We’re heading toward a loaded weekend of college football, featuring some big-time rivalry games that could shake up the top of the rankings. Much of the betting value has dried up by this time of the week, but there are still a few spots that can give us some positive expected value.
In this slate, there are five plays that still have value compared to my projections, including three team totals. Keep in mind that you don’t just have to bet full-game sides and totals every week, as those are the toughest markets to beat and are very efficient as we get close to kickoff.
To continue filling out your Week 9 card, be sure to check out PFF's Greenline tool to find value in the betting markets compared to PFF’s projections.
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Boise State Broncos (-2.5) @ Colorado State Rams
Projection: Boise State -5
Colorado State’s defense has been very solid this season, but it should have a tough time getting points on the board in this matchup. The Rams rank outside the top 100 in passing and rushing success rate, and Boise State fields a formidable secondary. The Broncos are very strong at the safety position, with their tandem of JL Skinner and Tyreque Jones ranking second and fourth, respectively, in coverage grade among Mountain West safeties. Those two will be a big factor against a Colorado State passing attack that loves to target the tight end position. A secondary that ranks ninth in coverage grade overall should continue to play well against a passing attack that isn’t scaring too many defenses.
Admittedly, it’s tough to see the Broncos enjoying much success on the ground against a strong Colorado State defensive line. The Rams have been good against the pass as well, but that is where Boise State will likely need to find its yards. The Broncos rank 30th in passing grade, with quarterback Hank Bachmeier tied for the fifth-lowest rate of turnover-worthy throws.
At receiver, Boise State has a highlight machine in Khalil Shakir, who ranks ninth nationally in receiving grade. He’s also tied for the national lead in deep receiving grade, as he’s caught seven of his 11 targets of 20-plus yards downfield for 35.3 yards per reception.
This Colorado State defense will be a tough test, but it likely won’t take an offensive explosion from the Broncos to bring this home based on how the home team’s offense has performed this season.
Louisville Cardinals (+6.5) @ NC State Wolfpack
Projection: Louisville +5.3
Louisville's offense certainly isn't one of the best in the country, but it’s still going to be the best attack that NC State has played this season across six FBS games.
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