College Football Week 9 Betting Preview – AP Top-25 Showdowns

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TwinSpires Staff

October 25th, 2018

Next week the CFP rankings are revealed, and No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 LSU will remain at the top as both teams have a bye this week prior to next week’s huge SEC showdown in Baton Rouge. Don't worry, there are a ton of great matchups in College Football Week 9 betting to keep your attention occupied.

No. 2 Clemson traveling to Tallahassee this week to tackle Florida State as a 17-point favorite. No. 3 Notre Dame takes on Navy in its annual rivalry since 1927 and this year’s neutral field contest is in San Diego with the Irish a 24-point favorite. The top three ranked teams remain undefeated, while LSU along with No. 5 Michigan and No. 6 Texas have one loss. Michigan has a bye this week before hosting Penn State next week in another top-25 showdown.

No.7 Georgia is part of our College Football Week 9 betting preview this week as the Bulldogs battle No. 9 Florida in a top-10 SEC battle between two defensive dominators on a neutral field in Jacksonville. Recognized for years as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”, the winning side and its fans will be partying all night celebrating its victory and continued push towards a potential college football playoff invitation.

No. 9 Florida vs No. 7 Georgia (-7) – This total may drop from 52 as these two teams have very similar numbers on defense allowing approx. 340 yards per game, 4.8 yards per play and just 19 points per game. First place in the SEC East is also on the line as both teams are 4-1 and tied with Kentucky on top. Each team enters rested and ready off its bye week. Against a similar opponent in the last three weeks, Florida beat LSU in the Swamp 27-19 with a late pick-6 to seal the deal. Total yards was nearly even at just under 400 as was were the rushing numbers with Florida rushing for 215 yards against the strong LSU defense and front seven. Georgia was beaten badly in Baton Rouge two weeks ago 36-16 and allowed LSU to run over them with 275 rushing yards. The difference may be which defense can disrupt the opposing quarterback, and Florida brings more pressure while also registering 22 sacks this season to just 9 for Georgia.  New Gators coach Dan Mullen is making his mark in Gainesville, and Florida has plenty to offer as a Gator with bite.

College Football Week 9 Betting Picks – Florida +7

No. 18 Iowa at No. 17 Penn State (-6.5) – Iowa has been a methodical money machine, now 6-1 SU and ATS this season. The Hawkeye’s boast a top-5 defense allowing just 14 points per game and 263 yards per game vs. FBS foes. That includes a stout run defense that allows just 92 rushing yards per game to slow Penn State’s strong, balanced offense. Iowa remembers its last second loss vs. Penn State last year 21-19, and holding the Nittany Lions under 28 points will get them the cover and cash again with a solid shot for the upset in Happy Valley. Iowa has the stronger defense and overall stat profile in Big Ten play out-gaining conference opponents by nearly 100 yards per game. Penn State managed to beat Indiana 33-28 in a close contest, but gave up 554 total yards against. Iowa has a chance to mitigate the Lions offensively with a stiff defense, and can expose a Lions defense that has had issues lately.

College Football Week 9 Betting Picks – Iowa +6.5

No. 14 Washington State at No. 24 Stanford (-4) - Many calling for a Cardinal (5-2) victory at home, but the Washington State Cougars remain undervalued and under the radar in the betting market. Wazzu is a perfect 7-0 ATS. Coach Mike Leach continues to get the most from his players and his  Air Raid attack are difficult to defend. Both teams rushing attacks are amongst the very worst in college football averaging less than 90 yards per game. That’s not unusual for the Cougars pass heavy attack, but very unusual for Stanford, a power running team that's had spotty production from potential superstar Bryce Love (ankle). He’ll play this week but is still less than 100%. Stanford is passing more and has some big receivers, but Washington State has a top-10 pass defense statistically allowing less than 170 passing yards per game. The Cougars defense overall is the best under coach Leach and new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, and they are near defensive dominator status. Against the best four defenses on its schedule, Stanford has scored just 21, 20, 17 and 17 points and that includes Pac-12 opponents USC and Utah. Washington State has scored at least 28 points in every game including Utah and USC, and is led by senior QB Gardner Minshew. With 2,745 passing yards and 23 TD passes, Minshew is on the Heisman radar and is second in passing yards. Both teams are 3-1 in the Pac-12 North looking up at Washington, and we can make the case that the wrong team might be favored. Cash in with the Cougars again.

College Football Week 9 Betting Picks – Washington State +3

Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.