Yikes, last week was rough. Penn State was a huge disappointment, and Duke looked great for a half before completely folding. Luckily, UCLA saved us late in the evening by holding onto the under. After another 1-2 weekend, we are now 12-12 on the year. In terms of units, we lost 1.1 for the week, leaving us up by just 0.93 for the season.
We have somewhat of an ugly slate of games to bet this week. However, those games can sometimes provide some great value to take advantage of. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Thursday evening. Also, be sure to catch my, and my fellow ATB bettors’, locks and underdogs of the week on Around The Book.
Let’s get started and dive into the best bets for Week 9 of the college football season!
Week 9 College Football Best Bets
#6 Oklahoma at Kansas: Kansas ML (+295)
We need to hit a big upset this week. This seemingly innocuous noon matchup might be our best chance. The Sooners may be a top-ten team, but they just barely avoided disaster at home last week against a middling Central Florida team. They may not be so lucky traveling to Kansas this week.
The Jayhawks, may not be ranked after a loss to Oklahoma State a couple of weeks ago, but don’t let that define them. Kansas has looked solid for most of the year. The week before the Oklahoma State game, they smashed that same UCF team the Sooners barely squeaked by.
Kansas is coming off a bye week, giving them plenty of time to make adjustments after the loss. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is still trying to catch their breath after last week. Now, they have to go on the road to face an even tougher opponent. This is the perfect recipe for an upset. Take the Jayhawks with some tremendous value at +295.
#24 USC at California: USC -10.5 (-108)
This line is very suspicious. Everything about this matchup on paper tells us that the Trojans should win this one by 20. Yes, they have played poorly as of late. A big part of that has been their atrocious defense. But is that really going to be enough to keep Cal within two scores?
The problem with the oddsmakers’ logic is that Cal can’t play defense, either. Also, the Golden Bears don’t have Caleb Williams. After two straight losses, you know he is going to be looking to get his Heisman campaign back on track. This is the perfect game to make that happen.
Fellow Around the Book co-host J.T. Olson summed it up perfectly on the show the other night: USC is great at beating up on bad teams. Their game against Stanford was a prime example of this. Expect a similar result against Cal. The Trojans should cover safely.
Colorado at #23 UCLA : Under 61.5 (-110)
We are going back for seconds on the under in UCLA games. The Bruins’ makes it easy to be confident that the total will stay far below the line, even against a high-scoring Colorado team that doesn’t play great defense either.
The Buffaloes have already proven they struggle against stout defenses. They will have trouble breaking 20 this week. While UCLA may be able to move the ball at will against Colorado, they are much more methodical than your traditional Chip Kelly-coached offense. Stanford might be the only team all year they can expect to score 40 on.
The best part about this pick is that we have data on our side. UCLA has only played one game all year with total over 60 points, and that was against FCS North Carolina Central. Colorado does play higher scoring games, but only a little over half of their games have gone over 60 total points. However, those games were against either struggling programs like TCU, Colorado State and Stanford, or a USC team that doesn’t believe in playing defense.
In these situations, always lean toward a more defensive team like UCLA dictating the pace. Hammer the under.
Week 9 College Football Best Bets Recap
- Kansas ML (+295)
- USC -10.5 (-108)
- Colorado @ UCLA UNDER 61.5 (-110)
- Parlay odds: +1352