, and I might talk myself into betting on them by the end of the week.