NCAAF Week 8 Best Bets: Underdog Plays in MAC and PAC-12 Matchups

Logan Loya UCLA Bruins Utah Utes
Elijah Rodriguez #37 and Bruno Fina #75 congratulate Logan Loya #17 of the UCLA Bruins after his reception for a touchdown against the Utah Utes. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP.

From the shores of Lake Erie to the Pacific Coast, it’s one handicapper’s search for the top picks on the Week 8 college football betting card with stops in the MAC and PAC-12.

Toledo Rockets vs. Buffalo Bulls

Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at UB Stadium

A longshot on the college football futures to win the MAC before the season started, the Buffalo Bulls can take a giant step forward to securing a spot in the league championship when they host the Toledo Rockets in one of the early kickoffs on Saturday.

Buffalo was a 20/1 pick and sits at the top of the East Division having already taken down favorite Miami (OH), while Toledo is following the script as the West Division favorite as both teams enter the key matchup with 3-0 MAC records.

What Happened on Week 8?

Dequan Finn was a one-man highlight reel last week for Toledo as he rallied the Rockets to a 52-31 win over Kent State. The redshirt sophomore out of Detroit threw 6 touchdown passes and ran for another score after the Golden Flashes went up 21-0.

After beginning the season 0-3, Buffalo has now won four in a row. The Bulls’ latest dubya was a 34-7 thumping of UMass on the road where they overcame three turnovers. Buffalo took care of the -17 on the NCAAF odds by scoring the game’s first 17 points.

Bulls Seeking 3rd-Straight in Rivalry

Saturday marks just the 13th meeting between the two programs, and only the eighth since 2003 as MAC opponents with Toledo holding the overall lead at 7-5 but Buffalo having won the last two meetings (2018-19).

Buffalo’s 49-30 win at home in 2019 almost doubled up the 10-point spread that Bulls’ backers were giving up following college football odds, and the final marked the third time in the last five meetings for the squads to go past the totals.

Buffalo Draws Home Underdog Tag

On what the weatherman suggests will be a breezy and sunny afternoon at UB Stadium, Toledo is giving up 7 on the road with most of the books carrying 58-58½ for the total, setting up a free college football pick on the home ‘dogs.

NCAAF Pick: Buffalo +7 (110) at Caesars Sportsbook

UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon Ducks

Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Autzen Stadium

From a matchup that could be a preview of the MAC Championship to a collision between the frontrunners for the PAC-12 Championship as the UCLA Bruins head north on I-5 to do battle with the Oregon Ducks.

Contest Sports One of Highest Week 8 Totals

Both teams sit 3-0 in the conference standings, with the Bruins holding claim as the last undefeated team in the PAC-12 at 6-0, something that the oddsmakers at FanDuel believe will end with the Ducks favored by 6 and a big fat 70½ for the total.

Can Bruins Pull Off 3rd-Straight Upset?

Being the underdog hasn’t bothered UCLA at all the last two times out. The Bruins enjoyed last week off after beating Washington and Utah in their previous two games and doing so as small underdogs against both the Huskies and Utes.

Oregon also took Week 7 off after covering its previous two contests. The Ducks were double-digit favorites in wins over Stanford and Arizona, and piled up more than 500 yards of offense with Bo Nix at the helm.

Scoring has not been an issue for either side, the Ducks sitting second in the PAC-12 averaging 42.0 PPG with the Bruins right behind on a 41.5 PPG clip. For UCLA, most of the yards come through the air at just shy of 294 YPG, while Oregon leads the PAC-12 rushing for more than 240 YPG.

Teams Meeting for 71st Time

This will be the third consecutive year for the conference foes to meet, and UCLA is hoping to build on its 39-31 overall advantage in the series while Oregon seeks its fourth consecutive win in the rivalry.

Underdogs covered the last two matchups after the favorite at top sportsbooks covered six of the previous seven, and all three wins by the Ducks in their current streak went past the totals.

No Surprise to See Rain in Forecast

The weatherman isn’t offering up a pleasant forecast for Eugene on Saturday afternoon. There’s a 90% chance of rain, and the thermometer is only expected to climb into the low-50s. At least there’s not a lot of wind with the forecast listing a 5-10 mph westerly breeze.

Opening numbers pegged Oregon as a 4½-point favorite, and the line moving towards the Ducks should benefit UCLA backers. Rain could dampen the scoring some, and that also works in the Bruins’ favor.

NCAAF Pick: UCLA +6 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook