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College football picks against the spread: Bruce Feldman’s Week 8 picks

I finally had a strong week picking games, going 8-3 against the spread last week to move to two under .500 against the number for the season. The Good: picking Kentucky to beat Mississippi State. The Bad: picking USC to handle Utah. The Ugly: picking Penn State to keep it close at Michigan.

(All point spreads come from BetMGM, click here for live odds, all kickoff times Eastern.)

No. 21 Cincinnati (-3.5) at SMU, Noon, ESPN

The Mustangs’ defense has been very suspect, giving up over 200 rushing yards per game. I think Cincinnati, coming off of an idle week after a dud performance against USF, can take advantage.

Cincinnati 35, SMU 28
Pick: Cincinnati -3.5

No. 14 Syracuse at No. 5 Clemson (-13.5), Noon, ABC

Dino Babers will have his team primed and the Orange have enough playmakers to keep this one interesting deep into the fourth quarter. But I just can’t pick against Clemson at home to lose outright.

Clemson 27, Syracuse 23
Pick: Syracuse +13.5

Iowa at No. 2 Ohio State (-29.5), Noon, Fox

Only Michigan has scored more than 14 points on the Hawkeyes (27), but the Buckeyes have way more firepower than those other teams. Ohio State will stretch Iowa more all over the field than the Wolverines did.

Ohio State 35, Iowa 9
Pick: Iowa +29.5

No. 7 Ole Miss at LSU (-2), 3:30 pm, CBS

This is the biggest test the Rebels have had so far, especially since LSU is a tough road environment. But, like when the Volunteers came to LSU, it wasn’t a night game, and that’s a big difference in Baton Rouge. Expect Lane Kiffin’s team to ace this test.

Ole Miss 27, LSU 21
Pick: Ole Miss +2

No. 20 Texas (-6.5) at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 3:30, ABC

Oklahoma State’s defense is allowing more than 300 passing yards per game. The hunch here is that Quinn Ewers will light up the Cowboys defense and lead Texas to a nice road win.

Texas 40, Oklahoma State 32
Pick: Texas -6.5

No. 9 UCLA at No. 10 Oregon (-6), 3:30 pm, Fox

Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been exceptional, and the Ducks’ pass defense has been underwhelming so far. I think, however, that Oregon’s defense responds well to the challenge and Bo Nix’s wheels keep enough drives alive to get Oregon a close win.

Oregon 31, UCLA 28
Pick: UCLA +6

No. 24 Mississippi State at No. 6 Alabama (-21), 7 pm, ESPN

The Tide haven’t lost consecutive regular-season games since 2007. Their last two regular-season losses came before games against Mississippi State, and they won those two by a combined 71 points.

Alabama 38, Mississippi State 10
Pick: Alabama -21

Minnesota at No. 16 Penn State (-4), 7:30 pm, ABC

Even though Penn State was gashed at Michigan last week and the Golden Gophers have a bonafide star in Mo Ibrahim, the hunch here is that the Nittany Lions will do everything possible to try and take him away.

Penn State 27, Minnesota 20
Pick: Penn State -4

No. 17 Kansas State at No. 8 TCU (-3.5), 8 pm, FS1

Can anyone in the Big 12 slow down TCU? Kansas State has a very good defense, holding opponents to 16.7 PPG, but I think Sonny Dykes’ crew is on too much of a roll to hit the brakes now.

TCU 34, Kansas State 24
Pick: TCU -3.5

Toledo (-7.5) at Buffalo, 1 pm, ESPN +

Buffalo’s defense has only allowed 14 points in the past two weeks, but speedy DeQuan Finn presents a lot of different problems. I think he will be too much for the Bulls.

Toledo 35, Buffalo 23
Pick: Toledo -7.5

Upset Special: BYU (-7) at Liberty, 3:30 pm ESPNU

The Cougars are coming off of a 17-point loss against a physical Arkansas squad and I think there could be some lingering effects, especially with a cross-country trip on top of that.

Liberty 30, BYU 27
Pick: Liberty +7

(Photo: Rick Osentoski / USA Today)

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