NCAA Football Week 8 Parlay Picks and Odds

The national playoff picture is starting to fill out, isn't it? Georgia is a clear #1, and the other contenders pretty much know what they have to do to get into the top four and be eligible for the championship.

All except the Cincinnati Bearcats, that is. As an outsider; i.e., a team outside of the Power 5 conferences, they realize that other teams are going to get preferential treatment, so if there are four other undefeated teams, they may be out of luck. So their only chance may involve the "Wow" factor, which means one thing - beating teams by as many points as possible.

Illinois at Penn State Parlay Betting

Illinois vs. Penn State Pick

Time: Saturday, October 23 - Noon ET

Totals Odds: Over 46.5 Points (-110) / Under 46.5 Points (-110)

The Play: UNDER 46.5 POINTS (-110)

Believe it or not, Illinois was outgained by almost 400 yards in its shutout loss to Wisconsin, which gives you a pretty good indication as to how many surprises Bret Bielema's offense is springing on opponents these days. They haven't been able to muscle anyone at the line of scrimmage, and they're averaging about five yards a pass attempt.

So it's almost a foregone conclusion that they'll struggle here with the Nittany Lions, who are coming of a bye week after a loss to Iowa. But they have stayed ahead of the Hawkeyes in the national rankings, since Kirk Ferentz's team did the unthinkable and lost to Purdue.

Penn State is likely going to be without QB Sean Clifford for this one. And coach James Franklin, whose agent may be talking to LSU and USC right now, is conducting one of those artificial quarterback "competitions" to see who'll play. It's between Ta'Quan Robinson and freshman Christian Veilleux, and since they are splitting first-team reps, it almost guarantees neither of them will have enough preparation to be completely ready. By the way, Robinson, is the only one between those two who has taken a snap in an actual game.

While Illinois may be kind of dead offensively, the defense hasn't done badly under the circumstances. The Illini stop unit is 17th best in the country when it comes to yards allowed per point. Penn State is second in that category.

Georgia Tech at Virginia Parlay Betting

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Pick

Time: Saturday, October 23 - 7:30 PM ET

ATS Odds: Virginia Cavaliers -7 (-105) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +7 (-115)

The Play: VIRGINIA -7 (-105)

So suddenly you look up and Virginia has a 5-2 record, with the Cavaliers actually getting a vote in the AP football poll. Of course, we don't want to get TOO excited, as they've lost to the two best teams they've played (North Carolina and Wake Forest).

But the question here is whether there is sufficient justification in laying this number against Georgia Tech, which has made its transformation to more conventional offense under Geoff Collins and really laid it on North Carolina a few weeks ago.

But maybe the bigger question is whether the Yellow Jackets' defense can put the brakes on a Cav attack that's averaged a robust 522.5 yards per game (fifth nationally), and in particular southpaw slinger Brennan Armstrong. who has thrown for over 400 per contest, with 19 TD's. Bear in mind that Georgia Tech has surrendered 68% completions, and there are only eleven teams in the country who have been less successful than that.

Northwestern at Michigan Parlay Betting

Northwestern vs. Michigan Pick

Time: Saturday, October 23 - Noon ET

ATS Odds: Michigan Wolverines -23.5 (-110) vs. Northwestern Wildcats +23.5 (-110)

The Play: NORTHWESTERN +23.5 (-110)

If you like playing the "trend" game, you'd have to put your money on the 'Cats, who have covered 14 of their last 19 as a Big Ten road squad. In this instance, they're getting a sizable premium against a Michigan squad which looks glittering with its #6 ranking, which would put the Maize and Blue in pretty good shape for a playoff berth if they could finally beat Ohio State.

Ryan Hilinski, who threw for eleven touchdowns at South Carolina a couple of seasons back, is the starting quarterback now, and he should give the Wildcats a chance to move the ball and at the same time avoid costly errors, as he has thrown 99 passes without an interception.

Michigan State is on deck for the Wolverines. And that means something extra, since the Spartans are now 9th in the latest AP poll. The way Michigan has cut things close against the likes of Rutgers and Nebraska; well, it doesn't give us a load of confidence.

Cincinnati at Navy Parlay Betting

Cincinnati vs. Navy Pick

Time: Saturday, October 23 - Noon ET

ATS Odds: Cincinnati Bearcats -27.5 (-110) vs. Navy Midshipmen +27.5 (-110)

The Play: CINCINNATI -27.5 (-110)

Granted, Navy has scored more points since it dismissed offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper (he was later brought back as quarterback coach) . But that doesn't mean they've done much more offensively. This is a team that has averaged just 3.6 yards per rush, and they'll have to make a go of it with backup QB Xavier Airline on Saturday. Lots of people around the program are unhappy about the way the Jasper situation has been handled.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati is second in the AP poll, but third in the Coaches' poll, and it is clear to them that the establishment voters will look for any reason to allow other teams to leapfrog them (like Alabama). They already placed Oklahoma ahead of them. Naturally this is important because of the four-team college football playoff, so expect that the Bearcats, who are already in "run-it-up" mode, will keep their foot to the pedal (style points count).

BYU at Washington State Parlay Betting

BYU vs. Washington State Pick

Time: Saturday, October 23 - 3:30 ET

ATS Odds: BYU Cougars -4.5 (-110) vs. Washington State Cougars +4.5 (-110)

The Play: WASHINGTON STATE +-4.5 (-110)

Okay, it's now gotten real ugly in Pullman, as head coach Nick Rolovich has gotten the ax after ultimately refusing to be vaccinated for COVID-19. And four of his assistants have been fired as well. Rolovich wasn't even allowed to address the team; police took him off the premises. It has also been announced that Rolovich will be filing a lawsuit against the school. This was all coming on before the start of the season, so it doesn't shock some people. But now it's a bigger distraction. And the players, even though they've been vaccinated, are not happy about it.

This is not the atmosphere you want when encountered with a BYU team that arrives in an angry mood after losing to both Boise State AND Baylor. Or does it matter all that much? And does this number create value? BYU has not necessarily been a potent offensive machine, and Wazzu has rallied with three consecutive wins behind nine TD passes from Jayden De Laura, a big supporter of Rolovich who has reassured the Cougar faithful that they will keep moving forward.

About the Author

Charles Jay is unlike most analysts associated with handicapping and the gaming industry, in that he also has had extensive experience in the so-called "mainstream" media as well.

He has been involved with professional sports industry for almost two decades, working in all capacities, as a matchmaker, booking agent, manager, and also as an editorial consultant on USA Network's "Tuesday Night Fights," which, for a time, carried "Charles Jay's Line" on upcoming fights. As a broadcaster, he has called world title fights around the world for various outlets, and has served as a color commentator for Sunshine Network and Prime Network.

His radio experience includes being the host of numerous programs, including "Sportswatch with Charles Jay" on KDWN in Las Vegas, "Total Action" on WAXY 790 in Miami, and "Charles Jay's Winning Edge", syndicated into 55 markets by the American Radio Networks, and he's done podcasts on all subjects related to sports, gaming and popular culture.

Working within the casino industry, he has a special events consultant for Casino Magic in Mississippi, as that venue established itself in the early 1990s as a hotbed of boxing activity in particular. Prior to this, he had been engaged as a casino gaming columnist for, among others, Casino Player, Card Player and Sports Form (now known as Gaming Today), specializing in blackjack. And later on, his investigative series on boxing, entitled "Operation Cleanup," won him much critical acclaim, including the 2003 "Dignity" Award, in the category of "Best Sports Writer," as bestowed by the Retired Boxers Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to rendering assistance to ex-fighters in need.

In 2006 he established a content services division of his company, which has eventually evolved in JayWords, and he is arguably the world's most prolific sports & gaming writer, with over 20,000 articles to his credit, the vast majority of which have been sports handicapping pieces. So you might say he has analyzed as many sporting events as anyone alive during this period. He has also brought some interest with his so-called "gimmick" odds on special events, including the Academy Awards, the NFL Draft, and the Super Bowl, for which he posted dozens and dozens of different odds propositions with various sportsbooks.

This renaissance man is a winner of the Retired Boxers Foundation's "Dignity Award" and a member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame; graduate of the University of Miami (Florida) who currently resides in the South Florida area.