Halloween weekend is upcoming, and there are some scary lines out there in the college football world. William Hill Sportsbook released the lines for Week 9 of the college football season, which features several big-time matchups including a Big Ten East showdown between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 18 Penn State in Happy Valley.
It isn't the only big game of the week, though. LSU will travel to Auburn in a division matchup that always seems to provide at least one trick or treat. Elsewhere, the AAC slate will feature a matchup between Memphis and No. 7 Cincinnati at noon ET that could have massive ramifications across the Group of Five world.
Let's break down the odds for the biggest games in Week 9 of the college football season.
No. 3 Ohio State (-11) at No. 18 Penn State: The Nittany Lions are fresh off a dramatic loss at Indiana, but get a chance to get right at home against the top dog in the Big Ten. Will that loss to the Hoosiers have a lingering effect, or will Justin Fields and Co. orchestrate another blowout? This line surprised me quite a bit. Sure, Happy Valley is normally an intimidating place to play … but there won't be fans there on Saturday.
LSU (-2) at Auburn: The SEC on CBS Game of the Week features two SEC West teams that are in desperate need of a win in order to have any chance at being relevant down the stretch. LSU just throttled a South Carolina team that beat Auburn two weeks ago, while Auburn escaped the clutches of Ole Miss in Oxford on Saturday. Weird things always seem to happen in this rivalry. Buyer beware.
Boston College at No. 1 Clemson (-31.5): The Tigers struggled to get going against Syracuse at home, and have another massive line this week against an Eagles team that, if nothing else, has been pesky in 2020. It's hard to bet on dial-a-score games involving Clemson since the outcome might hinge on when coach Dabo Swinney decides to take his foot off of the gas.
No. 9 Wisconsin (-11) at Nebraska: The Badgers suddenly have a passing game after the world got a taste of redshirt freshman Graham Mertz on Friday night in Madison, but it’s likely that he won’t be available if his COVID-19 PCR test confirms the positive antigen test. Nebraska hung around with Ohio State for a bit on Saturday, and will have another big challenge against a quarterback who loves to air it out.
Texas at No. 6 Oklahoma State (-3): We know now that Texas isn't "back." But it could be back to playing the spoiler role against a Cowboys squad that has quietly gone undefeated through the first month-plus of the season. Oddsmakers clearly think that Mike Gundy's squad is more sizzle than steak even though quarterback Spencer Sanders returned to action and played well last week in a win over Iowa State.
Memphis at No. 7 Cincinnati (-6.5): The Bearcats made a big statement in a Week 8 victory over SMU, while one-loss Memphis needs a win to have a chance in the AAC. Both of these offenses are legit. The question remains -- is Memphis interested in playing defense?
Best of the rest
- Mississippi State at No. 2 Alabama (-32)
- No. 4 Notre Dame (-19) at Georgia Tech
- No. 5 Georgia (-14) at Kentucky
- Arkansas at No. 8 Texas A&M (-10)
- Missouri at No. 10 Florida (-13)
- Western Kentucky at No. 11 BYU (-28.5)
- Michigan State at No. 13 Michigan (-25)
- No. 15 North Carolina (-7) at Virginia
- No. 16 Kansas State at West Virginia (-3.5)
- No. 20 Coastal Carolina (-2.5) at Georgia State
- Navy at No. 22 SMU (-16)
- No. 23 Iowa State (-28.5) at Kansas
- No. 24 Oklahoma (-14.5) at Texas Tech
- No. 25 Boise State (-9.5) at Air Force