College Football Picks: Betting The SEC, Big Ten In Week 9

Written By Brett Gibbons on October 25, 2022
College Football Week 9 picks

After a real stinker of a week, we’re back at it. Despite the tough showing, best bets are 14-11-1 on the season. This week has more enticing numbers early in the week. Below, I’ll lay out my Week 9 College Football picks and best bets, including a pair of SEC and Big Ten matchups, plus a look at the Group of Five slate.

Stay with us all season long for college football odds, and game previews.

College Football Picks, Week 9 Best Bets

To place a bet on any of the games below, click on their odds in the tables.

Missouri at South Carolina

South Carolina is the quietest 5-2 team in the country, with those losses coming on back-to-back weeks. The Gamecocks fell on the road to No. 10 Arkansas and then were blown out at home against No. 1 Georgia. Past that, they’ve rattled off four straight wins, including back-to-back over No. 19 Kentucky and Texas A&M (note: Will Levis did not play for Kentucky).

Shane Beamer & Co. play their second straight home game as they host Missouri– notably South Carolina’s homecoming game. The Tigers this year are 0-3 on the road with losses to Kansas State (40-12), Auburn, and Florida. Their three wins this season came over Louisiana Tech, Abilene Christian (FCS), and most recently a three-point nail-biter over Vanderbilt.

Aggregate power ratings (including SP+, FPI, Sagarin, more) favor South Carolina by 6.6 points at home, over 2.5 points over what’s being offered here. There’s no fear of a lookahead for South Carolina, who heads to Vanderbilt next weekend, while Missouri has a stretch of Kentucky and at Tennessee after this one. Not to say that Eli Drinkowitz’s group is going to be looking past this ranked Gamecocks team, but if either team is in “let’s get the hell out of here” mode, it’s Missouri.

Taking the better-coached team with the better QB and good run game at home under a touchdown is a play I like to make.

  • Brett’s Bet: South Carolina -4 (-107), placed Oct. 25 at PointsBet
  • Best Available Number: South Carolina

Ole Miss at Texas A&M

Ole Miss absolutely torched my college football picks last week. After betting them to win outright, the Rebels were rolled 45-20 at LSU.

So, I’m going back to the well.

Texas A&M’s 24-20 loss at Alabama felt like a soul-crushing outing. As was quoted by an opposing SEC coach in the Athlon Sports 2022 College Football Preview magazine, “Their rep is that once they lose that one big game, they’re not the same. When it’s not all on the line, you don’t ever really get their best.” Coming off a bye week, A&M went to South Carolina and got bullied. The assessment holds true.

Zach Evans was an unexpected late scratch in that LSU game and Ole Miss never got their rushing attack going. Evans suited up for the game, but didn’t get a carry, so it’s fair to assume he’ll play this week. For as much talent that lies on A&M’s defense, particularly on the defensive line, they haven’t been very good against the run. Also notable, Texas A&M has not scored more than 25 points in 10 straight games against FBS teams.

Haynes King also left last week’s game for the Aggies, leaving the keys to freshman Conner Weigman. If A&M’s scoring streak continues, Ole Miss could make this a nasty game. And once the Rebels get up, A&M cannot– and will not– play well from behind. It’s not who they are.

  • Brett’s Bet: Ole Miss -2.5 (-107), placed Oct. 24 at PointsBet
  • Best Available Number: Ole Miss

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Northwestern at Iowa

Circa Sportsbook opened this line up at 31.5 points, the lowest in college football history. Naturally, that got bet up very quickly to the market number of 37.5. Now that the number’s risen six full points, I’m taking the under.

Iowa’s defense played admirably against Ohio State last week, despite giving up 54 points. And yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that sounds. Despite the apparent onslaught, Iowa held Ohio State to 5.8 yards per play– 25% under their season average (7.7). In the first half, five of the Buckeyes’ six drives went for less than 25 yards (and they came away with 26 points).

Northwestern and Ohio State don’t play the same sport on offense. The Wildcats are 91st in yards per play, 114th in points per drive, and are the 100th-ranked offense per SP+. There’s almost no world in which Northwestern moves the football against Iowa.

We all know how putrid Iowa’s offense has been this season, I don’t need to list out all of the metrics proving so. But one that’s worth noting is that Iowa has not scored an offensive touchdown in two straight games. The tally now sits at three total on the year.

To ask these teams to combine for five touchdowns and a field goal is ludicrous. Maybe they’ll kick 13 field goals instead.

  • Brett’s Bet: Under 37.5 (-107), placed Oct. 25 at PointsBet
  • Best Available Number: Under ()

Illinois at Nebraska

The Illinois defense has been decisively one of the best units in the nation and defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is likely going to be a popular name for head coaching openings this offseason. The Illini are second in points per drive allowed, first in opposing yards per play (3.8), and first in total EPA defense. They take on a Nebraska team that’s 92nd in points per drive scored and 51st in yards per play (5.7).

The offensive game plan for Illinois is extremely clear: run Chase Brown 160 times and physically dominate the opposing team. It’s been Brett Bielema’s philosophy forever and that hasn’t changed. Brown’s carries have steadily increased each week, peaking at 41 (!!!) in their last game before the bye week. The Huskers are 110th in yards per rush allowed (4.8), so expect Illinois to go right back to the well with Brown.

The more carries he receives, the more likely the under plays. I trust Illinois’ defense to keep Nebraska in check; in their lone game against a top-50 yards per play defense (Rutgers), Nebraska managed just 14 points.

  • Brett’s Bet: Under 50.5 (-107), placed Oct. 25 at PointsBet
  • Best Available Number: Under ()

Colorado State at Boise State

Colorado State is one of the worst teams in college football. Their two wins this season came over Nevada (123rd in aggregate power ratings) and Hawaii (126th) and those games featured totals of 31 and 30 points. But we’re not here to discuss Colorado State’s ability to win or cover. They’re the fifth-worst team in yards per play (4.0) and have scored the seventh-fewest offensive touchdowns in the country.

Boise State, on the other hand, fired their offensive coordinator. Since then, they’ve scored 35, 40, and 19– all possible outcomes for this game. They’re also ninth nationally in points per drive allowed on the season, holding teams to 14 or fewer points in four of seven games.

Colorado State’s offense is devoid of talent and their likelihood of scoring on Boise State sits near zero. Barring the Broncos covering this entire spread themselves– which is a tough ask for a team that’s 108th in plays run per game– the under should clear with room.

  • Brett’s Bet: Under 43 (-109), placed Oct. 24 at BetRivers Sportsbook
  • Best Available Number: Under ()

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Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons