Week 9 of the college football season has some tasty matchups on the radar. Here’s our three best picks for games that will be nationally televised on Saturday.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Oklahoma Sooners
College Football Betting Odds: Oklahoma -10.5
Notre Dame is the unbeaten team, but it’s the squad that has more to prove in this tilt. The Fighting Irish have won a string of games at home against decent but not elite opposition, and now they must play a top-tier team on the road. Oklahoma stumbled earlier in the season against Kansas State, but ever since that setback occurred, the Sooners have fixed their issues and addressed their problems. Oklahoma has crushed Texas Tech, Texas, and Kansas in consecutive weeks, looking like the team a lot of pundits expected to emerge before the season began. The Sooners’ defense figures to shut down Notre Dame’s anemic offense. As long as Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones protects the ball and makes sound decisions as a passer, the Sooners should be in good shape. Notre Dame’s only real chance of victory is to gain turnovers that translate into favorable drive starts and at least 10 to 14 points.
Pick: Oklahoma -10.5
Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs
College Football Betting Odds: Florida -6.5
This is one of the few treasured neutral-site rivalries that persists in college football. Texas-Oklahoma in Dallas is one such game, and this is the other one that stands out. Florida is riding a wave of good fortune, receiving turnovers from opponents and managing to stay close to opponents in first halves despite getting very little production from the offensive side of the ball. The Gators have been a lights-out second-half team this season, but part of the formula is that they’re able to stick to their game plan. If an opponent can grab a 14-point lead on them, they’ll be in trouble. Georgia has the talent to play with Florida. The Bulldogs should be able to cover the point spread; they’ve been looking at this game for a long time and will be eager to make a statement. Florida will win the game because of its superior discipline and ball security, but Georgia will make this very close, probably losing by only a field goal.
Pick: Georgia +6.5
Texas Tech Red Raiders @ Kansas State Wildcats
College Football Betting Odds: Kansas State -7.5
The Wildcats have outperformed everyone’s expectations this season, winning at Oklahoma in September to take control of the Big 12 Conference. The Wildcats have impressively not let down their guard in recent weeks. They stormed into Morgantown, W. Va., and hammered West Virginia on the road and at night. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein leads the Heisman Trophy race at this point. He’s playing better than any other player in the country. The Wildcats are executing with a maximum of precision on both sides of the ball. They’re flourishing in every way. Playing at home against a Texas Tech team that still has to prove itself to an extent, the Wildcats should be able to hammer the Red Raiders simply because they’re the superior side.
Pick: Kansas State -7.5