Highlight of the Big Ten in Week 9.
Two Big Ten East competitions are up front. #6 Michigan travels to #8 Michigan State in its second top 10 game of the season in the conference. Both Wolverines and Spartans have 7-0 duel records, so the fight for the Paul Bunyan Cup should be epic.
No. 5 Ohio State also plays No. 20 Pennsylvania, which slipped into the standings after losing an extra nine hours to Illinois. No. 10 Olly Mays travels to No. 18 Auburn in Game Three involving the seeded teams.
BENDER: Sorting the crowded Heisman field | Picture of the play-off match if it is the selected Sunday today
It’s a fun way to close in October. Each week, Sporting News selects each AP game from the top 25 games by prevalence. Here’s a look at our track record this season:
- straighten up: 114-35 (4-15 at week 8)
- Against spread: 75-74 (11-8 at week 8)
- Bother: 7-8 (2-3 at week 8)
With that in mind, take a look at this week’s picks:
Week 9 picks against the spread
Thursday 28 October
- Troy at #24 Coastal Carolina (-18.5) (7:30 p.m., ESPN2)
The attackers come out losing, and the last two matches against the Trojans were from penalty shootouts with a single score. Troy allows 94.6 rushing yards per game, and his worst loss this season is 13 points. This is a close call, but Troy is outstanding enough for the cover.
picking Coastal Carolina won 38-21 and failed to cover the spread.
Saturday 30 October
- No. 2 Cincinnati (-25.5) in Tulane (12 p.m., ESPN2)
Tulane’s season came off turbulent after that near miss from Oklahoma early in the season. The Green Wave ranked 128 in defending 42.3 points per game. They have an all-out moment at home here, but the Bearcats need to pour it in before the upcoming CFP ratings. Cincinnati is 5-2 ATS this season.
picking Cincinnati wins 45-17 and covers the spread.
- No. 6 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 8 Michigan State (12 p.m. Fox)
The Wolverines and Spartans divided the last eight meetings in East Lansing, and Michigan won the last two. Michigan State has the worst passing defense in the Big Ten, but will Jim Harbaugh trust Cade McNamara to throw the ball enough on the field? It’s tight in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines improved to 8-0.
picking Michigan wins 29-23 and covers the spread.
- 9 Iowa Wisconsin (-3.5) (12 noon, ESPN)
Wisconsin has won four of the last five showdowns, and the Badgers can still position themselves to win the Big Ten West by defeating the Hawkeyes. This looks like a defensive tackle, and Graham Mertz or Spencer Petras will need to make a few big throws. The Hockey family is back.
picking Iowa wins 20-16 in turmoil.
- Texas at No. 16 Baylor (-2.5) (12 p.m., ABC)
The Bears have the best statistical attack in the Big 12, and Dave Aranda infused defense for the match. Both teams are excelling in the running game, and this should be the 12th classic penalty shootout of the week. The Longhorns finally won a close match.
picking Texas wins 33-30 in upset.
- Miami at No. 17 PItt (-11.5) (12 p.m., ACC Network)
The Panthers are well ahead of Heisman Trophy competitor Kenny Pickett, and are 6-1 ATS this season. However, the Hurricanes score a saving victory for the season against NC State. Miami 2-1 ATS as an underdog. There is value here, too.
picking Pete won 34-25 but failed to cover the spread.
- No. 22 Iowa (-7.5) in West Virginia (2 p.m., ESPN+)
That’s a lot of points for a road favorite, but the Hurricanes dumped their early season struggles to return to the Big 12 competition. Iowa State has won the last three games, averaging 25.3 points per game.
picking Iowa wins 34-24 and covers the spread.
- 1st place: Georgia (-15.5) vs Florida (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Both teams are coming up in a farewell week for this rivalry match. Georgia could snatch SEC East behind this ridiculous defense, but Florida had an extra week to prepare. Will Anthony Richardson throw a wrinkle in this match? For all the weirdness of this rivalry in the past six years, the favorite won and covered it. Make it seven in a row.
picking Georgia won 34-17 and covers its spread.
- Texas Tech at No. 4, Oklahoma (-19.5) (3:30 p.m., ABC)
The Red Raiders have enjoyed a solid season except for blast losses against TCU and Texas. Oklahoma is home, and the game of perception remains a mixed bag after the eighth week of Kansas panic. Oklahoma is 2-5 ATS this season, but it kicks off farewell week with a big victory.
picking Oklahoma wins 44-24 and covers the spread.
MORE: How Williams Succeeded in the Rare Double Pass
- Colorado at No. 7 Oregon (-26.5) (3:30 p.m., Fox)
The Buffaloes have a 1-3 ATS underdog this season, with one-on-one coverage of the bizzarro game against Texas A&M in September. The problem here is that the Ducks are 0-5 ATS as the favourite this season. Colorado can play at that, even with bad abuse.
picking Oregon won 37-13 but failed to cover the spread.
- Duke at No. 13 Wake Forest (-15.5) (4 p.m., ACC Network)
This is Wake Forest’s first double-digit spread against an FBS opponent this season. The Blue Devils have a powerful attack, and the Blue Devils have outpaced ACC 127-34 in ACC’s last three losses.
picking Wake Forest wins 38-21 and covers the spread.
- No. 10 Ole Miss (-0.5) at No. 18 Auburn (7 p.m., ESPN)
The Rebels are the road favorites at Jordan Hare. Auburn has won the last five encounters in the series, but the last two encounters were determined by seven points or less. It’s an entertaining quarterback match between Matt Coral and Bo Knicks. Lynn Kevin keeps the Ole Miss in the mix for the sixth New Year’s Day bowl.
picking Ole Miss wins 34-31 and covers the spread.
MORE: Peyton wears Eli’s Ole MIss jersey at MNF
- KS at No. 15 Oklahoma State (-30.5) (7 p.m., FS1)
The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS as underdogs, but the cap against Oklahoma is fresh in mind. Will Oklahoma come out focused after a diminishing loss in Iowa? It’s just a huge font, and it’s probably a novelty bias. We like to do ks enough to cover. The spread has fallen a point from the opening line.
picking Oklahoma State won 38-14 and failed to cover the spread.
- No. 19 SMU in Houston (-0.5) (7 p.m., ESPN2)
It’s a huge game at AAC among the competing schools in Texas. Mustangs have won the last two things with the highest score, and they have a top 10 offense led by Taner Mordechai (29 TDs, 7 INTs). It’s a tough spot on the road, but we like SMU to push it. Figure (62.5) also looks good.
picking SMU wins 41-34 and covers the spread.
- No. 12 Kentucky, Mississippi (-0.5) (7 p.m., SEC Network)
The Wildcats won this match 24-2 in Lexington last year. The Bulldogs will be better this time, but Kentucky had a week to refocus after losing Georgia. This can get unruly, which is why it’s an eclectic streak. The home team has won the last six matches, but we’re going against the trend.
picking Kentucky wins 30-27 in upset.
- No. 20 Pennsylvania at No. 5 Ohio State (-17.5) (7:30 p.m., ABC)
That’s the big streak who knows the Buckeyes have won the last four meetings of the series by averaging 6.5 points per game. The last two games at Ohio Stadium were a blast, and the Buckeyes hit various gear in attack. Covers the Buckeyes for the fifth week in a row.
picking Ohio State wins 42-21 and covers the spread.
- North Carolina at No. 11 Notre Dame (-3.5) (7:30 p.m., NBC)
The Tar Heels have had an extra week to prepare, and they will be looking to up the tempo for the Irish down the road. This is the second true North Carolina road game of the season, and the Irish are off to a jog around Keren Williams. This line will reach Notre Dame. Catch it now.
picking Notre Dame wins 34-26 and covers the difference.
- Virginia at No. 25 BYU (-2.5) (10:15 p.m., ESPN2)
It’s the Bronco Mindenhall Powell. The Cavaliers are making the long trip to Provo, and they’ve won wild shootouts in Miami and Louisville this season. Virginia has a four-game winning streak, and the Cougars are 1-2 ATS as the number one favorite this season. Here’s a value in Virginia.
picking Virginia wins 31-28 in a surprise.
- Fresno State at No. 21 San Diego State (-0.5) (10:30 p.m., CBSSN)
This is worth staying up late. Jake Hanner will test the Aztec pass defense, and Greg Bell will try to counter a strong Fresno State defense. This sounds like a defensive struggle, and the Aztecs were designed for those at home.
picking San Diego State wins 24-21 in and covers the spread.