Best NCAA Football Picks for Week 9

There’s no excuse for last week’s picks. Two of them were absolutely atrocious.

USC never stood a prayer against Notre Dame as its run defense was gashed over and over again. The Trojans couldn’t move the ball on the ground all game and Sam Darnold was not able to muster much of a threat through the air in a blowout loss.

My selection of Michigan to cover the spread against Penn State looked good for a half, but then the Nittany Lions kicked it into another gear on offense. A very good Wolverines defense was shredded in both phases of the game and the Nittany Lions defense put the clamps on Michigan in the second half.

The other two picks weren’t bad. Cal did get the cover in an overtime loss to Arizona and Tennessee fell just short of the number against Alabama.

2017 CFB ATS Record
Week 1 Picks: —
Week 2 Picks: 1-2 ATS
Week 3 Picks: 1-3 ATS
Week 4 Picks: 3-1 ATS
Week 5 Picks: 2-2 ATS
Week 6 Picks: 2-2 ATS
Week 7 Picks: 2-3 ATS
Week 8 Picks: 1-3 ATS

Florida +13.5 vs. Georgia – Congratulations to you if you got this at 14.5 when it opened. Georgia looks like a powerhouse and has to be in everyone’s top three at this point of the season with the number of impressive performances it has had. The Bulldogs continue to blow teams out of the water and look like one of the most complete teams in the country.

On the other hand, Florida has a myriad of questions about its offense. The Gators don’t have a good passing attack and the offensive line is still a train wreck.

So why back Florida here? History. In the last 10 years, Georgia has been ranked in the top 10 eight times when these teams have met. The Bulldogs are 1-7 in that situation as Florida has continually found ways to win with defense. It’s hard to call for the outright upset at these odds, but Florida will pick up a cover at least.

North Carolina +20 vs. Miami – This is a big letdown, look-ahead spot for the ‘Canes. Miami is coming off of three straight narrow victories against good ACC teams and now face a bad North Carolina squad. The Tar Heels are sitting at 1-7 and have been devastated by injuries all year. Everyone expects them to get blown out by an undefeated Miami team, but the Hurricanes won’t take them seriously with Virginia Tech and Notre Dame due up in the next couple weeks.

Despite the record, these Tar Heels aren’t that bad. The defense is better than you think considering their performance last week against Virginia Tech, and there are some young, talented players. UNC will keep it within the number.

Washington State -2.5 at Arizona – I’m going to keep fading Khalil Tate with numbers like this. The Wildcats have been suddenly competitive thanks to Tate, but they have had to win each of their last three in a shootout because the defense just isn’t there.

The Cougars have looked shaky away from Pullman this season, but they have a surprisingly good defense and can stop the run. They will be able to force Tate to throw the ball, unlike opponents beforehand, and Washington State will get the win.

Nebraska +4.5 at Purdue – Do we really have this little faith in Nebraska? The Cornhuskers are an underdog to a team that lost to Rutgers last week. Jeff Brohm’s offense got a lot of hype at the start of the year, but it’s the defense that has kept the Boilermakers hanging around recently. They held Wisconsin to just nine points two weeks ago and totally shut down a Missouri team that has a very good offense.

Things are pretty bad in Lincoln right now, but Mike Riley is coaching for his job at this point and he has always done well in that situation. Nebraska isn’t the total train wreck everyone seems to think and points here show how much perception has shaded the line.

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