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By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Week 9 is here and it is full of scary matchups!
WHO’S REAL, WHO’S NOT?
Week 8 brought us a little bit more of the same and some backdoor covers aplenty, with the top programs still holding serve and asserting their dominance. The lone exception to normality was Ole Miss’s loss in Death Valley to LSU. Clemson held on to its ACC throne, for the time being, Oregon told UCLA who is still the boss in the PAC 12 and even a questionable Alabama team is in the conversation for the playoff despite their prior loss in Knoxville. There are still six unbeaten teams, and we’re at the point in the season where we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. The storm of college football chaos is coming, but is it this week? When do we shave the unbeaten list in half again?
As it pertains to the board, week eight was a Jekyll and Hyde scenario for my picks. My overarching Saturday card was a success, but the early week leans were absolutely not. We’re still breathing and standing still a hair above .500 this season. Now with week 9 in our vision, I see lots of dark alleys and a few spooky lines. Hopefully, we treat ourselves to winners and aren’t tricked into old traps.
TUNE-IN GAME OF THE WEEK
The highlight this Saturday is the Big Noon kickoff at Happy Valley as #2 Ohio State (-16.5) heads to State College to tame #13 Penn State. It’s that time of the year when the Buckeyes get all their “challenges” from Big Ten foes, but this line clearly indicates where the 13th-ranked Nittany Lions stand here. The best thing Penn State can do is keep the game played in bounds so time moves faster.
THE NIGHTCAP GET-IT-BACK GAME
I’m only picking Wyoming @ Hawaii because it’s being played on the island. As the weather cools in some parts of the country, these late-night treats in paradise provide even more of an escape from life, so who not throw down on the Rainbow Warriors to pull the upset (or maybe just cover) at home on the Island? The 2-6 start has been poor for Hawaii, but they’re due for a surprising tally at home. Imagine winning your pool for the week backing Hawaii in the middle of the night…
WEIRD VIBE FADE OF THE WEEK
Since the weird vibes are off we’ve temporarily renovated this section of the preview to FADE whatever my weird vibe is – you have to find the winners by any means necessary. This week my weird vibe is telling me that TCU is eventually going to let us down…so if we flip that logic let’s go with the notion that it will NOT happen this week. As tempting as WVU is in my brain, we’re fading the weird vibe and liking TCU big in a trap game spot.
WEEK 8 RECAP – WILD GOOSE CHASE
Well, finding my winners is turning into the aforementioned wild goose chase these days. Last week the early week plays here rocked it, while my Saturday morning card was less than ideal. This week, the Twitter card was chock full of winners, but the early week plays were measly 1-4. The lone winner was Ohio State covering the over on their own against Iowa – that offense is relentless.
Week Eight: 1-4 ATS, Season Overall: 23-22 ATS
EARLY WEEK 9 PLAYS FOR ALEX
(Wanna start a Pick-X CFB pool with your friends? Learn more here!)
We’re sticking with the Buckeyes offense, and hoping Penn State adds a few scores of their own at home – let’s go with Over 61 points.
Florida isn’t quite as dynamic as they would like to be, I’m not sure how they score too much against Georgia. Back to an old favorite betting Georgia Under 56 points.
As much as I love the Illinois storyline, it’s a scary spot to be favored by more than a score against Nebraska. I think they hold on but Nebraska covers +7.5 in what could be a stinky one.
Ole Miss shakes off the rust from last week’s loss in Baton Rouge and scores big against a weakened A&M defense – I like Ole Miss -2.5.
CLASSIC Oregon letdown spot after their big win against UCLA. Cal trick or treats their way into a one or two-score game and Cal Covers +17.5 when no one’s paying attention.
Here are some other diamonds I’m leaning on early this week:
UNC/Pitt over 64, USC/Arizona Under 76, Syracuse -3
EATS AND DEETS
The teleport game: This is a no-doubter – take me to the world’s largest cocktail party in Jacksonville for Florida/Georgia…I’ve heard legendary things.
Goofiest line: Kansas State -1, again no love on the spread for Oklahoma State for the second week in a row.
Simultaneous screen count: All the screens, it’s scary how many good games there are.
Tailgate pick of the week: Pumpkins seed that you dug up this week, the best companion bar snack you never knew you needed.