College Football: Week 9 betting odds, early thoughts and best bets

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College football line moves and best bets for Week 9

College Football Odds | College Football Betting Splits

 

*Lines are opening numbers

Top Games

Oklahoma Sooners (-10, 65.5) at Kansas Jayhawks

Oklahoma had to turn away UCF on a potential game-tying two-point conversion attempt on Saturday to remain undefeated. It was a troubling performance for the Sooners who were coming off a bye week. This week the task gets tougher with a road trip to Lawrence for a game with Kansas which could be getting Jalon Daniels back on the field.

The Jayhawks have also had a week to prepare for the Sooners and assess what went wrong in a road loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago. In the loss to the Cowboys they allowed 218 yards rushing and 5.8 yards per carry. It was another poor performance for a defense which ranks 106th in EPA per play allowed against the run. Oklahoma’s running game has been the most inconsistent facet of its offense. It ranks 66th in EPA rushing, and averages only 4.1 yards per attempt. 

Daniels’ status is going to be what determines where this number ends up. Circa Sports and DraftKings opened this number at -10 and the market did nothing with it. If Daniels plays this number will surely move toward Kansas, but the amount is in question. Jason Bean has played enough that the difference between him and Daniels is not as large as it once was. 

Oregon Ducks (-3, 47.5) at Utah Utes

This is one of the most surprising openers and subsequent line moves of the day. DraftKings was first to market with Oregon -3 but Circa Sports opened -6 a few hours later. As of Sunday evening this line is 5.5 at most spots, and DraftKings is the highest on the screen with Oregon as 6.5-point favorites. 

Despite a loss to Washington there is a case to be made that Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12. The Ducks are second in EPA per play on offense, third in yards per play and fifth in scoring. They balance that out with a defense that ranks eighth in opponent EPA per play, 21st in scoring and 23rd in opponent yards per play. Oregon is also battle-tested on the road. It went to Lubbock and covered in a win over Texas Tech and were three yards away from beating Washington two weeks ago. 

Utah obviously passed their own test on Saturday in a win over USC. However, the Utes had the benefit of facing one of the worst run defenses in the country, and they took advantage by running for 247 yards. Utah will not face a similar defense this weekend. In fact, their 123rd-ranked offense will have a massive challenge to overcome.

Honorable Mentions

Georgia Bulldogs (-15.5, 44.5) vs Florida Gators

Georgia fell to 1-5-1 ATS on the season when it failed to cover last week against Vanderbilt. It got worse for the Bulldogs when Brock Bowers went down with an ankle injury that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks. The market rating on Georgia continues to dip, and bettors saw evidence of that on Sunday. DraftKings opened the Bulldogs as 15.5-point favorites and the market pushed that down to 14.5 which is the current consensus number. The market also pushed the total up from 44.5 to 48 at Circa Sports. The Over has hit in the last four Georgia games, so perhaps bettors are buying into that trend.

USC Trojans (-9, 67.5) at Cal Golden Bears

How does USC bounce back after that loss to Utah? It’s a fascinating scheduling spot for the Trojans, who are all but eliminated from playoff contention. The market did not do much with this game when it opened at DraftKings, other than push it up by a half-point. This could be a buy-low spot for USC if bettors can swallow it. These two teams share a common opponent in Arizona State. The Trojans closed as 33-point favorites in Tempe which would equate to about a 36-point difference on a neutral. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears were only 13-point favorites at home against the Sun Devils. It’s not a perfect science, but it’s clear the market is dropping on USC. 

Best Bets

Oregon State Beavers (-5, 58.5) at Arizona Wildcats

Arizona has been an absolute force at the window this season. The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in seven games, and they are coming off a 44-6 beatdown of Washington State. It would seem foolish to jump in front of this train, especially with the way Noah Fifita has played since filling in for Jayden de Laura. However, this seems like a great time to sell high on Arizona. The Wildcats have been incredible against the number because they have been massive underdogs. They covered as 19-point underdogs against Washington, USC was laying 21 points in the double-overtime contest two weeks ago, and they closed catching 7.5 at Washington State. This number against Oregon State – a team that power rates closely to these other programs – is much cheaper. 

Best Bet: Oregon State (-3.5)