College Football Odds Week 9: Over-Under and Picks Against the Spread for Top 25

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 29, 2020

College Football Odds Week 9: Over-Under and Picks Against the Spread for Top 25

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    The Ohio State Buckeyes are in the middle of a remarkable run against Top 25 teams from the Big Ten.

    According to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, the Buckeyes are on a 16-game winning streak against ranked conference opponents. Ryan Day's side can extend that run to 17 on Saturday with a win over the Penn State Nittany Lions, whom it has beat three years in a row and in seven of the teams' past eight meetings.

    Even though the Buckeyes dominated those matchups, they are less than a two-touchdown favorite for their trip to Beaver Stadium. If Penn State were at full strength, the spread may have been lower, but it is dealing with absences at running back and reeling after an opening loss to the Indiana Hoosiers.

    The other four teams in the top five of the AP poll are larger favorites than Ohio State. With so many massive lines, the best approach to those contests could be betting the over-under.

    Although the Georgia Bulldogs and Kentucky Wildcats have tough defenses, all they need to do Saturday is combine for six touchdowns and they will be right near the projected point total.

Week 9 Schedule and Odds

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Saturday, October 31

    Boston College at No. 1 Clemson (-31.5) (Noon, ABC) (Over/Under: 61.5)

    No. 5 Georgia (-14.5) at Kentucky (Noon, SEC Network) (O/U: 43)

    Memphis at No. 7 Cincinnati (-7) (Noon, ESPN) (O/U: 55.5)

    Michigan State at No. 13 Michigan (-24.5) (Noon, Fox) (O/U: 52)

    No. 16 Kansas State at West Virginia (-3.5) (Noon, ESPN2) (O/U: 46)

    No. 20 Coastal Carolina (-3) at Georgia State (Noon, ESPNU) (O/U: 60)

    No. 23 Iowa State (-28) at Kansas (Noon, FS1) (O/U: 52)

    No. 4 Notre Dame (-20) at Georgia Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC) (O/U: 57)

    No. 17 Indiana (-10.5) at Rutgers (3:30 p.m., BTN) (O/U: 52.5)

    Texas at No. 6 Oklahoma State (-3.5) (4 p.m., Fox) (O/U: 59)

    No. 25 Boise State (-14) at Air Force (6 p.m., CBSSN) (O/U: 49)

    Mississippi State at No. 2 Alabama (-31.5) (7 p.m., ESPN) (O/U: 64)

    No. 3 Ohio State (-12) at No. 18 Penn State (7:30 p.m., ABC) (O/U: 63.5)

    Arkansas at No. 8 Texas A&M (-12) (7:30 p.m., SEC Network) (O/U: 55.5)

    Missouri at No. 10 Florida (-13) (7:30 p.m., SEC Network Alternate) (O/U: 61.5)

    Navy at No. 22 SMU (-13) (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) (O/U: 59)

    No. 15 North Carolina (-7) at Virginia (8 p.m., ACC Network) (O/U: 61.5)

    No. 24 Oklahoma (-14.5) at Texas Tech (8 p.m., Fox) (O/U: 68.5)

    Western Kentucky at No. 11 BYU (-29) (10:15 p.m., ESPN) (O/U: 52)

                    

    All Times ET. Predictions against the spread in bold. Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 3 Ohio State (-12) at No. 18 Penn State

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Ohio State's first chance to assert its dominance against a ranked foe comes Saturday in central Pennsylvania.

    The Buckeyes are coming off a controlling opening performance in which they produced 52 points and 491 total yards against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska hung in the contest for a half, but it was overwhelmed in the third and fourth quarters.

    Typically, Penn State would not suffer the same fate against Ohio State as an unranked team, but it is facing an uphill climb, with Noah Cain joining Journey Brown on the list of running backs out for the season. Penn State could have trouble moving the ball on the ground with Devyn Ford as the top back and Sean Clifford adding what he can from quarterback.

    A year ago, Penn State's rushing attack was stifled by Ohio State's defense, as it earned 99 yards off 36 carries. The Buckeyes also limited Clifford's passing output to 71 yards.

    If the Buckeyes contain the Nittany Lions in a similar way Saturday, they could set up Justin Fields to break open a double-digit advantage. Fields had a single incomplete pass while throwing for 276 yards against Nebraska, and he had 256 total yards in the 2019 win over James Franklin's side.

    If Fields torches the Nittany Lions in both aspects of the offense, opening up a two-touchdown lead seems possible, and that could remain in place for most of the contest if the home side struggles to establish a ground attack and Clifford is ineffective in the pocket.

No. 5 Georgia at Kentucky (Over 43)

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    The lowest over-under line of Week 9 was assigned to the SEC East battle in Lexington, Kentucky.

    Georgia allowed 19.5 points per game, and Kentucky is close behind at 20 points conceded per contest. While those totals may lead you to pick the under, the explosiveness of the Bulldogs offense could push the total in the other direction.

    Kirby Smart's team posted 68 points in its past two games. It defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 44-21 and produced 24 points in a defeat to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    In Kentucky's three losses, it allowed each opponent to score at least 20 points. Ole Miss' 42 points on October 3 were the most against the Wildcats defense. In that matchup, Mark Stoops' side allowed 320 passing yards to Matt Corral and was gashed for 139 yards on the ground.

    Georgia possesses a running back tandem in Zamir White and Kendall Milton that can challenge Kentucky on every down. Stetson Bennett has four wide receivers with more than 100 receiving yards at his disposal who could keep the Wildcats off balance for four quarters.

    Kentucky could wear down Georgia's front seven through quarterback Terry Wilson and a pair of running backs, all of whom have more than 200 rushing yards.

    If the Wildcats break free for a few long runs that set up scoring opportunities, they could add to the decent total Georgia is expected to put up with its playmakers.

    Since there are enough dynamic offensive stars to trust to score seven touchdowns on both sides, it is worth taking the over on Week 9's smallest total.

                             

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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