USC vs. Notre Dame, 7:30PM ET
Last year this was the marquee matchup back in November as Notre Dame was on a mission to play for a national title. This year, it’s merely a game on the Week 8 schedule as both teams are 4-2 and fighting for bowl contention. The Trojans finally showed some life under interim coach Ed Orgeron in a 38-31 win over Arizona that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. Nelson Agholor caught seven passes for 161 yards while Javorius Allen rushed for two touchdowns in the victory. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish have been out-gained in each of their previous three games and has been inconsistent offensively this year with Tommy Rees under center. Notre Dame is 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 games following an ATS win and 1-5-1 against the number in its last seven games overall. Look for the Trojans to win outright.
FREE PICK: USC +3
Minnesota vs. Northwestern, 12:00PM ET
The Wildcats have been leaking oil for two weeks now. They fought like hell in a 40-30 loss to Ohio State before being blown out by Wisconsin in a brutal 35-6 showing in Madison last Saturday. On the other side, the Golden Gophers have scored just 20 points in their last two games combined, losing to both Iowa and Michigan before taking a much-needed bye last week. This isn’t a sexy matchup but there’s value to be gained in the underdog Minnesota, which has high hopes to reach a bowl game this season. Northwestern is 0-4 against the spread in its last four games overall and 1-5 ATS in its last six games following an ATS loss.
FREE PICK: MINNESOTA +12
Bengals vs. Lions, 1:00PM ET
The Lions have won two of their last three games but they’ve also been out-gained in their last three contests, including in last Sunday’s 31-17 win over the Browns. Matthew Stafford hasn’t thrown for more than 262 yards in each of his last three games and he could have a tough time moving the ball efficiently against an underrated Cincinnati defense. Meanwhile, the Bengals suffered a scare last weekend in Buffalo but they should be more prepared for this Sunday’s road test. The Bengals are 10-4-1 against the spread in their last 15 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last four games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
FREE PICK: CINCINNATI BENGALS +1
49ers vs. Titans, 4:05PM ET
The 49ers will travel to Tennessee on Sunday before heading overseas to face the Jaguars in London next weekend. That makes this game a prime letdown spot for San Francisco, which hasn’t been nearly as dominant on defense without star pass-rusher Aldon Smith. The Titans have been hampered offensively by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but their defense has been outstanding when it comes to generating pressure and takeaways. Tennessee is 5-1-1 against the spread in its last seven games overall and 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games following a straight up loss. Look for the Titans to keep things close, just as they did last Sunday in Seattle.
FREE PICK: TENNESSEE TITANS +4
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