Week 9 of the college football slate is already upon us. We finally got a look at the Big Ten last week and with some interesting results. The top teams certainly look very solid while the middle looks as competitive as ever. The Mountain West also joined the party, although meeting much less fanfare. It looks like only Boise State is worth tracking from that league, though there is nothing wrong with a fuller weekly schedule.
Here is a look at some of the games coming up this weekend. The action starts Thursday so don’t wait too long to get your thoughts together. The lines are below and some comments that can help you make your plays.
South Alabama vs Georgia Southern (-5.5)
Not exactly a marquee matchup but the University of South Alabama has not lost on the road this season, and GaSo has not lost at home. Something has to give in this one.
Colorado State (-1.5) vs Fresno State
This is the first game of the season for the Rams. Fresno State started with a loss to Hawaii. Neither program is expected to be a contender in the Mountain West this season.
Minnesota (-19.5) vs Maryland
The Gophers were one of the most disappointing teams of the first week of the B10 season, outclassed by Michigan. There is still a lot of respect for them with that big number on the road.
Hawaii (-2) vs Wyoming
Second straight game on the mainland for the Rainbow Warriors. They may be off a win but I am not liking the spot at Wyoming. It could be very cold already and there is altitude.
Purdue (-7) vs Illinois
This line could be inflated. Purdue got the upset win last week over Iowa even though WR Rondale Moore didn’t play and Illinois could not have looked any worse in their opening game at Wisconsin. You might want to stay away. Illinois might have even been favored before last week’s results.
Michigan State vs Michigan (-25)
The Mel Tucker era could not have started worse for Michigan State – they lost to Rutgers and at home. Michigan has to be feeling good after beating up Minnesota. Similar to the game above these single data points could be leading to an inflated number in a rivalry game.
Georgia (-14.5) vs Kentucky
The Dawgs have had a week to regroup from losing to Alabama. Kentucky presents a different challenge. They are one of the most opportunistic defenses in the country.
Boston College vs Clemson (-31)
Clemson had a huge number last week, but couldn’t get the cover vs. Syracuse. This one is not quite as big and they are at home. It feels like buyer beware.
Iowa State (-28.5) vs Kansas
ISU has the perfect bounce-back opponent in Kansas. That is a lot of points to give up but as long as there is no hangover from their loss to Oklahoma State they should be good.
LSU (-3) vs Auburn
Big brand matchup here, though neither team is off to a strong start. Both Tigers are hoping they have clean quarterback play. That has been a challenge all season long.
Texas vs Oklahoma State (-3.5)
Oklahoma State got the big win over ISU and the gauntlet continues. Texas can be soft on defense so it could be a day to line up Cowboys on your fantasy team. That hook looks like it could be very valuable.
Mississippi State vs Alabama (-31)
So far nobody has been able to slow down the Alabama offense. I don’t see that changing this week. After week one this one might have been circled on the calendar but the Bulldogs have been terrible since they upset LSU.
Ohio State (-13) vs Penn State
All summer long these looked like the two best teams in the conference. Then Penn State lost LB Micah Parsons to opt-out, RB Journey Brown to injury, and their first game to Indiana. Ohio State is what we thought they would be so a bounceback from the Nittany Lions is going to be very difficult.
Arkansas vs Texas A&M (-10.5)
OK, Razorbacks how good are you? Arkansas is 2-2 SU and 4-0 ATS. The early grades have been good and here is another chance to prove it. Texas A&M loves to keep the markets and their fans guessing.
Oklahoma (-14.5) vs Texas Tech
Not sure how this one got a primetime slot, though it could be entertaining. Tech got their first conference win of the season last week against West Virginia. Their passing attack will at least put some pressure on OU to keep the ball moving. Could be a blowout or watch out for the backdoor cover action.
Western Kentucky vs BYU (-28)
BYU has just a few games left on its schedule. Boise State is up next so the Cougars could be looking ahead. As long as they are focused this looks like another easy win at home. They want to represent the Group of Five and it is going to require perfection.
Nevada (-14) vs UNLV
The battle for Nevada is not a thing and this year, it’s certain. The Wolf Pack is a team that is expected to be sneaky good in the Mountain West, the Runnin’ Rebels, not so much.