College Football Betting: Week 9 Best Picks and Advice

During the college football season, the Stadium staff will provide weekly betting picks and advice in this roundtable. Here are our thoughts on the Week 9 slate.

Note: Ben and Nate will discuss all of their college football and NFL bets on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.

Check out our season-long records here.

Alex Symonds, Stadium Senior Producer: Baylor +2.5 over Texas Tech.

There isn’t much I like on the board this week, which is why my best bet comes from the Big 12 — where no lead is safe and the winner is determined by a coin flip! I’ve actually pitched that tagline to new conference commissioner Brett Yormark but I haven’t heard back from his office. The reality is that the Big 12 is extremely hard to figure out, so follow this play at your own risk.

Baylor is 3.5 points better in my power ratings, so even with home-field advantage built in, getting any points with the Bears in this matchup is a positive. I’m so excited for this game, as these two offenses lead the FBS in total fourth-down conversions (36 total combined in 2022), and the Red Raiders average 4.5 fourth-down attempts per game. These coaches take chances, and this one should be close.

Ben Wittenstein, Stadium Social Media Producer: UAB -4.5 over FAU.

I’m a little surprised that not only is this line so low, but it’s been bet down in FAU’s favor. I know Blazers QB Dylan Hopkins suffered a concussion against WKU and is questionable, but even still, UAB is by far the better team with a better defense. The Blazers run the ball well enough to be in the top 10 in rushing yards per game, while FAU’s rush defense is one of the worst in the nation.

On top of that, FAU consistently turns the ball over — and do you know who’s been really good at forcing turnovers this season? Yep, UAB’s defense. Having to go with your second-string QB certainly is tough, but the Blazers should still cover handily here off their run game and defense alone.

Nate Jacobson, Stadium Sports Betting Analyst: Missouri +4 over South Carolina.

This is primarily a bet against newly-ranked South Carolina, who I don’t think is deserving of being No. 25 in the AP Poll. The Gamecocks are being propped up by beating Kentucky (who was without QB Will Levis) and a Texas A&M team that’s a mess. Those results have hidden the fact that QB Spencer Rattler has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season (he had under a 50 percent completion percentage last week against A&M).

I’m not overly excited to bet on a Missouri team who has had quarterback issues of their own, but this is a game the Tigers have to win if they realistically want to reach bowl eligibility. Mizzou played close SEC contests at Auburn and Florida, plus they hung around against Georgia a month ago. They won’t be intimidated by a trip to Williams-Brice Stadium and have a real chance to win this game.

AS: Notre Dame (+120) over Syracuse.

Syracuse is 6-1 against the spread this season, and this will be the third-straight Orange game I’ve bet on. As for this matchup… Clemson is the key for me. Okay, hear me out — I promise this is going somewhere logical.

Four FBS teams have played a game the week after playing Clemson so far this season, and those teams are 1-3 ATS. The Tigers play a physical brand of football and it looks like it has a lingering effect for Clemson’s opponents. It’s an incredibly small sample size but with 12 regular season games, the entire season is a small sample. I’m going to fade the Orange against Notre Dame with the hope that “The Clemson Effect” takes hold on Saturday at the JMA Wireless Dome.

BW: Kentucky +12.5 over Tennessee.

I’m usually partial to teams coming off byes, and I’m also higher on Kentucky than most, so this pairing is perfect. The Wildcats come to Tennessee fresh and get almost two touchdowns worth of points. If they didn’t look the way they did against Mississippi State, I’d be more cautious, but their offense (finally) looked serviceable.

It’s understandable why they’ve looked sluggish on that side of the ball in past weeks as their QB dealt with injuries, their RB missed the first four games and their offensive line was relatively new. Now, we’re at the end of October and Kentucky seems to be gelling. We’re going to see a Wildcats team that’ll look the best it has all year, and I’ll happily take double digits in that.

NJ: West Virginia +7.5 over TCU.

This is the fourth-straight week I have written about a TCU game. During the first two weeks I bet on the Horned Frogs, but then last week I bet against them. This week I’m going back to shorting the No. 7 team in the country after they needed two Kansas State quarterbacks to get banged up in order to cover last week. Playing backup quarterbacks has been a theme on this run for the Horned Frogs, and they’ve still needed 14-point and 18-point comebacks the last two weeks at home.

Now they have a disadvantageous travel spot at West Virginia, and while the Mountaineers have a leaky defense, they have a QB in JT Daniels who can expose the Horned Frogs defense and go score-for-score with TCU QB Max Duggan. I wouldn’t be surprised if West Virginia pulled off the outright upset here.

AS: San Diego State (+260) over Fresno State.

I won’t be watching these low-scoring offenses, and with the other viewing options on Saturday evening I recommend that you don’t subject yourself to this rock fight, either. With that being said, I think there’s real value on the Aztecs here.

I’m not buying Fresno State’s 41-point outburst against New Mexico last week as a sign of life, and when the Aztecs have the ball they should be able to move it on the ground against the eighth-ranked rushing defense in the Mountain West. Brady Hoke is coaching for his job, and this game is crucial for San Diego State’s bowl hopes, so I’m going to take a shot on the moneyline.

BW: West Virginia (+240) over TCU.

Not to brag, but I’m on a two-game “Live ‘Dogs” winning streak, so let’s keep that rolling here. We’ve been waiting the past three weeks for the Horned Frogs to slip up, but it hasn’t happened — yet. West Virginia will have a hard time stopping the TCU offense, but I think their own offense will be able to keep them in the game. Having the home crowd in their favor is also crucial for West Virginia, and who’s to say TCU doesn’t finally slip up and lose a tough one on the road here?

NJ: Nebraska (+245) over Illinois.

Illinois has had a special season and they’re the favorite to win the Big Ten West after statement victories against Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota before last week’s bye. But coming off an idle week where they’ve heard about how good they’ve played this season, I question how they would handle adversity if they got out to a slow start against Nebraska in Lincoln.

I do have concern that Nebraska’s interim coaching staff and players used their bye last week to see what school they might coach at or transfer to next season. But if they are engaged and focused on this game, Nebraska has the talent to pull off the win.

AS: Miami -2.5 over Virginia.

Things have not gone as planned for Mario Cristobal in Year One at Miami, and they may have hit rock bottom last week when the Hurricanes turned it over eight times in a 45-21 home loss to Duke. Starting QB Tyler Van Dyke suffered a shoulder injury, backup Jake Garcia threw three picks and Miami lost all five fumbles in the devastating defeat.

While it’s been tough sledding for Cristobal in Coral Gables, things have been even worse for first-year Virginia coach Tony Elliott in Charlottesville. The ‘Hoos are averaging just over 17 points per game (second-worst in the ACC), which is quite the drop-off from last year’s 34.6 ppg. What makes the 2022 numbers even worse is that third-year starter Brennan Armstrong is still quarterbacking the offense and that Elliott has an offensive background from his days as a Clemson assistant. I made this matchup Miami -5 and have the urge to bet the ‘Canes if this spread dips to Miami -2, but the uncertainty under center for UM will likely keep me away.

BW: Oklahoma State +1.5 over Kansas State.

There are simply too many unknown variables in this game for me to bet on it. We’re still not sure if QB Adrian Martinez will be able to start for the Wildcats and even if he does, how healthy will he be? How healthy is Deuce Vaughn, too? And with so many KSU question marks, why are they still favored? This game just stinks to high heaven and while I want to take Oklahoma State, the uncertainty will likely keep me sidelined from this one.

NJ: California +17.5 over Oregon.

California was my “Live ‘Dog” last week, and they lost but covered against Washington. I’m considering going back to Justin Wilcox’s team in their preferred underdog role because they are catching Oregon the week after a convincing win over UCLA in what was a battle of top-10 teams. However, the Golden Bears had some good fortune to earn the cover against Washington, and their offense won’t be able to keep up with Oregon if the Ducks get out to an early lead. I’m going to pass on this game and hope I won’t regret it on Saturday.

MORE: NFL Betting: Week 8 Best Picks and Advice