Now that we're in Week Nine, most teams have played at least seven games, so just about everyone has a read and a take on how teams are going to play week-to-week.
As the public gains this knowledge, so do the odds makers, and we are starting to see a lot more games not just come in right around the spread but to move back and forth enough that plenty of people are both winning and losing who are playing the same team.
While this is nothing unusual, neither is a lot of the talk we hear at this time of year. I know a lot of people feel there are intangibles, and I do believe there are some (like a home field or big road trip), but I don't buy into a lot of the theories out there.
I'm not expecting everyone to agree with me, but, then again, when has that ever stopped me from saying or writing anything? I keep hearing all week that "USC is going to whip Arizona because it really wants to impress the voters so it can win the national title." I am not sure where this is coming from because I don't watch any of the pregame shows, but I have an idea where it may have started. I judge this based on the amount of times I've heard something, and I've heard this one enough that I'm on Arizona +15 1/2 (for those keeping score at home, give me a 6 confidence rating on that one).
Now why do I think that statement doesn't make sense? It's pretty easy, really; can anyone imagine Pete Carroll or any college head coach on any week saying "well, we don't need to impress any voters because we don't want to go to the championship game, so let's take it slow and easy out there"? To me, that's just nuts. In reality, the first statement and the second statement are the same and go hand-in-hand.
In any event, it's game day, and everyone knows by now I use this time to just go back over the lines that have moved and try and figure out if that affects things. It certainly has over the past few weeks, and last week we saw another huge one: If you got on Troy early like I advised in Part One of my picks for Week Eight, you won; if you waited until game time, you lost.
Let's look at the lines today that have moved the most since they opened.
Connecticut has gone from a two-point favorite to a two-point underdog against Cincinnati. Personally, I think Cincinnati can cover a few more than this; UConn looks sloppy at times and those Bearcats can really lay a hit.
In Indiana, the Hoosiers have gone from a 9 1/2-point underdog to an 8-point underdog. I still like Northwestern, which has only lost once, and the Hoosiers haven't covered a spread all season.
Ball State is now a 26 1/2-point favorite over Eastern Michigan after opening at 24. I like Ball State and they were a Part One pick, as I thought this line would be on the move.
Florida is now a 26-point favorite for its homecoming game against Kentucky after opening at 22. Kentucky lost its top running back but he actually had barely over 300 yards this season. I didn't post it in my picks, but put me down as a strong UK lean in this one; I may post a pick on this in the forums.
See the rest of the College Football Week Nine Line Moves.