George Kittle

Alabama leads betting favorites for Week 8 of college football campaign

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With the way that Jalen Hurts and the Alabama Crimson Tide dominated last week, it’s not surprising to see a big point spread against the Texas A&M Aggies as they go for their 20th consecutive win.

In a matchup of unbeaten teams, Alabama is listed as the 18.5-point favorite against Texas A&M at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Alabama, which crushed Tennessee 49-10 last week, is 11-0 straight-up and 9-2 against the spread in its last 11 games against teams with winning records. Hurts, a true freshman, has added a dynamism to complement a devastating defense led by MLB Shaun Dion Hamilton.

Texas A&M is deep at receiver and QB Trevor Knight has the arm strength to exploit any breakdowns in Alabama’s man-to-man pass coverage. Texas A&M is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games after losing the previous game in a matchup, but could keep it close.

The Auburn Tigers are favored by 9.5 points against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The status of Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle) is unclear. Tigers QB Sean White and Co. need to fix their red-zone misfires, as they face a suspect Arkansas defense. Arkansas QB Austin Allen and receivers such as TE Gary Sprinkle shred any opponent that doesn’t bring a pass rush.

The Boise State Broncos are favored by seven points against the BYU Cougars. Boise State, which is 7-1 SU in its last eight Thursday games, has a potent attack built around QB Brett Rypien and senior WR Thomas Sperbeck. The Broncos defense nearly fell apart during Week 7 against Colorado State, and will be tested by a veteran BYU attack led by QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams.

The Louisville Cardinals are 19-point favorites against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson will need to be especially slippery against a solid N.C. State pass rush. On the other side of the ball, Louisville, which is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 conference games according to the OddsShark College Football Database, will need to up their intensity to stop RB Matt Dayes.

The LSU Tigers are six-point favorites against the Mississippi Rebels. Tigers defenders such as NT Greg Gilmore and OLB Arden Key will try to hassle Rebels QB Chad Kelly, who is directing a fast-paced offense. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 14 games against their SEC West rival.

Coming off their overtime heartbreaker against Ohio State, the Wisconsin Badgers are a 3.5-point road favorite against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Badgers’ elite defense could get OLB Vince Biegel back from foot surgery. Iowa QB C.J. Beathard, whose team is 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games, might not have his security blanket, TE George Kittle (sprained foot).

The West Virginia Mountainers, who are on a six-win streak, are favored by 6.5 points against the TCU Horned Frogs. West Virginia QB Skyler Howard is more seasoned than TCU’s Kenny Hill. The Mountaineers, with S Kyzir White and S Jarrod Harper as the key links, have the statistically stronger defense.