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College Football Week 9 ATS Picks: Ehlinger and Longhorns Look to Bounce Back at TCU

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Oct 22, 2019 · 9:45 AM PDT

The Texas Longhorns football field
Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns are listed as 2-point road favorites against TCU in Week 9. Photo by Randall Chancellor (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Week 9 of College Football starts on Thursday, October 24th
  • There are some intriguing games with playoff implications this week
  • Which teams are the best bet ATS in Week 9?

Week 9 of college football has some huge games with massive playoff implications, including Big Ten clashes between No. 6 Penn State and Michigan State, and No. 3 Ohio State hosting No. 13 Wisconsin.

In Big 12 play, No. 15 Texas is listed as a two-point favorite against TCU as they look to bounce back after almost getting upset by Kansas in Week 8.

Here are my three best ATS picks for Week 9.

Texas vs TCU Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Texas (#15) -2.0 (-110) -125 O 61 (-105)
TCU +2.0 (-110) +105 U 61 (-115)

*All odds collected 10/22/19.

TCU is coming off consecutive road losses to Iowa State and Kansas State and now have to face a ranked Texas team.

While the Horned Frogs have home-field advantage, they don’t matchup well against Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns. Texas narrowly avoided an upset in Week 8 with a 50-48 win over Kansas and will be eager to get back on track against a 3-3 TCU team.

TCU has struggled to contain dual-threat quarterbacks this season, and that’s exactly what Texas has in Ehlinger. The Longhorns QB had 399 passing yards and four touchdowns, in addition to 91 rushing yards in Week 8. The Horned Frogs haven’t had an answer for strong dual-threat quarterbacks such as SMU’s Shane Buechele and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy.

Ehlinger has thrown four touchdowns four times this season and went off for 406 passing yards against a stellar LSU defense in Week 2. Texas ranks 16th nationally in total offense and has turned in its best games against powerhouses LSU and Oklahoma. The Frogs managed just 17 points against Kansas State and are yet to prove they can handle a QB of Ehlinger’s nature.

Texas has big problems on defense, but I like their chances of rebounding in Week 9 against a lacking TCU pass offense that is only averaging 202 yards per game. Even if the Horned Frogs 13th-ranked rush offense has a big outing,  Ehlinger has the significant edge over TCU’s true freshman QB Max Duggan.

Texas is still fighting for a shot to face Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game and will be eager to rebound after narrowly avoiding an upset loss in Week 8. Look for the Longhorns to ride Ehlinger and their offense to a victory over a Big 12 rival.

Pick: Texas (-2.0)

Penn State vs Michigan State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Penn State (#6) -7.0 (-105) -250 O 43.5 (-115)
Michigan State +7.0 (-115) +210 U 43.5 (-105)

Penn State is coming off a big 28-21 victory over Michigan in Week 8, while Michigan State had a bye week after being blow out 38-0 by the Badgers in Week 7.

This has all the makings of a revenge game. The unbeaten Nittany Lions beat the Wolverines after losing to them last season and will now look to get their revenge on the Spartans after losing to them in two straight years. With Wisconsin losing to Illinois in Week 8, Penn State has the chance to make the Big 10 conference title game if they can keep the momentum going.

The Nittany Lions matchup well against a Spartans team that ranks in the bottom half of the Big Ten in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense. Penn State has one of the best defenses in the country and are allowing just 10 points a game. The Nittany Lions have racked up 28 sacks this season and will present a major problem for Spartans QB Brian Lewerke.

Lewerke completed just seven of 16 passes for total 53 yards against Wisconsin and also struggled against Ohio State and Northwestern this season.  He’s facing another tough strong defensive team in Penn State in Week 9. Nittany Lions QB Sean Clifford is having a solid season and  coming off a good performance against Michigan in which he threw three TD passes.

The 7-0 Nittany Lions have way more to play for at this point of the season and will follow Wisconsin by using their stingy defense to frustrate Michigan State’s offense en route to a revenge victory.

Pick: Penn State (-7.0)

Ohio State vs Wisconsin Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Wisconsin (#13) +14.5 (-115) +430 O 50.5 (-105)
Ohio State (#3) -14.5 (-105) -660 U 50.5 (-115)

Ohio State will be looking to make a statement in their biggest game of the season against Wisconsin. The undefeated Buckeyes blew out a solid Northwestern team 52-3 in Week 8, while the Badgers suffered their first defeat when they were upset 24-23 by Illinois.

Look for the Buckeyes to beat the Badgers in a similar way to how the Fighting Illini did. Illinois was able to shutdown the top running back Jonathan Taylor, force turnovers and total 315 yards against the Badgers stout defense.

Wisconsin was only able to muster 156 yards on the ground on 43 carries against an Illinois team that ranked 107th in rushing defense and 100th in total defense. Ohio State enters Week 9 ranked second in the country in total defense. Their defensive line leads the conference with an impressive 29 sacks and will prevent a challenge for Wisconsin Junior QB Jack Coan.

Ohio State was able to rack up 53 points against a very solid Northwestern defense. Justin Fields went 18-of-23 for 194 yards and four touchdowns, while J.K. Dobbins rushed for 121 yards. As good as Jonathan Taylor has been this year, Dobbins 947 rushing yards are just 10 shy of Taylor’s total this season, while Justin Fields is a better QB than Coan.

The Buckeyes have the more complete team and are catching the Badgers at the perfect time. Ohio State has proven they can perform against the top teams, while Wisconsin hasn’t looked as dominant. The perfect measuring stick for this game is how the two teams performed against Northwestern’s strong defense this season. Ohio State cruised to a blowout victory, while the Badgers struggled in a tight 24-15 victory.

Ohio State has covered the spread in four consecutive home games against Wisconsin, and will use their offense to continue that trend against the Badgers in 2019.

Pick: Ohio State (-14.5)

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