College Football 2023 Week 8 Top 25 Picks and Matchups

The Week 8 College Football Top 25 Betting Report from FairwayJay with predictions and picks on key games generating the most interest. Four Top 25 matchups with additional information you can bet on.

Preview and picks for NCAA Football Week 8

Four more Top 25 matchups headline the college football card on Saturday, Oct. 21, highlighted by the Big Ten battle in Columbus between No. 7 Penn State and No. 3 Ohio State on ESPN’s “College GameDay” and FOX's "Big Noon Kickoff". 

- No. 7 Penn State at No. 3 Ohio State (-4.5)
- No. 14 Utah at No. 18 USC (-6.5)
- No. 16 Duke at No. 4 Florida State (-13.5)
- No. 17 Tennessee at No. 11 Alabama (-8.5) 

Those Top 25 contests will be driving the watch and wager betting action at the leading online sportsbooks. 

All college football 2023 Picks and Opinions through Week 7 are 18-11, including 15-8 ATS on sides. 

Top 25 Matchup Picks: 2-2 
Top 25 Matchup Opinions: 7-4
Top 25 Game Picks: 1-1
Bonus Picks: 3-0
Bonus Opinions: 1-1
Top 25 Games Opinions: 3-1
Top 25 Totals Opinions: 1-2

Bet Fairway's Picks at these Top Online Sportsbooks for more profits and payouts.

Top 25 Games, Odds and TV Schedule

College football odds from BookMaker refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting. All times Eastern (ET). 

Saturday, Oct. 21

No. 1 Georgia | Bye
No. 2 Michigan (-24) at Michigan State | 7:30 p.m. | NBC
No. 3 Ohio State (-4.5) vs. No. 7 Penn State | 12 p.m. | FOX
No. 4 Florida State (-14.5) vs. No. 16 Duke | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 5 Washington (-26.5) vs. Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. | FS1
No. 6 Oklahoma (-17.5) vs. Central Florida (UCF) | 12 p.m. | ABC
No. 8 Texas (-23) at Houston | 4 p.m. | FOX
No. 9 Oregon (-20) vs. Washington State | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 10 North Carolina (-23) vs. Virginia | 6:30 p.m. | CW Network
No. 11 Alabama (-8.5) vs. No. 17 Tennessee | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 12 Oregon State | Bye
No. 13 Ole Miss (-6.5) at Auburn | 7 p.m. | ESPN
No. 14 Utah at No. 18 USC (-7)| 8 p.m. | FOX
No. 15 Notre Dame | Bye
No. 19 LSU (-32.5) vs. Army | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 20 Missouri (-6.5) vs. South Carolina | 3:30 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 21 Louisville | Bye
No. 22 Air Force (-10.5) at Navy | 12 p.m. | CBS
No. 23 Tulane (-20.5) vs North Texas
No. 24 Iowa (-4) vs. Minnesota | 3:30 p.m. | NBC
No. 25 UCLA (-17) at Stanford | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN 

Others receiving votes: James Madison 70, Clemson 35, Florida 12, Washington St. 11, Fresno St. 6, Liberty 5, Kentucky 4, Wyoming 4, Kansas 2, West Virginia 1, Oklahoma St. 1, Miami 1.

James Madison (7-0) is king of the Sun Belt and ready to move into the Top 25 next week following their fifth straight point spread cover Thursday in a 20-0 win at Marshall. 

The leaders of the East and West divisions in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) battle Saturday when Toledo (-1.5) travels to tackle Miami, Ohio. Both teams are 6-1. 

Also, Navy (3-3) and Air Force (6-0) meet in Annapolis, MD in the Opening Leg of the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy. Air Force is currently a -10.5 point favorite and the Falcons lead the country in rushing (325 YPG), No. 3 in third down conversions (59%) and its defense allows less than 15 points per game. So the total is down from 37 to 34 knowing too that the Navy/Air Force games are 3-24-1 O/U in the last 28 meetings. Saturday marks the first time Air Force has been ranked in the AP top 25 entering the Navy game since 1997. Navy has lost the last three in this series, but the Middies are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 as a double-digit dog.

Week 8 Top 25 Picks And Matchups

No. 7 Penn State at No. 3 Ohio State | 12:00 p.m. on FOX
Line: Ohio State -4.5 and Total 45.5
Pick: Penn State 

A behemoth battle of unbeatens in the Big Ten with both Ohio State and Penn State 6-0. The winner joins Michigan on top of the East division. Penn State has averaged 200 rushing yards per game over their last three games and 181 for the season. Penn State Ohio State free pickCombined with top QB Drew Allar and the Nittany Lions shooting to extend their remarkable run of 18-3 SU and 18-1 SU/ATS record in games when coming off a pair of SU/ATS wins. Ohio State was a 15 point road favorite in last year's meeting. The Buckeyes won 44-31, but Penn State outgained Ohio State. However, neither of Saturday's QB's Kyle McCord or Drew Allar played in that contest. Both teams rank top-5 in the country in defensive stats (FBS) with the Nittany Lions allowing just 204 yards per game at 3.2 yards per play (both No. 1) and the Buckeyes 269 YPG at 3.9 YPPL (No. 2). The Lions run defense allows just 2.1 YPR to the Buckeyes 4.2. The over/under has dropped from 48 to 45.5, and Penn State games have averaged 52 PPG. Ohio State is 1-5 O/U this season and 0-3 in conference play with games totaling just 41 PPG. The first half 'under' is in play with OSU allowing just 12 PPG in the first half of three conference games and Penn State 14 PPG in first halves of Big Ten games. Ohio State is on a 0-5 ATS run as home favorites of 10 or less points. Penn State is 6-0 SU and ATS this season and the Nittany Lions are a terrific team and defensive dandy worth support as 'Dog.

No. 17 Tennessee at No. 11 Alabama | 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Line: Alabama -8.5 and Total 47.5
Pick: Tennessee 

Tennessee (232/game) is the top team in FBS rushing and No. 6 in the country vs FBS opponents. Combined with a 210 YPG passing attack and we have a balanced and efficient offense that is certainly worthy of a bet as underdog. Tennessee Alabama prediction free pickThe Volunteers (5-1/2-1 SEC) were victories for us as 'Dog in this matchup last year when Tennessee beat Alabama 52-49 in a thriller. Alabama (6-1/4-0) is off the close call last week over Arkansas as a big favorite and a game I bet the 'Dog, and the 'Tide have top talent but not as dominant on defense as projected. Alabama is allowing 16 points per game vs FBS opponents (TEN 18 PPG), and Tennessee coach Josh Heupel is going to speed up play and put more pressure on the Alabama defense to adjust. The Crimson Tide are outside the top 60 in the country in expected points added (EPA) per play on offense with QB Jalen Milroe building confidence but not enough of mine to support in this big game. 

No. 16 Duke at No. 4 Florida State | 7:30 p.m. on ABC
Line: Florida State -14.5 and Total 49
Pick: Duke if Leonard plays, Opinion if not

Duke QB Riley Leonard (ankle) is still questionable. He missed last week's game and was injured in Notre Dame game. Florida State (8-0/4-0 ACC) is outscoring opponents by 24 points per game, but 2-2 ATS as a double-digit favorite this season. Duke (5-1/2-0) still has some sharp support from big pro bettors I get info from, and we won't argue with that knowing too that the under is a bet if Leonard doesn't play. Duke has outscored opponents by 21 PPG and the Blue Devils defense is top notch allowing just 4.3 yards per play (FSU 5.1) vs. FBS foes and a top-5 PPG defense allowing just 10.4 points per game (FSU 18.3). Bet Duke now if you believe Riley will play as the line should fall and fair spread is closer to 12 if he plays. 

No. 14 Utah at No. 18 USC | 8:00 p.m. on FOX
Line: USC -7 and Total 53.5
Opinion: USC 

Utah (5-1/2-1 Pac 12) has been unable to get its offense untracked without QB Cam Rising.Howver, last week the Utes scored a season-high 34 points in a win over Cal while running the ball 53 times for 311 yards. USC (6-1/4-0) comes off a 48-20 lost at Notre Dame, a winner for us on the Irish as the Trojans were held under 40 points in a game for the first time this season. Trojans Heisman winning QB Caleb Williams tossed 3 INTs in defeat, but he'll bounce back with the Trojans this week. Playbook Sports stats and ATS info mentioned here includes USC coach Lincoln Riley going 40-2 SU at home in his career, including 20-0 from Game 6 out

Bonus Picks

Central Florida at No. 6 Oklahoma (-17.5). 
Pick: UCF Knights

Our bonus picks are 3-0 following last week's outright winner on the Pitt Panthers (+7.5) over Louisville, 38-21. The Panthers outscored the Cardinals 24-0 in the second half. It was a misleading final as Louisville outgained Pitt 444-288 and had a 28-13 first down advantage. But a 3-0 turnover advantage favoring Pitt was the big stat that Louisville couldn't overcome. Now we may need a similar turnover edge for UCF to pull off the upset at Oklahoma, but no denying the UCF Knights have one of the most balanced and efficient offenses in the country. I outlined those teams in my featured '200 Club' offenses article this week, and UCF is rushing for 245 yards and passing for 255 yards vs. FBS opponents this season. UCF Oklahoma free pickThat makes them a nearly automatic play and bet taking these huge points, which have dropped from +19.5 to +17.5. Sure, the Knights defense is sub-par, and but still only 35 yards per game worst than Oklahoma vs. FBS foes (65 yards per game overall). Oklahoma (6-0) is tops in offense in the Big 12 with UCF and led by QB Dillon Gabriel, who started for UCF for three seasons before transferring to Oklahoma. Central Florida is 3-3 but 0-3 in Big 12 play after getting blown out at Kansas Oct. 7. I bet on the Knights and lost, bad. The week prior, I bet on Baylor and the Bears scored 26 unanswered points in the second half to stun UCF, 36-35. Central Florida had a perfectly balanced offensive attack (235 rush and 234 pass) in defeat. So clearly the Knights were in shock and not ready to go the next week at Kansas, when they took tons of money and were bet down from +5.5 to +1.5. Now we're getting huge points against undefeated Oklahoma (6-0), who is very good, but we're taking plenty of value with a Knights team that boasts an elite offensive profile and plenty capable of moving the ball and scoring in an expected shootout. 

Check back later and Saturday morning for more updates and any additional picks along with information you can bet on. 

FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and loves college football. He's been handicapping and betting college football for more than two decades and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at and on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.


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