Week 9 NCAA Football Picks and Predictions

Last Week in Review By Dr. Senkbeil

I was not confident last week and I only saw a handful of games that I liked.  It was embarrassing.  At least I suspected I was in for a miserable Saturday.  I went 6-11 counting the 2 big games.  Sagarin went 7-8 again.  The COIN went 10-5!  Randomness reigns supreme in mid season.  Many favorites outright lost last week so it was a good day to hit positive moneylines on the underdogs.

I feel a little more confident this week, but there are not 15 games that I like.  Heavy on road teams this week



Weekend of 10/28/17 game lines as of Thursday 10/26 1am EDT:

PICK is BOLD (off eff, def eff)  


  • Stanford -20.5 at Oregon State

Prediction: Stanford 49 Oregon State 17

Sagarin: Stanford by 36

Coin: Oregon State

Stanford 6 overall (6,54) has an efficient offense and Bryce Love.  They have played a tough schedule and they seem to be finding their stride.  They are not a good road team.  Oregon State 119 (86,126) is bad and how can that defense hold the number 6 offense?  Can Oregon State score enough to stay within 20?  I don’t think so.  


  • Miami -20 at North Carolina

Prediction: Miami 38 UNC 14

Sagarin: Miami by 20

Coin: UNC

The Tar Heels 103 (104,88) have become regulars in these lists because of their injury woes.  Their numbers continue to spiral downward each week.  Last week they gave up 2 defensive tds and a punt return td in the first half and then gave up against V Tech.  Miami 11(9,24) is undefeated and largely untested with several squeakers in recent weeks.  Plus, they have V Tech and ND after this game.  Still 20 points against this UNC team seems doable.   


  • Rutgers +24 at Michigan

Prediction: Michigan 27 Rutgers 7

Sagarin: Michigan by 17

Coin: Michigan

Rutgers 82 (117,33) had a huge home win over Purdue last week 14-12.  How are they going to score on Michigan 27 (85,14)?  Also how does Michigan score over 28 points against this stingy Rutgers D?  Michigan has not beaten anybody by more than 22 all season.  Rutgers loses but stays within 24.


  • Wisconsin -26 at Illinois

Prediction: Wisconsin 42 Illinois 10

Sagarin: Wisconsin by 36

Coin: Illinois

Staying in the Big 10, Wisconsin 7 (26,6) is dominating the western division and is quietly undefeated.  They have yet to play a good team, much less an elite team.  That will change in the Big 10 championship.  Illinois 106 (118,76) stinks and has lost 5 in a row.  Wisconsin slowly pulls away in this one and rests the starters without giving up too many points  


  • Kansas State – 24 at Kansas

Prediction: K State 38 Kansas 7

Sagarin: K State by 26

Coin: Kansas

Kansas State 58(44,74) is nowhere near as good as their preseason forecast.  Kansas 124 (122,12) is worse than their preseason forecast and set a record for offensive futility last week.    KU’s last 3 opponents have covered even against high spreads.  K State is not that good but 24 seems to be a number that they can do.  


  • San Jose State +13 at BYU

Prediction: BYU 21 SJSU 13

Sagarin: BYU by 12

Coin: BYU (heads again!)

BYU 120 (129,72) traveled to ECU last week and got beat 33-17 in a classic battle of terrible teams.  This week is the cougar’s second chance to grab another win when SJSU 125 (124,108) comes to town.  Can BYU win by 13 points or more?  SJSU lost their last 2 games but covered the underdog spread.  BYU has not beaten an FBS team and their highest point total was 24 in a loss.      


  • TCU -7 at Iowa State

Prediction: TCU 31 Iowa State 21

Sagarin: TCY by 2

Coin: TCU

Iowa State is much improved and hot right now 24(45,29).  TCU 6 (23,11) is looking like a playoff contender, so maybe I just jinxed them.  TCU has been solid on the road this year highlighted by winning at Oklahoma State.Iowa State has not played a top 20 defense yet this year and that might be a good predictor here.  I think TCU wins and covers, but not by much   


  • Georgia – 13.5 vs Florida

Prediction: Georgia 27 Florida 7

Sagarin: Georgia by 25

Coin: Georgia

UGA 4 (19,10) is having a great year, so for once I do not think Florida 59(81,38) will ruin it.  Yes yes, Florida seems to always get up for this game and beat UGA and spoil their season.  How do they score on UGA unless they can get 2 defensive tds?  Dawgs break the trend and bite the gators.


  • Penn State at Ohio State -7

Prediction: Ohio State 38 Penn State 28

Sagarin: Ohio State by 4

Coin: Ohio State

Epic clash here of top 5 statistical teams.  Penn State 3 (10,9) is a very good team, but they have not played against an elite offense this year.  In fact, they have not played anybody.  Ohio State 1 (2,7) has looked much better after a terrible week 2 performance against OU.  That same OU team has been withering.  I am seeing shades of 2014 when that OSU team lost early and then became an offensive juggernaut.  I smell a motivated Buckeyes team that wants to explode but PSU is good.  That road escape at Iowa bothers me about Penn State.  Buckeyes win this one and cover.


  • Florida Atlantic – 7.5 at WKU

Prediction:  FAU 49 WKU 35

Sagarin: FAU by 22

Coin:  FAU

Lane Kiffin has the FAU Owls 32 (17,78) flying after a sluggish start.  The guy knows his offense.  WKU 77 (78,64) is really inconsistent and I have been burned by inconsistent teams this year.  I think the hot FAU owls of the last 3 games take the field and score in this one.  


  • Austin Peay at UCF – 43

Prediction: UCF 63 Peay 14

Sagarin: UCF by 48

Coin:  UCF

The Golden Knights 9 (3,49) have covered every game this year.  They are a weekly addition to the 15 until they become unreliable.  They might rest in this one, but we must include them.


  • Texas State at Coastal Carolina – 8

Prediction:  Coastal Carolina 41 Texas State 27

Sagarin: CC by 12

Coin: Texas State

Another clash between really bad teams.  Texas State 122 (125, 104) has been particularly awful in the last 4 weeks with their closest game a 17 point loss.  Their only win is against Houston Baptist.  The Chanticleers 107 (65,117) at least have a little offense and they have been losing closer games.  Plus they beat Umass in week 1.  It is now or never for CC!  Oh, they still play Georgia Southern to end the year so there is at least 1 more chance for a win.         


  • Tennessee +5 at Kentucky

Prediction:  UT 17 UK 16

Sagarin: Kentucky by 1

Coin:  Kentucky

Butch Jones appears to be on his coaching deathbed.  Is this one of those rally around the coach games?  Probably not, but UT 95 (120,45) has more talent than Kentucky.  There are 4 winnable games left on the schedule and the Vols just got done with Bama and UGA.  I smell at least 1 defensive td and the offense will score on UK.  Kentucky 91 (98,75) had played a weak schedule and got blasted last week in Starkville 45-7.  These 2 teams are even so UT covers the +5 and wins an ugly game.   


  • Texas Tech +20 at Oklahoma

Prediction:  OU 52 Tex Tech 38

Sagarin: OU by 11

Coin:  OU

OU 14 (1,85) has not covered the last 4 weeks.  I wonder if depth is a concern?  Their defensive efficiency continues to tumble, but nobody can stop their offense.  They must fix their defense before playing TCU.  Texas Tech 39 (14,83) is pretty much the same as always.  Great offense and swiss cheese defense that has fewer holes in it than previous years.  They will score and run with OU for 3 quarters and I think stay within 20 since OU cannot cover lately.  


  • UNLV at Fresno State – 21

Prediction:  TCU 52 Kansas 7

Sagarin: TCU by 48

Coin: TCU

Fresno 25 (46,28) is surging under Jeff Tedford.  They bew out SDSU last week, and have cracked the statistical top 25.  UNLV 101 (50, 115) has lost 3 straight and lost 52-28 to Utah State last week.  I will ride the Fresno surge.  


  • NC State +7.5 at Notre Dame-  I am leaning toward the Wolfpack to lose by 7 making this a really narrow cover.  Their statistical numbers are similar to USC and we know what Notre Dame did to USC last week.  NC State has not played a dominant run offense like this so I do not like this line, and could see it at 14-17 for ND.   


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