College Football Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Best Bets for Saturday

College Football Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Best Bets for Saturday article feature image
Credit:

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ed Orgeron

  • Our experts give out their favorite college football betting picks for Week 9 on Saturday.
  • They're targeting LSU-Auburn and Michigan State-Penn State, among a few others.

Every college football Saturday is a great Saturday, in our eyes.

Trouble is, how do you whittle down a card from 60 games to just a few with the most interest or value?

We’re here to help college football bettors everywhere with that very problem. And while we often wade in the pools of Akron, UMass and Hawaii games, this week, we’re honing in on some marquee matchups as our favorite bets of the week.

Without further adieu, here are our experts’ four favorite bets for Week 9.

College Football Betting Picks, Week 9

Kyle Miller: Oklahoma -23

  • Odds: Oklahoma -23 at Kansas State
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC

Kansas State is coming off a big conference win at home against TCU in Week 8, but that result was very fluky. The Wildcats were outgained by 100 yards and it’s the way they were outgained that worries me most in this matchup with Oklahoma.

Kansas State allowed TCU to put up 228 yards on the ground, which doesn’t bode well for the Wildcats against Oklahoma. TCU has a very physical, solid run game that but it’s nowhere near as explosive as Oklahoma’s.

Oklahoma is No. 1 nationally in yards per carry and while KSU is 128th in yards per carry allowed. In addition to the yards per carry numbers, Oklahoma is first in rushing explosiveness and Kansas State ranks 127th in defending explosiveness on the ground.

Oklahoma will be gashing the Wildcats on the ground the entire game, even when it’s out of hand.

Kansas State’s 19th ranked scoring defense looks salty on the surface, but it ranks 90th in yards per play, suggesting that they’ve been very lucky.

Bet Oklahoma and watch the Sooners rack up yards on the ground all day.

Pick: Oklahoma -23 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Collin Wilson: Ohio +3

  • Spread: Ohio +3 at Ball State
  • Over/Under: 62.5
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+

Ohio will be tasked with stopping a Ball State offense that has put up 1,030 yards in its past two games against Toledo and Eastern Michigan.

Quarterback Drew Plitt now has 16 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. As for the ground attack, the Cardinals are top 30 in Line Yards, Opportunity Rate and Stuff Rate on offense — this team can move the ball.

The Ohio offense should have similar success with the ground attack, a staple of the Frank Solich offense, as the Ball State defense is outside the top 70 in rushing and passing success rate.

Quarterback Nathan Rourke has been excellent, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt and 5.2 yards per carry on the ground.

Our Action Network power ratings make this game a pick’em. Neither team is going to generate much pressure, as Ball State is 63rd and Ohio is 127th in defensive havoc.

There will be plenty of offense, but a rank of 10th in third down conversions and 14th in red zone touchdown scoring should be all the Bobcats need to stay ahead in the MAC East and cover this game.

Pick: Ohio +3 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Stuckey: Michigan State +6.5

  • Odds: Penn State (-6.5) at Michigan State
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC

This is probably the best situational spot of the weekend.

Sparty is coming off a bye, which was much needed for a beat up team that needed to heal up and get healthier (especially along the offensive line).

Meanwhile, Penn State is coming off two straight close, emotional wins against Iowa and Michigan. The Nittany Lions ended up pulling out both but were very fortunate to do so as they were outplayed by Iowa and Michigan.

penn state vs. pitt-betting odds-pick-prediction-september 14-2019
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Franklin and Mike Miranda

As a result of those two wins, PSU stayed undefeated and the market hasn’t discounted this team enough in my opinion. The Nittany Lions also had a few questionable results before those last two, mainly at home against Buffalo and Pitt, who played them even from a yards per play perspective.

This is a tough ask for a young Penn State team against a very experienced Michigan State squad that should come out refreshed and focused after a disappointing start to the season. The Spartans still feature one of the best defenses in all of college football.

Their defensive front should dominate the line of scrimmage against a vulnerable Penn State offensive line, forcing Sean Clifford to beat them through the air. And I don’t think he can keep up this charade any longer.

I make this a true coin flip, so gladly took +6.5 and would take anything over a field goal. Trust in Dantonio as a dog, which has been a 60% proposition ATS over the past decade.

Pick: Michigan State +6.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Steve Petrella: LSU-Auburn Over 59

  • Odds: Auburn at LSU (-10.5)
  • Over/Under: 59
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

I’m trying not to overthink this one. The upside for this game to go over is high, and it would take a herculean effort by either defense to keep it under.

Our projections make this total 64.2, and I think LSU’s offense can dictate the terms of this game on its home field. Joe Burrow will be throwing early and often, and Auburn may have to play catch up by airing it out.

It’s hard to believe totals in the high 50’s are the norm for LSU now, but I don’t think they’re quite high enough. And this is not the Tigers defense of old, allowing at least 5.1 yards per play to every Power 5 opponent it’s faced.

Auburn will get its share of points, but LSU will score well into the 30’s and push this game over.

Pick: Over 59 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]