McPhil’s Week 9 CFB Spread Picks

College picks ATS: 0-3

Nebraska, previously 0-4-1 ATS, has gone 2-0 since I picked against them in back-to-back weeks. Such is life, and I’ve learned my lesson to stay away from the Cornhuskers- for now. NC State didn’t do us any favors against Clemson, coming out looking utterly terrified and shell-shocked. The offense struggled to move the ball and Ryan Finley looked more like a true freshman than the best quarterback in the ACC he had been through the season. As such, we fall to 0-3 on the season for our college picks against the spread and look to bounce back this week.

Georgia @ Florida, Georgia covers (-6.5)

Simply put, Georgia got got against LSU in Death Valley, which can happen to the best of teams. Don’t forget that the Bulldogs were far-and-away the favorites to meet Alabama in the SEC Championship, and also, the CFB Playoffs. With a week off to fine-tune the mistakes that were exposed during their loss and mull over the embarrassment they suffered, I fully expect these Bulldogs to come out swinging. Both Georgia’s and Florida’s defenses have played well this season, with Georgia having a slight edge. The real difference maker is the offensive line for Georgia, which is arguably the best in the SEC and possibly the country, and should be able to clear the way for their potent running attack while giving Fromm time to throw. I expect the Georgia defense to take away the run, generate pressure and force Franks off his spot and make them try to win with the passing offense. I think Georgia’s offense will come out humming as well, considering the way Kentucky’s offense was able to come into the swamp and absolutely bully Florida on the ground and also allow them to throw for two touchdowns and 150 yards. The same Kentucky team struggled to pass the ball on Vanderbilt to the tune of 18 total passing yards. Give me the Bulldogs at -6.5.

Final score prediction: Georgia wins, 30-17

Central Michigan @ Akron, Akron covers (-5)

This is less about Akron being good and more about them matching up with Central Michigan, who has been that bad. Central Michigan is 1-7 on the season, with their only win coming against Maine. They have never scored more than 24 points this season but have allowed 30 in five of eight games. They’ve lost by 10 or more points in five of their seven losses. Looking at their quarterback situation, Tommy Lazzaro has been awful, throwing five touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Yikes. Central Michigan is also allowing 211 rushing yards per game on average. I’m counting on a Lazzaro interception to give Akron a decent lead, with which they will likely be able to hold on to by relying on their run game and attacking CM where they are weakest. If Lazzaro has to play from behind and force the issue, this game could get ugly for the visiting team.

Final score prediction: Akron wins, 27-21

Author: Evan McPhillips

Analyst and Houston Texans Media Correspondent for Pro Football Focus. Follow me on Twitter @emcphil and @PFF_Texans.

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