This week sets up for a far more interesting Saturday where we have some top-25 battles. Check out the College Football Week 9 lines and predictions from our Lineups writing staff.
College Football Week 9 Lines
No. 7 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State
The Penn State Nittany Lions travel to the Horseshoe in Columbus to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a matchup of Big Ten East rivals. A must win for each team as they envision being the East representative in Indianapolis playing in the Big Ten Championship game. Ohio State has an all-time lead of 21-14 against Penn State since their first matchup in 1912. The Buckeyes have won the last four games against the Nittany Lions by a combined score of 138-106: with two of those contests being one-point games.
Leading an offensive attack averaging over 560 yards a game, Ohio State’s quarterback C.J. Stroud has seemed to hit his stride in the Ryan Day designed offense. After starting the season with a 61.3 completion percentage he’s turned it around completing over 70 percent of his passes the last few weeks. Stroud is a player who’ll quickly insert himself in the Heisman race if he can have a strong outing and defeat a tough and aggressive Penn State defense allowing less than 15 points a game.
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford has been battling an unspecified injury since leaving the game at Iowa. With over 5,000 yards of total offense in his career, Clifford is a player the Nittany Lions need to have in their lineup as backup Ta’Quan Roberson has shown he might not be ready for the rigors of Big Ten play.
The raucous Buckeye crowd will once again look to be the “12th man,” giving their heroes in Scarlet and Grey the extra energy to assert their dominance in the Big Ten East.
Best Bet: Ohio State ML
Author: Scott Steinberg
No. 6 Michigan at No. 9 Michigan State
This is a huge matchup for Michigan, who began the season unranked and has skyrocketed to No. 6 last week in the Top 25. Michigan and Michigan State are both yielding great returns against the spread: Michigan is 5-1 ATS, while Michigan State is 5-1-1. Michigan is 1-0 when it is an away underdog, while Michigan State is 1-1-1 as a home favorite. Michigan has had a few close calls against Nebraska and Rutgers but had the experience and poise to secure the wins. The Wolverines boast one of the best backfields in the nation, ranking sixth in rushing yards per game. That list, of course, includes Army and Air Force at the top, so the Wolverines are essentially a top-five rushing team in the nation. Michigan ranks ninth in the country in points per game, so it has no issues putting points on the board. Defensively, Michigan is still very respectable, allowing the 17th fewest yards per game and 22nd in opponent passing yards per game. While Michigan State is a great team, Michigan will at least keep this close. If the Wolverines get points, I like them on the road at +3 or better. This win could get them into the CFP.
Best Bet: Michigan Wolverines Spread (+3 or better)
Author: Andrew Norton
No. 11 Iowa Hawkeyes at Wisconsin Badgers
With some other huge Big Ten matchups on the horizon, this meeting between Iowa and Wisconsin could get overlooked. However, I believe it will present some excellent betting value. Iowa will be disappointed after its shocking loss to Purdue, but that game shouldn’t dismiss the strong resume the Hawkeyes have built this season with decisive wins over Indiana, Iowa State, and Maryland as well as an impressive comeback win over Penn State. Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz has struggled this season and is likely to have a difficult time passing against a stout Iowa defense that still ranks #2 in the nation in DFEI. Wisconsin’s defense ranks #3 in DFEI and #2 in defensive first down rate, so perhaps the under will be the best play in this game depending on what the number is released at. Regardless, I’m expecting the odds to be too far pushed in Wisconsin’s favor and I’m not sold on their team based on what we’ve seen this season. I’ll happily take whatever points I can get on Iowa in a bounce-back spot and I wouldn’t mind parlaying their spread with the under for additional value.
Best Bet: Iowa Hawkeyes ATS (play to -4), under (play to 40.5)
Author: Jacob Wayne
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators
How can you not like what the Georgia Bulldogs have done so far this season? The team hasn’t just been winning games, they’ve been dominating them. That Week 1 10-3 win over Clemson was just the tip of the iceberg, as seen with their 37-0 shutdown of Arkansas weeks after. The highlight here, of course, is the defense. Georgia is only allowing 209.1 yards per game, making them far and away the top defensive unit in college football. But the offense hasn’t been holding them back by any means. Whether it’s J.T. Daniels or Stetson Bennett under center, the Bulldog have been putting up points. The team also has a trio of talented running backs led by Zamir Rice, who has totaled 400 yards and seven TDs with a 4.8 average so far. The Florida Gators, on the other hand, have not been quite as consistent. The team’s been a roller coaster to watch, albeit a fun one. The team has shined in big wins over Tennessee and Vandebilt, with a very close loss to Alabama along the way. However, frustrating losses to LSU and Kentucky have soured some bettors on the team. With that level of inconsistency, I can’t find it in me to back the Gators this Saturday. I love watching the Florida offense when it starts clicking, but I just can’t see them putting together a successful performance against the number one team in the nation. Lay the points with Georgia and expect another defensive domination from the Bulldogs.
Best Bet: Georgia ATS
Author: Anthony Elio