Week 9 college football betting primer

Well would you look at that? A winning Saturday for the first time in God knows how long. Let’s see if we can build on that success with a plan to peak just as bowl season gets underway.

Last week: 3-2

Season: 21-24 (.466)

North Texas Mean Green (2-5, 0-3 road) at Rice Owls (3-3, 1-1 home)

When: Saturday, 12:00pm ET
Open: Rice -14.5
Current: Rice -14 (offshore)

North Texas in 2014: 2-5 ATS, 5-2 to the OVER
Rice in 2014: 4-2 ATS, 4-2 to the OVER

Analysis: After opening the season with three consecutive losses (at Notre Dame, at Texas A&M, vs. Old Dominion), Rice stepped on the throttle and now enters Saturday’s showdown with North Texas having won three straight contests (at Southern Mississippi, vs. Hawaii, at Army) by an average of 17.3 points per game. The Owls are coming off a bye week (4-0 ATS off last four bye weeks), are 4-1 ATS over their last five outings and have a bit of revenge on their minds after falling to North Texas on a Thursday night last season, 28-16. North Texas has been defeated in three consecutive contests (at Indiana, at UAB, vs. Southern Mississippi) by an average of 23.3 points per game, has covered the spread in only one of its last five outings and is 1-4 ATS over its last five conference matchups. We’ll lay the big number here.

Notable trends: Rice is 7-1 ATS over its last eight games against teams with a losing record.

Pick: Rice (-14)

Ohio Bobcats (4-4, 1-3 road) at Western Michigan Broncos (4-3, 1-1 home)

When: Saturday, 2:00pm ET
Open: Western Michigan -9.5
Current: Western Michigan -10.5 (MGM)

Ohio in 2014: 4-4 ATS, 6-2 to the UNDER
Western Michigan in 2014: 7-0 ATS, 4-3 to the OVER

Analysis: Don’t look now, but Western Michigan is a perfect 7-0 against the number in 2014 behind solid play from quarterback Zach Terrell (65.7% completions, 1,750 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs) and running back Jarvion Franklin (992 rushing yards, 16 TDs, 5.6 YPC) who pace an offense that has covered the spread in four consecutive conference matchups. Next up for the Broncos is a Frank Solich-led Ohio squad that ranks 117th in the nation in scoring (18.8 pts/gm), is 6-14 ATS over its last 20 conference games and 1-5 ATS over its last six road dates. Take note that the home team is 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings between these two schools.

Notable trends: The favorite is 6-2 ATS over the last eight meetings between these two programs.

Pick: Western Michigan (-10.5)

#3 Mississippi Rebels (7-0, 2-0 road) at #24 LSU Tigers (6-2, 4-1 home)

When: Saturday, 7:15pm ET
Open: Mississippi -3
Current: Mississippi -3.5 (MGM)

Mississippi in 2014: 6-0-1 ATS, 6-1 to the UNDER
LSU in 2014: 6-2 ATS, 4-4 to the OVER

Bo WallaceWallace has thrown zero interceptions in three conference games this season.

Analysis: If you haven’t already, you’re going to hear a lot this week about how nasty Les Miles and the LSU Tigers have been when playing home night games. It’s an impressive record, to say the least, but this team is too young and too inexperienced to hang with what’s coming to town on Saturday night. For starters, Ole Miss leads the nation in scoring defense (10.6 pts/gm), which is going to pose a serious problem for LSU sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings, who is completing just 50.0 percent of his passing attempts this season with three interceptions and 13 sacks. On the other side of the field stands Mississippi signal-caller Bo Wallace, who is completing 65.6 percent of his passes this season with zero interceptions through three SEC showdowns. Defense and starting experience will be the keys to victory here, with Mississippi holding a sizeable edge in both categories.

Notable trends: The road team is 14-3 ATS over the last 17 meetings between these two schools.

Pick: Mississippi (-3.5)

South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 1-1 road) at #5 Auburn Tigers (5-1, 4-0 home)

When: Saturday, 7:30pm ET
Open: Auburn -16.5
Current: Auburn -17.5 (offshore)

South Carolina in 2014: 1-6 ATS, 4-3 to the OVER
Auburn in 2014: 3-3 ATS, 3-3 to the OVER

Analysis: This is Steve Spurrier’s worst Gamecocks team in years and things aren’t going to get any better Saturday night at Auburn against a Tigers team that has had two weeks to fume over a 38-23 loss at Mississippi State. South Carolina is 0-4 ATS over its last four games, 1-5 ATS over its last six conference matchups and 1-5 ATS over its last six outings against Auburn. Meanwhile, the Tigers 10-1 ATS over their last 11 conference showdowns and 14-3 ATS over their last 17 games overall. Auburn is still very much alive in the race for the college football playoffs while South Carolina is just trying to find a way to survive the season.

Notable trends: South Carolina is 2-6 ATS over its last eight road games while Auburn is 10-1 ATS over its last 11 home games.

Pick: Auburn (-17.5)

#13 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0 road) at Penn State Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-1 home)

When: Saturday, 8:00pm ET
Open: Ohio State -13
Current: Ohio State -13.5 (Westgate)

Ohio State in 2014: 5-1 ATS, 5-1 to the OVER
Penn State in 2014: 3-3 ATS, 4-2 to the UNDER

Urban MeyerUS PRESSWIREUrban Meyer's Buckeyes have been cruising since an early season loss to Virginia Tech.

Analysis: The story of two teams heading in opposite directions as the Buckeyes have won four straight contests by the staggering average of 38.7 points per game, while the Nittany Lions have dropped their last two outings by an average of 14.0 points per game after opening the season 4-0. The big problem here for Penn State is the fact that the team’s offense has been anemic at best in 2014, averaging just 21.2 points per game (111th in nation), so the Lions can’t afford to test the waters of a shootout with a Buckeyes squad that is averaging 46.5 points per game on the season (fourth in nation). Note that Ohio State is 35-15-1 ATS over its last 51 road games while Penn State is 1-4 ATS over its last five conference games.

Notable trends: Ohio State is 4-1 ATS over its last five games against Penn State.

Pick: Ohio State (-13.5)

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