Now that we are in Week 9, the home stretch of the college football season is here. MACtion is about to begin, and Vegas has mostly figured out these teams. Finding value is getting harder, but we are still finding it, including going 5-2 last week.
Week 9 College Football Picks and Predictions
Last Week: 5-2-0 (0.714)
This Season: 30-33-0 (0.476)
Overall Record: 111-117-3 (0.487)
For all current betting odds surrounding the college football season, check out our live betting odds and make your plays today!
All lines are via Draft Kings Sportsbook. You can find the best available odds from sportsbooks all over the country below as well.
Michigan State +7 (-108) vs. Minnesota -7 (-112)
We won’t spend a lot of time on this game. The Michigan State Spartans are a team in massive disarray. They are 2-5 on the season with their only wins coming against Central Michigan and FCS Richmond.
The Mel Tucker scandal has crushed the program. Things have gotten so bad that they considered not playing against Michigan due to the sign-stealing scandal that the NCAA has opened.
The Spartans ATS record is nearly as bad as their record, going 2-4-1 this season with their only two wins being in their straight-up wins. The push was due to a blown 24-7 lead at Rutgers, a game they lost 27-24.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are in a different spot. After a wild 12-10 win over Iowa, they are in the driver’s seat for a spot in the Big Ten championship game.
Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis has all the tools you could want for a quarterback. A live arm, great frame, and true dual-threat ability. The problem is that his mechanics are the equivalent of Mr. Potato Head after he spills all of his spare parts and his throws go everywhere.
Joe Rossi’s defense is aggressive and finds a way to pressure the quarterback. The Spartans offense has allowed 12 sacks on the season, and that number could spike on Saturday. The only thing that could hinder the Gophers is a hangover from winning in Iowa for the first time since Glen Mason’s 1999 team won nine games.
Is a hangover in the works? I doubt it but don’t count it out.
Bet: Minnesota -7 (-112)
Georgia -14.5 (-112) vs. Florida +14.5 (-108)
Formerly known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Florida vs. Georgia is a very interesting game every year. Outside of a random blowout, this rivalry game has been close over the last few seasons.
This season looks like a very intriguing matchup. The Bulldogs haven’t looked like their same dominant selves from years past, especially on defense. They have allowed at least 20 points in three games this season, including 21 to UAB.
Quarterback Carson Beck has seen his struggles acclimating life as the starter for the Bulldogs, but the results so far have been improvements week after week. Missing Brock Bowers against this Gators’ defense will be a major factor in the Bulldogs’ passing attack.
For the Gators, things are in a weird spot.
Quarterback Graham Mertz has played significantly better than most would have expected. He has only one turnover worthy played all season and that came in week one against Utah. Mertz has completed 75.6% of his passes and been really efficient all season long.
Even with that efficiency, the Gators offense has struggled to create explosive plays. Mertz has mostly played risk-averse football, which included an aDOT of 1.8 yards in their win over Vanderbilt three weeks ago.
The key here is the Bowers injury. Not having him against a Gators second level you can exploit will be impactful in how the Gators can attack the Bulldogs’ defense. Georgia most likely still wins this game, but if Auburn and South Carolina can keep the game within 10 points, so can the Gators.
Bet: Florida +14.5 (-108)
Ohio State -15 (-110) vs. Wisconsin -15 (-110)
The Ohio State Buckeyes just came out of a huge game against Penn State and ground out a 20-12 win. I had picked Penn State, but defensive coordinator Jim Knowles devised a great game plan that kept Drew Allar and the Nittany Lions out of the end zone.
The offense was inconsistent without running back TreVeyon Henderson missing the game, but Marvin Harrison Jr. was the engine behind the Buckeyes offense. They created space for him to catch the ball clean on numerous occasions and he created his own plays in contested situations.
They face a Wisconsin Badgers team in transition.
Head coach Luke Fickell is transitioning the Badgers into a new era of fast-paced spread offense with Phil Longo as his offensive coordinator. They are 5-2, but the offense has had mixed results.
They will be without starting quarterback Tanner Mordecai who broke his hand against Iowa. Redshirt freshman Braedyn Locke will get his second consecutive start and Knowles will likely bring a lot of pressure to get after the young quarterback.
The key to this game will be the Buckeyes stopping the run. They are 13th in success rate against the run and fifth in EPA/rush allowed. With a redshirt freshman quarterback, look for the Buckeyes to load the box and force Locke to beat them down the field.
With Henderson set to return to the Buckeyes offense, Ohio State is primed to make this a statement game at Camp Randall.
Bet: Ohio State -15 (-110)
USC -10.5 (-108) vs. Cal +10.5 (-112)
The USC Trojans have found that Utah is their Achilles heel. They have a knack for getting under their skin and gutting out tough wins. Both of their regular season wins the last two years have come by a total of three points.
Caleb Williams has seen his share of struggles in the Trojans’ last two games. He threw three interceptions against the Fighting Irish and only accounted for one touchdown in each of the last two weeks.
The defense for the Trojans has been the major issue. Alex Grinch’s unit struggles to tackle, create pressure on the quarterback, and isn’t creative in how they attack offenses. He is arguably the worst defensive coordinator in the power five and the main reason why USC won’t be making the College Football Playoff.
They face off against a Cal Golden Bears team that has been up and down this season. They are 3-4 on the season, both ATS and straight up. Head coach Justin Wilcox has his work cut out for him to stop this Trojans defense. Offensively, they should be able to keep up. They are two weeks removed from putting up 40 against Oregon State.
Unfortunately, they also allowed 52 points to a slightly above-average Beavers offense ad their success rate allowed sits at 121st in the nation. Lincoln Riley should be able to carve that up easily and get the win by at least 11.
Bet: USC -10.5 (-108)
- Louisville -4.5 (-105) vs. Duke
- North Carolina State +9 (-110) vs. Clemson
- Virginia +18.5 (-108) @ Miami