Oregon At Utah, Duke At Louisville Headline Best Games On Week 9 College Football Schedule

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Written By Kelley Ford | Last Updated
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Odds are available across the best college football betting sites as we prepare for Week 9 of the 2023 season. We’ll reveal the best games below and provide the best available sports betting odds in your state. Here is the college football schedule for this weekend, ranked by KFord Ratings Watchability Scores. Oregon at Utah in the Pac-12 and Duke at Louisville in the ACC top the list. 

2 Best Games This Week By WATCHABILITY SCORES

Watchability is a weighted score of projected quality (average KFord Ratings) and projected competitiveness (projected KFord spread) presented on a 0-10 scale. Which games are projected to be the best this week? Let’s discuss. Click on the odds to bet.

No. 8 Oregon Ducks (6-1, 3-1) at No. 13 Utah Utes (6-1, 3-1): 9.3 Watchability Score

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Oregon Ducks
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Utah Utes

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The Pac-12 mini round-robin among the four preseason favorites – Oregon, USC, Utah, and Washington – is in full swing, and this should be another good one. This is the No. 25 overall game in the regular season by Watchability Scores.

My Most Deserving Rankings disagree with the AP Poll voters as to which team deserves to be ranked higher in this game. I have Utah No. 10 (No. 8 in record achievement and a season-best No. 21 in relative scoring margin) and Oregon No. 16 (No. 18 in record achievement and No. 6 in relative scoring margin). But as I’ve written many times, résumé rankings don’t win football games. For that, we need to take a look at the predictive power ratings.

Despite the win against Washington State last week, Oregon fell from No. 5 to No. 9 in my power ratings. That regression is due to the defense falling from No. 21 to No. 27. However, the Bo Nix-led offense is currently ranked a season-best No. 2 nationally behind only LSU. The timing couldn’t be better for the Oregon offense to be peaking because, based on my current numbers, at No. 10 nationally, the Utah defense is the best opposing defense the Ducks will face all season.

While the Utah defense has been fantastic, the Utes offense hasn’t held up its end of the deal. Given quarterback Cam Rising never made it back from his ACL injury – and has now been officially ruled out for the year – the offensive struggles are understandable. Nevertheless, the Utes offense has fallen to No. 52 in the nation; that’s No. 9 in the Pac-12. Utah is No. 21 overall in my power ratings, and Rice-Eccles is one of the best home fields in the country, but my numbers still give Oregon the edge on both sides of the ball.

My numbers project Oregon to beat Utah by 7, which equates to a 69% win expectancy for the Ducks.

Pac-12 Championship Implications

The winner of this game will have at least the second d-best chance to make the Pac-12 Championship Game heading into November.

At 57%, Oregon currently has the second-best chance to make it to Las Vegas, behind only Washington’s 76%. With a win, the Ducks’ chances improve to 69%, while a loss drops Oregon to just a 28% chance, behind Utah and likely USC and Oregon State as well.

Utah currently has a 16% chance to advance to Las Vegas. But no team has more upside this week than the Utes, as a win would improve their odds to 40%. A loss would drop their chances to just 6%, all but eliminating Utah from the conference championship game race.

No. 20 Duke Blue Devils (5-2, 2-1) at No. 18 Louisville Cardinals (6-1, 3-1): 8.6 Watchability Score

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Duke Blue Devils
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Louisville Cardinals

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Similar to the Oregon vs. Utah game, my Most Deserving Rankings disagree with the AP Poll voters as to which team deserves to be ranked higher in this game as well. I have Duke No. 19 (No. 21 in record achievement and No. 16 in relative scoring margin) and Louisville No. 21 (No. 19 in record achievement and No. 29 in relative scoring margin).

Duke’s power rating has been upgraded 9.2 points since the preseason. Only Oklahoma (+9.6) has experienced a more significant in-season improvement in my model. At No. 20 overall, this is the highest I’ve had Duke power-rated all season – rising 30 spots since the preseason. Only Air Force and Rutgers (+31 spots) have moved up more spots in the rankings during the season.

Will quarterback Riley Leonard play? That’s the biggest question for an offense that ranks in the top 30 nationally. But for as good as the offense has been in Durham, the defense has been even better, currently ranking No. 16.

Louisville was off last week, and I’d argue it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cardinals to refocus following a shock loss at Pitt the week before. This is a balanced team, with the defense ranked No. 23 and the offense ranked No. 28 nationally. Put together, that yields an overall power rating rank of No. 28, the best for Louisville since 2017, Lamar Jackson’s final season as a Cardinal.

My numbers project Duke to beat Louisville by 1, which equates to a 54% chance the Blue Devils earn their first-ever win against Louisville (currently 0-3 all-time).

ACC Championship Implications

The winner of this game will have the second-best chance to make the ACC Championship Game heading into November.

Unsurprisingly, this game has the most conference leverage this week. Duke at North Carolina in Week 11 is perhaps the only remaining ACC game that will come close to matching the combined leverage for both involved teams.

The winner will have approximately a 50/50 chance to advance to Charlotte (Duke, 51%; Louisville, 49%), while the loser will need serious help down the stretch to finish in the top 2 (Duke, 13%; Louisville, 11%).

College Football Schedule: Week 9 Watchability Scores

Enjoy your college football betting and loaded schedule this week!

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