What ten games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread going into the first weekend of Week 9? Here you go. Enjoy.
10 Best ATS Picks So Far: 48-43-1
Rallying back with an 8-2 week after a disastrous Week 7, here we go. Starting with a few that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still spicy …
Click on each game for the game preview and fearless prediction.
LINE: Cincinnati -8.5, o/u: 50.5
ATS PICK: Cincinnati
Call this a bounceback moment for a Cincinnati team that saw it’s unbeaten season take a hit with a heartbreaking overtime loss at Temple last week. The Bearcats are still great defensively, and they should still be solid on the road against a punchless SMU squad with a defense that’s allowed 42 points or more in four of the seven games.
Five of Cincinnati’s six wins so far have been by more than 8.5, and all four SMU losses have been by way over the mark.
LINE: Stanford -3, o/u: 53.5
ATS PICK: Washington State
Straight up – what do you believe?
If you think this Washington State team is strong enough and is the real deal, it’s a layup, and you’re getting points to boot. Stanford doesn’t have an offense, there’s no ground game, and there’s no ability to mount a comeback without a total meltdown like Oregon provided.
Or, the Cardinal are playing just well enough to find a way to survive, and they’re about to dial up the pressure as Wazzu finally has that meltdown game that always pops up around now under Mike Leach.
Gardner Minshew and the Cougar offense will be too good. The one loss was at USC 39-36, and there’s a chance Washington State jumps out early and coasts against a Stanford team with no pop.
8. UAB at UTEP
LINE: UAB -16, o/u: 50
ATS PICK: UAB
It’s the best team in Conference USA vs. the worst.
UTEP has been a whole lot better and more competitive, and that’s the concern. North Texas and Louisiana Tech aren’t bad, and the Miners were able to keep those two games close. They’re still 0-7 on the year, but each of the last four games were decided by nine points or fewer.
However, the Blazers are rolling, winning five straight with a defense that gave up 21 points to North Texas last week, and 14 combined in the previous three games – two of them on the road.
It’s all about whether or not UTEP can score. It has yet to score more than 24 points in a game, but UAB isn’t going to put up 40. This will be tight, but this might turn out to be 28-10ish tight.
LINE: Maryland -17.5, o/u: 52.5
ATS PICK: Illinois
No, Illinois hasn’t shown enough to warrant and sort of benefit of any doubt. The two wins over FBS teams came against Kent State and Rutgers, and the three Big Ten losses so far were all ugly blowouts.
Meanwhile, Maryland also blew aways Rutgers, destroyed Minnesota 42-13, and has the formula that if it gets the running game going, look out.
This is more about the number. The Terps are far stronger than the Illini, but they’re way too one dimensional – they just can’t throw. There’s a difference between Illinois not stopping the Wisconsin running attack – the Badgers can throw a bit – and this.
The 17.5 is a bit too high.
LINE: Southern Miss -7.5, o/u: 43.5
ATS PICK: Southern Miss
There’s still a little bit of a mystery around this Southern Miss team. It hasn’t beaten anyone great yet, and there’s a loss to ULM on the books, but there’s a great shot that the team that whacked UTSA by ten last week is finding its groove at the right time.
The defense is among the best in Conference USA, and the passing game should be effective a Charlotte defense that’s been excellent over the last few weeks, but won’t be able to do quite enough.
All four Charlotte losses have been by more than 7.5, and the only FBS wins are over Old Dominion and WKU teams with a combined one win over an FBS team. All three USM wins have been by more than ten points.