2019 CFB Picks: Week 9

 

114 GEORGIA STATE (-1) over Troy – 2u

Saturday, 7:00 PM, ESPN+

The Panthers have quietly been one of the biggest surprises in college football this year. They had a win total set at 3.5 and they’re already 5-2 with wins over Tennessee, Army, and Arkansas State. The offense has made big strides, averaging 34.4 PPG. Dan Ellington has been a big part of that as the QB has averaged nearly 300 yards of offense.

I think a lot will be on Ellington’s shoulders Saturday. The Troy run defense has been great again. If the Trojans can limit RB Tra Barnett (no easy task), Ellington may be the best running option, in addition to taking advantage of Troy’s pass defense that’s second-worst in the country in YPG.

Troy’s been a disappointment so far this season after the departure of HC Neal Brown. They’re 3-3 with wins over FCS Campbell and two of the ten worst teams in the FBS. They’ve given up at least 42 in all three of their losses.

I like the home team in what could be a shootout.

119 Eastern Michigan (+4) over TOLEDO – 2u
119 EMU +160 – 0.5u

Saturday, 3:30 PM, ESPN+

Win or lose, watching an EMU game I bet on is always the worst 3.5 hours of my Saturday. It’s brutal, but I’ll sign up for it again.

Toledo is always tough in the Glass Bowl, but they’ve had an awful last couple of weeks and EMU is always a good bet as an underdog. They’re on a run of 18-5 ATS as an underdog with 10 SU wins in that stretch.

After beating WMU at home three weeks ago, the Rockets have gone 0-2 SU and ATS and have missed the spread number by 40 and 35 points the last two weeks.

Both QB situations are up in the air for these teams, but I think any way you slice it, it favors the Eagles. Mitchell Guadagni missed last week for Toledo and Carter Bradley was not good in his absence and now Bradley is questionable himself. It’s unclear if Guadagni will go, but the way Jason Candle was talking to the media this week, it sounded as if Guadagni would still be out.

Mike Glass was out last week for EMU and he’s questionable for this week, as well. Here’s the thing: even if he can go, EMU might be better off with backup Preston Hutchinson, whose stat line looked like this in his first career start against preseason division favorite WMU:

hutchinson

134 EAST CAROLINA (+2) over South Florida – 2u
134 ECU +115 – 0.5u

Saturday, 3:45 PM, ESPNU

I continue to like the trajectory of Mike Houston’s squad and it’s always good to bet against Charlie Strong.

The ECU progression on offense has been a bit slow, but appeared to take a decent jump after the bye week. They just put up 483 yards against UCF on the road. QB Holton Ahlers didn’t crack 200 passing yards in the first three weeks, but has done so in the past four games, and just went over 300 yards for the first time against the Knights. Demetrius Mauney is back at running back and the true freshman with high-major talent will continue to get better.

This is the second straight road game for USF. They just got beat up defending the option up in Annapolis and now they travel again to face a hungry team whose confidence continues to grow.

138 RUTGERS (+7.5) over Liberty – 1u

Saturday, Noon, BTN

I know Rutgers is garbage, but this seems a bit ridiculous. The Scarlet Knights have been so bad on offense, but Liberty is averaging six more points than them against FBS competition. When you look at raw numbers, the line makes a little bit of sense, but just consider that Liberty has played one borderline Top 50 team this year and Rutgers has played five of them. The essential differences in the schedule: Liberty has played Hampton, Maine, New Mexico, and Buffalo while Rutgers has played Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, and Indiana.

I think the Knights have enough to keep it tight in what should be a low-scoring game.

149 Western Kentucky (+5.5) over MARSHALL – 2u
149 WKU +185 – 0.5u

Saturday, 2:30 PM, Facebook

I talk about WKU every week, so I’m not sure what else to say. It’ll probably be another low-scoring game. WKU’s points allowed against Group of 5 teams this year: 14, 13, 3, 8, 14. They’re a very disciplined team. They rank 6th in the nation in penalties per game and tied for 37th in giveaways per game. They get a Marshall team that’s coming off an emotional win at FAU and hasn’t shown the offensive explosiveness to challenge the Hilltopper D.

172 MIDDLE TENNESSEE (+2.5) over FIU – 2u
172 MTSU +115 – 0.5u

Saturday, 3:30 PM, NFL Network

4-3 against 2-5, but it’s another one where you have to consider the schedule. Both teams have played an FCS team, otherwise only two of the teams FIU has played are above the worst FBS team MTSU has played all year. FIU has feasted at home against horrible teams. MTSU has already played four road games. They lost to Duke at home, but otherwise it’s been smooth sailing. Based on the eye test, I really liked what I saw from MTSU last week on offense and they should continue to get better with Stockstill at the helm.

173 Florida Atlantic (-13.5) over OLD DOMINION – 2u

Saturday, 3:30 PM, ESPN+

This should probably be a TD more. FAU started with Ohio State and UCF, ever since they’ve averaged 37.4 PPG. Old Dominion hasn’t cracked 24 points in a game all year and they’ve averaged 16.1.

207 Notre Dame (-105) over MICHIGAN – 2u

Saturday, 7:30 PM, ABC

Go Irish. I’ve thought they were better from the jump and nothing has swayed my opinion. I’ll trust Ian Book over Shea Patterson.

ATS: 44-41-1 (-4.05u)

ML: 14-21 (+0.93u)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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