College football Week 8 betting nuggets

Four of the top five teams in the AP poll will be in action this weekend, and all four are double-digit favorites. But AP top-five teams are just 2-12 ATS (against the spread) this season against unranked opponents, and 5-13 ATS as double-digit favorites -- including 1-10 ATS when laying at least 20 points.

Here are a handful of other general trends to watch out for in Week 8, before a closer look at the games involving ranked teams:

• Ranked teams are 19-41 ATS (.317) versus unranked opponents, on pace to be the worst mark since the AP poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989 (current worst: .420 in 1994).

• Underdogs in games between two FBS teams are winning SU (straight up) at a .300 clip (43-100), on pace to be the best mark in the past 40 seasons (current best: .288 in 1984). Underdogs getting 14 or more points are 34-18-1 ATS.

• Favorites in games between two ranked teams are 10-1 ATS.

• Road favorites are putting up 37.3 points per game, on pace to be the most in the FBS era (current high for a full season is 34.8 ppg in 2013). The over is 36-17-1 (6-6 last week) when the road team is favored. But road favorites are still just 22-32 ATS (7-5 last week).

Odds listed are from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill and subject to change.

Illinois Fighting Illini at No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers (-20, 51.5), Friday, 8 p.m. ET

• Illinois is one of five teams 3-0 ATS or better versus ranked teams since last season. The others are Tulsa (5-0), East Carolina (3-0), Purdue (3-0) and SMU (3-0).

• The Fighting Illini are 7-2 ATS against Big Ten teams since the start of last season, including 5-1 ATS as a double-digit underdog.

• This would be the fifth straight meeting in which Wisconsin is favored by at least 20 points (2-2 ATS, 3-1 SU in previous four). In fact, it will be the first time Wisconsin has been favored by double digits in five straight games versus Illinois since the FBS/FCS split in 1978.

Syracuse Orange at No. 1 Clemson Tigers (-45.5, 61.5), noon ET (on ACCN)

• This will be the 82nd career game for Dino Babers as a head coach (27 at Bowling Green, 55 at Syracuse). In the previous 81, Babers has never been more than a 28-point underdog. He has been a 28-point underdog twice, both times against Clemson (with the Orange 0-2 ATS in those games).

• This would be the fifth instance in the FBS era (since 1978) of an ACC team laying at least 45 points against a conference opponent. The previous four involved Florida State (1-3 ATS, 4-0 SU) -- twice against Duke (2000, 2002) and twice against Wake Forest (1993, 1995).

• Clemson is 6-2 ATS under Dabo Swinney when laying at least 35 points to an ACC opponent.

• Clemson is favored by at least 24 points against an unranked opponent for the 19th straight time (12-7 ATS, 19-0 SU), the longest such streak in the FBS era.

• Clemson is 17-5 ATS versus ACC opponents since 2018.

• Clemson is 19-7 ATS in its past 26 games as a double-digit favorite.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes (-26, 67.5), noon ET

• If the line stays above 24 points, Nebraska will have been a larger underdog only two other times (2-0 ATS, 0-2 SU) in the FBS era -- 27.5 points at Penn State in 2017 (lost 56-44) and 30 points at Oklahoma in 2004 (lost 30-3).

• This will be the 16th straight regular-season game in which Ryan Day has been a favorite to begin his head-coaching career (11-4 ATS, 15-0 SU).

• Ohio State is 23-8 ATS in its past 31 season openers against FBS opponents dating back to 1987, which is the best such cover percentage in season openers during that span (minimum 10 games).

No. 23 NC State Wolfpack at No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels (-17, 61), noon ET (on ESPN)

• The last time NC State was at least a 14-point underdog to North Carolina was a 52-20 loss in 1996 (+26). Prior to that, there were only two other instances (+17.5 in 1982, +17 in 1983). The Wolfpack failed to cover in all three games.

• Favorites of at least 17 points in ranked-versus-ranked matchups are 63-37-2 ATS since the AP poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989, including 13-3-1 since 2016.

• This would be the largest point spread North Carolina has been favored by against a ranked opponent in the FBS era. In fact, the only other instance when the Tar Heels were double-digit favorites against a ranked team was on Sept. 13, 1997, against No. 17 Stanford. UNC won 28-17 but failed to cover the 13-point spread.

Kansas Jayhawks at No. 20 Kansas State Wildcats (-19.5, 48.5), noon ET

• Kansas has lost eight straight games by double digits dating back to last season (1-6-1 ATS), currently tied with New Mexico and UMass for the longest active such streak in FBS.

• The Jayhawks' last winning season came in 2008. This will be their 88th game since then as a double-digit underdog. No other FBS team has been a double-digit underdog more often in that span, and only New Mexico State (81) has been so in at least 70 games.

• Kansas State is 8-3 ATS in the past 11 meetings, although just 1-3 ATS since 2016.

• The Wildcats have covered in three straight games against Big 12 opponents after a season-opening loss to Arkansas State.

Georgia Southern Eagles at No. 25 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-6.5, 52), noon ET (on ESPNU)

• This will be Georgia Southern's 20th game against a ranked opponent in the FBS era. The Eagles are 2-1 SU versus ranked Sun Belt teams (both wins came against Appalachian State) and 0-16 against everyone else -- although they've gone 8-1 ATS in games we have spread data for.

• Coastal Carolina has covered in seven of its past nine games versus FBS opponents, including a four-game SU win streak, its longest since becoming an FBS member in 2017.

• The under is 5-1 in the past six Georgia Southern games following an 8-3 over run to begin 2019.

Florida Atlantic Owls at No. 22 Marshall Thundering Herd (-16.5, 51), 2:30 p.m. ET

• This will be Willie Taggart's first game as an underdog with Florida Atlantic. Taggart is 3-9-1 ATS as an underdog since 2017 (Florida State, Oregon) following a 32-18 ATS run when getting points from 2010 to 2016 (Western Kentucky, South Florida).

• Marshall is one of three teams with at least four ATS wins without a loss this season. The others are South Carolina (4-0) and Arkansas (4-0).

• If the Thundering Herd cover, it would be just the third time they have covered five consecutive games since at least 1998 (first full season with spread data). The previous two instances came in 1999 and 2014 (Marshall has never covered six straight games dating back to 1998).

No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-21, 66) at Tennessee Volunteers, 3:30 p.m. ET

• From 1994 to 2007, Alabama was an underdog in 13 of 14 meetings (4-10 SU, 7-7 ATS). This will be the 13th straight meeting since in which the Crimson Tide have been favored (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS).

• Tennessee is 6-20-1 ATS (2-4 ATS under Jeremy Pruitt) against AP top-10 teams since 2010.

• Alabama has started the season with four straight overs for the first time since at least 2000.

No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-10.5, 43.5) at Pittsburgh Panthers, 3:30 p.m. ET

• Notre Dame has won 28 straight games as a double-digit favorite. Its last loss under these circumstances came as a 20-point favorite against Duke in 2016.

• Pittsburgh is 18-4 ATS against AP top-five teams since 1990, including 4-1 ATS under Pat Narduzzi. No team has a better cover percentage versus top-five opponents in that span (min. five such games).

• The Panthers are 1-4 ATS this season.

• The total has gone under in 17 of 24 games when the Panthers are underdogs since the start of 2017.

No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones at No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-3.5, 52), 3:30 p.m. ET

• Iowa State is 13-5 ATS against ranked opponents under Matt Campbell, including 9-2 ATS versus AP top-15 teams and 5-0 ATS against AP top-10 teams (the most such ATS wins without a loss since 2016). Note that Campbell has actually covered six straight games versus AP top-10 teams to begin his career, if you include his time at Toledo.

• Campbell is 32-14 ATS (21-8 ATS at Iowa State) as an underdog. That is the best cover percentage as an underdog of any head coach since 2011 (minimum 25 such games).

• Favorites of fewer than four points are 20-9 ATS this season, including 9-2 ATS at home.

No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions (-6.5, 58.5) at Indiana Hoosiers, 3:30 p.m. ET

• Penn State has covered four of its past five road games dating back to last season.

• Indiana has lost three straight season openers under Tom Allen.

• The Hoosiers are 1-7-1 ATS as a home underdog under Allen.

• Indiana has lost 25 consecutive games SU to AP top-10 teams dating back to 2006.

• The under is 10-3 in the past 13 Penn State conference games.

No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies (-9.5, 68.5) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 3:30 p.m. ET (on ESPN3)

• The Hokies are 7-19-1 ATS as a road favorite since 2012, including 4-9-1 ATS under Justin Fuente.

• Virginia Tech has failed to cover three straight road games.

• Wake Forest is 13-5 ATS versus ranked opponents under Dave Clawson.

• The over is 5-1 in the past six Virginia Tech games.

No. 18 Michigan Wolverines (-3.5, 54.5) at No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers, 7:30 p.m. ET (on ABC)

• Michigan has covered four straight games as a favorite dating back to last season.

• Minnesota is 10-4 ATS against FBS opponents since late 2018.

• The Golden Gophers are 8-3 ATS in their past 11 games as an underdog dating back to 2018.

• Minnesota is 11-4 ATS in its past 15 games as a home underdog. However, the Gophers are just 4-3 ATS in those spots under P.J. Fleck.

• The total has gone over in six straight meetings dating back to 2011.

Virginia Cavaliers at No. 11 Miami Hurricanes (-11.5, 58), 8 p.m. ET (on ACCN)

• Miami is 4-1 ATS this season. The Hurricanes' lone ATS loss came against Clemson.

• The Hurricanes have covered four straight as a favorite after going 3-7 ATS in those spots last season.

• The total has gone over in five consecutive Virginia games versus ranked opponents.

• The total has gone over in 10 straight Virginia games dating back to last season.

No. 9 Cincinnati Bearcats at No. 16 SMU Mustangs (-2.5, 56.5), 9 p.m. ET (on ESPN2)

• The Bearcats are 3-0 ATS in their past three games as an underdog.

• Favorites of fewer than four points are 20-9 ATS this season, including 9-2 ATS at home.

• SMU has covered three straight versus ranked teams since last season.

• The under is 13-3 in Cincinnati games since the start of last season.

• The under is 14-5 in Cincinnati road games under Luke Fickell.

• The under is 8-1 in Cincinnati games versus ranked opponents under Fickell.

• The over is 12-5 in SMU games since the start of last season.

Texas State Bobcats at No. 12 BYU Cougars (-30, 61.5), 10:15 p.m. ET (on ESPN)

• Texas State and Army are the only teams that have had at least five games go under the total already this season (under is 5-1 for both).

• This is the first time BYU has been favored by 24 points or more in three of its first six games in the FBS era. That already equals the most such instances through the Cougars' first eight games as well, done two other times (1985, 2006).

• BYU is 4-1 ATS this season. The Cougars have now been favored in each of their first six games.