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College Football Best Bets Week 9: Wolverines Primed For Big Win vs Spartans

College Football Best Bets For Week 9 Are Here.

How good was it to see the Big Ten back in action, with Penn State falling to Indiana in a stunning upset, while Michigan and Ohio State took care of their business in a big way. However, I digress.

We are now heading into Week 9 of the college football season with just over a month to go in the regular season. It won’t be long before bowl season is in full swing and the College Football Playoff begins. We are still waiting on the Pac-12, which is joining in the fun in early November.

Each week, I sift through the numbers to pluck out my favorite bets and offer a little reasoning behind the picks. Last week, we missed a winning slate by a point and a half with the total in Temple vs Memphis (OVER 71.5) finishing at 70 so we ended up 2-3, and we are now 12-14 on the year. We look to maintain our winning ways and surpass .500 this week.

Without further ado, here are my best bets for Week 9 of the college football season.

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College Football Best Bets: Week 9

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors -1.5 vs Wyoming Cowboys

Along with the Big Ten, the Mountain West also got underway last week. So with limited data based on one game, it can be somewhat difficult to peg the real teams from the pretenders. Hawaii won the Mountain West Conference’s West Division and kicked off the 2020 campaign with a 34-19 victory at Fresno State, while Wyoming was edged out 37-34 on the road at Nevada.

The Rainbow Warriors moved the ball effectively in their victory, collecting 552 total yards, and dual-threat QB Chevan Cordeiro threw for 229 yards while rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys secondary was picked on in their opening game, surrendering 420 yards through the air, but they created two fumbles on the ground. Cordeiro will have to capitalize on this secondary to give Hawaii the win. 

Michigan State Spartans vs Michigan Wolverines -24.5

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have been one of the laughingstocks of the Big Ten recently but they started 2020 on the right foot with a 38-27 road win over Michigan State. Meanwhile, the Spartans’ in-state rival Michigan went to No. 21 Minnesota and walked away with a 49-24 statement victory. Is this finally the year the Wolverines can compete with the Buckeyes?

Turnovers were the big issue for the Spartans, giving up possession eight times, including turnovers on downs. Defensively they were OK, surrendering just 276 yards, but Michigan also created three turnovers against Minnesota, including a fumble returned for a touchdown. It’ll be interesting to see how Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins works against the Michigan State run defense. In the end, though, I think Michigan wins big again.

Temple Owls +4 vs Tulane Green Wave

Betting on two teams with losing records can be a daunting task in choosing which bad team is better or worse. For Temple (1-2), its lone win came at home, while the two defeats were on the road. As for Tulane (2-4), it beat up on out-of-conference teams but is 0-4 within the AAC. 

Both teams are similar offensively and defensively, while each team’s strength offensively is the other team’s weakness defensively. The Green Wave surrender 324.3 passing yards per game and the Owls average 299.3 passing yards per game, while Tulane picks up 214.2 rushing yards per game and Temple allows 190 rushing yards per game. I think Temple overall is the better team and senior QB Anthony Russo should be able to have success through the air consistently enough to cover.

Rice Owls vs Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles OVER 56.5

Finally, after having three games postponed, Rice got to play its first game last week, though it didn’t go as planned in a 40-34 double-overtime loss to Middle Tennessee. Similarly, Southern Mississippi was off for a couple of weeks after two games were postponed due to the coronavirus and returned to the field last week only to get beat down 56-35 at Liberty.

The Golden Eagles’ five games this year have had an average combined score of 73.4 points and only one game has gone UNDER 56.5. Both teams have big issues on the defensive side of the ball, with Rice giving up 40 points last week and Southern Miss allowing 43.2 points per game, and both offenses also average over 400 yards per game. No overthinking this one: let’s roll with the points.

Charlotte 49ers vs Duke Blue Devils UNDER 56

An inept offense in Duke colliding with a fairly strong defense in Charlotte points directly to an UNDER in this matchup. The 49ers have held opponents to 28 points or less in three of their four games this season, though they were playing against Conference USA squads and the Blue Devils are in the more competitive ACC.

That said, Duke is in the basement of the ACC, averaging a paltry 21.3 points per game and scoring 21 or more points just twice in six games. The Blue Devils will also be without their best cornerback, Mark Gilbert, who has opted out for the season with his sights set on the NFL, and their center Will Taylor suffered a knee injury. I think these teams match up fairly evenly and will likely just balance each other out in a slog of a game.