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College Football Week Nine Winning Picks
We’re already past the halfway point of the college football season and barreling toward the end of October. A cold and dark November – F-U daylight saving time — awaits.
But this is (hopefully) going to be my second 4-0 week of the year to end the month on a high note (after going 2-2 last week).
Here’s why: Number nine is my lucky number and my birthday is Saturday (please send money and luck my way, thank you) so we’re going to enjoy a perfect weekend, my friends. Every pick will involve the number 9 in some way, so let’s do this!
The odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. But don’t forget about all the other great gambling options available in your state including BetMGM, FanDuel, and more.
My picks are in CAPS with the plus or minus points beside the team I’m taking and the betting price.
ILLINOIS -7 (-110) at Nebraska and UNDER 50.5 points (-110)
The stats tell it all and foretell this outcome.
Illinois has the top-rated defense in the country, allowing less than nine points per game while Nebraska allows 31 points per game (107th) and 190 yards rushing per game.
Overall, the Illini lead the nation in total defense (221.1) and rank second in rushing defense (77.9) and passing defense (143.3). The Cornhuskers will be lucky to score more than 13 points.
Meanwhile, Illinois junior running back Chase Brown leads the nation in rushing yards (1,059). Expect lots of ball control and clock-milking from Illinois, and a final score of 24-13.
These two picks are my locks of the week.
OKLAHOMA STATE Moneyline (+100) at Kansas State
No. 9-ranked Oklahoma State is fresh off of a statement win over Texas last weekend, improving to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Big 12 play. The Cowboys’ only loss this season is to TCU.
This is what the Wildcats have in common with OSU – a loss to the Horned Frogs, suffered last weekend on the road in Forth Worth, Texas. Kansas State had an 18-point lead and was up 28-17 against the Horned Frogs at halftime.
But the Wildcats were shut out in the second half and also watched as their top two quarterbacks, starter Adrian Martinez and backup Will Howard, both suffered injuries.
So now a banged-up Wildcats offense faces a Cowboys D that’s been solid getting after the quarterback.
Most important, though, is OSU’s lights-out offense (led by QB Spencer Sanders) which averages 44 points per game (fourth best in the nation).
I like the Cowboys to win this outright, despite being a 1.5-point underdog, so you may as well take the moneyline (ML) and make a little more dough, yo.
EAST CAROLINA ML (+135) at BYU
Look, I don’t mean to go all schadenfreude on ya, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit–as a University of Utah grad, there hasn’t been plenty of glee watching previously overconfident BYU (our despised rival) lose its last three games, each one worse than the last.
The Cougars (4-4), who are favored by 3 (-110), will be geeked up for this one because if they drop their fourth straight, their bowl chances suddenly are in jeopardy. That was unthinkable at the start of the season but here they are.
So while I briefly thought about taking BYU, figuring they would finally right the ship Friday night against the Pirates in Provo, I just can’t.
That’s because BYU’s defense is bad beyond belief (32 ppg, 109th in the nation)
Plus, East Carolina’s offense is good. The Pirates scored 47 points in a four-overtime win against Memphis two weeks ago, and then reeled off 34 last Saturday in a romp over Central Florida.
Sorry, Cougs, until I see some better D from you boys, I’m going with anyone you play.