Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 9 Picks

Each week, Braden Gall offers his top picks of the week as well as every Top 25 game.

Like it or not, Las Vegas rarely gets it wrong, so tracking betting lines should always be a big part of each football weekend — even if there are no bets on the line. Last week, I played my hand at the big game and missed in a big way — by taking Clemson. So, as you will see below, I haven't learned my lesson. (Is there such a thing as Rebound Alert?) I was all over two of the big SEC upsets, however, as I advised taking both Auburn and Vanderbilt. My 3-3 week kept me six games above .500 for the season, and therefore, am still making money (if I gambled).

This week, I am going after five road teams — three favorites and two dogs. Enjoy...

2013 Record Against the Spread: 25-19-1 (3-3 last week)

Week 9 Picks of the Week:

Clemson (-14) at Maryland
Three weeks ago the Terrapins were unbeaten and ranked in the top 25. After a 63-0 drubbing by Florida State, a one-point win over Virginia and a 24-point defeat at the hands of Wake Forest, Maryland has fallen apart. Quarterback C.J. Brown is banged up and both of his star wideouts — Stefon Diggs and Deon Long — are out for the season. Clemson, meanwhile, should be extremely upset about how it played last weekend against the Seminoles. Tajh Boyd wins big. Prediction: Clemson -14

Utah (+7) at USC
Depth is starting to hurt the Trojans in a big way on both sides of the ball and across all positions. Utah quarterback Travis Wilson was injured last weekend but is back in the lineup for this road trip to L.A. Southern Cal is 2-5 against the spread and still has a glorified defensive line coach in Ed Orgeron leading the way on the sidelines. I’ll take the road dog to cover — and possibly win outright. Predictions: Utah +7

Baylor (-34.5) at Kansas
Normally, any number over 30 is dangerous and should be avoided, but Baylor is a different story. The Bears are averaging over 700 yards of offense and Kansas threw the ball for 16 yards last week against Oklahoma. Baylor has reached 70 points in four games this year and 69 in another, so the odds of the lowly Jayhawks stopping this offense in any way would be shocking. The Bears are 5-1 against the spread in 2013. Prediction: Baylor -34.5

Fresno State (-8) at San Diego State
The Bulldogs haven’t scored less than 38 points all season long while the Aztecs have topped 30 points this year only once (Nevada). San Diego State also needed big late comebacks to beat New Mexico State and Air Force — who are a combined 1-13 this year. Fresno knows this win likely clinches the Mountain West Conference's West Division and will be focused. SDSU is 99th nationally in scoring defense and has little chance to stop Derek Carr and company. Prediction: Fresno State -8

Texas (+2.5) at TCU
The Horned Frogs haven’t topped 380 yards of offense in four straight weeks and haven’t scored more than 27 points in any of their last three. Meanwhile, Texas is playing its best ball of the season on both sides, having won three straight by scoring at least 31 points in each game. More importantly, new coordinator Greg Robinson and his defense have had two weeks to prepare for TCU’s reeling offense after playing their best game of the year against Oklahoma. TCU is 2-5 against the spread this year. Prediction: Texas +2.5

Week 9 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 Big Ten Pac-12 SEC

Top 25 Picks Against the Spread:

Note: games with FCS opponents won't be included each week

Top 25 GamesMitch LightBraden GallSteven LassanDavid Fox
Tennessee (+28) at No. 1 Alabama
NC State (+32) at No. 2 Florida St
No. 12 UCLA (-22.5) at No. 3 Oregon
Penn St (+14.5) at No. 4 Ohio St 
No. 21 South Carolina (+3) at No. 5 Mizzou
No. 6 Stanford (-4.5) at No. 25 Oregon St
Wake Forest (+23.5) at No. 7 Miami
No. 8 Baylor (-34.5) at Kansas
No. 9 Clemson (-14) at Maryland
No. 10 Texas Tech (+7) at No. 15 Oklahoma
FAU (+24) at No. 11 Auburn
Duke (+13.5) at No. 14 Virginia Tech
Vanderbilt (+17) at No. 16 Texas A&M
No. 17 Fresno St (-8.5) at San Diego St
E. Michigan (+30) at N. Illinois
No. 19 Oklahoma St (-12.5) at Iowa St
No. 20 Louisville (-20) at USF
UConn (+22.5) at No. 23 UCF
No. 24 Nebraska (-10.5) at Minnesota
Last Week:7-128-119-106-13


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