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

Ohio State may be too heavy of a favorite for its showdown in Happy Valley with Penn State.

The conference and division races are heating up around the country this college football weekend, and there are a ton of fantastic games on the card to raise the stakes in the final weekend of October. There are some good games in the afternoon this weekend that carry a lot of weight in the Big Ten and Big 12 as well, not to mention the American Athletic Conference.

Related: College Football Predictions for Every Game in Week 9

Our last time out picking games against the spread yielded a winning week, and we're back to try and go for that elusive 5-0 showing. Here is a look at some of the biggest games on the schedule this weekend.

Note: All times are ET and all games are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29.

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Penn State (+15.5)

12 p.m. on FOX, live stream on fuboTV (Start your free trial)

Ohio State is a massive favorite in Happy Valey this week, and it may be too many points to give on the road to the Nittany Lions. Penn State has played Ohio State closer than most schools around the Big Ten over the years, and this year should continue that trend. The Buckeyes will get their points and chunk plays, but the Nittany Lions keep this one within two touchdowns. Ohio State 38, Penn State 26

Notre Dame at No. 16 Syracuse (-2.0)

12 p.m. on ABC, live stream on fuboTV (Start your free trial)

This year has not gone according to plan for the Fighting Irish, and another loss is awaiting them in the dome. Syracuse rebounds in a big way at home after a tough setback at Clemson last weekend. There will be no fourth-quarter meltdown against Notre Dame. Syracuse 27, Notre Dame 17

No. 9 Oklahoma State (+1.5) at No. 22 Kansas State

3:30 p.m. on FOX, live stream on fuboTV (Start your free trial)

Looking for an upset pick on the road? Look no further than the Big 12. Oklahoma State is a road dog at Kansas State this weekend, and that is very enticing to take against the spread. As long as the Cowboys can keep the Wildcats' running game from getting big gains, Oklahoma State will return home with a win. Oklahoma State 31, Kansas State 27

No. 17 Illinois at Nebraska (+7.5)

3:30 p.m. on ABC, live stream on fuboTV (Start your free trial)

Illinois has been thriving on the recipe for success with head coach Bret Bielema by playing good defense and having a dominant running game. That's bad news for Nebraska as the Cornhuskers' struggles could continue with another disappointing result at home. But other than the loss to Oklahoma, Nebraska has been keeping things close far more often than not with four games being decided by a touchdown or less. Take the Huskers at home to cover, but the Fighting Illini to win. Illinois 29, Nebraska 24

No. 20 Cincinnati at UCF (-1.5)

3:30 p.m. on ESPN, live stream on fuboTV (Start your free trial)

There is a big game in the Group of 5 race for a spot in the New Years Six game this season taking place in the AAC. Cincinnati is one of two unbeaten teams in AAC play this season and UCF can climb into second place in the conference title hunt with a home win against the Bearcats. While Cincinnati has had some close calls in recent weeks, the Knights have been up and down with blowout wins of SMU and Temple and a blowout home loss to East Carolina. But expect plenty of electricity in the Bounce House in Orlando as UCF scores a big win. UCF 26, Cincinnati 23

Week 7: 3-2
Season: 16-18-1

Podcast: Complete Week 9 Preview, Predictions, and Picks Against the Spread

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, on TikTok, and Like him on Facebook.