College Football Under the Radar Week 8 Picks

College Football Under the Radar Week 8 Picks

I better run some diagnostics on my radar since the college football under the radar picks haven’t paid out like I’d hoped the last few weeks. We did get a winner last week backing Colorado in its game against Cal, but the others went against me. I’m still in the black for the season but the house is closing the gap. I’ll dive a little deeper into Week 8 of the season with hopes of turning some winners to stem the tide.

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Teams almost always get a jolt when a coaching change is made during the season, which is one of the reasons why I backed the Buffs at +15 last week. They were coming off a bye and playing at home against an average Cal team. While I didn’t expect Colorado to win the game outright I felt they could stay within the spread. It was an inspirational effort outlasting Cal in overtime 20-13. Using off-field events is always a good way to judge how a team might respond, though it doesn’t always pay off like it did last Saturday.

I was absolutely befuddled by what happened in the other under the radar picks. Backing New Mexico against in-state rival New Mexico State looked like a good move with the Lobos laying 6.5-points. You can never rightfully handicap rivalry games and one with two bad teams makes it even harder. The Aggies pulled a stunner and I’m seriously looking at them as one of my Week 8 picks. More on that later. Also, the Sun Belt threw me for a loss. Troy outplayed Texas State but escaped with a 17-14 win as a 17-point favorite giving me a 1-3 record in the last four games when backing the favorite. Here are some Week 8 under the radar picks as I look to get back on a roll.

San Jose State Spartans at New Mexico State Aggies ( +21.5 )

Turns out the Aggies are playing their best football of the season with two wins in their last three outings. And while San Jose State is good, I don’t think their results make them three touchdowns better than NMSU. The Spartans struggled to beat FCS Portland State in their opener, beat Western Michigan who had a freshman making his first start at QB and fell 17-10 last week to a Fresno State club that had dropped four in a row. I think SJS can and will win this game, but again three touchdowns is a lot on the road. The Aggies handed rival New Mexico a loss last week improving to 2-4. A couple of big losses to Power 5 programs apparently toughened them up for an easier part of their schedule.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers at Penn State Nittany Lions ( -6 )

Coming off consecutive losses and potentially without starting QB Tanner Morgan, the Gophers enter a crossroads in their season and things don’t get any easier with a trip to Penn State. The Gophers looked like a contender in the Big Ten West following a 34-7 win over Michigan State a few weeks ago that put them at 4-0 overall. However, the offense dried up with a total of 24 points in back-to-back losses to Purdue and Illinois. Now they get one of the top teams in the conference on the road. When I saw PSU laying 6-points I had to jump on this one since the line will likely move closer to kickoff. And with Morgan’s status unknown the Gophers offense is less of a threat. Morgan was just 4 of 12 for 21 yards before exiting last game, though Mo Ibrahim returned running for 127 yards. Penn State’s perfect run ended in Ann Arbor last week with a disastrous second half leading to a 41-17 setback, but they are still a top team in the Big Ten.

Marshall Thundering Herd at James Madison Dukes ( O 53.5 )

Backing the OVER recently has gotten me in trouble but I’m going back to it in a game that features an under the radar team with an under the radar total. James Madison dropped from the unbeaten ranks with a 45-38 loss to Georgia Southern last week, but it wasn’t because of their offense. Todd Centeio has thrown for nearly 1,800 yards with 17 touchdowns in six games and the Dukes have scored at least 32 points in every game. They average 520.2 yards and 43.2 points to rank sixth nationally in both categories. While the defense has solid numbers they were bolstered by some early season blowouts. The group was exposed last week allowing over 500 total yards. JMU will do its part and as long as Marshall chips in I see this one exceeding what I view as a low total.

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