The most important game in College Football Week 9 has 2 Penn State traveling to 6 Ohio State. After that game, it’s all about the Big 12. 11 Oklahoma State travels to Morgantown to battle 22 West Virginia. 4 TCU heads to Iowa State to take on the 25th ranked Cyclones. 10 Oklahoma welcomes the high-scoring Texas Tech Raiders.
Oh, yes, there is a huge game in the ACC. 14 North Carolina State travels to Indiana to battle 9 Notre Dame. Check out a preview of that game as well as every other important matchup in my 2017 College Football Week 9 Preview!
2017 College Football Week 9 Preview
Saturday, Oct. 28
11 Oklahoma State -8 at 22 West Virginia +8
Only 24% of football handicappers so far believe Oklahoma State can cover a betting line that has gone from -8 to -7.5. It makes sense. The Cowboys go into their Week 8 game having barely beaten Texas 13 to 10 in overtime. Texas has a decent defense, though. Could it be that Oklahoma State won a tough game versus an opponent that matches up well with them? Maybe.
I’m still siding with West Virginia in this Big 12 battle on Saturday. The Mountaineers aren’t that far off from Oklahoma State. I believe the Cowboys could beat West Virginia. I just don’t believe Oklahoma State can beat the Mountaineers by 7 to 8 points.
Pick: West Virginia +8
8 Miami -20.5 at North Carolina +20.5
The Hurricanes haven’t been a fantastic team against the spread this season. Although undefeated at 6 and 0, Miami is only 3 and 3 ATS. North Carolina has been terrible both straight up and ATS. The Tar Heels are 1 and 7 SU. They’re also 1 and 7 against the spread.
Miami kills it on the trends. The Hurricanes are 4 and 1 ATS versus a team with a losing record. They’re also 4 and 0 ATS in their last 4 road games. The Heels are 0 and 5 ATS in their last 5 home games. North Carolina is also 0 and 7 against the spread in their last 7 conference games.
Miami rolls to an easy cover win.
Best Pick: Miami -20.5
5 Wisconsin -26 at Illinois +26
Another week in college football, another bad team for the Wisconsin Badgers to beat up on. It’s not really Wisconsin’s fault. They play in the dreadful Big Ten Division. No Penn State, no Michigan, no Ohio State. What is Wisconsin supposed to do?
The Badgers should have no trouble covering this spread. At first, I wasn’t sure if they were a Best Pick. Then, I took a look at the trends. Wisconsin is an enviable 8 and 0 ATS in their last 8 road games. Illinois is 1 and 7 against the spread in their last 8 Big Ten Conference games.
Wisconsin should roll.
Best Pick: Wisconsin -26
14 NC State +7.5 at 9 Notre Dame -7.5
Notre Dame looked fantastic when trouncing USC 49 to 14. The Irish jumped on USC early in that game. By halftime, Notre Dame was up 28 to 0. ND has been playing at an unbelievably high-level. The Irish should be undefeated. A 1-point loss to Georgia in Week 2 is the lone blemish on Notre Dame’s record.
With that being written, NC State has a shot to keep this game close. Great football teams, like all machines, have issues once in a while. Notre Dame hasn’t had an issue in a long time. The Irish face a team in NC State that’s 5 and 0 ATS in their last 5 road games.
The Wolfpack beat ND 10 to 3 last season. NC State isn’t a joke of a football team while Notre Dame should play well below what they showed last week versus traditional rival USC. I think NC State makes it close.
Pick: NC State +7.5
16 Michigan State -1.5 at Northwestern +1.5
76% of football handicappers are willing to lay the 1.5 points on Michigan State versus Northwestern this Saturday. I’m not ready to jump on the Michigan State bandwagon. I know that the Spartans beat Indiana 17 to 9 in College Football Week 8. And I get that. I also get that MSU is 5 and 2 ATS on the season.
But, the trends tell me a different story. Michigan State is 1 and 5 ATS in their last 6 road games. Northwestern is 4 and 1 in their last 5 Big Ten Conference games. They’re also 7 and 1 ATS in their last 8 games in October.
I like Northwestern to take this game ATS and SU.
Pick: Northwestern +1.5
3 Georgia -14 at Florida +14
On the surface, Florida should have no shot at upsetting the mighty Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia has been one of the most impressive teams in college football this season. Outside of Notre Dame in Week 2, it’s tough to find a team that Georgia wasn’t supposed to demolish, though.
That’s why I’m taking the points on Florida. Georgia’s burned me many times already this season. I truly believe this is the week when Georgia fails against the spread if not straight up. The Bulldogs are 3 and 8 ATS in the last 11 meetings in Florida. The Gators are 6 and 1 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week.
Florida gets the job done at least against the spread on Oct. 28.
Pick: Florida +14
2 Penn State +6 at 6 Ohio State -6
The betting line has already dropped half a point. My guess is that pro bettors jumped on the Penn State Nittany Lions as soon as the line opened at Ohio State -7.5. The Buckeyes just aren’t as good of a football team as Penn State is.
Sure, Ohio State has scored 50 points or more in 4 of their 5 wins since the 16 to 31 loss to Oklahoma on Sep. 9. That’s impressive until you look at who Ohio State scored the 50 points or more versus: UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland, and Nebraska.
Penn State just throttled Michigan 42 to 13. The Nittany Lions should beat Ohio State straight up in this. I think the 6 points are a gift.
Best Pick: Penn State +6
4 Texas Christian -5.5 at 25 Iowa State +5.5
I had no idea that Iowa State was going to be this good this season. The Cyclones dominated Texas Tech 31 to 13 on the road in Week 8. Iowa State’s defense has really stepped it up in the Cyclones last couple of games.
TCU should be favored. I’m not sure laying 5.5 points is a good idea. Since Iowa State is for real, and since they tackle the Horned Frogs at home, I’ll take the points. Don’t be surprised if Iowa State upsets TCU on the money line the same way they upset Oklahoma 38 to 31 on Oct. 7.
Best Pick: Iowa State +5.5
UCLA +17 at 12 Washington -17
The light bulb went off for the UCLA Bruins in their 31 to 14 win over Oregon on Oct. 21. The Bruins had no business not beating Oregon. That’s not what impressed me. What impressed me is how UCLA’s defense stepped it up.
I’m not sold on Washington’s 7 to 13 loss to ASU in their last being an anomaly. The Huskies should have a tough time beating UCLA straight up. I’m definitely taking the 17 points.
Best Pick: UCLA +17
Duke +17.5 at 13 Virginia Tech -17.5
Demolishing Duke will do nothing for Virginia Tech. If the Hokies wish to get into the CFP 1-loss team discussion, they must beat better teams than Duke. That’s just the way it is in the ACC this season where neither Louisville nor Florida State has impressed.
VA Tech is a best pick. The Dookies are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games. VA Tech is 9 and 3 ATS in their last 12 home games. The Hokies dominate Duke.
Best Pick: Virginia Tech -17.5
Georgia Tech +14.5 at 7 Clemson -14.5
Clemson is offering quite a few points to a tough Georgia Tech squad without knowing if QB Kelly Bryant can play or not. Bryant suffered a concussion versus Syracuse. If Bryant doesn’t go, Georgia Tech could easily hand Clemson their second loss of the season.
I’m not sure Georgia Tech doesn’t challenge Clemson on the money line even if Bryant plays. The Yellow Jackets average a ridiculous 372.8 rushing yards per game. G-Tech is also 6 and 0 against the spread this season.
The Jackets keep it close if not win straight up in Week 9.
Best Pick: Georgia Tech +14.5
Texas Tech +18.5 at 10 Oklahoma -18.5
What happened to Texas Tech’s offense versus Iowa State? The Red Raiders managed only 13 points versus the Cyclones. Texas Tech averages 40.3 points per game. Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t looked that great in recent matchups. The Sooners allowed K-State to run all over them.
The 18.5 points could mean something in this Big 12 battle. I must take the points.
Pick: Texas Tech +18.5
15 Washington State -2.5 at Arizona +2.5
The Cougars bounced back from their 3 to 37 loss to Cal by beating Colorado 28 to 0. I’m not sure the Cougars carry over the win versus a decent Arizona team in Tucson, though. To me, this game comes down to which offense performs the best. I believe Arizona’s offense is the one that performs the best.
Zona is a decent 5 and 2 straight up. Their only losses this season have been to Houston and Utah. The Wildcats believe they’re good enough to win the Pac 12 South Division. I think they beat Washington State straight up.
Pick: Arizona +2.5
21 USC -3 at Arizona State +3
This is a best pick because Arizona State’s defense has suddenly become one of the best, if not the best, in the Pac 12.The Sun Devils held Washington to 7 points in the shocking 13 to 7 win. They held Utah to only 10 points in the equally shocking 31 to 10 ASU road win on Oct. 21.
USC’s offensive line is young and banged up. It’s difficult to see the Trojans having much success versus the Sun Devils’ defense. I think ASU wins straight up.
Best Pick: ASU +3