Lines are out for Week 8 in college football, which means it's the perfect time to get a jump on analyzing how oddsmakers view some critical matchups that could shape the College Football Playoff race. Let's break down the games to keep an eye on, ones to avoid and some other interesting tidbits.
Lines you need to know
No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State (-11.5): Penn State lost this game 49-10 last season, and many believe that lopsided loss is what cost the Nittany Lions a playoff berth. So you know they want revenge this season. As for Michigan, this is a chance for the Wolverines to show whether or not anyone needs to take them seriously this season.
No. 11 USC at No. 13 Notre Dame (-4): It's one of the oldest rivalries in college football, but it feels like it's been a while since these teams met while both were so highly-ranked. The loser likely says goodbye to its playoff hopes.
No. 20 UCF (-7) at Navy: UCF has been one of the best teams in the country that nobody pays attention to, but the Knights get a tough test with Navy this weekend. A win here could set up a huge showdown between UCF and USF at the end of the season.
No. 10 Oklahoma State (-6) at Texas: Schedule makers weren't kind to Texas this season. A week after playing Oklahoma, the Longhorns get Oklahoma State. Have to wonder if all those body blows will wear Texas down.
No. 9 Oklahoma (-13) at Kansas State: Speaking of Oklahoma, if I were a team that had been experiencing some problems in recent weeks, I don't know if hitting the road to take on Kansas State would be on top of the list of things I want to do next.
Louisville at Florida State (-7.5): Remember before the season began when we all thought this would be a huge game? Well, it still is, but only because the loser could see the rug pulled out from under it entirely.
Consider staying away
Tennessee at No. 1 Alabama (-34): That's quite a spread, isn't it? In fact, it might be the biggest indictment on Butch Jones' tenure at Tennessee to this point. Still, I don't know that you should want to touch it. Rivalry games are weird.
Syracuse at No. 8 Miami (-14): I'm scared of both sides here. You're asking me to believe Miami can beat somebody by two touchdowns, or that Syracuse can avoid a letdown after a massive win over Clemson. No thank you.
Best of the rest
- Memphis at Houston (-3)
- Wake Forest at Georgia Tech (-7.5)
- Maryland at Wisconsin (-23.5)
- Boston College at Virginia (-7)
- Kentucky at Mississippi State (-10)
- Oregon at UCLA (-6.5)
- Arizona (-1) at Cal
- West Virginia (-10.5) at Baylor
- LSU (-7.5) at Ole Miss
- Iowa State at Texas Tech (-4.5)
- Colorado at Washington State (-10.5)