Combing the Week 8 college football betting card looking for the best bets, we’re avoiding some of the marquee games and looking for value in a few Mountain West Conference squads.
UNLV Rebels vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 02:30 PM EDT at Notre Dame Stadium
One can’t help but wonder what the Over/Under is on how many times Knute Rockne has rolled over in his grave seeing the boys from Sin City playing in the shadows of Touchdown Jesus, but it’s got to be at least double-digits, which matches the NCAAF odds for this game.
There is no history to fall back on in this first-ever meeting between UNLV and Notre Dame, and it’s a strange meeting all around with an unconventional start time, the Rebels playing out of conference in October and the Fighting Irish playing just their second MWC team since 2016.
UNLV Limps Into South Bend
It has been a rough couple of weeks for Marcus Arroyo and the Rebels. The absence of quarterback Doug Brumfield, who sustained a concussion in the loss two weeks ago at San Jose State, left UNLV without any life on offense. The sophomore is questionable for Saturday.
In addition to Brumfield, UNLV has also been without wide receiver Kyle Williams. The junior is second on the team in receptions despite missing the last two games with a foot injury and is also questionable to face Notre Dame.
Can Irish Score Enough to Cover Line?
With the exception of the 45 points Notre Dame hung on North Carolina a month ago, offense has been a huge struggle in Marcus Freeman’s first year roaming the sidelines for the Golden Domers. The early injury to quarterback Tyler Buchner is only partly to blame.
Drew Pyne has enjoyed success in a couple of games since taking over for Buchner. Last week against Stanford was not one of those games. Tagged as 16.5-point favorites at top sportsbooks, Notre Dame could only muster 14 points in a loss to a Cardinals’ defense that was allowing more than 30 entering the contest.
Pick and Prediction
Notre Dame is favored by even more this week, with the spread in the 24.5 to 25.5 range on a Fighting Irish team that is averaging under 24 per game. Take the Rebels plus the points.
NCAAF Pick: UNLV +25.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Boise State Broncos vs. Air Force Falcons
Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at Falcon Stadium
Next up on the Week 8 free college football picks slate pits a pair of Mountain West Conference teams, and holds promise of being a close, well-played matchup between the Boise State Broncos and Air Force Falcons.
Early Action on Broncs Drives Spread Down
Air Force opened as 4.5-point chalk, but that was quickly tempered to a -3 line at shops such as FanDuel. There hasn’t been much change to the total since being released at 48.5, and both teams are running fairly flat in the O/U columns.
Last 2 Hosted by AF Went Past Totals
Assuming the spread doesn’t swing around, it will mark the first time in the rivalry for the Falcons to be favored. Boise State drew the chalk line in the previous 10, winning outright just times while Air Force covered six and the 2018 matchup pushing the line.
Boise Unbeaten in MWC Action
Andy Avalos and his Broncos had last week off following a couple of wins and covers. First was a 35-13 home win over San Diego State in which Boise State ran for 316 yards. That was followed by another 316-yard rushing attack on the Smurf Turf in a 40-20 win over Fresno State.
Running for 316 yards would be below par for Air Force. The Falcons have exceeded that number in each of their last four games, including 420 yards on the ground last week in thumping UNLV, 42-7. Air Force leads the nation averaging nearly 360 rushing yards per game.
The most significant injury on either side belongs to Air Force. The Falcons played last week without the services of linebacker Alec Mock, who is second on the team with 40 tackles. The 6-3 junior suffered a hand injury two weeks ago and is listed as questionable to face the Broncos.
How Will Falcons Respond to Being Favored?
Clear skies should set up a picturesque orange glow behind the mountains west of Colorado Springs. The thermometer should dip from an afternoon high in the low-70s to the upper-50s during the game.
It should be a great matchup for fans of the run and the Falcons’ relentless ground attack while also being stout against the run should send their backers to the pay window.
NCAAF Pick: Air Force -3 (-114) at FanDuel