We are now at Week 9 of the 2019 season. Only a handful of weeks to go. Things are getting serious now, especially in the Big 10 and the SEC.
Here are the critical games to watch.
Auburn v LSU
Wisconsin v Ohio State will be important, even though the Badgers have one loss.
Michigan State v Penn State…….watch out either way.
Notre Dame and Michigan
So let’s get to the predictions.
Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama (-32)
The Crimson Tide go into this game without the services of QB Tua Tagovailoa, who injured his ankle last week. Mac Jones will be taking his place at QB.
The Bama passing game will suffer without Tua, but the team has so much talent that even without Tua, Arkansas cannot compete.
Alabama wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU (-12)
In one of the exciting games of the week, SEC Top 10 teams go at it. For Auburn, they MUST have a win to keep playoff hopes alive. LSU is in a better position, but with Bama in two weeks, they must have a win here as well.
QB Joe Burrow, 2,848 yards, 29 touchdowns, three interceptions, continues to add to his Heisman statistics this game, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson will be his targets passing.
Auburn’s defense will be trying to contain the LSU offense and should do a reasonable job. But the Auburn offense will need a better from young QB Bo Nix, to have any hope of winning.
LSU wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio State (-14)
In the second exciting match up of the week, Wisconsin travels to THE OHIO STATE.
This game has lost some of the luster with the Badgers losing last week, but don’t let that full you. Wisconsin does have the talent to beat Ohio State.
Ohio State Quarterback Justin Fields continues to chase the Heisman with last weeks 194 pass yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and only five incomplete passes.
The Buckeye defense will be trying to do what Illinois did last week to QB Coan, stacking the defense against the run and forcing him to throw.
Wisconsin has yet to play a team with such a high powered offense. They will not be able to handle all of the Ohio State weapons.
Ohio State wins and COVERS the spread.
Boston College at No. 4 Clemson (-33.5)
Clemson is tired of winning, but dropping in the polls. They need to make a statement and QB Trevor Lawrence needs to show that last year’s performance in the National Title game was not a fluke. Boston College is the unwitting victim for a Tiger victory.
Clemson wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 5 Oklahoma (-23.5) at Kansas State
Kansas State cracked the Top 25 for one week, then returned to earth. Now, they are back to their normal status, nothing more than a doormat for other teams to wipe their cleats on.
Jalen Hurts continues his relentless pursuit of the Heisman, and with OU’s other players, big numbers are expected.
Oklahoma wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 6 Penn State (-5.5) at Michigan State
This game is actually a much more interesting game than the rankings would suggest. MSU does have a better team than the stats indicate……….they just play in the Big 10 which has very good teams. After playing Ohio State and Wisconsin in the last two weeks, tough games are no big deal. Give them a bye week to prepare for Penn State, and the potential for an upset is high.
Penn State had a tough ride against Michigan last week. QB Sean Clifford put together a very good first half, but the second half was a totally different story. Clifford needs to show he can play both halves equally well.
Michigan States rush defense could hamper Noah Cain and Journey Brown, putting more pressure on Clifford.
Add in that Penn State usually has a bad game each season, and the opportunity for an upset is now.
Michigan State wins in an UPSET.
No. 7 Florida – Bye Week
Florida gets a well earned rest this week, before taking on Georgia next week in a pivotal SEC game having potential implications for both the SEC championship and the National Title.
No. 8 Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan (-1)
In another game with National Title implications for Notre Dame, this game gets real interesting.
ND has one loss, and to remain an outside chance of a Playoff position, must win out. Meanwhile, Michigan once again plays spoiler since their hopes for the Playoffs are gone.
ND has had an extra week to prepare for Michigan, having had a bye week last week. Michigan is under extreme pressure to win. Jim Harbaugh needs the win to still his critics until the Ohio State game.
Michigan as a one point favorite means that the game is really a toss up. There really is not a true favorite.
Notre Dame wins in an UPSET.
No. 10 Georgia – Bye Week
Georgia gets a bye week, and just in time. They face Florida on Nov 2 in a game that has major implications for each team.
QB Jake Fromm needs time to settle down and get prepared for a game where he will need to be at his best if the Bulldogs are to win.
Washington State at No. 11 Oregon (-14)
Washington State is now reduced to the role of spoiler in the PAC 12 race. They have had a dismal season, giving up lots of points to teams far weaker than Oregon.
Oregon still has an outside chance for a Playoff berth, but needs help for other teams. So for now, they play for the Roses.
Watch for the Cougar’s passing game. If they can pass effectively against Oregon, then the Ducks will have a long and tough day before pulling out the win.
Oregon wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Cal at No. 12 Utah (-18)
This is an interesting game for the PAC 12. Cal goes to Berkeley as 18 point underdogs.
Though Cal has been going backwards, they handed Washington a loss earlier this year. They have a tough defense that can limit opponents to less than 20 points per game on average.
The Utes are still in the running for the Roses as well as a slight chance for the Playoffs. Of course, Zack Moss will have to continue to post 100 yard rushing games.
Utah wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 14 Baylor
Baylor takes a week off to get ready for their next game. This keeps them in the Top 15 for another week.
Though Baylor is ranked #14, they have yet to play a ranked opponent, so there is really little to go on with their quality of play. But we will find out in Nov when Baylor takes on both Texas and Oklahoma.
No. 15 Texas (-1) at TCU
Texas has had a rough schedule this year, having played both Oklahoma and LSU, where they sustained 7 point losses each time.
The Texas defense still has its problems, but the offense under QB Sam Ehlinger continues to perform well.
TCU is only 3-3 for the year, and not been particularly impressive. Their only close game was a 3 point loss to SMU in Sept, but that means nothing here.
For this to be a “1 point spread” someone blew it bad.
Texas wins and COVERS the spread..
No. 16 SMU (-13.5) at Houston
SMU goes to Houston with a 7-0 record, the first time that they have started so well since 1982. QB Shane Buechele runs a high talented offensive that continues to run amok over opponents.
Houston will try to hold down the SMU offense by keeping them off the field. But when SMU has the ball, look out.
SMU wins and COVERS the spread.
Maryland at No. 17 Minnesota (-16.5)
At the beginning of the season, no one would ever have thought that Minnesota would be 7-0 and nationally ranked. Now, the meat of the schedule appears ahead of the Gophers, with Penn State, Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
To continue winning, the Gophers will have to keep scoring big to have half a chance of the season ending up on a winning note. Maryland will be trying to limit turnovers to keep in the game.
Minnesota wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 18 Cincinnati – Bye Week
Cincinnati enjoys a bye week to rest up before the rest of their schedule comes calling. They are now in the running for a New Year’s Day bowl game, if they can win out and then defeat SMU in the conference title game.
No. 20 Iowa (-10.5) at Northwestern
Iowa continues to perform even with losses against Michigan and Penn State where in both games combined, they only scored 15 points.
The offense needs to become more consistent with Wisconsin and Minnesota looming. They cannot continue to rely on the defense to win games.
Northwestern has no scoring capability. They have only scored more than 15 points in one game this year. Expect for them to suffer the same lack of offensive output against Iowa.
Iowa wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 21 Appalachian State (-24.5) at South Alabama
Appalachian State goes into this game with a slim chance for a New Year’s Day bowl game. But first, Boise State and SMU would have to both lose while State wins out, including a win at South Florida.
QB Zac Thomas has another big game against South Alabama. The final score for State depends only upon how much the coach wants to score.
No. 22 Boise State – Bye Week
Boise State takes the week off after a stunning loss to BYU the week before. That loss was caused by starting QB Hank Bachmeier being out with an injury. He hopefully returns for the Nov 2 game against San Jose State.
Boise State, win the loss last week, is no longer playing for a New Year’s Day bowl game. Now, it is for a December date.
Oklahoma State at No. 23 Iowa State (-10.5)
Iowa State continues to surprise this season. After losses to Iowa and Baylor by a combined 3 points earlier in the season, the Cyclones have been able to put that aside and resume winning.
The Cyclones uncovered a star in their presence, freshman running back Breece Hall. Hall ran 19 times for 183 yards with two touchdowns in a 34-24 victory at Texas Tech and has 315 rushing yards and five scores in his past two games.
The Cowboys face dismal prospects for this game since they have a poor defense, especially against the run.
Iowa State wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 24 Arizona State (-4) at UCLA
Arizona State goes to UCLA after an ugly and painful loss to Utah last week which has essentially ended their hopes for a PAC 12 South title. Give it to the favored Utes.
State is happy to go up against the Bruins who have demonstrated little this season. The only problem is that UCLA has up and down moments, which could surprise State if they are not careful.
Arizona State wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 25 Wake Forest – Bye Week
Wake Forest played last week in the Tropical Storm Nestor. Nestor was the best defense against Wake Forest, keeping them to just 5 field goals and one touchdown.
Now Wake Forest gets to dry out and begin preparing for their Nov 16 date with Clemson.all
Okay all. Enjoy the games. The months are ticking down until the season is over.