Thursday, December 2

College Football Picks, Predictions Against The Spread For Every Week 9 Top 25 Game



The spotlight is on the big ten of week 9.

Two Big Ten East clashes are at the forefront. No. 6 Michigan travels to No. 8 Michigan State in the second top-10 meeting of the conference season. The Wolverines and Spartans have dueling records of 7-0, so the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy should be epic.

No. 5 Ohio State also plays No. 20 Penn State, which fell in the rankings after a nine overtime loss to Illinois. No. 10 Ole Miss travels to No. 18 Auburn in the third meeting involving classified teams.

BENDER: Sorting out a crowded Heisman field | Playoffs table if Selection Sunday were today

It’s a fun way to close October. Each week, Sporting News picks all AP Top 25 games by margin. Here’s a look at our track record this season:

  • Directly up: 114-35 (15-4 at week 8)
  • Against the spread: 75-74 (11-8 at week 8)
  • Inconvenience: 7-8 (2-3 at week 8)

With that in mind, a look at this week’s picks:

Week 9 Picks Against Spread

Thursday October 28

  • Troy at No. 24 Coastal Carolina (-18.5) (7:30 pm, ESPN2)

The Chanticleers are coming off a loss, and the last two games against the Trojans were one-score runs. Troy allows 94.6 rushing yards per game, and his worst loss this season is by 13 points. This is a close call, but Troy stays long enough for the cover.

Choose: Coastal Carolina wins 38-21 and DOES NOT COVER the spread.

Saturday October 30

  • No. 2 Cincinnati (-25.5) at Tulane (12 p.m., ESPN2)

Tulane’s season has been unhinged after Oklahoma’s near-loss earlier in the season. La Ola Verde is ranked 128th in defensive scoring with 42.3 points per game. They have an all-in moment at home here, but the Bearcats need to pour it in before the next CFP qualifiers. Cincinnati is 5-2 ATS this season.

Choose: Cincinnati wins 45-17 and COVERS the spread.

  • No. 6 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 8 Michigan State (12 p.m. FOX)

The Wolverines and Spartans have split the last eight meetings in East Lansing, and Michigan has won the last two. Michigan state has the worst air defense in the Big Ten, but will Jim Harbaugh trust Cade McNamara to throw the ball down the field enough? He’s tight in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines improve to 8-0.

Choose: Michigan wins 29-23 and COVERS the spread.

  • No. 9 Iowa at Wisconsin (-3.5) (12 p.m., ESPN)

Wisconsin has won four of the last five meetings, and the Badgers could still put themselves in position to win the Big Ten West with a win against the Hawkeyes. This feels like a defensive fight, and either Graham Mertz or Spencer Petras will need to make a handful of big pitches. The Hawkeyes recover.

Choose: Iowa wins 20-16 in a UPSET.

  • Texas at No. 16 Baylor (-2.5) (12 p.m., ABC)

The Bears have the best statistical offense in the Big 12, and Dave Aranda has instilled the defense to equalize. Both teams excel in the running game, and this should be the classic Big 12 shootout of the week. The Longhorns finally win a close game.

Choose: Texas wins 33-30 in a TURN.

  • Miami at No. 17 PItt (-11.5) (12 pm, ACC Network)

The Panthers are far behind Heisman Trophy contender Kenny Pickett, and are 6-1 ATS this season. The Hurricanes, however, are coming off a season-saving win against NC State. Miami is 2-1 ATS as an underdog. Here too there is value.

Choose: Pitt wins 34-25 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.

  • No. 22 Iowa State (-7.5) at West Virginia (2 pm, ESPN +)

These are a lot of points for a favorite on the road, but the Cyclones have fought off their early-season struggles to return to Big 12 competition. Iowa State has won the last three meetings by an average of 25.3 points per game.

Choose: Iowa State wins 34-24 and COVERS the spread.

  • No. 1 Georgia (-15.5) vs. Florida (3:30 pm, CBS)

Both teams are coming off a bye week for this rivalry game. Georgia can lock in the SEC East behind that ridiculous defense, but Florida had an extra week to prepare. Will Anthony Richardson throw a wrinkle in this showdown? Despite all the rarity of this rivalry over the past six years, the favorite has won and covered. Make it seven in a row.

Choose: Georgia wins 34-17 and COVERS the spread.

  • Texas Tech at No. 4 in Oklahoma (-19.5) (3:30 pm, ABC)

The Red Raiders have enjoyed a solid season with the exception of blowout losses to TCU and Texas. Oklahoma is back at home, and the game of perception remains a mixed bag after the scare at Kansas in Week 8. Oklahoma is 2-5 ATS this season, but enters bye week with a big win.

Choose: Oklahoma wins 44-24 and COVERS the spread.

  • Colorado at No. 7 in Oregon (-26.5) (3:30 pm, FOX)

The Buffaloes are 1-3 ATS as an underdog this season, with the only cap in the bizzarro game against Texas A&M in September. The problem here is that the Ducks are 0-5 ATS favorites this season. Colorado can play at that, even with a bad offense.

Choose: Oregon wins 37-13 but DOES NOT COVER the spread.

  • Duke at No. 13 Wake Forest (-15.5) (4 p.m., ACC Network)

This is Wake Forest’s first double-digit difference against an FBS opponent this season. The Demon Deacons have a high-powered offense, and the Blue Devils have been outscored 127-34 in their last three ACC losses.

Choose: Wake Forest wins 38-21 and COVERS the spread.

  • No. 10 Ole Miss (-0.5) at No. 18 Auburn (7 p.m., ESPN)

The Rebels are the favorites on the road at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn has won the last five games of the series, but the last two were decided by seven points or less. It’s an entertaining quarterback showdown between Matt Corral and Bo Nix. Lane Kiffin keeps Ole Miss in the mix for a bowl on New Years Day six.

Choose: Ole Miss wins 34-31 and COVERS the spread.

  • Kansas at No. 15 in Oklahoma State (-30.5) (7 pm, FS1)

The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS as an underdog, but coverage against Oklahoma is fresh in mind. Will the state of Oklahoma come out of focus after a deflated loss in the state of Iowa? It’s just a huge line, and maybe it’s a recent bias. We like that Kansas does enough to cover. The spread is down one point from the opening line.

Choose: Oklahoma State wins 38-14 and DOES NOT COVER the spread.

  • No. 19 SMU in Houston (-0.5) (7 p.m., ESPN2)

It’s a great game in the AAC between rival schools in Texas. The Mustangs have won the last two high-scoring meetings, and have a top-10 offense led by Tanner Mordecai (29 TD, 7 INT). It’s a tough place on the road, but we like that SMU gets over it. The over (62.5) looks good too.

Choose: SMU wins 41-34 and COVERS the spread.

  • No. 12 Kentucky in the state of Mississippi (-0.5) (7 pm, SEC network)

The Wildcats won this matchup 24-2 at Lexington last year. The Bulldogs will be better this time, but Kentucky had a week to refocus after Georgia’s loss. This could get crazy, and that’s why it’s a pick-em line. The home team has won the last six games, but we are going against the trend.

Choose: Kentucky wins 30-27 in a TURN.

  • No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State (-17.5) (7:30 p.m., ABC)

This is a huge line knowing that the Buckeyes have won the last four games of the series by an average of 6.5 points per game. However, the last two night games at Ohio Stadium were blowouts and the Buckeyes have switched gears on offense. The Buckeyes cover for the fifth consecutive week.

Choose: Ohio State wins 42-21 and COVERS the spread.

  • North Carolina at No. Notre Dame 11 (-3.5) (7:30 pm, NBC)

The Tar Heels had one more week to prepare, and will be looking to pick up the pace of the Irish on the road. This is North Carolina’s second true road game of the season, and the Irish are improving the running game around Kyren Williams. This line will mark for Notre Dame. Take it now.

Choose: Notre Dame wins 34-26 and COVERS the spread.

  • Virginia at No. 25 BYU (-2.5) (10:15 pm, ESPN2)

It’s the Bronco Mendenhall Bowl. The Cavaliers are making the long trip to Provo and have won wild shootouts in Miami and Louisville this season. Virginia is on a four-game winning streak, and the Cougars are 1-2 ATS as single-digit favorites this season. There is value in Virginia here.

Choose: Virginia wins 31-28 in a UPSET.

  • Fresno State at No. 21 San Diego State (-0.5) (10:30 pm, CBSSN)

It is worth staying up late. The Aztecs’ passing defense will be tested by Jake Haener, and Greg Bell will try to get going against a tough running defense from Fresno State. This feels like a defensive fight, and the Aztecs are made for those at home.

Choose: San Diego State wins 24-21 and COVERS the spread.




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