10 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 9

Texas A&M heads to Starkville for key SEC West clash

The Week 9 edition of college football picks against the spread is highlighted by a pair of intriguing games in the SEC as red-hot Kentucky visits Missouri and Texas A&M makes the trip to Mississippi State.  Elsewhere, Navy and Notre Dame get together for their annual matchup; Indiana plays at Minnesota for the first time since 2008; and South Florida takes its undefeated record to Houston. Here are 10 predictions for games against the spread.

 

Texas A&M (+2.5) over Mississippi State

Texas A&M is a surprising underdog at Mississippi State, which has lost three of its last four games and scored a total of 16 points in those three losses. Texas A&M is 5–0 against teams not named Clemson or Alabama and is 6–1 against the spread this season. The Aggies are the better team. Texas A&M 24, Mississippi State 14

 

Indiana (+2.5) over Minnesota (Friday)

Minnesota is 0–4 in the Big Ten, and none of the four losses has come by fewer than 16 points. It’s still very early in the P.J. Fleck era, but the Golden Gophers need to show some progress soon. The status of starting quarterback Zach Annextad is unknown; the true freshman was knocked out of last week’s loss to Nebraska with an “internal midsection injury.” Redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan played well in relief, completing 11 of 16 passes for 214 yards. Indiana is only 1–4, but the four losses have come against Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and Penn State. This is a decent team that has had a difficult schedule. Indiana 23, Minnesota 20

 

Army (+2.5) over Eastern Michigan

Army improved to 5–0 against non-Power 5 teams this season with a thrilling 31–30 win over Miami (Ohio) in overtime on Saturday. The Black Knights have an amazing 15–5 record since the start of the 2017 season, and three of the five losses have come against Power 5 opponents. Eastern Michigan has won two straight to even its record to 4­–4 overall. The Eagles have allowed more than 27 points only once this season. Army 24, Eastern Michigan 21

 

UConn (+4.5) over UMass

It might not seem wise to pick a team that is allowing 651.4 yards per game and a staggering 9.2 yards per play. But UConn showed some signs of life last week, losing by only eight points at undefeated South Florida. The Huskies scored 30 points (a season high against an FBS opponent) and allowed a season-low 38 points. Plus the game is at home. Surely, Randy Edsall won’t lose to a 2–6 UMass team that has wins over Duquesne and Charlotte? Connecticut 41, UMass 33

 

Missouri (-6.5) over Kentucky

One team is 4–1 in the SEC, with a road win at Florida and home wins over Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The other team is 0–3 in the league, with a loss at home to Georgia and road losses to Alabama and South Carolina. The 0–3 team is listed as a 6.5-point favorite. The boys in Vegas know something. And I agree with them. Missouri 28, Kentucky 20

 

Houston (-7.5) over South Florida

South Florida is 3–0 in the AAC — but it’s not the most impressive 3–0. The Bulls have defeated East Carolina by seven, Tulsa by one and UConn by eight. Not exactly the cream of the crop in the league. Overall, USF is 2–5 against the spread. Houston has also defeated Tulsa and East Carolina (but has done so by 15 and 22 points, respectively) and also has a 49–36 win at Navy. The Cougars are the better team. Houston 44, South Florida 21

 

Purdue (+2) over Michigan State

How does Purdue handle success? We are about to find out. Fresh off a surprisingly easy 49–20 win over Ohio State, the Boilermakers find themselves as a slight underdog for this trip to Michigan State. Purdue has won four straight, all against Power 5 teams and all by 14 points or more. The offense has averaged 45.7 points in the last three games and for the season has gained more than 7.0 yards per play in four of seven games. This is a really good team that lost three games to start the season by a total of eight points. Outside of a 21–17 win at Penn State two weeks ago, there isn’t much to suggest Michigan State is very good. The Spartans, 4–3 overall, managed fewer than 100 yards of offense in last week’s 21–7 loss at home to Michigan. They have scored more than 21 points only one time in five games against Power 5 opponents. Purdue 24, Michigan State 17

 

FIU (-4) over Western Kentucky

FIU is quietly 5–2 overall and 3–0 in Conference USA in Butch Davis’ second season. The Panthers are also 5–1 against the spread against FBS opponents. Western Kentucky, on the other hand, is 1–6 overall and is coming off a heartbreaking (and very wild) 37–34 loss at home to Old Dominion. The locales — who fondly remember the glory days of the Jeff Brohm era — are not happy with second-year coach Mike Sanford. FIU 33, Western Kentucky 26

 

Ohio (-10) over Ball State (Thursday)

This will be only the fourth home game for Ohio this season. The Bobcats are 3–0 in Athens, with a narrow victory over Howard and blowout wins over UMass and Bowling Green. They have played better of late, as well, and have covered in four of their last five games. Ball State is improved, but the Cardinals’ two FBS wins are over two teams (Kent State and Central Michigan) that don’t have wins over other FBS teams. Ohio 38, Ball State 17

 

Navy (+23) over Notre Dame (in San Diego)

Navy: college football picks against the spreadThis might be the worst Navy team since 2002, Paul Johnson’s first season as the head coach. The Midshipmen have lost four straight and are 4–11 in their last 15 games. Everything points to a big Notre Dame win … but this just seems like a great spot for Ken Niumatalolo’s club to play its best game of the season. And while Notre Dame is 7–0, the Irish have struggled at times this season — against Ball State (won by eight), Vanderbilt (by five) and Pittsburgh (by five). Navy could make the Irish sweat a bit. Notre Dame 30, Navy 20

 

Last week: 7–3

Season: 38–42

 
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