College Football Odds - Week 9 Games With Biggest Line Moves

Louisina Tech Bulldogs

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 8:42 PM UTC

A 1-2 against the spread mark on the games with the biggest line moves last week, hitting on New Mexico (-17.5) but missing on Marshall (-13) and Florida International (+17). Here are the Week 9 biggest line moves.

 Northwestern vs No. 6 Ohio State -27

Big Ten matchup opened with the Buckeyes as three-touchdown favorites. As a 20-point favorite last week, Ohio State was stunned at Penn State, 24-21, on a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown by the Nittany Lions with 4:27 left. PSU outscored Ohio State 17-0 in the fourth quarter. Amazingly, it was the Buckeyes' first true road loss under Urban Meyer, ending a 20-game winning streak. I don't want to say I saw that loss coming, but Ohio State's offense had been playing sluggish for a few weeks. The Bucks still probably make the College Football Playoff if they win out and take the Big Ten Championship Game. In Meyer's 15-year coaching career, his teams have lost back-to-back games just four times. It has happened once at Ohio State, with OSU losing to Michigan State and Clemson at the end of the 2013 season. 

I do wonder if the Buckeyes will be looking ahead to next week's game vs. unbeaten Nebraska (although the Huskers probably lose Saturday at Wisconsin). Northwestern is hardly a pushover as it could find itself tied for the West Division lead with a win and Nebraska loss. The Wildcats beat Indiana 24-14 last week for their third straight win. The NU rush defense has allowed just 214 combined yards in the winning streak. On the flip side, tailback Justin Jackson has rushed for 453 yards and three scores in that stretch. He leads the Big Ten in rushing and teammate Austin Carr does in receiving.  This is Northwestern's first trip to Ohio State in nine years.

NCAAF Free Pick: Northwestern. The Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 at home vs. teams with a winning road record.

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No. 5 Louisville vs Virginia +31.5

This would be a terrific ACC basketball game but probably not on the gridiron in Charlottesville on Saturday. Louisville opened at -27.5. The Cardinals were big winners last week, and I don't just mean in their 54-13 blowout of NC State. They also won in the polls by moving up to No. 5 with both No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Texas A&M losing. Now it's looking quite possible that Louisville could reach the College Football Playoff without even winning the ACC Atlantic Division. I would love to see Heisman Trophy favorite Lamar Jackson against the Alabama defense. Against the Wolfpack, Jackson had another huge day with 431 yards of offense and four touchdowns -- the vast majority in the first half as the Cards led 44-0 at intermission. Jackson's 34 touchdowns responsible for this year already are a single-season school record. He has rushed and passed for at least  one in 10 straight games. 

Virginia has given Louisville fits the previous two years. UL's last visit to Scott Stadium ended in a 23-21 win by the Cavaliers over the then-No. 21 Cardinals.  Wahoos coach Bronco Mendenhall says his offense will basically play four corners to milk the clock like Duke did in a close loss to Louisville a few weeks ago: "That gives us the best chance, a similar approach," Mendenhall said. Yeah, but this same team allowed 37 points to FCS school Richmond. Last week, UVA lost 35-14 at home to North Carolina.  Virginia is 2-8-1 all-time in Charlottesville against the AP Top 5.

NCAAF Free Pick: Virginia can stay within 31. Take  the points. The Cavs are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven after a loss. Louisville is 1-5 ATS in its past six October games.

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Rice vs Louisiana Tech -28.5 

Louisiana Tech opened at -24.5 for this Conference USA matchup. I was wrong on Louisiana Tech last week as it was a 17-point favorite at Florida International and I took the points, but the Bulldogs were able to cover in a 44-24 victory in Miami. A 92-yard kickoff return for a score by Louisiana Tech's Carlos Henderson with six minutes left accounted for the final points. The Golden Panthers got to the Louisiana Tech 30 on the next drive but basically had to go for it on 4th-and-4 and failed by one yard. Tech's Ryan Higgins threw for 269 yards and two scores. Trent Taylor caught 11 passes for 156 yards and a TD. It was his seventh straight 100-yard game. Taylor leads the nation with 86 catches and 1,143 yards  and is tied for fifth with nine TD catches. Rice is one of the worst teams in the nation but comes off its first win of the season, a 65-44 victory over FCS school Prairie View A&M. Tyler Stehling threw for 407 yards and five touchdowns, both career highs, to lead the Owls. He also caught a TD pass. Allowing 44 points to an FCS school is concerning and Rice ranks 118th in the country in allowing 37 points per game. Tech ranks 12th in scoring at 41.9 ppg. Rice lost 42-17 at home to Louisiana Tech last year.

NCAAF Free Pick: Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 at home. Rice is 1-4 ATS in its past five on the road. 

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