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College football action is heating up as the season enters its crucial final weeks.
With the playoff committee releasing its first ranking, teams finally have a sense of where they stand in the eyes of committee voters, and what they’ll need to do to secure their spot in the postseason.
For some, the equation is simple, win out or you’re done. For others, the math is a bit more complex.
Last week was another winner for our bets, going 4-3 against the number and just an overtime loss shy of 5-2. Also, for those who followed directions, we made all the money we’ve lost betting on UCLA this year back, after tripling up our bet on Washington against them.
This week, we’re back at it again, trying to identify the values, underdogs, and trending-upward teams that can help us add money to our bankroll.
All lines are courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
LAST WEEK: 4-3 OVERALL: 34-29
NC State (+8.5) over Clemson
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Despite getting rolled by Notre Dame last week, NC State is a solid team that still controls its own destiny in the ACC. Last year they took Clemson to overtime as the visiting team, only losing by a touchdown. Additionally, according to SportsInsights, 78% if bettors are taking Clemson in this spot, making this an interesting contrarian play. Defending home turf with talented team that now has another year of football under their belts, look for the Wolfpack to at least keep this one close.
South Carolina (+23.5) over Georgia
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Georgia has been the most dominant team in the country so far this season, and was rewarded for that effort with a number one ranking from the playoff committee. But this is just a lot of points to give to a talented South Carolina team. Granted, the Bulldogs have now won six straight games by 25 points or more, so if you like that trend go the other way. But that feels like a bubble waiting to burst.
Oklahoma (+2.5) over Oklahoma State
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Baker Mayfield hasn’t lost a Bedlam game and I don’t expect him to drop the ball here. As huge in-state rivals, there will be no underestimating each other, setting the stage for a great game where the best players on the field control the final outcome. For my money, Mayfield is the best player on that field.
LSU (+21.5) over Alabama
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LSU already showed they’re a force to be reckoned with in their win against Auburn, and are coming off of a bye for their toughest game of the season in this trip to Alabama. While the Crimson Tide will likely be looking to pour on the points after being slighted the top spot in the college football rankings, LSU is a strong enough team to play with them, at least for a bit, and should be able to score enough points to keep this game within the number.
Mississippi State (-32) over Massachusetts
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I normally don’t like laying this many points, but Mississippi State has proven week after week that they are capable of putting up big numbers against inferior opponents. UMass is coming off of a tough overtime win against Appalachian State that will without a doubt be the marquee win of their season, so it’s hard to imagine them showing up for a big trip down south.
Miami (+2) over Virginia Tech
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Miami is undefeated, but is getting absolutely no love from bettors this weekend. Money is pouring in on the Hokies – according to ESPN’s “Behind the Bets” podcast, 89% of the money on this game is currently on Virginia Tech. That means 9 out of 10 bettors are choosing to back a road favorite against an undefeated team. It’s a degree of disrespect you don’t often see in college football, and is surely being used as bulletin board material for the Hurricanes.
Expect The U to come out angry.
USC (-7) over Arizona
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After getting embarrassed by Notre Dame, USC came out last weekend and stomped all over Arizona State. It looked like the team was playing to make a point, and you can expect the trend to continue this weekend against Arizona.
Now check out all of our best bets for Week 9 of the NFL season
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