The Big Ten came back in a big way last weekend, and now one of the biggest annual clashes in the conference is on tap for Halloween night as No. 3 Ohio State meets No. 18 Penn State in Happy Valley. Here is a look at the odds for that bout and the rest of the Week 9 college football contests.
College football Week 9 odds
Thursday, Oct. 29
South Alabama at Georgia Southern – 7:30 p.m. ET
The split between Georgia Southern’s wins and losses is pretty remarkable– their three wins have come over teams with a combined zero wins (Campbell, Louisiana-Monroe, UMass). Their two losses have come to Louisiana-Lafayette and Coastal Carolina (both unbeaten and ranked at the time). South Alabama is similar in that their three wins have come over teams with a combined 0.111 win percentage. Their losses have come to Tulane (2-4) and UAB (4-2). It’s hard to get a read on either of these teams thus far.
Colorado State at Fresno State – 10 p.m. ET
“Mountain West After Dark” is back. Neither of these teams played in the opening weekend for the conference and are both coming off disappointing 2019 seasons (each went 4-8). Colorado State returns their quarterback, starting running back, and leading receiver. Last season, the Rams had the third-highest turnover rate (15.8% of offensive possessions) in the Mountain West and will need to clean it up against Fresno State.
Friday, Oct. 30
No. 19 Marshall at Florida International – 7 p.m. ET
Marshall continues to be one of the most dominant teams in the nation with an equally strong defense and offense. Their 9.4 points allowed per game is the most among teams who have played more than one game. They are third in rush defense and fourth in third down conversions allowed (among teams having played more than one game). Through three games, FIU ranks 74th in scoring (24 points per game), so they are going to need a Herculean effort in this one to make it a close game.
Minnesota at Maryland – 7:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota was run out of their own building on national TV by Michigan this past weekend. Tanner Morgan, one of the country’s top quarterback draft prospects, managed just 98 yards passing to receivers other than Rashod Bateman and the defense gave up chunk plays on the ground. Maryland was blown out 43-3 by Northwestern as the Terps had four turnovers (three from transfer Taulia Tagovailoa).
Saturday, Oct. 31: Top games to watch
No. 5 Georgia at Kentucky – 12 p.m. ET
Kentucky is a habitual trap game opponent for all big-time SEC teams. The Wildcats already caught ranked Tennessee in their trap this season. This isn’t to say Georgia will lose, but the point spread is something to keep an eye on. The Wildcats’ offense has been abysmal at times this year, but they make up for it with tough defensive showings. Georgia needs to make sure not to overlook this week as an automatic win.
No. 16 Kansas State at West Virginia – 12 p.m. ET
This is one of the most interesting lines of the week as Kansas State comes into this one as an underdog. West Virginia has no quality wins having beaten teams with a 0.231 combined win percentage. The Mountaineers also fell to Texas Tech this past weekend. Kansas State’s defense has been stellar this year, allowing just 23.8 points per game (16.3 over their last three) and WVU has struggled to get its offense in the end zone this season.
No. 20 Coastal Carolina at Georgia State – 12 p.m. ET
Week-in and week-out, Coastal Carolina is finding ways to win and win big. Outside of one game (30-27 win over ULL), the Chants are beating opponents by 17.5 points per game (sixth among teams who’ve played more than one game). Georgia State is 2-2, but they’ve not lost a game by more than a single score this year (34-31 vs ULL, 59-52 vs Arkansas State). The Panthers score in bunches behind a strong rushing attack – something Coastal has struggled at times to defend (154.8 yards allowed per game, 54th).
Texas at No. 6 Oklahoma State – 4 p.m. ET
Texas might be unranked, but they’re providing Oklahoma State with a tough test. On most occasions, Texas has the more talented roster in their matchups, and losses come down to coaching decisions. In this one, Tom Herman should be dialed-in and produce a performance more akin to what we saw against Oklahoma.
No. 3 Ohio State at No. 18 Penn State – 7:30 p.m. ET
Almost every year recently, Penn State and Ohio State have produced classics when they play one another. This doesn’t always translate to Nittany Lions wins as their last win over Ohio State came in 2016 and they are just 1-7 in the series since 2012. Ohio State needs a statement win here to prove their opening week win over Nebraska wasn’t just a case of beating up on the little guy. Unfortunately, without fans in the stands, Penn State is at a serious disadvantage as they typically boast one of the best home field advantages in the nation.