Free NCAA Football Picks Week 9: Under-the-Radar Matchups Provide Great Betting Profits
Last week was one of the more straightforward weeks of the college football season. Only two ranked teams succumbed to defeat, but they were up against fellow ranked opponents. A straightforward week like that is usually followed by all-out chaos, and I expect this week to provide the drama and thrills that we've grown accustom to throughout the previous eight college football weekends. There are several storylines I could touch on like the Penn State/Ohio State game, or the new Heisman rankings, or the handful of players that were cited and then suspended for marijuana use. However, two of those topics won't help you win any money, and you can read the third here .
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The purpose of this weekly article to help bettors find those "diamond in the rough" type games with soft lines and increase your edge over the book. The majority of new bettors make the same mistake every week - they get sucked into the media's propaganda and all the "hype up" commercials on television. I can't tell you how many commercials I've seen for the upcoming Penn State/Ohio State game. Don't get me wrong, that game could go down as the game of the year, but if that's the only thing a new bettor sees, that is likely the game they will bet on. What these square bettors don't know is that the line has very little value left in it and the books will typically win more often than not.
Tonight's card features three games, including a pair from the AAC and a single but very intriguing game from the ACC. In the American Athletic Conference, Tulane travels to No. 24 Memphis and Tulsa travels to SMU to take on the Mustangs. Las Vegas odds currently have Memphis favorited by 10.5 points and the Mustangs by nine . The totals sit at 64 and 76.5, respectively. In the lone ACC game, Florida State hits the road for a date with the Boston College Eagles. The Seminoles are currently four-point favorites with the total set at 47.
From a Top-25 perspective, there are four very intriguing matchups that will have massive conference and playoff implications. For starters, the Big Ten (and likely college football) game of the year goes on Saturday at 3:30 from Columbus where the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes host No. 2 Penn State. The Buckeyes are currently 6.5-point favorites. In the other matchups, No. 11 Oklahoma State (-7.5) takes their high-powered offense into Morgantown to tangle with the West Virginia Mountaineers, No. 4 TCU (-7) travels to Ames for a date with No. 25 Iowa State and lastly, No. 14 N.C. State hits the road for a showdown with No. 9 Notre Dame (-7).
Last week could have been much more profitable than it ended up being. I was able to hit my 3-unit play on FAU -3.5, but I took a push on Western Michigan -3. This brings my record to 8-6-1 with a profit of 8.8 Units.
This week I absolutely love these two "under the radar" games on Saturday. These will both be my biggest plays of the year, and I fully intend on cashing them both. I will use $100 as my unit of wager, and as always, all lines are courtesy of our friends at 5Dimes.
Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky (+7) Saturday Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m. EST
If you are a serious sports bettor like myself, I am sure you get annoyed when you get asked "who is your favorite team?" My answer to that, unless they are asking about hockey (in which case the answer is always the Toronto Maple Leafs) is "whoever can make me money." I don't have time to support a football team that doesn't even reside in my country, let alone a team from a school I don't pay any attention to outside of football or basketball season.
With that said, I was all over Florida Atlantic last week to get the job done, and they came through in a big way. It was a solid win for a program that absolutely needed to win that game in order to keep the dream of playing in a bowl game alive. They were my favorite team last week, but this week I am jumping ship and fading the hell out of them. While FAU made us some money last week, the fashion in which they did so (a 69-31 beatdown over North Texas) has given us three or four free points to work with, depending on what number you get. Thank you, public perception.
It's one thing to beat up on a North Texas team that struggles on the road, but it's another for FAU to hit the road and lay seven points to anyone, let alone one of the preseason favorites -- and a team that's lived up to expectations so far -- Western Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers come into this game after securing a solid road victory against a feisty Old Dominion team. Quarterback Mike White tossed five touchdowns and just one interception in that game, marking the second time in as many games that he's thrown for five touchdowns. We all remember how good Brandon Doughty was for WKU, but White has taken the reigns and run with them. I expect White to move his team up and down the field against an FAU team that allows more than 420 yards per game and 31 points per game on the road.
The FAU offense is going to find it much harder this week to move the ball and put points on the board. They are facing a Hilltoppers defense that is allowing just 355 yards per game and holding opponents to just 18 points per game at home.
I wrote about it last week that FAU needed to win three more games to become bowl eligible. They got their first of three wins against North Texas, but this is a game I expect them to lose. If they happen to pull off the victory, I expect it to be on a last-second field goal.
Appalachian State @ Massachusetts (+4.5) Saturday Oct. 28, 3:30 p.m. EST
For my second selection, I am backing a team from one of my absolute favorite conferences to bet on - the Sun Belt. But before I do, if there is something I am missing regarding why the spread in this game is single-digits, let alone less than a touchdown, please let me know ASAP.
I don't know if you've seen any game involving the Minutemen, but they are not a very good football team. They own a 1-6 record on the season, and that lone win came last week at the expense of Georgia Southern. I'm sorry, but does beating an 0-6 team all of a sudden make you a competent team? I don't think so.
The Minutemen are terrible on both sides of the football, which is why they don't have a chance in this game against a real, competent, and high-scoring offense. UMass is giving up more than 31 points per game and is allowing opponents to move the ball up and down the field with ease, yielding just fewer than 400 yards per game. Mix in the fact that App State is averaging 30 points per game and more than 420 yards per game, and this game is matchup nightmare for the Minutemen.
Appalachian State was the preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt conference, and they haven't drastically faltered yet. Their two losses came to Georgia and Wake Forest - two power conference teams that are having stellar seasons. While every game presents a new challenge, this game should present a challenge that App State can handle with ease.
Pick: 5-Unit Play on #135 Appalachian State (-4.5) -110 .
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