Three more teams fell for the first time last week. We are now down to just four undefeated teams, all of which would make the College Football Playoff should they win out. There has not been a season with four major undefeated teams in the BCS/CFP era, though, so keep that in mind as we move forward through the final month of the regular season.
Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright.
I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. There are still a lot of teams in play for a spot in the CFP, so I'll go with the current AP top 12 and wait for the CFP rankings to debut before paring down the list.
Things are finally starting to look up with the picks. Last week, I was 2-2 ATS and hit on the upset special. I am still in the net negative, but the only way to fix that is to keep picking. Here are this week's picks.
Week 9 picks
No. 8 Oregon at Cal
This seems like a big number, but it's not when you consider the level the Ducks offense is playing at right now. Oregon has scored at least 41 points in each of its last five games. Cal comes into this game as the Pac-12's second-worst scoring offense against FBS opposition, above only Colorado. The Bears are going to have to kick things up a couple of notches (or more) to hang with the Ducks. The bet here is that they won't. Pick: Oregon -17
This is a huge number. Combined, these teams average 72 points per game against FBS teams and give up 60. They have each played two games that went over this number, but it won't take too many stops to keep these teams from scoring this much. Pick: Under 76
Northwestern at Iowa
The Wildcats managed to score 24 at Maryland last week, but that is just a little under their point total for the previous three weeks combined (28). Against Iowa's defense, Northwestern would do well to hit double digits. The chances of Iowa going past 20 are pretty slim, too, and single digits would be no surprise. Pick: Under 37.5
Upset of the week
In all the time I have been doing this column, I never expected UConn to pull off the Upset of the Week, but here we are. The Huskies got off to their usual rough start to the season, but their fortunes have turned in October. First, they beat Fresno State as a 23-point underdog and followed that up with a win at FIU in which they were favored. UConn fell by only four points at Ball State last Saturday. Meanwhile, other than a moment of glory against Louisville, the Eagles are getting hammered in ACC play. Boston College has yet to keep it within two touchdowns against anyone on the road. A win would be UConn's first ever in this series. Pick: UConn +196
Other CFP candidates
- Florida vs. No. 1 Georgia (O/U 56.5) Pick: Under 56.5
- No. 2 Ohio St at No. 13 Penn State (O/U 61) Pick: Under 61
- No. 19 Kentucky at No. 3 Tennessee (-12.5) Pick: Tennessee
- Michigan State at No. 4 Michigan (-22.5) Pick: Michigan
- No. 7 TCU (-7.5) at West Virginia Pick: TCU
- No. 9 Oklahoma State (+1.5) at No. 22 Kansas State Pick: Oklahoma State
- No. 11 Wake Forest (-4) at Louisville Pick: Wake Forest
- Stanford at No. 12 UCLA (-16.5) Pick: UCLA
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 9, and which top-20 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.