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This might be my least favorite week of the season so far. It has nothing to do with a lack of marquee games; rather, there's not much value to be found from a gambling angle. Is that the worst possible way to sell you on the picks that will follow? Probably, but I'm not here to sell you anything. I'm here to help you win money and have some fun along the way.

Now, don't take what I'm saying here the wrong way. None of this is to say there isn't value to be found or that I don't believe in the following picks. I'm simply saying there isn't as much value as there was in previous weeks. Logically, that means we'll have our best week of the season. Obviously. So, 6-0 here we come!

All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

Games of the Week

Latest Odds: Iowa State Cyclones -7

No. 8 Oklahoma State at Iowa State: I've received a lot of questions about why Oklahoma State is a touchdown underdog against unranked Iowa State and the answer is simple. Despite its record, there's a good argument to be made the Cyclones are actually better overall than the Cowboys. They're certainly more well-balanced. Still, I don't think they're a full touchdown better.

Iowa State's overall defensive numbers are strong, but it hasn't played as well on that side of the ball recently. Plus, its offense has never been explosive. And while I've been critical of Oklahoma State's offense -- it's a big reason why I haven't been all that high on this team despite its unblemished record -- it has played better on that side of the ball recently and the defense is still strong. All of that makes it hard to trust the Clones as favorites. Iowa State 24, Oklahoma State 21 | Oklahoma State +7

Latest Odds: Under 77

LSU at No. 12 Ole Miss: This is not an easy game to handicap. We have no idea how LSU will respond after the school reached a "separation agreement" with coach Ed Orgeron earlier this week. To be fair, though, it's not like we were ever sure what to expect from the LSU before that happened. The Tigers finally had success leaning on their run game in a 49-42 win over Florida and I expect they'll bring that same approach here. The Rebels defense has struggled against the run, ranking 113th nationally in defensive expected points added (EPA) against the run and 123rd in success rate. Running the ball will also keep the Ole Miss offense off the field a bit longer, which would be helpful. 

The other aspect we have to consider is that Rebels QB Matt Corral carried the ball 30 times against Tennessee and he's not exactly a giant. After the game, Lane Kiffin said Corral was banged up and hinted that he could miss the LSU game. If he's out or less than 100%, that hurts Ole Miss' offensive ceiling, which only makes the under even more appealing here. Ole Miss 38, LSU 31 | Under 76

Lock of the Week

Latest Odds: Pittsburgh Panthers -3.5

Clemson at No. 23 Pitt: The entire world seems to believe Clemson stinks now and Pitt has finally entered the polls. That means it is time to get behind the Tigers and fade the Panthers. Yes, Pitt is 5-1 and has an explosive offense. QB Kenny Pickett has been so good that he was named to our Midseason All-America team -- I voted for Matt Corral -- but the problem is that Pitt's offense is also one-dimensional. While the Panthers rank third nationally with a passing efficiency of 183.9, they rank 41st nationally in rushing success rate. Also, it's impossible to ignore the disparity between Pitt's performance in nonconference play compared to ACC play. Overall, the Panthers offense ranks ninth nationally with a success rate of 48.1%. In four games outside the ACC, that number rises to 51.7%. In two ACC games against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, it drops to 41.2%.

No disrespect to either Tech, but their defenses aren't as good as Clemson's. Yes, the Tigers have struggled offensively, but defensively they rank 16th nationally in success rate and second nationally in points allowed per drive. The Tigers defense has also been good at limiting explosive plays in the passing game, which is where this Pitt offense makes its living. Clemson 27, Pitt 24 | Clemson +3

Under of the Week

Latest Odds: Under 45.5

Syracuse at Virginia Tech: Just because I said Clemson's defense is better than Virginia Tech's doesn't mean Virginia Tech's defense is bad. It's pretty good, and this is a matchup of two teams that are more reliable on defense than offense. The Hokies rank 43rd nationally in points allowed per drive (1.68), while the Orange are 52nd (1.75). Offensively, the Orange rank 60th nationally in points per drive (2.28), while the Hokies are way down in 111th (1.63). Still, Syracuse has a red zone efficiency of 57.7% and a goal-to-go efficiency of 69.2%. Those numbers rank 82nd and 91st, respectively, meaning Cuse has difficulty finishing drives. Virginia Tech is no better, ranking 63rd and 94th in both categories itself.

Two teams that like to run the ball a lot and have trouble finishing drives? That doesn't sound like a high-scoring affair to me. Virginia Tech 21, Syracuse 17 | Under 45.5

Latest Odds: Under 59.5

USC at No. 13 Notre Dame: I do not trust this Notre Dame offense. Coach Brian Kelly doesn't know who his quarterback is. Jack Coan, Drew Pyne and Tyler Buchner have all seen playing time in recent weeks, but none have grabbed ahold of the job. I'm sure they'd all appreciate being able to lean on the run game to help out, but it's non-existent. The Irish rank 125th nationally with an average of 2.73 yards per carry and 125th nationally in rushing success rate. That should help a USC defense that will give up yards, but limits explosive plays, often letting teams drive the field before playing red zone roulette.

Notre Dame's strength lies on the defensive side of the ball. I like how it matches up against a USC offense that ranks 47th nationally in points per drive and eighth in success rate, but has not been great at finishing drives (87th in red-zone efficiency). I don't think this will be a rock fight in the truest sense, but I don't see either team reaching 30 points, either, and that makes the under an attractive option. Notre Dame 27, USC 20 | Under 57.5

Mesoamericans of the Week

Latest Odds: Under 39

No. 22 San Diego State at Air Force: I don't know how much attention you pay to the Mountain West, but this is a big game. Air Force has looked like the best team in the Mountain Division, while San Diego State is tied with Nevada atop the West Division. Both of these teams are similar in that they lean heavily on the run ; only Army runs the ball more often than Air Force and SDSU's rush rate of 64.2% ranks seventh nationally. Both teams are also terrific at stopping the run. SDSU is second nationally in success rate against the run while Air Force is fifth. 

So both teams run the ball a lot, and both teams stop the run. That tells me it's going to be a low-scoring game! Still, while I don't expect to see a lot of points here, I don't see much value on the total. Instead, I see value on the underdog because I doubt the game will be decided by more than a field goal in either direction. So I'll take those points, thank you very much. San Diego State 23, Air Force 21 | San Diego State +3.5

SportsLine Pick of the Week

No. 10 Oregon at UCLA: Whoops! I ran out of room in The Six Pack, and there's another bet this weekend I love. If you want to know what it is, you can find it on my SportsLine page.


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Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 8, and which top-10 team will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,700 in profit over the past five-plus seasons -- and find out.