‘Tis a very slow week for folks looking to wager. The FCS bodybag games are out of the way, we’ve had about 2/3rds of the Homecoming games, and are now making the stretch run into season. With that comes a lot of bye weeks, as well. As a result we only had 48 major FBS vs. FBS games to choose from in Week 9: about 25% of the country is on a break.
Nevertheless, we shall endeavor to give your handy half-dozen for Week Nine: One we like, one we love, an underdog to consider, one to steer clear of, a ginormous spread worth your time, and a mortal lock.
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Not With A 10’ Pole And Stolen Money
It’s nearing the Holiday season, so why not be generous and give you a trio to steer clear of? Knowing how not to lose money is as good as making it.
Ark -3.5 at Auburn — Tough out for the Hogs, if the Barn comes to play. Will they, though? The QBing is putrid, and Harsin seems determined to burn the building down on the way out the door. Last point of interest? Arkansas is 1-4 its last 5 ATS, and 1-2 on the road. I’d avoid this like the plague, and a S/U Barn win can’t be eliminated here either. Jordan Hare remains the most cursed field in all of College Football.
TCU -7.5 at WVU — Talk about Rat Poison. It has been TCU’s turn this week to get their apples polished by the national media...and just in time, a morning game in one of the toughest venues in the country: Morgantown, West By Damn Virginia. Sadly for WVU, we’re looking at another Harsin-type case. We saw this play out with Will Healy last week when the Niners got smoked by a terrible FIU team. Have the ‘Eers given up? They’ll be able to move the ball on TCU, if they’ve not. And if WVU actually tries, they can make a game of this. But those are a lot of open questions, so nah. Beware, Frogs. Morning games in the Mountains have bushwhacked many contenders.
Pitt +3 at UNC — Two bad defenses; two very good passing attacks; two offenses that give up the ball in droves; two teams that are at .500 ATS. This spread is solely coming from the home field advantage. Stay well away. This is an ur-ACC game. Let’s call it 34-31 somebody.
One We Like:
Wyoming -10.5 at Hawaii
Remember that Vandy / Hawaii game? This should be a reprise of that, but on a much smaller scale: The Cowboys come in, play conservatively, pound the rock, play assignment defense, maybe force a few turnovers, and get out with a win. Not exciting, but the kind of keep-your-team-focused game that a good coach like Craig Bohl should be able to churn out.
Wyoming take out Hawaii by two touchdowns, -14.30.
One We Love:
UT -12 vs. Kentucky
Another big game, another home game for the Vols. Thanks, Birmingham!
Also, likely another sloppy showing from the visitors. The dirty secret is that UK is held together almost solely by defense and the shaky right arm of Levis. They don’t run the ball particularly well, and the turn it over a good bit.
UK comes into this game with theoretically the No. 1 passing defense in the country. The problem is only half the defense is good — this team can be got on the ground, and they’ve yet to actually face a scary passing offense. They’ll get one on Saturday against a Vols team that is feeling it and has now has played three of its four main rivals all at home.
Another UT win, another UT cover. Tennessee -17.23
(Ed: Can we also marvel at how very weird a -12 spread is?)
Underdog With Bite
Stanford -16.5 at UCLA
When Stanford hangs on to the ball, their offense can surprisingly give teams fits. Through the first three games of the season, Stanford was -11 in TOs, and dead last in the country. But in their last three, they’re +2, the defense has been helped by better ball security, the passing offense Stanford has spent a year and a half installing looks pretty danged good at time, and they’re on a 2-game winning streak, including a Dub at Notre Dame to go along with a heartbreaking one-point loss to a very good Oregon State squad.
That’s probably why the numbers just don’t work here for the Bruins, who are staring down a bye and are coming off of a road beatdown at Oregon. It’s all adding up to a tougher win than Bruins’ fans would like. If they win at all. This is the kind of P12 upset we’ve seen time and time again.
Take the Treeeeeees. UCLA -11.94
Ginormous Spread Worth Your While
Michigan -23 vs Michigan State
The Wolverines are going to do despicable, detestable, unchristian things to a Spartans defense that has been utterly helpless. It doesn’t help either that Sparty did a lot of running their mouth last year on their way to an improbable 11-2 season and upset in East Lansing.
Harbaugh has the better team, is at home...and that 4-10 record vs. MSU is simply unacceptable for a Blueblood. RIP, Sparty, who’s 0-3 as an underdog ATS and 0-2 S/U on the road. All that shit-talking MSU did last year after a weird 37-33 win is going to come home to roost.
Michigan big -30.06
I’ve always loved Wyoming’s colors and the meaning behind them: gold for the winter wheat, brown for the mountains.
NC State -13.5 vs. VaTech
What a disaster in Blacksburg. This team is 0-fer the road spread for a reason. The offense is terrible. The coaching isn’t much better. The secondary is prone to lapses. And the Hokies are putrid on the road.
Home NC State is just a very different critter than road NC State. At home, the Wolfpack can play with almost anyone. They’re also spread covering monsters at home, with a defense that picks it up a notch.
NC State -21.03. Two TDs seems a generous spread here for gamblers.
Do you like Wyoming’s controversial color scheme?
This poll is closed
Yes. I do like it; it’s unusual and has character
Nope. It’s pretty damned ugly, actually.
Want some more of these? I crank the data every week, for every single game over at my companion site: (Almost) Giving Away Money. Check it out, and prosper.