College Football Predictions: Week 9

As mediocre as my record may appear, I am one strong week away from a 60% win rate on the year. A win rate like that is just as good as a license to print money, and there are plenty of "pros" who would drool over such results. The Week 9 card isn't deep, but these looks are pretty strong. Let's get to it.

YTD Record

1* = 5-4-1
2* = 6-5-1
3* = 6-4

As a reminder, the ranking system is as follows:

1* = Gun to my head, I'd play the team listed (risky)
2* = A good chance of covering; a worthy play (fairly confident)
3* = I will be playing this team for a large chunk of money (very confident)

Clemson @ Virginia Tech +4, Thursday 7:30 PM, ESPN

On paper, picking this game is a no-brainer. A top-10 team laying only four points against a squad that very recently was embarrassed by both Georgia Tech and Boston College is going to look great to most. Add to the equation the fact that Clemson just dominated the same Georgia Tech team that handled the Hokies, and who wouldn't love to bet Clemson here?

No thanks, you can count me amongst the minority that will be in the Virginia Tech corner come Thursday night. This is a great spot for a Clemson let down, and this game represents a big effort spot for the Hokies with any hope of salvaging their season dying with a loss. Throw in the fact that Clemson's star tailback, James Davis, will likely be hobbled by an injury suffered against Georgia Tech, and you have yourself a solid play.

The play: Virgnia Tech 3*

Penn State @ Purdue +3, 12 PM, ABC

Purdue really let me down last week as they didn't even come close to covering as a 3* play. Most sports gamblers would turn around after a loss like this and start betting against Purdue out of frustration and anger, but I am not most sports gamblers.

Once again I don't love Purdue, especially not Curtis Painter, but I still can't figure out what Penn State has done so far this year to justify being three point favorites on the road in a league game against a decent squad. I think it is a classic case of the name game, and as usual I have no problem backing the lesser name.

The play: Purdue 2*

Nebraska @ Oklahoma State +6, 3:30, ABC

Both of these squads come into this game off of heartbreaking losses. As close as Nebraska came to an outright win last week against Texas, that loss couldn't have been more painful than losing in overtime on a mixed extra point as Oklahoma State did. This is a volatile position for both sides. They both need to bounce back in a big way.

I'm guessing that plenty of people were impressed with how tough Nebraska played Texas, but I thought that game said more about what Texas isn't (a superpower) than what Nebraska truly is. I believe that Oklahoma State has a chance to win this game outright, but as always I feel a lot more comfortable with the six points at my side.

The play: Oklahoma State 2*

Texas @ Texas Tech +12, 6 PM, TBS

I just mentioned it, but I believe that Texas is overrated this season. They may have escaped Lincoln with a victory last weekend, but that was likely little consolation for those who took Texas against the spread. The Horns have Holiday Bowl written all over them.

I've faded Texas Tech twice thus far this year (TCU and A&M) and won. I really do not care for this version of the Red Raiders, and they were surely overvalued during the early part of the year. The games between these two in '04 and '05 were both one-sided in favor of Texas, but luckily Texas doesn't get a head start on the scoreboard because of those results. Like Nebraska, Tech may not win outright, but that won't matter much to those who back them so long as they cover.

The play: Texas Tech 1*

Tennessee @ South Carolina +5, 7:45 PM, ESPN

This game has a lot in common with the Thursday night game this week in that we have a top-10 team laying less than seven points on the road against an unranked opponent in a nighttime hostile environment. Wow, that was a mouthful.

Forget about Steve Spurrier vs. Phillip Fulmer and all the other trivial garbage ESPN is going to throw out in the open in order to hype up this game. If you are looking to cover the spread, stick with the aesthetically unpleasing home underdog. They won't win every time, but they will cover often enough to pay for your bar tabs on a regular basis. Good luck this week.

The play: South Carolina 2*

Please keep in mind that I am evaluating the most popular games for the purposes of this article. These games are not necessarily the best options available. You can more picks, results, and opinions on sports wagering at Ryan Hojnacki's website. This article is for entertainment purposes only. Sports wagering is not legal is most jurisdictions in the U.S. Sports Central does not encourage any individual to partake in illegal activities and holds no responsibility for actions taken as a result of this article. Check with your local laws before engaging in any wagering activities.

Comments and Conversation

October 27, 2006


Nice call on VT, I had them as well. many didnt. Disagree with Nebraska/Ok St but it happens. Plays look good nice writeups. Keep up the good work

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