Must-Bet College Football Games Week 9

Must-Bet College Football Games Week 9

Written by on October 25, 2022

There are six unbeaten teams left in the FBS, yet no one seems to be talking about TCU of the Big 12 as a national championship contender. Could the Frogs be on upset alert on Saturday at West Virginia? That’s one of two games we have our eyes on involving an unbeaten.

Week 9 College Football 2022 Analysis

No. 7 TCU at West Virginia (+7.5)

Noon start on ESPN. TCU is the only team without a loss in the Big 12 and would be in great position to reach the conference title game with a victory in Morgantown against a WVU team struggling overall at 3-4.

TCU comes off an impressive 38-28 win last week vs. Kansa State. The Wildcats’ backup quarterback Will Howard, in for the injured Adrian Martinez, led KSU to four consecutive touchdowns and a 28-10 lead midway through the second quarter. But Max Duggan threw for two touchdowns, Kendre Miller rushed for two more and the TCU defense held the Wildcats scoreless, with two turnovers and two missed field goals, over the final 38 minutes. Howard began the game 8-for-10 for 185 yards and two touchdowns plus a rushing score, but he went just 5-for-10 for 40 yards and an interception from there.

The Horned Frogs are 7-0 for the first time since 2017, when Head Coach Sonny Dykes was on staff as an offensive analyst. Dykes is just the second head coach in program history, joining Francis Schmidt in 1929, to win his opening seven games. At No. 7, TCU has its highest ranking since it was No. 4 in 2017, when Dykes was initially a Horned Frog.

TCU’s four wins this season over ranked opponents ties it with Tennessee for the national lead. TCU’s four consecutive games with a win over a ranked opponent ties for first nationally since 1996. The Horned Frogs are the only Big 12 team to accomplish the feat in the regular season. Before this year, TCU never had more than two straight weeks of defeating a ranked team.

The Frogs’ last two games have seen them rally from deficits of 17 and 18 points, respectively, against Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Since 1996, TCU is one of just two teams (Tennessee, 2016) to overcome deficits of at least 17 points in consecutive games to beat top-25 opponents. CU is third in the nation in scoring offense (44.7 points per game), total offense (522.1 yards per game) and yards per play (7.4).

West Virginia lost 48-10 at Texas Tech last time out and WVU’s training room more closely resembles a MASH unit with all of the walking wounded. Coach Neal Brown indicated this week that starting running back Tony Mathis Jr., starting left guard James Gmiter, starting cornerback Rashad Ajayi, and starting outside linebacker Lance Dixon will be out for Saturday’s game. That’s in addition to starting tight end Mike O’Laughlin, who was lost for the season during the Texas game.

Quarterback JT Daniels is coming off a three-interception performance at Texas Tech, but two of those picks were 50-50 balls that WVU receivers could have easily caught. For the season, the junior is completing 63.8% of his attempts for 1,686 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bryce Ford-Wheaton leads the receiver corps with 45 catches for 516 yards and five touchdowns, while senior defensive tackle Dante Stills needs one more tackle for loss to pass consensus All-America linebacker Grant Wiley’s school record 47½ TFLs.

Michigan State at No. 4 Michigan (-22.5)

Prime-time ABC game. You can usually throw the records out in this matchup – although Michigan is clearly the better team this year at 7-0 and the Spartans are just 3-4. However, last year MSU wasn’t supposed to beat Michigan, either, and did 37-33. The Wolverines have lost four of their past six as home favorites against the rival Spartans, but they haven’t been favored over MSU by this much at home — the line is currently Michigan by 22.5 — since 1992, when they won 35-10.

Saturday’s game will be the 115th meeting in the all-time series with Michigan State. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 71-38-5, and have won 26 of the last 43 games played between the two schools dating back to 1979. U-M has compiled a 34-18 mark against MSU since 1970, with winning streaks of eight games (1970-77) and six games (2002-07) during that stretch of 52 games.

U-M is scoring 42.7 points per game and allowing 12.1 points against, on average. The only teams with top-10 rankings in scoring offense and scoring defense are Georgia (second, defense; eighth, offense), Ohio State (second, offense; fifth, defense), and Michigan (third, defense; sixth, offense). The only teams with an average scoring differential above 30 points are Ohio State (+34.7), Georgia (+32.5), and Michigan (+30.6).

Michigan’s +214 cumulative scoring differential trails only Ohio State (+243) and Georgia (+228) for the best in the nation. It’s the same figure posted by the 1976 squad through seven games, and the 2016 team (+238) is the only U-M team with a better mark since 1905. Blake Corum has 666 rushing yards and six touchdowns across four Big Ten games thus far, averaging 5.87 yards per carry in conference play. Across his last 12 Big Ten games (dating to 2021), Corum has totaled 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns on 5.95 yards per carry.

MSU head coach Mel Tucker is the first Spartan coach in program history to defeat Michigan in his first two meetings against the Wolverines. Michigan State has won five of the last seven meetings over Michigan in Ann Arbor, including three of the last four matchups. Four of those five wins came against ranked Wolverine teams. In addition, Michigan State has defeated Michigan 22 times when the Wolverines were ranked in the AP Top 25, including 12 wins in the top 10.

Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan at Michigan Stadium. Only Ohio State (22) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (21) at Michigan Stadium (opened in 1927). In addition, only Ohio State (24) has recorded more wins over Michigan in Ann Arbor than the Spartans (23).

The team with the most productive ground attack has won 46 of the last 52 games in the MSU-UM series, with the only exceptions being in 2020, 2016, 2015, 2007, 2004 and 1995.

Expert Predictions

We knew it was going to be an interesting 2022 NASCAR season as the Cup Series switched over to the Next Gen car, and that indeed was the case as 19 different drivers won a race this past year. Some people love the parity, while others think that the new setup favors being lucky rather than good. 

The 2022 NASCAR postseason was interesting, with the first four races being won by non-playoff drivers. Eventually, the cream did rise to the top, with Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson winning races down the stretch. 

Even with all the parity during the regular season, few people could argue that Joey Logano was an undeserving 2022 Cup Series champion. Logano had three wins during the regular NASCAR season and two in the playoffs, but now the question becomes, can he repeat in 2023? Let’s take a look at this analysis for your NASCAR bets.

What to expect in the upcoming 2023 NASCAR season?

2023 Team Changes 

There has always been some swapping of teams in the offseason in NASCAR, but it’s almost getting to be like an MLB trade deadline the way drivers are realigned for the 2023 season.

The biggest move is Kyle Gibbs going from Joe Gibbs Racing, where he’s been since 2008, and heading to Richard Childress Racing. This is the equivalent of Tom Brady leaving the Patriots. 

Other big team changes for 2023 include Tyler Reddick leaving RCR for 23XI. This isn’t a shock because Busch was coming over, and Reddick had announced his departure in 2024, but Kurt Busch’s retirement from a full-time driver pushed up the timeline. 

It’s not just ‘trades’ that are going to make 2023 interesting, but also full-time debuts. The two biggest names moving to the Cup Series full-time are Ty Gibbs, who replaces Busch at his grandfather’s JGR club, and Noah Gragson, coming off one of the more successful Xfinity regular seasons in recent memory to drive full-time for Petty GMS. A.J. Allmendinger is also returning to the Cup Series full-time for the first time since 2018.

Who Will Win the 2023 Cup Series?  

It will be interesting to see if the parity of 19 different drivers winning last season calms down in year two of the Next Gen car or if that’s just how NASCAR is going to be moving forward. Logano (+650) showed a mastery of the new racing format, so he’s obviously a favorite to become the first back-to-back winner since Jimmie Johnson in 2009/2010. 

The co-favorites to win the 2023 Cup Series are Chase Elliott and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson at +600. Elliott made the final four this season, and he and Larson won the Cup Series in 2020 and 2021, respectively. 

Other contenders for some 2023 NASCAR Cup Series future bets are Christopher Bell (+800), who was a championship four finalist after getting hot with two wins in the playoffs. Ryan Blaney (+850) will be a hot pick as well, even though he failed to pick up a win last season. 

Maybe 2023 is the year that some old dogs return to top form, too, as Denny Hamlin (+1000) had two wins in 2022 but another ten top-five finishes. Maybe a change of scenery gets Busch (+2000) back on track. 

Buckle up; the Daytona 500 is right around the corner.

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