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CFB Week 9 Best Bets: Can Utah Pull Back to Back Upsets?

Bill Christy
Written by Bill Christy
October 25, 2023
CFB Week 9 Best Bets Can Utah Pull Back to Back Upsets

It almost pains me to say it, but we're already in Week 9 of the college football season. It's time to make some hay while the sun's still shining. Let's close out the regular season strong!

We have a ton of marquee matchups to indulge in on Saturday, October 28. Check out our 4 best bets below and find out if Utah can pull off back-to-back upsets. Good luck!

Best Bet: Utah +6.5

Standing at 6-1, the Oregon Ducks find themselves ranked #8 in the country. After starting the season on a 5-game win streak, they went against Pac 12 rival and #7 ranked Washington on the road and lost a shootout 36-33.

After that loss, they faced off with Washington State at home last week and bounced back with a 38-24 win. Bo Nix completed 72% of his passes for almost 300 yards and 2 touchdowns against Wazzu.

The run game was the real story. Bucky Irving and Jordan James combined for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns on 28 carries. The defense held Wazzu to just 57 yards rushing and 4/14 on 3rd down.

#13 Utah is coming off a great road win over #24 USC. A back-and-forth battle was decided by a Cole Becker last second 38-yard field goal to win 34-32. They prevented the reigning Heisman winner, Caleb Williams, to throw for a touchdown for the 1st time this season.

Utah’s lone loss was on the road at Oregon State where they were held to a season low 57 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Bryson Barnes, played tremendous against the Trojans and is likely slated to start again here against Oregon.

This game really piqued our interest from the jump. The 1st thing that stuck out to us was the total, which is currently at 49. Oregon is 2nd in the country, averaging 47ppg. Utah is much lower, ranked 178th with 23.4ppg.

If Oregon is to cover and play a solid game, you would think that the total should be closer to 60. Utah is tough at home and this total is telling us that it will be a lower scoring game which favors Utah. And if the game is going to be tight, we like having almost a touchdown in our back pocket.

Key Betting Trends for Utah at Oregon

  • Oregon is 0-2 ATS in their last 2 games.
  • Oregon is 0-3 ATS in their last 3 road games against Utah.
  • Utah is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games at home.
  • Utah is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against an opponent in the Pac-12.

Best Bet: Louisville -4

#20 Duke has had a rough 3 game stretch after starting 4-0 to open their season. Interestingly, the 2 ranked teams that Duke faced, have accounted for their 2 losses. Against #11 Notre Dame, they lost on 30-yard touchdown run by Audric Estime with only 30 seconds remaining.

On the road, against #4 FSU last week, they played them tough for 3 quarters. In fact, they led 20-17 heading into the 4th quarter. FSU took over from there and scored 3 unanswered touchdowns to win the game.

Riley Leonard has played through injury and his numbers show that. He is completing less than 45% of his passes for only 200 yards and 1 touchdown with 2 interceptions through those 2 losses.

Louisville is ranked 18th now and are coming off a bye week. The bye came at an opportune time as they had just lost to unranked Pitt 38-21. This was an obvious let down spot for them after they had defeated #10 Notre Dame the week previous.

In the win over ND, they held them to just 44 yards on the ground and forced 5 total turnovers. In the loss to Pitt, they lost the turnover battle 3-0 and never established the run as they were held under 90 yards. They are averaging 175 yards per game on the ground and when they could not consistently run, they struggled on 3rd down (38%).

Duke has proven that they struggle against ranked teams this season. This will be their 2nd straight game on the road.

Riley Leonard is going to have a tough time against a defense that picked off Sam Hartman 3 times and held his completion percentage under 58% for the game. We like Louisville to not only stimy the passing attack of Duke but to also establish the run early in order to keep them at 3rd and short for the majority of the game.

Key Betting Trends for Duke at Louisville

  • Duke is 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games on the road.
  • Duke is 1-2 ATS in their last 3 games against Louisville.
  • Louisville is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games at home.
  • Louisville is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games played in October.

Best Bet: Oklahoma -9.5

#6 Oklahoma are 7-0 on the season but have had their struggles recently against both #3 Texas and UCF. The 34-30 road win over #3 Texas was amazing and an expected close contest but the matchup with UCF was not expected. As 17.5 favorites, the Sooners found themselves tied at the half 17-17 against 3-3 UCF.

After 2 Colton Boomer field goals in the 3rd, UCF entered the 4th with a 23-17 lead. Luckily Dillon Gabriel led the comeback and hit Drake Stoops for an early score in the 4th and Gavin Sawchuk scored on a 30-yard run after a UCF 3 and out.

John Rhys Plumlee scored with under 1:30 minutes remaining but the 2-point conversion failed and ultimately ended the game. The Sooners will need to play to their potential instead of playing to their opponent’s level.

Kansas has lost 2 of their last 3 games following a 4-0 start of their season. Both losses came on the road and to superior opponents. #3 Texas handed them a 40-14 beating and then in their last game, Oklahoma State scored 15 unanswered points late to defeat Kansas 39-32.

Jason Bean started in both of those games and while he was not impressive against Texas, he was the reason they hung around with Oklahoma State as he threw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns. As a team, they rank 35th averaging 35.4ppg and 9th in 3rd down conversion percentage at 53.4%

Oklahoma needs to make a statement after stumbling against UCF last week. They have no more ranked opponents on their schedule so they will need to win big to keep the attention of the ranking committees.

The Sooners are averaging the 6th best scoring offense in the country with 43.1ppg. The defense has been strong as well, allowing just an average of 16.14ppg. It will take a career game from Jason Bean for Kansas to stay in this game and we believe he used that performance in his last start.

Key Betting Trends for OU at Kansas

  • Oklahoma is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games.
  • Oklahoma is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing as the favorite.
  • Kansas is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games.
  • Kansas is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Big 12.

Best Bet: California +11

Things have gone bad in Southern California lately. After winning their 1st 6 games of the year and having National Title aspirations, the Trojans got crushed 48-20 at Notre Dame prior to losing a tight 34-32 at home against Utah.

Caleb Williams has looked nothing like a Heisman candidate over his last 3 games as he threw for 3 interceptions to just 1 touchdown and was sacked 10 times. Turnovers were their issue against Notre Dame and an inability to stop the run was their demise against Utah.

Cal is just 3-4 on the season and have lost 3 of their last 4 games. All 3 of those losses were to ranked teams; #7 Washington, #15 Oregon St, and #16 Utah. The run game has been what Cal has leaned on this season.

They are averaging close to 200 yards per game which ranks them 39th in the country. Jaydn Ott and Isiah Ifanse are leading the backfield. Fernando Mendoza will start after yielding to Ben Finley late in the Utah game.

USC is in an odd spot here. They just lost their last 2 games and normally you would think they are going to take out their frustrations on the weak Cal team here. However, the rest of their schedule is extremely tough.

They have home games against #5 Washington and #23 UCLA while also going on the road against #6 Oregon. We believe USC will look ahead at these 3 later opponents which will allow Cal to get up early and ultimately hold on to cover.

Key Betting Trends for USC at Cal

  • USC is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • USC is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against an opponent in the Pac-12.
  • Cal is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against USC.
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