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College Football Picks & Saturday Predictions: Pittsburgh-Clemson & More

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 7 mins

College Football Picks & Saturday Predictions: Pittsburgh-Clemson & More

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We’ll be honest – this isn’t a great college football slate.

Week 8 on the gridiron doesn’t have any games between top-25 opponents, with a lot of potential blowouts on the table. But we don’t want to hear any complaints because there’s this thing called a point spread that levels the playing field and makes every game interesting from a college football betting perspective. You should check it out.

There are plenty of intriguing point spreads at sportsbooks and betting sites this week and a rare marquee game in the ACC, with Pittsburgh taking on Clemson in a game with huge conference championship implications. The Panthers are a -3 favorite on betting apps over the Tigers and can effectively shut the door on the Tigers’ chance at a seventh straight ACC title with a victory.

As for the rest of Saturday’s schedule – we’ll just say thank heavens for gambling. So let's get to our best bets: We checked all the college football spreads for Saturday, and these are our top 5 Saturday college football picks.

Saturday College Football Week 8 Best Bets

Purdue ATS over Wisconsin

This is a very similar matchup for a Purdue team coming off a 24-7 upset win at Iowa. The Badgers and Hawkeyes are both strong defensive teams with weak offense, particularly at quarterback. Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz has just two touchdown passes and seven interceptions on the season, and this Badgers offense folds every time it sees an above-average defense. There’s no reason to think it won’t happen again in this one, with Purdue 13th in the country in total defense.

The difference is the Boilermakers have a great aerial attack and chuck it around all game. They only need to hit on a few big plays to get the job done. We’re on Purdue +3.5 at DraftKings.

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Pittsburgh ATS over Clemson

We’ve been looking forward to this one for weeks. Pittsburgh is simply too strong on offense for Clemson to keep pace, and the Panthers have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Kenny Pickett.

Clemson’s offense is in shambles. The Tigers have averaged 13.4 points in regulation against FBS opponents, which won’t cut it against a Pittsburgh defense that played its best game of the year last week against Virginia Tech. We’re all over Pittsburgh -3 at BetMGM.

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Miami (Ohio) ATS over Ball State

These teams are almost identical, statistically, with Ball State slightly better on offense and Miami (Ohio) slightly better on defense. We think that RedHawks defense will be the difference-maker in this one. Ball State has plenty of momentum coming off three impressive wins over Army, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. So what changed after a 1-3 start to the season? Cardinals fans won’t like the answer.

This is mostly the same team aside from a drastic change in turnover ratio. The Cardinals had seven offensive turnovers to just two takeaways in their first four games of the season. In the last three wins, they’ve had zero offensive turnovers and nine takeaways. That’s a random, unsustainable factor for the second-worst offense in conference.

This is a very even matchup and Miami (Ohio) has won four of the last five against the in-state rival. We’re on the RedHawks +5.5 at FanDuel.

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Indiana ATS over Ohio State

Look, Ohio State’s offense has been impressive lately. No doubt. But let’s consider the opponents. Since the home loss to Oregon, the Buckeyes have four straight blowout wins over Tulsa, Akron, Rutgers and Maryland. None of the four rank inside the top 60 in total defense, so the Buckeyes’ production isn’t that surprising.

Now Ohio State has been off for a week listening to everyone sing its praises. This Indiana defense is tougher than it looks on paper, capable of limiting Ohio State’s running game. The defensive backs are disciplined and players seem confident in the scheme at all times. We think the Hoosiers are capable of hanging within three scores. Indiana +21 is the play at WynnBET.


Utah ATS over Oregon State

The Utes are coming on strong with three straight wins, including a 35-21 victory over Arizona State last week. We expect Utah to keep it going against the Beavers. Oregon State has the slightly better offense, but Utah’s defense is great against the pass and will force the Beavers into uncomfortable situations.

The Beavers are vulnerable in the secondary and Utes quarterback Cameron Rising has improved a ton in recent weeks. Oregon State has the rest advantage, but the Beavers are just 1-3-1 against the spread following a bye in four years under coach Jonathan Smith. We’re on Utah -3 at Caesars Sportsbook.

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About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.