College football Week 8 best bets – ‘Bama bound for more success

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4)
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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Action on the college football gridiron is starting to heat up as the weather cools down in October. The Pac-12 will not join the party until November, but we otherwise have a full slate of games this weekend. There are plenty of big ones, too, including three Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchups. But those are not the only showdowns with betting value, of course.

Let’s take a look at the best college football bets for Week 8.

Alabama Crimson Tide -21 vs. Tennessee Volunteers – 3.30 p.m ET

It’s early (heck, the Big Ten is just now getting its season started this weekend), but it is already looking like another Alabama vs. Clemson National Championship Game is in the cards. The Crimson Tide were less than impressive—at least on the defensive end—in their third outing of the season against Ole Miss, but they dominated Georgia in all phases of the game throughout the second half of last weekend’s huge SEC battle en route to a 41-24 victory. Mac Jones has taken over from Tua Tagovailoa and he has passed for more than 400 yards in three consecutive contests. That is a big reason why ‘Bama is averaging 48.5 points per game. Can Tennessee even come close to keeping up? Probably not. The Volunteers are coming off a 34-7 loss to Kentucky, which twice victimized quarterback Jarrett Guarantano with pick-sixes.

SMU Mustangs -2.5 vs. Cincinnati Bearcats – 9 p.m ET

This may not be the last meeting between SMU and Cincinnati this season. They will square off on Saturday in a potential preview of the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Both teams are in the Top 25 (Cincinnati is ninth; SMU is No. 16) thanks to undefeated records (Cincinnati is 3-0; SMU is 5-0). There is more to like about the Mustangs, however, and not just because they have won five games and are playing this one at home. They have scored at least 30 points in every contest this year, including in a statement win over then-No. 25 and defending AAC champion Memphis. SMU has twice reached the 50-point mark, including in a 65-35 defeat of North Texas. Quarterback Shane Buechele is averaging 342.0 passing yards per game to go along with 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions. It is hard to see the Bearcats’ suspect offense being able to keep up.

North Carolina State Wolfpack +15 at North Carolina Tar Heels – 12 p.m ET

Was North Carolina the most fraudulent team in the country in terms of being over-ranked? It’s quite possible. The Tar Heels had a sparkling No. 5 by their name last week but went out and lost to Florida State of all opponents. As everyone knows, to say these are no longer the glory days in Tallahassee would be a gross understatement. The Seminoles are terrible; there is a reason why they were +13.5 underdogs against UNC. Whatever the case, the Heels are once again hovering around two-touchdown favorites this week. What could possibly go wrong?! N.C. State is no joke, either. It has bounced back from a loss at Virginia Tech by beating Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Duke in succession. Running backs Ricky Person Jr. and Zonovan Knight will keep the clock moving in this rivalry matchup—and will keep the Wolfpack competitive.

West Virginia at Texas Tech, Over 54 points – 5.30 p.m ET

Even though these offenses may not be complete juggernauts like they have been at times in the past, any total of 54 in the defensively-challenged Big 12 screams an opportunity for an over play. And this Texas Tech-West Virginia meeting is no exception. Although the Red Raiders’ air attack is no longer as prolific as it once was, they have given up at least 31 points in every game this season—including 33 to Houston Baptist. The Mountaineers are putting up 33.5 points per game behind running back Leddie Brown (81 carries, 515 yards, five touchdowns).

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