NCAA Football Week 9 Free Picks

NCAA Football Week 9

Week 9 in college football features an array of great matchups on Halloween, kicking off at noon with games in both Clemson and Ann Arbor. The nightcap is a 7:30 game between the 3rd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes and the 18th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.

Betpicks has you covered with free picks for the best five Saturday games.

Boston College at #1 Clemson

Saturday, October 31st, 12:00 – Memorial Stadium – Clemson, SC

Boston College have looked solid through six games, sitting at 4-2 and coming off a big 48-27 win last week against Georgia Tech. Going into Death Valley to face the #1 ranked Clemson Tigers will be a whole different test though.

The Tigers are coming off a 47-21 drubbing of Syracuse last week despite playing three quarters of lackluster football. Not only does Clemson have two of the best players in college football in Trevor Lawrence at QB and Travis Etienne at running back, but they have also looked great on defense, allowing just 13.5 points-per-game and compiling 13 turnovers.

Clemson will win this game handily, but the question is by how much? BC are 4-2 against-the-spread this season and in their only game against a ranked opponent they nearly defeated UNC. On top of that, first-year Coach Jeff Hafley was the defensive-coordinator for Ohio State last year (#1 defense in country in total yards allowed) and knows this Clemson offense.

On the other side, Clemson are 2-4 against-the-spread and 1-3 ATS at home. We think Boston College keeps it within the 31.5-point margin (on 888sport.com).

Prediction: Clemson 40, Boston College 17
Free Pick: Boston College +31.5 (-114) – 888sport.com

Michigan State at #13 Michigan

Saturday, October 31st, 12:00 – Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, Michigan

After a dominant 49-24 win on the road against Minnesota, the Michigan Wolverines return home ranked 13th in the nation to face inner-state rivals Michigan State.

Michigan State is fresh off the heels of a disappointing 38-27 home loss to Rutgers, a game that included seven turnovers from the Spartans. QB Rocky Lombardi (What a name!) will be in tough against a stout Wolverines defense that looked strong in their debut.

Michigan QB Joe Milton looked solid in his debut as well, throwing for 225 yards and a touchdown on 15 of 22 pass attempts while adding 52 yards and another touchdown rushing.

The spread of 24.5 (-110 on Betway) is a little bit too high for us to wager on, but we do think the Wolverines will win outright. After losing 10-straight against the spread to the Spartans, Michigan has won and covered the last two games in this matchup.

For the total (53 on Betway at -110) Michigan Overs are 24-9-1 at home in their last 34 games. We like the combination of Joe Milton and Hassan Haskins to put up points for the Wolverines, and their defense to propel them to a double-digit victory.

Prediction: Michigan 42, Michigan State 21
Free Pick: OVER 53 (-110) – Betway

LSU at Auburn

Saturday, October 31st, 03:30 pm – Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, AL

In a battle of the Tigers (What’s with all the college football teams named the Tigers?!) LSU will travel to Auburn for a game that oddsmakers expect to be a close one (LSU -3.5 on 10bet).

LSU comes in feeling good after a 52-24 win against South Carolina last weekend (South Carolina beat Auburn 30-22 earlier this season). TJ Finley started for the injured Myles Brennan at quarterback and was 17-for-21 for 265 yards and two touchdowns, adding one rushing TD.

Offense hasn’t been the issue for LSU though, it’s the 39th ranked defense that has cost them multiple wins already and will need a big performance against standout Auburn running back Tank Bigsby (another fantastic name). Bigsby is averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry this season and could be in for a big game.

Despite Auburn QB Bo Nix’s rough start to the season, he looked good against a weak Ole Miss defense last week, leading the Tigers to a 35-28 win. Under Head Coach Gus Malzahn, Auburn is 8-2 against the spread as a home underdog. If Bo can continue to progress, along with a strong performance from Bigsby, we like that trend to continue.

Prediction: Auburn 31, LSU 30
Free Pick: Auburn +3.5 (-117) – 10bet.com

Mississippi State at #2 Alabama

 Saturday, October 31st, 07:00 pm – Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, AL

Mike Leach and the Bulldogs come into Alabama off a bye week, hoping to erase the memory of a 28-14 home loss to Texas A&M. It’s unclear who will start at quarterback for the Bulldogs (KJ Costello or Will Rogers) but combined they’ve thrown for just two touchdowns with 10 interceptions in their last three games. On top of that, their star running back Kylin Hill just opted out of the season to prepare for the NFL Draft. The Bulldog’s only saving grace at this point is their defense, arguably #1 in the SEC so far this season.

Alabama continues rolling along at 5-0, crushing Tennessee 48-17 on the road last week. QB Mac Jones looks as good as anyone behind center this year with a 77% completion percentage, passing for 1905 yards and 12 touchdowns. He lost his biggest weapon in wideout Jaylen Waddle for the season to an ankle injury, but still has lots of options including standout running back Najee Harris.

Alabama’s offense is averaging 48.4 points-per-game and there is no way the Bulldogs can keep up. The Tide should easily move to 6-0 in this one, but we expect the Bulldogs’ defense to slow things down a bit and keep the score well within the spread (31.5 points on 888sport)

Prediction: Alabama 38, Mississippi State 17
Free Pick: Mississippi State +31.5 (-114) – 888sport

#3 Ohio State at #18 Penn State

Saturday, October 31st, 07:30 pm – Beaver Stadium – University Park, PA

Both of these Big-10 teams have played just one game thus far but looked significantly different in them. Ohio State rolled over Nebraska 52-17, propelled by a great Justin Fields season debut. Fields was 20/21, with 320 total yards and three touchdowns.

Penn State lost a nail biter 36-35 in OT to Indiana, a game they had no business losing. QB Sean Clifford rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown but otherwise the team looked sloppy. Staring them in the face now is the prospect of going 0-2 for the first time since 2012 and weakening their home record of 26-2 since 2016. With no fans allowed at Big 10 games this season, Penn State may have a hard time without the boost they usually get from their raucous home crowd. They are also without starting RB Noah Cain and will rely on Clifford to keep them in this one.

We see Ohio state pulling away early and the spread (12 points on Betway) not being an issue. We also like Over 63.5 as a bonus pick (-110 on Betway) as the Buckeyes could put up 50 points on their own.

Prediction: Ohio State 49, Penn State 27
Free Pick: Ohio State -12 (-110) – Betway
Bonus Pick: OVER 63.5 (-110) – Betway

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@RJMcCullough Born and raised near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I have been subjected to a lifetime of passionately rooting for the futile local teams (Leafs, Raptors, Jays and Bills). Aside from the Raptors, this hasn’t gone too well for me thus far; that constant heartbreak does something to a sports fan. Growing up I played hockey and lacrosse (as a good Canadian boy does) and my search for ways to make money from my passion for sports has now led me to sports betting and writing about that. Here’s hoping we can all (responsibly) make some money together here on BetPicks.

All Reviews by RJ McCullough

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