Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill
- Our college football experts give their 10 favorite betting picks for Week 9 of the 2018 season.
- You'll find an over/under and three moneyline underdogs, as we look to improve upon our solid start.
It’s Week 9 of the 2018 college football season, which might not sound that exciting on the surface — but this is college football! Every week has potential College Football Playoff elimination games at this point in the season.
And this week is no different. We have an SEC showdown that will essentially serve as an elimination game, while Washington State and Texas could see their outside chances go down in flames in two tough conference road games.
Plus, every Saturday is exciting for bettors — regardless of the slate. So, to help you narrow down the final plays that make your final Week 9 college football card, we asked a group of our staffers for their one favorite Saturday pick.
Regardless of your betting style, you should find something that catches your eye — or at least helps you make more informed betting decisions for Week 9 — in the picks below.
We will get things started with a noon ET kick and then hit a number of favorite bets that cover some of the marquee matchups of the day, including:
- Florida vs. Georgia -6 | O/U: 52 | 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
- Iowa at Penn State -6 | O/U: 52 | 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
- Texas at Oklahoma State +3.5 | O/U: 61 | 8 p.m. ET on ABC
As always, don’t forget about the three quick grabs at the end, where Peter Jennings will try to hit his third significant moneyline underdog of the past month.
We hope you take at least one key piece of information away that can help guide you toward a winner or away from a loser. Let’s jump in.
In case you’re curious, our staff’s favorite college football bets are 55-45-1 (55.0%) +11.0 units on the season
*All odds pulled overnight from Bookmaker/CRIS on Oct. 26.
Matt Mitchell: Purdue ML +110 (at Michigan State)
Noon ET on ESPN
Purdue is 4-1 straight up (SU) and perfect against the spread (ATS) over its last five games, including outright wins as a +200 and +375 underdog. Head coach Jeff Brohm is pushing all the right buttons and has his team firing on all cylinders.
So rather than worry about a letdown spot after a dramatic thumping of Ohio State, I’m ready to “Boiler Up” on a Boilermaker team that still has the dangling carrot of a Big Ten West title in front of it.
Michigan State, fresh off being levied a $10,000 fine, has fallen out of favor with the conference, fans and bettors alike — and for good reason.
In the last 30 days, I’ve watched the Spartans struggle against Central Michigan, face plant against Northwestern and look punchless against Michigan.
I’m jumping at the chance to get plus-money on the hottest team in the Midwest against a really banged-up Sparty squad.
Ken Barkley: Florida +7 (-120) vs. Georgia
3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
I’m paying a little more for the +7 here in a game I have a really hard time believing Georgia can win with ease.
If anything, Georgia is living off its 2017 reputation. The Bulldogs had a truly incredible run last season and recruited better than anyone else. As a result, in a very short period of time (really a matter of just six months), the narrative somehow became “Are they Alabama? Maybe!”
That narrative has driven inflated Georgia prices all season, despite ‘un-Tide-like’ results. Georgia thought it really put a feather in its cap with a win in Columbia against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks have been fairly disappointing.
And even against a moderately comparative team such as Missouri, Georgia gave up yards in bunches and had trouble with turnovers.
Georgia’s loss to LSU was no fluke; that’s what this team is this year. There are just too many holes on defense that you did not see last year.
A blowout win could get Georgia’s season right back on track, but Florida has the most impressive win of the two teams and a defense that can pressure Jake Fromm into mistakes. The Gators should keep this within a touchdown.
Steve Petrella: Florida ML +225
3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
Since Ken took Florida with the points, I’ll throw out the moneyline, as I’m invested in both.
He hit the narrative angle on the head: Georgia was and still is being treated like its elite recruiting has matriculated, when in reality, the Kirby Smart dynasty is still bubbling. It’s well on the way, but it’s not there yet.
Florida is uber-talented, and head coach Dan Mullen is taking advantage. Mullen always did a lot with a little at Mississippi State, and now he’s doing a lot with a lot in Gainesville.
The Gators match up incredibly well in the trenches and should get after Fromm. And when they have the ball, I think Florida can move the ball on the ground with its trio of capable backs.
After Florida got blown out last year, I think we see a motivated Gators team pull off the upset in a tight game.