Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams.
I was 1-3 last week and took a total loss on the upset special for the second week in a row. I am now 13-18 against the spread, but the upset special is 4-4 winning outright and 5-3 ATS. No bye week for the weary, so it’s time to right the ship.
Week 9 picks
Purdue at Michigan State (-2.5): The biggest problem for Purdue this week is avoiding a let down after the huge win over Ohio State last Saturday. The Boilermakers offense has been on fire since the loss to Eastern Michigan, and only Missouri has found a way to go toe-to-toe with it. Michigan State is the best defensive team Purdue will have seen this season, but I don’t think the Spartans have enough offense to cover this spread. Pick: Purdue (+2.5)
Iowa at Penn State (-6.5): These are two teams going in opposite directions. The Nittany Lions haven’t been right since Ohio State made that comeback on them three weeks ago in Happy Valley. They then lost at home to Michigan State and nearly blew a late lead at Indiana. Meanwhile, Iowa has caught fire, dominating three league also-rans as a team like the Hawkeyes should. Penn State can win, but Iowa will at least keep it close. Pick: Iowa (+6.5)
Texas A&M at Missippippi State (-2.5): I realize the Bulldogs are at home, but this line is kind of surprising. The Aggies have been solid all season long, losing only to Clemson and Alabama, giving each of those teams their toughest tests of the season. Mississippi State, meanwhile, is contemplating switching quarterbacks because its passing game is a mess. The Aggies run defense is one of the best and Mississippi State can’t throw. That sounds like a big problem. Pick: Texas A&M (+2.5)
Upset of the week
Kentucky at Missouri (-7): Yes, that’s No. 12 Kentucky as a touchdown underdog at unranked Missouri. I like Mizzou, especially offensively, but Kentucky has already won at a tougher place this season. Their styles are different. The Tigers will try to fly while the Wildcats grind. The team that dictates style will win, and it’s easier to do that with a solid running game and defense. Pick: Kentucky (+7)
Other CFP candidates
- Florida State at Clemson (-17)
- Navy vs Notre Dame (-23.5)
- Texas at Oklahoma State (+3)
- Florida vs Georgia (-7)
- Kansas State at Oklahoma (-23.5)
- Baylor at West Virginia (-13.5)
- Washington State at Stanford (-3)
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