College Football Week 9 Best Bets
The Action Never Stops
They are getting down to the nitty gritty in the battle for college football supremacy, and you can tell based on the lineup of games slated for this week. By the time you sit down to Saturday supper, you will have witnessed not one, not two, not three, but four – count ’em, four – games matching teams ranked among the top 25.
No. 2 Penn State clashes with sixth-ranked Ohio State in a battle for Big Ten supremacy. Fresh off a rousing triumph over arch-rival USC, No. 9 Notre Dame tangles with No. 14 North Carolina State. Fourth-ranked TCU will look to maintain its unbeaten status in a Big 12 tilt against No. 25 Iowa State. In another Big 12 showdown, No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 22 West Virginia might burn out all the bulbs on the scoreboard by the time these two teams are done scoring.
Let’s take a look at how you should wager on these high end contests, based on odds offered by Bovada.lv.
You look at this game and your first thought, with good reason, is bet the over, even though the total is set at 73. The Cowboys are second in the nation in points per game (48) and first overall in yardage gained from scrimmage (611). Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph is first in the NCAA in passing yardage (2650) for the top-rated passing offense (392.7 yards per game). Receiver James Washington is also No. 1 in the NCAA in yardage gained per game (130.6).
The Mountaineers are no slouches with the ball. West Virginia rates No. 4 in passing offense (364 yards) and QB Will Grier is seventh in the nation in passing yards (2467). He’s completed an NCAA-high 15 touchdown passes to wideout David Sills.
With all this offense, the difference in the outcome will actually be defense. Oklahoma State has allowed just 26 points in its last two games against Baylor and Texas and has forced 12 turnovers.
Pick: Oklahoma State (-270) and the over (-110)
Might the Irish be ripe for a letdown after an emotional rout of the Trojans? The Wolfpack’s No. 6 rush defense (3.4 yards per carry) should fare better at slowing Notre Dame’s sixth-rated rushing attack, averaging 317.9 yards per game, forcing Irish QB Brandon Wimbush to the air perhaps more than Notre Dame would like.
Something has to give between these 6-1 teams. North Carolina State has won six in a row, while the Irish are on a five-game winning streak, and home field provides them a slight edge.
Pick: Notre Dame (-270) and the under (58, -115)
Much like Oklahoma State, everyone watches the Nittany Lions’ offense, which features a pair of Heisman Trophy contenders in running back Saquon Barkley and QB Trace McSorley. But don’t sleep on the Penn State defense. They are the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 9.6 points per game.
Winning over Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks won’t be easy, but this Penn State team is the real deal and will carry the day in Columbus.
Pick: Penn State (+185) and the under (57, -105)
Beating Oklahoma, the 5-2 Cyclones already have claimed one victim among unbeaten, top 10 teams. Getting another will prove too much of a challenge for them.
Not only are the Horned Frogs 7-0, they suit up the No. 3 rush defense in the NCAA, allowing just 80.7 yards per game, and are the best third-down defense, permitting only a .562 conversion rate.
Pick: TCU (-245) and the over (49, -105)
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