Welcome to Week 9, college football fans! It’s that strange time of the season when many of the top ranked teams are taking the weekend off (five of the top 11 to be exact), but rest assured, there are still plenty of matchups on this week’s docket capable of shaking up the playoff race.
Lincoln Riley and the Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) return home to take on Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats (3-4). Last season, K-State jumped out to a 21-3 lead before Baker Mayfield and Rodney Anderson led OU to a wild 42-35 comeback victory in the final seconds. Much has changed between these squads since then, but will this be another shootout? Stay tuned to find out.
Here are my Week 9 gambling picks. Last week I went 4-3 against the spread, but I’m betting that I’ll do even better this time around! *smiles nervously* You can also find the TV schedule and live stream info down at the bottom.
Kansas State at Oklahoma (-24.5) - Oklahoma is back in Norman for the first time in nearly a calendar month. Last time the Sooners took the field, fans got their first look at a defense that underwent a major coaching change. The results were actually quite promising. Several small changes amounted to a relatively improved performance. Sure, there are still questions, and more challenging tests ahead, but it’s a solid start. Meanwhile, K-State has struggled with offensive consistency this season. The Wildcat to watch for is Big 12 leading rusher RB Alex Barnes. If he gets hot, and if the Wildcats can control some clock, this one could be closer than expected. Gambling pick: Oklahoma covers as the Sooners look to be hitting their stride, and with the defense seemingly playing better, I don’t see K-State being able to keep up. Over 64.
Baylor at West Virginia (-14) - When the Bears take on the Mountaineers in Morgantown, I expect to see a classic Thursday night thriller. In the last two seasons, this series has been decided by a total of five points, as WVU emerged victorious in both contests. Baylor is improved from last season, and almost defeated a hot Texas team in Austin last time out. On the other side, West Virginia was outclassed against Iowa State in the Riot Bowl. Both teams are coming off Week 8 byes. Gambling pick: Baylor has enough weapons to cover, but not enough defense to secure the win over Will Grier and WVU. Over 67.5.
Clemson (-17) at Florida State - Clemson has looked like a complete juggernaut on both sides of the ball after an upset scare against Syracuse. Florida State struggled out of the gate with first year head coach Willie Taggart, but seem to have righted the ship in recent weeks. Gambling pick: The Tigers are too experienced for the Seminoles, but I see Florida State rising to the occasion and playing their best ball of the season. The Noles cover, but ultimately fall to Dabo Swinney for the fourth season in a row. Under 51.
Texas Tech at Iowa State (-3.5) - Coming into the 2018 season, Iowa State freshman QB Brock Purdy was an unknown third stringer. After playing the majority of the win against Oklahoma State and defeating West Virginia as a starter, he’s already one of the great success stories in college football. Head coach Matt Campbell is proving that last season’s triumphs against TCU and Oklahoma were no flukes, and now the task is to take down a red hot Texas Tech team that’s playing some of its best ball under Kliff Kingsbury. Gambling pick: Iowa State currently leads the Big 12 in defensive efficiency, and that’s after playing teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. The Cyclones cover and keep it rolling against the Red Raiders. Under 56.
Florida vs. Georgia (-7) - This is easily the toughest Week 9 game for me to pick. Both Florida and Georgia have looked utterly dominant at times, while also looking rather inept in others. With only one blemish each on their respective records, this game could likely decide who represents the SEC East in the conference championship game. Gambling pick: I’m going with the Gators to come out with the win, but I’ve got Georgia covering the touchdown spread. Florida is more tested at this point, and took down the same LSU team that trounced the Dawgs. Under 52.
Kentucky at Missouri (-7) - I’m not surprised Missouri is the favorite to win this one, but I am a little surprised that the spread isn’t closer. The Tigers lost in a shootout to Mark Stoops’ Wildcats in Lexington last season, so being back in Columbia, the revenge factor is definitely present. Gambling pick: This feels like an upset pick because UK is No. 12 in the nation and Mizzou has three losses, but I’ve actually got Tigers winning in a close one. Kentucky covers, but fall back down to earth with a nice helping of humble pie. Over 56.
Texas (-3.5) at Oklahoma State - The prime time match of the night is in Stillwater. The Cowboys have won four of the past five matchups in this series, including three straight, but those three wins came during the Mason Rudolph-to-James Washington era. This season, things haven’t been so positive on the offensive side of the ball in Gundy Land, namely at quarterback. On the other side, Tom Herman has the Longhorns playing their best ball since Mack Brown was on the sidelines. There are questions about the status of QB Sam Ehlinger’s throwing shoulder, which makes betting on this one all the more intriguing. Gambling pick: Call me crazy, but I’ve got Oklahoma State winning this one outright. Make no mistake, Mike Gundy is one of the more underrated coaches in college football, and he always manages to get the Cowboys to win a game or two they probably shouldn’t. The crowd will be juiced all night long in a raucous environment, and that’ll prove to be the key element in handing UT its first loss in Big 12 play. Under 59.5.
Thursday TV Schedule (ET)
|Baylor at #13 West Virginia||7:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Ball State at Ohio||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Toledo at Western Michigan||7:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#25 Appalachian State at Georgia Southern||7:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech||7:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
Friday TV Schedule (ET)
|Louisiana Tech at Florida Atlantic||6:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Miami at Boston College||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Indiana at Minnesota||8:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Wyoming at Colorado State||10:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#23 Utah at UCLA||10:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
Saturday TV Schedule (ET)
|#2 Clemson at Florida State||12:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#20 Wisconsin at Northwestern||12:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Vanderbilt at Arkansas||12:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas Tech at Iowa State||12:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Wake Forest at Louisville||12:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|UMass at UConn||12:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Army at Eastern Michigan||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Purdue at Michigan State||12:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Central Michigan at Akron||12:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Bethune-Cookman at Nebraska||12:00 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|North Carolina at Virginia||12:20 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Southern Mississippi at Charlotte||2:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Coastal Carolina at Georgia State||2:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|TCU at Kansas||3:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Oregon State at Colorado||3:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|#9 Florida at #7 Georgia||3:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Kansas State at #8 Oklahoma||3:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#18 Iowa at #17 Penn State||3:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#21 South Florida at Houston||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Arizona State at USC||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Illinois at Maryland||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Duke at Pittsburgh||3:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion||3:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Northern Illinois at BYU||3:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Cincinnati at SMU||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#12 Kentucky at Missouri||4:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|New Mexico at Utah State||4:00 PM||None|
|Rice at North Texas||4:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|#15 Washington at California||6:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|UNLV at San Jose State||6:30 PM||AT&T SportsNet||WatchStadium.com|
|#14 Washington State at #24 Stanford||7:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|#16 Texas A&M at Mississippi State||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#22 NC State at Syracuse||7:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Boise State at Air Force||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Arkansas State at Louisiana||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Tulane at Tulsa||7:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|New Mexico State at Texas State||7:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|UAB at UTEP||7:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Tennessee at South Carolina||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida Intl at Western Kentucky||7:30 PM||beIn Sports||beINSports.com|
|#3 Notre Dame at Navy||8:00 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#6 Texas at Oklahoma State||8:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#19 Oregon at Arizona||10:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Hawai'i at Fresno State||10:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|San Diego State at Nevada||10:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
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