College Football Odds Board - Best ATS Picks For Week 9

Ole Miss Rebels Players

Friday, October 28, 2016 2:39 PM GMT

A perfect 3-0 mark last Saturday in my best ATS picks of Week 8, hitting on West Virginia, Northwestern and Utah all not just covering but winning. Based on Intertops' odds here are week 9 picks.

 

No. 2 Michigan vs Michigan State 

Biggest spread in decades for this rivalry. One of the greatest endings in college football history happened in this game last year in Ann Arbor. Michigan was up 23-21 with 10 seconds left and punting from around its own 40. All the punter had to do was get the kick off and time probably runs out. But he fumbled the snap and instead of falling on the ball and leaving Michigan State with maybe a few seconds  left and an improbable Hail Mary chance, he tried to still kick it. Mistake! The Spartans gathered up the fumble and scored a touchdown with no time left and a 27-23 stunner. Literally, a couple of fans in the stands had heart attacks. It was Michigan State's third straight win in the series and seventh in the past eight. Alas, this year's game looks like a major mismatch with the Wolverines unbeaten and ranked No. 2 and MSU on a five-game losing streak, the longest under Coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans' offense has tried three different quarterbacks this season -- who starts this week is TBA -- but ranks 106th nationally in scoring (23.1 ppg). Michigan has the nation's top-ranked scoring defense (10.0 points per game), total defense (207.0 yards per game) and passing defense (111.0 ypg). But I am leaning MSU to cover here because this is the Spartans' season. A bowl game isn't likely happening so the Michigan State players will leave it all on the field.

NCAAF Free Pick: Michigan State +24.5. The Spartans have covered the past eight meetings.

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Central Florida vs Houston

The bloom is of the rose when it comes to the University of Houston, as a few weeks ago we were talking about the Cougars becoming the first Group of 5 school to crash the College Football Playoff. But on Oct. 8, UH lost at Navy. The next week, the Cougars were fortunate to beat Tulsa. And then last Saturday, Houston was flat-out dominated in a 38-16 loss at SMU. The defense allowed a total of 56 points the first five games and has given up 115 in the past three. And scoring only 16 points against a bad defensive team like SMU is inexcusable. Greg Ward Jr., one of the best dual-threat QBs in the country, had just 3 yards on 17 carries against the Mustangs. Ward and Louisville's Lamar Jackson are the only two players nationally to average over 300 yards passing and over 50 yards rushing. Cougars coach Tom Herman is still highly coveted around the nation -- even though Houston won't win its own AAC division -- and he'll be at either Texas or LSU next year. Central Florida is much improved under first-year coach Scott Frost as the Knights were winless last year and are contending in the AAC East. Frost has done such a good job there's talk Oregon might hire him as its next head coach; he was the Ducks' offensive coordinator before being lured away by UCF. The Cougars claimed the largest margin of victory in the series with a 59-10 win in Orlando last year. This one will be closer, but Houston should be able to win by at least 10 at home.

NCAAF Free Pick: Houston. UCF is 1-4 ATS in its past five vs. teams with a winning record.

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No. 15 Auburn vs Ole Miss

Apparently Gus Malzahn has saved his job at Auburn; that was in major jeopardy when the Tigers started 1-2. But they have won four straight. The most impressive of those by far was last week's 56-3 destruction of a pretty good Arkansas team. When you score on a 78-yard run on your first play from scrimmage, you know it's your night. Auburn ran for 543 yards, a school record for an SEC regular-season game. That was without leading rusher Kerryon Johnson, who was out with an ankle injury. But he's expected back here. Ole Miss has to be the best 3-4 team in the country. The Rebels' losses were to No. 4 Florida State, No. 1 Alabama, No. 22 Arkansas and No. 25 LSU. Only the Alabama game, however, was in Oxford. And the Rebels dominated the first half of that one. Ole Miss has to improve defensively to have a shot here. It is 113th out of 128 FBS teams against the run. LSU's Leonard Fournette put up an LSU-record 284 yards on that defense last week. Ole Miss is 13th in the SEC in total defense (455.9 YPG) and 12th in scoring defense (31.4). But I expect the Rebs to be much better at home and they are far superior at quarterback in this matchup with Chad Kelly. At worst, the Rebels should be able to lose by only a field goal.

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NCAAF Free Pick: Ole Miss. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. 

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