Sharp Seven: Week 8 Gambling Picks

Last week: 2-5

Season total: 22-26-2 (46%)

Florida State’s bye week wasn’t kind to us with our picks last week. It was a weekend full of upsets as seven top 25 teams took a loss. Let’s get back to some normalcy and bounce back in week eight.

#6 Michigan (-7) at #24 Michigan State

Giving up a touchdown to a rival on the road may seem like a risky play but Michigan has been dominant lately. Michigan State is coming off of a huge, emotional win in Happy Valley last week and I see this as a potential hangover for them despite it being a rivalry game. Had the Spartans shown some more consistency throughout the season, I might have liked them a bit more but until I see otherwise, give me the Wolverines here.

#9 Oklahoma (-8) at TCU

This one is tricky. Oklahoma dominated TCU twice last season but recent history in this series suggests it will be close. Oklahoma is coming off of a somewhat surprising loss to its biggest rival in Texas last weekend.

In the aftermath, Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was immediately fired due to giving up 48 points in the loss. Teams either rally behind a move like this or the wheels tend to come off. I’m siding with Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma here to get things back on track with a double-digit victory this weekend.

#1 Alabama (-29) at Tennessee

Alabama has been dominant in the first half of games so far this season which has hurt them against the spread. They tend to blow the doors off teams early letting their starters sit most of the second half. The problem for Tennessee here is that Alabama’s backups are better than the Volunteers starters. I am reluctantly taking the Tide here hoping their defense doesn’t allow the backdoor cover.

#22 Mississippi State at #5 LSU (-6.5)

LSU at home, at night on ESPN. While I don’t think the Tigers are significantly better than Mississippi State, this is a tough spot for the Bulldogs to be in this weekend.

MSU looked dominant in their win over Auburn last weekend but lost to Florida and Kentucky as the Bulldog offense struggled mightily. I just don’t think the Bulldogs have enough offense to keep this one within a touchdown.

#2 Ohio State (-13.5) at Purdue

After a miserable 0-3 start, Purdue has found its rhythm after three straight victories, all of which have been in convincing fashion.  Meanwhile, Ohio State is coming off a less than impressive victory over Minnesota last week as they escaped with the win in what was a one-score game early in the fourth quarter.

Despite this being a night game in Ross-Ade Stadium, I look for Ohio State to bring Purdue back down to earth on Saturday. Dwayne Haskins continues to thrive in Urban Meyer’s offense and the Buckeyes win by 17.

#12 Oregon at #25 Washington State (-2.5)

Despite knocking off Washington in a thriller last weekend, the Ducks enter this weekend as the underdog. Outside of a hiccup at USC, the Cougars have looked solid on both sides of the ball this season although this weekend will certainly be a step up in competition.

The difference here will be Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew against the Ducks passing defense. Minshew currently leads the nation in passing with 2,422 yards through the air. That won’t play well for Oregon’s 94th ranked pass defense.

Wake Forest at Florida State (-10)

There is a good chance that this will be the final game of the season where Florida State is favored. If the Seminoles want to have any chance to extend the nations longest bowl streak, this weekend is a must win.

While the offensive line remains a work in progress (to put things nicely), this is certainly the game to put some points on the scoreboard. Wake Forest ranks 123rd out of 130 FBS teams in total defense, 90th in passing defense and 126th overall in rush defense. In their three games against FBS opponents, the Deacons are giving up over 50 points per game.

Everything should be wide open for FSU to score a healthy amount of points this weekend and Wake’s offense doesn’t have enough firepower to keep it within double-digits. The one wild card is Wake Forest receiver Greg Dortch who is on pace for well over 1,000 receiving yards on the season. As long as the Seminoles keep an eye on him, no other Deacon players should stand out Saturday afternoon. Take the ‘Noles and the points.

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