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Best Under the Radar College Football Plays: Week 8 (2021)

by October 20, 2021
Dennis Grosel

Last week was tremendous, as we went a perfect 4-0 on our under-the-radar picks. We got off to a great start Thursday night in hitting the under and Syracuse +14. Then, Army and Wisconsin played the slow, low-scoring game we anticipated before UCLA beat Washington outright as short road underdogs.

It’s great when things go as planned. Let’s try to keep this momentum rolling as we head into Week 8.

  • Week 7 record: 4-0
  • 2021 season record: 16-8

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Cincinnati Bearcats -27.5 at Navy Midshipmen, Total 49

Okay, so technically, since Cincinnati is ranked 2nd in the country, this game doesn’t classify as “under the radar.” But the problem for Cincinnati is, this game is pretty low on the national radar, as is the rest of its conference schedule. Outside of a November date with the 21st-ranked SMU Mustangs, the Bearcats don’t have a single team remaining on their schedule with a winning record at the moment.

And when you’re trying to qualify for the College Football Playoffs, that’s not great news for the resume. While the Bearcats do have road wins over Indiana and Notre Dame, there’s already plenty of speculation about whether Cincinnati is worthy of a playoff spot over a one-loss Alabama or Ohio State team.

The Bearcats need style points, and they know it. Just look at their last two games, during which they’ve put up 52 and 56 points against Temple and UCF. In fact, we lost the under 55 in the Cincy-Temple game because the Bearcats didn’t let up. Running up the score isn’t always the classiest, but it’s necessary when considering what’s at stake for Cincinnati.

So, can Navy offer any resistance to Cincinnati’s offense? Not really. The Midshipmen allow more than 32 points per game and rank outside the top 50 in both rushing and passing defense.

Navy’s only chance to keep Cincinnati’s offense at bay is to keep it off the field by sustaining drives with their triple-option attack. However, that’s easier said than done against a Bearcats defense that ranks 15th in the nation in average line yards per carry allowed.

I’m expecting Cincinnati to score early and often, as they know they’ve got to continue to bolster their impression on the committee. This could be another game where the Bearcats threaten to cover the total on their own.

The pick: Cincinnati team total over 38

Boston College Eagles +6.5 at Louisville Cardinals, Total 57

I’m not really sure why this Louisville team is laying almost a touchdown here. The Cardinals aren’t overly impressive, with three wins coming against Eastern Kentucky, UCF, and Florida State. This feels like a small overreaction after Boston College was blown out at home against a really good N.C. State team.

The Cardinals have a high-powered passing game that ranks 28th in passing yards per game. However, Boston College has one of the nation’s better secondaries, as the Eagles rank 38th in pass defense. And while B.C. isn’t the most explosive team, they should be able to find success against a Cardinals pass defense that ranks 125th in yards allowed. And if Boston College focuses on running the ball, they should be fine against Louisville, who’s yielding over 150 rushing yards per game.

I’m banking on a bounce back from a Boston College team that’s better coached and can control this contest.

The pick: Boston College +6.5, play down to +6

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College Football, Picks