Larsen’s Week 9 Early College Football Leans

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The real college football bettors know that Sunday and Monday are crucial days in the betting process. Lines come out to the public and this is where you see the sharps’ real impact on games. Here are some Week 9 games I’ve already bet, and some others that I have on my radar.

2022 SportsTalkATL Locks record: 71-38-3

Week 8: 6-4

#22 Kansas St -1 vs #9 Oklahoma St

The most important factor in this matchup is the health of Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez, who left the game vs TCU and did not return. But I went ahead and bet the Wildcats because I do believe he will play, and if he doesn’t, I can always bet Oklahoma State in a buy back spot.

According to the Action Network, Oklahoma State is getting 84% of the public bets along with 85% of the public money. So it’s safe to say the public likes the Pokes off their big home win against Texas. However, instead of the line moving in their favor, it has moved towards the home team. It opened at Oklahoma St -1 and is now up to Kansas St -2 in some places. This means the sharps like the Wildcats, which also makes me lean towards believing Martinez will play.

The Oklahoma St defense is shaky and prone to giving up big plays. In their last four games, they are surrendering an average of 33 points per game. Kansas St has shown they can score, putting up 41 and 37 points in recent conference games, and it looked like they were well on their way to scoring that against TCU until Martinez got hurt.

I’m following the sharps on this one and already bet Kansas St -1 at home. They will create some explosive plays to score. They also have the better defense in this matchup. Let’s not forget this K State team is very close to being 7-0 on the season. I believe they’re better than their 5-2 record shows.

Louisville +5 vs #10 Wake Forest

Every square bettor is going to love Wake Forest here. I almost did, too. How is this line not Wake Forest -11? Wake is good, Louisville is not. Let’s dig deeper.

Wake is vulnerable against teams that can score points. Liberty dropped 36 on them and was a two-point conversion away from winning in Winston-Salem. They let Clemson carve up 51 points on them (The same Clemson that just benched their starting quarterback? Yep, that’s the one). Then they’re lucky to escape Tallahassee with a 31-21 win in a game that was much closer than the score shows. FSU threw for 300 yards, was down by seven in the fourth quarter, and lost a key fumble. Also in that game, the Seminoles averaged 6.2 yards per play, compared to Wake’s 4.5.

On Sunday, Wake opened as a 5-point favorite on the road to Louisville, and despite some heavy public betting on the Deacons when it opened, the line moved down to Wake Forest -4. The sharps like the Cardinals. And Louisville can put up points in bunches. Yes, the Louisville defense is not great, but after Pittsburgh scored an opening possession touchdown in Louisville last week, the Cardinals held them to only three points for the rest of the game.

Another factor that I find important is following this trip to Louisville, Wake travels to NC State for a huge matchup with a ranked instate rival. I believe there’s a small chance the Deacs are looking ahead here. Expect the Cards to come out juiced up to face a top ten team at home. I like Louisville to win the game outright.

Texas A&M +3 vs #15 Ole Miss

In college football, if you feel comfortable with your pick, then you bet the wrong side. And here’s a gross one that is sure to make you feel uncomfortable. Texas A&M should probably be 1-6 right now, instead of 3-4, and their most impressive showing this season was in a loss. But let’s not forget that this team is filled with four and five star players and College Station can be a tough place to play.

I’m not sold on Ole Miss and it’s one of the reasons LSU -1 was one of my favorite bets on Saturday when they drubbed the Rebels. Looking at the two best teams Ole Miss has played, they were killed by LSU and barely squeaked out a home win against Kentucky because Kentucky fumbled twice in the redzone. Ole Miss does not look good against talented teams. They gave up 27 points to Tulsa, then got dominated by Vanderbilt for three and a half quarters. Auburn got whatever they wanted on offense en route to scoring 34 points in Oxford, and then LSU scores 45 on them. If your offense is broken, come see Ole Miss. And here comes Texas A&M, whose offense has looked dreadful recently. I believe this Aggies offense can move the ball and put up points on Ole Miss.

This line opened up at Ole Miss -3 and the public was quick to jump all over the Rebels. Yet, the line moved down to -2.5 and there are a few -2’s out there. Right now, 78% of the public bets are on Ole Miss but 58% of the public money is on the Aggies. Translation: the sharps like Texas A&M. The Aggies haven’t played a home game since September 17, that boring 17-9 win over Miami. Look for a spirited effort by Jimbo’s team in a home game at night. The best way to answer critics is by beating a top 15 team, and I think Texas A&M will do just that.

Other games I’m monitoring

Notre Dame +3 @ #16 Syracuse

Expect the public to be all over ‘Cuse after their impressive loss at Clemson last weekend. The Orange opened up at 4.5-point favorites and have gotten 85% of the public bets. Sharps have come in big on Notre Dame and moved this line down to -3.

West Virginia +7.5 vs #7 TCU

A major letdown spot here for the Horned Frogs off a big win against ranked Kansas St, and games against instate rivals Texas Tech and Texas in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, they have a sleepy noon kickoff in Morgantown against a West Virginia team looking to bounce back from a 48-10 loss last week. TCU is catching 86% of public bets right now and I think West Virginia is going to be the right side here.

Colorado State @ Boise State, under 44

Colorado State is awful, legitimately awful. They have struggled (and I really mean¬†struggled) to score double digit points in each of their last five games. They rank dead last in FBS in finishing drives and third down conversions. I don’t expect them to be able to score on the blue turf in Boise where the Broncos are trending in the right direction after a tough start to the season.

Photo: Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire

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