Your boy had another .500 week, actually a game above that mark. I nailed nearly every marquee game, but my smaller school bets didn’t go very well. This is the opposite of how it usually goes for me. In my years of betting on college football, I’ve made most of my money betting small schools. I can usually find value there, something that is rarely ever there in SEC or Big Ten games.
There are some big rivalry games this weekend. The biggest is #3 Penn State traveling to Columbus to take on Ohio State. Can the Buckeyes ruin Penn State’s perfect season? Can they cover the -6.5 spread in a big pressure game?
We at ‘America’s White Boy’ pick 25 college football games against the spread in Week 9 of the NCAA Football season (October 28th, 2017). We pick some smaller conference games.
Penn State at Ohio State (-6.5) – My pick is Penn State Nittany Lions
I had to start out with the most intriguing game of the week. A year ago, Penn State beat Ohio State in Happy Valley 24-21. The Buckeyes held Penn State QB Trace McSorley to 8 for 23 for 154 passing yards and one touchdown. The Nittany Lions didn’t look good for most of the game. They had a great fourth quarter capped off by a 60-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown. That was the difference in the game. Penn State comes into this game undefeated and is coming off a big win over Michigan. Ohio State is a tough team to read right now. They have been on fire since their 31-16 loss to Oklahoma in Week 2. Unfortunately for us bettors, they haven’t played anyone even close to the caliber of Oklahoma since. There’s a reason OSU QB J.T. Barrett has thrown 21 touchdown passes with only one interception this season. They’ve been facing teams like UNLV, Rutgers and Army. Penn State is the better overall team and I have to take the points here. It will be extremely hostile in Columbus, so Penn State better stay focused.
UCLA at Washington (-17.5) – My pick is Washington Huskies
Washington is coming off an upset loss to Arizona State two weeks ago. Huskies QB Jake Browning was not sharp and the defense couldn’t bail them out. Washington’s defense is really good, but there’s only so much they could do. UCLA’s defense isn’t very good and their offense is usually fighting from behind. UCLA QB Josh Rosen can be pressured into making bad decisions. He threw three interceptions in a 17-point loss at Arizona two weeks ago. I wish this line was a half-point less, but I’ll take the Huskies to cover.
Georgia at Florida (+14) – My pick is Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia comes into this game the #3 team in the country. Their offense has been giving the rock to a running back and watching him go. The Bulldogs offensive line is one of the best in the SEC. It helps to have running backs like Nick Chubb and Sony Michel running through the holes they make. Florida has been surviving with their defense. They’ve lost their last two games (both at home) by a total of three points. They were low-scoring games against Texas A&M and LSU. They haven’t faced a team with this good of an offense all season. If Georgia can score 20+ points in the first-half, I doubt Florida will come close. It’s a big point spread for this big of a rivalry game. I honestly didn’t remember the last time they were favored by this much over Florida…but I’m taking the Bulldogs to cover.
Houston at South Florida (-10.5) – My pick is South Florida Bulls
USF QB Quinton Flowers is one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the country. The Bulls have been a run-first team all season, but Flowers can get it done through the air. He’s not not as accurate as he probably should be, but his playmaking ability is so sick. Houston has had trouble against the run this season. They held Memphis to only 61 yards on the ground, but Memphis RB Patrick Taylor had four rushing touchdowns. If they break on short yardage plays in the red zone, they will have trouble against South Florida. I have to take the Bulls to cover at home.
Georgia Tech at Clemson (-14.5) – My pick is Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech is in rare air right now. They have started out the season 6-0 ATS and many of their point spreads haven’t even been close. Teams that run the triple-option are always underrated. Conference opponents often have better success against it since they see it once a year. Clemson has had success against it in the past. The Tigers have won against the spread in four of their last five games against the Yellow Jackets. That being said, Clemson’s loss to Syracuse worries me. The Orange aren’t a strong running team, but they had success against the Tigers. I have to take the points here cause that half-point is just too good to pass up.
Washington State at Arizona (+3) – My pick is Washington State Cougars
It was nice to see Washington State bounce back last week after an embarrassing blowout loss to Cal. They shutout Colorado 28-0, but WSU QB Luke Falk didn’t have a very good game. He did run the ball a few times, which was very surprising. The Cougars demolished the Wildcats 69-7 last season at home. Arizona was a very different team then. QB Khalil Tate was a freshman and was only in the game for a couple drives. He has become a very good dual-threat quarterback. He’s averaging 13.9 ypc, which is nuts. Arizona’s defense is bad and this has all the signs of a possible shootout, but I actually think Washington State will win this game by a decent margin. Their defense is underrated and could cause issues for Tate. I’m taking the Cougars to cover on the road.
USC at Arizona State (+3) – My pick is Arizona State Sun Devils
USC just got destroyed by Notre Dame. They couldn’t stop Irish RB Josh Adams. Not many teams can stop him, but QB Brandon Wimbush was even running for big gains against the Trojans. USC QB Sam Darnold didn’t have a very good game either. He actually may not enter the 2018 NFL Draft now due to his poor performances. The Trojans were just beat on every level. They come into this game demoralized. The Sun Devils are a pretty good team. They get lost in the noise and don’t get nearly the amount of attention as USC or Washington, but they can beat any Pac 12 team on any given Saturday. They knocked off Washington 13-7 two weeks ago and then won at Utah 30-10. I have to take the points here.
Minnesota at Iowa (-7.5) – My pick is Minnesota Golden Gophers
Iowa has been a disappointment. I thought maybe they would parlay some success from their close loss to Penn State last month, but they’ve went in the opposite direction. They lost at Michigan State and Northwestern. They destroyed Illinois in-between those losses, but a lot of teams have done that this season. Minnesota is the definition of an average Big Ten team. They are in every game and just run the ball non-stop. They may not bust out huge gains, but they get enough for first downs. This is why I’m taking the points here. The Hawkeyes let Northwestern wear them out in the trenches. Iowa will face the same fate this weekend against Minnesota.
Louisville at Wake Forest (+3) – My pick is Louisville Cardinals
I didn’t expect much from Wake Forest this season. They’ve actually surprised me a lot. They’ve been keeping games just close enough to keep things interesting. WF QB John Wolford is careful with the ball and can make third downs with his arm or legs. He’s not in the same league as Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, but he should be able to keep this game close into the second-half. Jackson should have enough left in the tank to close out the cover in the fourth quarter. I’m taking Louisville to cover on the road.
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois (-7) – My pick is Eastern Michigan Eagles
This is when we pick a game with smaller conference teams. I’ve riding my Eastern Michigan game picks again. I picked Western last week and they covered by a half-point against Eastern. I thought it was going to be a close one, but that cover was too close for comfort. Northern Illinois has been rolling through the bad MAC teams, but Eastern has a better defense than most teams in the conference. Eastern is just a few points away from being a 2-5 team with a perfect record against the spread. In reality, they are a 2-5 team with a 5-2 record ATS. I have to take the Eagles here. They are 4-0 ATS on the road. Vegas still isn’t giving them any respect.
New Mexico at Wyoming (+1.5) – My pick is Wyoming
Nebraska at Purdue (-6) – My pick is Purdue
UAB at Southern Miss (-13.5) – My pick is UAB
Michigan State at Northwestern (+2) – My pick is Michigan State
Indiana at Maryland (+4) – My pick is Indiana
Utah at Oregon (+3.5) – My pick is Utah
Buffalo at Akron (-3) – My pick is Akron
Tulsa at SMU (-9.5) – My pick is SMU
Oklahoma State at West Virginia (+7.5) – My pick is West Virginia
Arkansas at Ole Miss (-3.5) – My pick is Ole Miss
Texas at Baylor (+7.5) – My pick is Texas
California at Colorado (-3) – My pick is California
San Jose State at BYU (-13.5) – My pick is San Jose State
NC State at Notre Dame (-7) – My pick is NC State
Louisiana Tech at Rice (+13) – My pick is La Tech
Sweetbob’s college football picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.