NCAA Football Week 9 Betting Preview: Will Michigan and Ohio State Cover as Big Favorites?

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking runs through some of the most notable college football matchups of Week 9 from a betting perspective, as well as a few leans for picks against the spread.
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College Football Week 9 Betting Preview

NCAA football action continues with a full slate of games on the Week 9 schedule. That includes 19 contests that involve at least one team currently ranked in the AP Top 25 poll. 

Featuring betting odds posted at the DraftKings Sportsbook - here is a breakdown of two key Big Ten matchups that are scheduled for Saturday, October 31st.

Are you looking for PREMIUM picks for this week's college football slate?

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The Vegas Whispers sharp information has continued to dominate the sportsbooks, going 43-28 so far in 2020 on released NFL Plays. On Thursday Night, the sharps are 11-1 ATS in their plays shared here at Sports Illustrated.

The information received from Frankie Taddeo, Sports Illustrated’s Gambling Vegas Insider, finished the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) at 79-60-0 +16.66 units and is currently 13-8 ATS (62%) on NCAA College Football for all SI PRO members.

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Michigan State Spartans at #13 Michigan Wolverines

A classic in-state rivalry game opens the Week 9 NCAA football schedule. Meeting for the 113th time, Michigan State and Michigan battle at The Big House in Ann Arbor at 12:00 p.m. ET. Playing for the Paul Bunyan Trophy, the Wolverines have won two straight in this series with a 21-7 win on the road in 2018 and a 44-10 victory at home last year. With their season start behind several conferences - Big Ten play began last week. Michigan opened a 35-17 halftime lead and went on to a 49-24 win on the road over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Michigan State committed seven turnovers and lost 38-27 at home to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Wolverines junior QB Joe Milton played well during first college start. He posted 225 passing yards (1 TD) plus 52 rushing yards and one score. Michigan racked up 256 total rushing yards and five scores. Junior QB Rocky Lombardi made his fourth start for Michigan State. He posted 319 passing yards with 3 TD and 2 INT. The offensive line had a rough game as the Spartans managed just 50 rushing yards on 39 attempts (1.3 YPA) against Rutgers. While Michigan can’t expect to be gifted seven turnovers - they have a big advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball. I like the Wolverines to cover the point spread at DraftKings.

Pick: Michigan Wolverines (-24.5)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook - Game Time 12:00 p.m.. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook - Game Time 12:00 p.m.. ET

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes at #18 Penn State Nittany Lions

Another Big Ten showdown features Ohio State heading to Happy Valley to battle Penn State. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA. The Buckeyes rolled to a 52-17 win at home over the Nebraska Cornhuskers last week. QB Justin Fields showed why he is a Heisman Trophy candidate as he completed 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT. He added another 54 rushing yards and one score. The Buckeyes scored 14 unanswered fourth quarter points and covered as -27.5 favorites. Ohio State has won three straight in this series including a 28-17 win at home over Penn State last season.

Penn State was a -6 point favorite on the road in Indiana and lost 36-35 in overtime. QB Sean Clifford posted 238 passing yards, with 3 TD and 2 INT, plus 119 rushing yards and a score. The Nittany Lions had an edge in total yards (488-211) and time of possession (40:25 to 19:35) but the Hoosiers tied the game late. A controversial two-point conversion led to the Indiana victory. Since it was difficult to tell if the officials made the right call - DraftKings refunded Penn State moneyline bets. The Nittany Lions have issues to sort out while the Buckeyes are the class of the Big Ten. Lay the line at DraftKings and bet on Ohio State.

Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes (-12)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook - Game Time 7:30 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook - Game Time 7:30 p.m. ET

NCAAF 2021 National Championship Futures Odds

Despite the constant COVID-19 threat, that has disrupted schedules across the league, the NCAA plans to crown a National Champion this season. Four teams will advance to the College Football Playoffs and they will play in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day to decide the finalists. Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami Gardens, Florida, will host the National Championship Game on January 11, 2021. Powerhouse squads Clemson (+150) and Alabama (+250) are listed as the top two favorites on the DraftKings futures betting board. Ohio State (+300) is not far back as the third favorite and Georgia (+1200) rounds out the top four.

Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes (+300)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook on 10/30/20 

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook on 10/30/20 

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