As Week 9 of the college football season approaches, conference races and playoff chatter are heating up. The tension with high-profile games are palpable. This upcoming weekend features several key games with heavy implications both on the field and with sports books. From LSU’s big home game against Auburn to Ohio State’s much-anticipated showdown against Wisconsin, there are plenty of storylines to keep an eye on.
Lines are out for those of you who want to make early investments. It’s never too early to start breaking them down, so let’s take a closer look at the Week 9 matchups of importance with the latest lines from Circa Sports.
Lines you need to know
No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU (-11.5): We know LSU has been a scoring machine this year, but did you also know it has been mayor of covertown, too? Auburn’s defense is good enough to keep things interesting for a while, but the question is whether its offense can keep this thing within the line on the road. If you like what Joe Burrow and Co. have been doing, lay ’em.
No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio State (-14): Given how impressive Ohio State has been, two touchdowns may actually seem small against the Badgers. Does Wisconsin circle the wagons after a stunning upset at Illinois? If you’re of the belief that the Buckeyes will win big regardless, then you’re likely inclined to lay the points anyway.
No. 8 Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan (-2.5): There’s already been some initial movement on this spread in favor of the Irish. This game may be a matter of fresh legs, too. Notre Dame is coming off an open week and Michigan is trying to regroup after an emotional rally against Penn State that fell just short.
No. 6 Penn State at Michigan State (+6.5): A potential letdown game for the Nittany Lions. They’re coming off a huge win over Michigan and hit the road against a team coming off an open week. Sparty can’t block anybody, but a rivalry game in East Lansing may get weird.
More games of note
Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama (-33.5): The Crimson Tide are massive favorites even without quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who will miss this game with a . No one’s predicting an upset here, but your lean here depends on whether you think backup quarterback Mac Jones can help the Tide cover.
Washington State at No. 11 Oregon (-15): The Ducks return home after a statement win at Washington. Waiting for them is a 9:30 p.m. ET kickoff against Mike Leach. Do you believe in #Pac12AfterDark or Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert against a reeling Cougars defense?
No. 20 Iowa at Northwestern (+9): Wisconsin’s loss keeps Iowa alive in the Big Ten West race. But you know what isn’t fun under almost any circumstances? Playing in Evanston. Not because it’s hard, but because it’s Northwestern. Is the Wildcats’ normally stingy defense enough to take the points at home?
No. 15 Texas at TCU (-2.5): I had to triple check to make sure I saw this right. Texas is thoroughly beat up on defense, so maybe something is up. However, Texas coach Tom Herman is a well-documented master of being an underdog. Interesting line here, and chances are you feel strongly about it one way or the other.