College Football Odds & Early Bets for Week 9: 2 Picks, Including East Carolina vs. BYU & Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall

College Football Odds & Early Bets for Week 9: 2 Picks, Including East Carolina vs. BYU & Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Marshall’s Khalan Laborn (8) and Ethan Driskell (52).

Week 9 of the college football season is here, and we are headed into the stretch run with the College Football Playoff picture still needing to be sorted out.

We all know the college football market moves a lot over the course of the week. Money pours in all over the place from the time lines open on Sunday afternoon to kickoff on Saturday. This week is no exception.

Like any other sport, it's paramount to get the best price possible when betting on college football.

For example, a -6.5 favorite could move to -7.5 on Saturday morning and then you run the risk of that team winning by one of the most likely outcomes — a seven-point victory — and you just lost your bet. It could have all been avoided if the bet was locked in at -6.5 Monday morning.

I'm here to help you navigate the market by providing a few lines I'm buying right now with my specific thresholds or other lines that I'm waiting to buy for later in the week.

The hope for this piece is to beat the market, get the best price possible, and in the long run, save you some money with closing line value. To do that, we'll utilize our TAN projections, ESPN's SP+ and my own projections to create a consensus.

You hear all the time, "process over results." The best way to know if the process is working is by closing line value (CLV), meaning how many points did you beat the closing line by?

I'll be keeping track of exactly how many points we've beaten the market by in recent weeks:

Week 6

  • Mississippi State -5 → -9 closing line
  • UAB -9.5 → -10 closing line
  • Arizona State +13.5→ +13.5 closing line

Week 7

  • Toledo -7.5 → -7.5 closing line

North Texas -5.5 → -6.5 closing line

Week 8

  • Virginia +3.5 → +2.5
  • Pittsburgh +1.5 → +1.5 closing line

Now, let's dive into the Week 9 slate.

East Carolina vs. BYU

Friday, Oct. 28
8 p.m. ET
East Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
BYU Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

East Carolina vs. BYU Projections

East Carolina -3.2East Carolina -6.4East Carolina -0.2

Boy, has BYU taken a big-time nosedive lately.

The Cougars were blown out on the road at Liberty last weekend, making it three straight losses and dropping them to 4-4 on the season.

The reason they've lost three straight games is that their defense is so bad. BYU is allowing 5.8 yards per play (95th in FBS) while ranking 114th in Success Rate Allowed, 121st in EPA/Play, and most importantly, 130th in Finishing Drives Allowed (only Arizona is worse).

I wish I could tell you there's one unit on the defense to blame, but everyone is to blame.

Arkansas and Liberty averaged over 6.0 yards per carry against BYU's front seven the past two weeks, which isn't really surprising considering BYU sits 123rd in Defensive Line Yards, 113th in Stuff Rate, 107th in EPA/Rush and 122nd in terms of a run defense grade, per PFF.

East Carolina has an outstanding running back in Keaton Mitchell, who is having an unreal season. He's posted eight touchdowns, an 88.4 PFF rushing grade and 26 runs of at least 10 yards all on 6.8 yards per carry. He should have a field day against this BYU front seven.

The BYU secondary hasn't been much better. The Cougars are 112th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 94th in passing explosiveness allowed and 114th in EPA/Pass Allowed.

Enter Holton Ahlers.

Ahlers is having the best season of his career by far in 2022. He's averaging 8.1 yards per attempt with an 84.0 PFF passing, and most importantly, has only eight turnover-worthy plays.

He torched Memphis and UCF in his last two games, so what do you think he's going to do to BYU's defense?

Image via PFF

Jaren Hall has really struggled for BYU at quarterback this season. He's coming off of a game against Liberty in which he averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt and posted a 62.1 PFF passing grade.

For the season, he has BYU ranked only 45th in Passing Success Rate and explosiveness.

The East Carolina secondary does struggle from a Success Rate standpoint, but it doesn't give up a lot of big plays. The Pirates rank 28th in passing explosiveness allowed, and Hall's PFF passing grade on throws under 10 yards is only 67.8.

BYU's rushing attack is incredibly reliant on explosive plays, as it's 106th in Rushing Success Rate but fifth in the nation in rushing explosiveness. East Carolina, meanwhile, comes in at 32nd in EPA/Rush and top-15 in Defensive Line Yards and Stuff Rate.

All three projection models have East Carolina as the favorite, so I would grab it at +3.5 now before it moves.

Pick: East Carolina +3.5

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Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall

Saturday, Oct. 29
7 p.m. ET
NFL Network
Coastal Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Marshall Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall Projections

Marshall -3.4Marshall -5.9Marshall -4.8

Marshall comes into this game off of its first Sun Belt win in program history, while Coastal Carolina enters after its first loss of the season.

This is a fantastic matchup for Marshall against Coastal Carolina's spread option. The Chanticleers have been successful in running the ball this season, ranking 30th in Rushing Success Rate and 32nd in EPA/Rush while averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

However, they're about to meet a brick wall because Marshall boasts one of the best Group of Five defenses in the country.

Marshall has allowed only 3.0 yards per carry while ranking fourth in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, eighth in EPA/Rush Allowed and top-10 in Power Success Rate Allowed, Stuff Rate and Defensive Line Yards.

Coastal quarterback Grayson McCall is having another outstanding season as a passer, averaging 10.0 yards per attempt with an 88.4 PFF passing grade and 13 big-time throws.

However, this will be the best secondary he's faced all season because Marshall leads the nation in Passing Success Rate Allowed and EPA/Pass Allowed.

McCall is going to be under pressure all game long as well. Marshall ranks second in the country in Havoc, while Coastal Carolina sits 113th in Havoc Allowed.

The Thundering Herd have struggled to move the ball offensively, as they're averaging only 4.5 yards per play and rank 129th in EPA/Play. They've been very run-heavy this season, running the ball on 59.2% of offensive plays.

Running back Khalan Laborn is having a breakout season, already surpassing the 1,000-yard mark with 12 touchdowns and an 83.5 PFF rushing grade on 5.3 yards per carry.


— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) September 10, 2022

Coastal Carolina has been very poor against the run this season, allowing 4.6 yards per carry while ranking 95th in EPA/Rush, 94th in rushing explosiveness allowed and 108th in Defensive Line Yards.

In the Chants' last game at home against Old Dominion, they allowed the Monarchs to rush for over 300 yards on 10.1 yards per carry. So, Laborn should have no problem putting up some big numbers on Saturday.

All three projection models have Marshall projected above -3, so I'd grab the Thundering Herd before the line moves.

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