My college football favorites stayed warm in week 8, once again going over .500. It's that time of year where some teams are separating themselves from the rest of the competition, but oddsmakers aren't keeping up.
Here's the week 9 college football picks featuring the three best favorites that will cover the spread.
Overall: 32-16 ATS
Favorites: 16-8 ATS
Michigan State (-3) at Northwestern
You could say I lucked into that Michigan State cover in week 8. Who wouldn't have guessed the Spartans would score a meaningless 18-yard touchdown run with less than 2 minutes left in the game?
This week, I'm anticipating a bit more room to spare at the end of the game. Northwestern is playing well and stymied the Iowa rushing attack in week 8. This week offers more of a challenge, with a better Michigan State rushing attack and an ability to actually pass the ball.
Brian Lewerke adds a dimension the Northwestern defense hasn't faced during this recent two-game winning streak. He should be able to spread out the defense, allowing more opportunities for the Spartans to move the ball. And defensively, the Spartans rank seventh in the nation against the run.
That means the only weapon the Wildcats have on offense should be neutralized. Michigan State is a better version of Northwestern. Give away the points. — Go Chalk with Michigan State
Indiana (-4.5) at Maryland
We'll stick with the Big 10 and go with a team that has been knocking on the door of victory in recent weeks.
The Hoosiers have been hard-luck losers in recent weeks, losing by a combined 15 points in the last two weeks to Michigan and Michigan State. The only ugly losses on Indiana's schedule are a beatdown against Penn State and a second-half disappearing act against Ohio State, but the Hoosiers have taken care of business against lesser competition.
The schedule eases up now for the most part for the Hoosiers, meaning we should see them go on a bit of a run to close out the season.
The Hoosiers have enough talent that they should start to see some victories in the wins column, while Maryland looks to be fading. Being down to a third-string quarterback is taking its toll on the Terrapins, so I expect this game to not be close. — Go Chalk with Indiana
Tennessee at Kentucky (-4.5)
Especially at this juncture of the season, sometimes motivation is a major factor in determining winners.
The Wildcats were embarrassed last week against Mississippi State (which was predicted by the Chalk). That's OK. This team wasn't the undefeated team it was masquerading as in previous weeks.
But this week offers a chance to drive the final nail in Butch Jones' Tennessee coaching coffin, and I believe the Volunteers know it's coming.
Tennessee's offense is horrendous. And that won't get any better with the loss of running back John Kelly. The Wildcats should get back some of that defensive momentum that's been lost in recent weeks and the offense has the ability to move the chains.
Ultimately this game comes down to who wants it more. Tennessee is trying to get this season over, while the Wildcats are looking for better bowl placement. — Go Chalk with Kentucky
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. To see more, check out Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH