It’s the last weekend of October, which means things are heating up in division and conference title races around the country. The rivalry between No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State headlines what should be a wild slate in Week 9, as the battle of undefeated Big Ten East foes will signify which team is the primary threat to Ohio State.
No. 1 Georgia and Florida will meet in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs look to get revenge after falling to the Gators last year. No. 5 Ohio State and No. 20 Penn State will also square off in a key Big Ten East showdown, and No. 10 Ole Miss will visit No. 18 Auburn in what will likely serve as an elimination game in the SEC West.
What should you expect this weekend?
Caesars Sportsbook has released odds for Week 9 in college football, so et’s take a look at what the oddsmakers think of the upcoming week.
The best games
No. 6 Michigan (-4) at No. 8 Michigan State: The Wolverines handled their business against Northwestern last week, while the Spartans sat at home resting for what is the biggest game of the Big Ten East season so far. The key to this one will be Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III, who will have a perfect platform to make a Heisman Trophy statement.
No. 1 Georgia (-14.5) vs. Florida (in Jacksonville): It’s been a disappointing season for Dan Mullen’s Gators, but oddsmakers don’t see that as much of a possibility. Georgia’s offense will surely have some wrinkles prepared for a Florida defense that leaves a lot to be desired.
No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State (-17.5): The Buckeyes have improved tremendously as the season has progressed. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions are coming off the embarrassing nine-overtime loss to Illinois. This will serve as a de facto elimination game for James Franklin’s squad and provide another opportunity for Ryan Day’s crew to continue to build toward a potential College Football Playoff berth.
No. 10 Ole Miss (-1) at No. 18 Auburn: The Tigers have had an extra week to prepare for the high-flying Rebels offense, but might have to change some things around on the other side of the ball. After all, the Rebels showed that they have a solid defense last weekend in the win over LSU. Oddsmakers suggest that this de facto SEC West elimination game should be a fun one.
Other big games
No. 9 Iowa at Wisconsin (-3.5): The Hawkeyes are still squarely in the CFP race, but oddsmakers don’t seem to think that those chances are legitimate. The Badgers have been improving throughout the season and could make a Big Ten West statement with a win at home.
Texas at No. 16 Baylor (-3): The home-standing Bears have been lurking around the Big 12 title race for the first two months of the season, and have clearly earned the respect of oddsmakers. If money flows to the Texas side but the line doesn’t move, that should tell you a lot about how the whales view Dave Aranda’s squad.
Miami at No. 17 Pittsburgh (-11): The Hurricanes stunned NC State last weekend, but still have questions swirling around the status of coach Manny Diaz. An upset over the current leaders in the Coastal division would certainly calm things down. Meanwhile, the Panthers hanging around the CFP race with a dynamic offense led by quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Best of the rest