NCAAF Football Picks ATS Week 9

Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas State Wildcats +23.5

The Wildcats bring in the perfect matchup for a cover.  Kansas State has been the best in the Big12 at defending the pass, giving up just 152.5 yards pe game, 5thbest in the entire country. That is what Oklahoma is all about.  While I don’t see Kansas State completely shutting down the pass game, I do see them forcing Oklahoma to run the ball more than they would like which can slow up the attack.

Kansas State will look to do what they do best and possess the ball.  They will look to run and run often with work horse runningback James Gilbert. The longer they can keep Jalen Hurts off the field the better chance they have to survive.  

Oklahoma wins, but Kansas State gives them a tough game. 

Pick: Kansas State +23.5

Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio State Buckeyes -14.5

This was supposed to be a matchup of undefeated powerhouses.  Wisconsin may have been looking too far ahead as they became the biggest upset of 2019, losing to Illinois on a last second field goal.  The Badgers turned the ball over three times against the Illini, which helped blow  20-7 second half lead. 

Ohio State has done everything possible to show that they are the cream of the crop in college football, dominating every game. The competition hasn’t been great, that all changes on Saturday.  Despite their loss Wisconsin still sees themselves as the top of the food chain in the Big10. The Badgers have to come out and establish Jonathon Taylor early and often. Wisconsin is averaging 38 minutes of possession per game. They will work to grind out the Buckeyes and force them to play from behind, something they have not done at all this season.  

Wisconsin is the biggest test for the Buckeyes this season, Ohio State QB Justin Fields has not seen a defense that can bring the pressure the way Wisconsin can.  Buckeyes win but they are tested.

Pick: Wisconsin +14.5

Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan State Spartans +6.5

Michigan State’s offense has disappeared since their shocking loss to Arizona State.  The Spartans have averaged a paltry 5.7 points per game over their last three.  Michigan State has not shown the ability to play up to the higher level of competition. Ohio State and Wisconsin beat the hell out of the Sparty, and they will have similar trouble coming their way on Saturday.

Sophomore QB Sean Clifford has been superb with a 56% completion percentage, helping the Nitany Lions get out to a 7-0 start.  Despite the 7-0 start Penn State has had trouble covering against ranked opponents, failing to cover against Michigan and Iowa.   They have a terrible history versus Michigan State, going 1-5 SU and ATS in their last six matchups.  

Penn State’s history is not what I am worried about.  Looking past Michigan State is the only thing that I am worried about.  This matchup is not as highly regarded as it would be if Michigan State hadn’t been embarrassed by Wisconsin and Ohio State.  Penn State has to stay focused and overcome the recent history of these two teams.  Penn State’s offense is just too strong for Michigan State’s defense to handle.  Penn State will grab a lead early and that will be to much for the Spartans to overcome. 

Pick: Penn State -6.5

Other Games:

Texas -1

App State -27

Marshall/ Western Kentucky over 44.5

Championship Week Picks

Pac 12: Utah Utes vs. Washington Huskies -5

The Pac 12 may not be heading to the College Football Playoff but a champion must still be crowned and a participant in the Rose Bowl.

Washington hopes to build off the big victory over rival Washington State in their regular season finale. Washington will have the advantage at QB with Jake Browning, who threw for 2,692 yards and 16 touchdowns during the season.  He will lead an offense that will look to jump out early on Utah.

The Huskies defense was able to hold a powerful Washington State offense to 15 points. The Utes don’t possess the offense to compete with Washington.

PicksWashington -5.5

Big 12: Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners -7.5

Let me set the scene.  Two hated rivals.  One looking to not only avenge their only loss but also give themselves a shot at the college football playoff.  The other with the chance to beat their rival twice and keep them out of the college football playoff. This game has ESPN 30 for 30 written all over it.

Kyler Murray has been as good as advertised all season.  He will keep that going against a stout Texas defense.  All season Murray has not been the problem.  The Oklahoma defense is going to the be issue in this game.  Texas QB Sam Ehlinger was impressive in their first matchup throwing for 314 yards and two touchdowns.  Texas is a tough matchup for the Sooners,  they are 6-0 ATS versus Oklahoma in their last six.  Oklahoma wins but its close.

PicksTexas +7.5

AAC: Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights -3.5

Mackenzie Milton’s injury season ending injury may be to much to overcome for the “National Champs”.  Memphis enters this game with thoughts of last years epic showdown in the AAC Championship game, losing by a touchdown in double overtime.  The Tigers are out for blood in this one, looking to end the UCF 24-game win streak and any hope for the Knights to make it into the College Football Playoff. 

Memphis will run the ball straight down the throats of the UCF defense, managing the clock and dominating the time of possession. Look for Memphis to stack the box and make unproven true freshman QB Darriel Mack Jr. make throws down field.  Even if Mack Jr. does play well it will still be a lot to overcome.  I like Memphis to cover the +5.5 and I may even look to the moneyline.

PicksMemphis +3.5

SEC: Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5 vs. Georgia Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have seen Tua in their nightmares for about a year now.  They will have a chance to face their fears on Saturday as they go into the SEC Championship.  

The betting public is going to look at Georgia’s loss to LSU and compare it to the domination Alabama showed against LSU.  I am looking at these two teams differently.  I see a Georgia team fighting for their life with a QB Jake Fromm that has no fear of Alabama. Georgia surrenders the 10th-fewest points per game at 17.2 and the 14th-fewest passing yards per game at 175.1. 

Alabama is a juggernaut of offense but their defense has shown holes this season. Georgia will come out and take an early lead and ride it until the 4th quarter where Tua makes the big plays necessary to overcome them.  This game is going to be a good one and a lot closer then the point spread is going to be. 

PicksGeorgia -13.5

ACC: Clemson Tigers -26.5 vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

I’m not wasting a lot of time on this one.  Pittsburgh is overmatched this one should be a beatdown of epic proportion.  Do I hope I am wrong? Yes.  But unlikely, Clemson rolls into the College Football Playoff. 

PicksClemson Tigers -26.5

Big 10: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes -14.5

Ohio State opened some eyes last week in their beatdown of rival Michigan last week. The Buckeyes defense finally showed up in the win against Michigan, but they still have to prove that they can consistently play at a high level. As good as the defense looked it has been Dwayne Haskins that has been playing at a NFL level.  He was second only to Gardner Minshew in passing yards this season, had five more touchdown passes than runner-up Will Grier, and torched the FBS’ top defense from Michigan for 396 passing yards, six passing TDs and 62 points in The Game.

Northwestern enters this matchup as over achievers in a matchup that does fit their strengths.  The Wildcats are 79th ranked passing defense in the country giving up 238 yards per game on average.  

The Buckeyes not only need to win this game but they have to show that they are a dominant force.  Urban Meyer won’t take his foot off the gas in this one. 

PicksOhio State -13.5