Week 9 College Football Picks: Betting Top Against the Spread Odds

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, October 29, 2015 12:44 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 12:44 PM GMT

After two 3-0 weeks in a row, I fell to 2-1 on my top college picks for Week 8, hitting on Ole Miss -6 against Texas A&M and Wisconsin -6.5 at Illinois. Here are my top Week 9 picks on GTBets NCAA odds.

No. 3 Clemson vs. NC State (+10.5)
This smells very much like a potentially huge trap game for Clemson. The Tigers come off their best  outing of the season, a 58-0 destruction at what many thought was a dangerous home Miami team last week. The result was so lopsided that the Hurricanes fired Coach Al Golden. But the Tigers  might be feeling a bit too good about themselves as the head to Raleigh against a good Wolfpack team. Plus Clemson's entire season really comes down to next week's game for the ACC Atlantic Division against Florida State. By the way, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich is one of the 13 committee members picking the top four teams to make the College Football Playoff. Those first rankings are due next Tuesday. Radakovich will not be allowed in the room when his team is discussed and ranked. NC State ended a two-game losing streak -- to Louisville and Virginia Tech -- with a 35-17  win at Wake Forest last week. Jacoby Brissett is likely the best QB that Clemson has seen this year as he's completing 67 percent of his passes for 1,332 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one pick. Matthew Dayes is one of the ACC's top running backs, totaling 793 yards and 12 touchdowns. That Clemson defense ranked No. 4 overall nationally will be tested. In addition, it's a payback game for NC State as it was embarrassed 41-0 at Clemson last year, the most lopsided score in the series' history. The 156 total yards by the offense are the fewest under coach Dave Doeren. Brissett finished just 4 of 18 for 35 passing yards.

NCAAF Free Pick: The Wolfpack has won three of their past five games at Carter-Finley Stadium against Top 10 opponents. Not quite predicting an NCSU win but it covers. Clemson is 1-4 ATS in its past five on the road. NCSU is 5-0 ATS in past five vs. teams with a winning record.

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South Carolina vs. Texas A&M (-16.5)
Maybe Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin should listen if Southern Cal or Miami come calling. He appears to have reached his ceiling in the ridiculously hard SEC West despite some stellar recruiting classes. A&M was ranked ninth in the nation and unbeaten just two weeks ago but was pounded 41-23 at home by Alabama on Oct. 17 and then stomped pretty good last week at Ole Miss, 23-3. The Aggies had just 192 yards vs. the Rebels. That up-tempo Sumlin offense struggles against some of the SEC's best defenses -- at least since Johnny Manziel left College Station. A&M starting QB Kyle Allen has struggled mightily in the two losses and now Sumlin has opened the competition between Allen, top recruit Kyler Murray and JuCo transfer Jake Hubenak. The starter will be announced Friday -- I highly doubt it's Hubenak. Murray is 17 of 31 for 167 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions this season and rushed 18 times for 92 yards. He was a high school legend in Texas and his father Kevin is a former A&M QB. South Carolina does come off a bye week. The Gamecocks have a decent win in the season opener over North Carolina but their other two are against winless UCF and terrible Vanderbilt. This is Game 2 of the Shawn Elliott Era at South Carolina. He replaced the retired Steve Spurrier. Junior quarterback Perry Orth is expected to start his third straight game. A&M won at South Carolina 52-28 to open last season, turning freshman Aggies QB Kenny Hill briefly into a star and Heisman contender. That star faded quickly and Hill is gone now. USC allowed 52 points to Georgia and 45 to LSU and those two offenses aren't close to Texas A&M's, no matter who the quarterback is.

NCAAF Free Pick: Texas A&M.  USC is 0-5 ATS in its past five vs. teams with a winning record. A&M is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 vs. teams with a losing record.

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No. 8 Stanford vs. Washington State (+12 On College Football Picks)
This Pac-12 game fascinates me because it's a team that would be happy running the ball all night in Stanford (Cardinal are No. 18  nationally in rushing yards per game) and a Washington State side that likes to throw the ball more than anyone else under Coach Mike Leach (No. 1 in the nation with 394 pass attempts). I'm still not sure how the Cardinal lost at Northwestern in Week 1, but they have won six straight by double digits since. The Cougars are improved this year and enter having won three straight, scoring at least 45 points in victories at Oregon, vs. Oregon State and at Arizona. The third quarter could be the turning point here. Stanford has outscored teams 84-31 in that quarter while Wazzu has just 28 third-quarter points. Stanford has won each of its past seven meetings with Washington State, matching the program’s second-best active winning streak against any opponent. WSU is looking for its first win over a Top-10 opponent since beating No. 5 Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.

NCAAF Free Pick: Stanford. WSU is 1-6  ATS in its past seven at home. The Cardinal are 8-1 ATS in their past nine at Washington State. 

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