College Football Under the Radar Week 9 Picks

College Football Under the Radar Week 9 Picks

I split my under the radar picks last week with one game postponed. That means I’m still up for the season as we had toward the backstretch of the season. It gets a little harder to find those UTR picks with teams playing more games and oddsmakers having a better handle on most teams. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, though, and looking a little deeper on the Week 9 schedule will hopefully find us a few winners to pad the bankroll after a difficult last few weeks.

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I said in last week’s article that I was surprised by the point spread for the Penn State-Minnesota game. I backed the Nittany Lions -6 at home against a struggling Gophers squad without their starting QB and nailed it. PSU cruised to a 45-17 victory. One thing I didn’t expect was James Madison to score 20 points below its season average costing me in a loss to Marshall. The Thundering Herd have a decent defense, but I anticipated points being scored. Marshall prevailed 26-12 playing below the total of 53.5.

The other game on our Week 8 under the radar picks was postponed after the San Jose State squad lost a team member in a fatal accident. Tragic stories like that put things in perspective helping all of us realize that life is much more important than a game. The schools will attempt to reschedule, but that’s easier said than done given the logistics of a cramped season. And that could cost the Spartans in the long run. Favored by 21.5 points it was a winnable game for them and one they badly need in order to reach bowl eligibility. We’ll move ahead to Week 9 looking for under the radar picks to improve our season record.

New Mexico State Aggies ( -2.5 ) at UMass Minutemen

As it turns out I’m sticking with New Mexico State for their showdown with UMass. The Aggies were playing their best football of the season before last week’s postponement winning two of three games. Early season matchups with Wisconsin and Minnesota not only paid the bills, they got the Aggies hardened for lesser opponents like UMass. The defense played particularly well the last few games giving up three field goals over the last six quarters. And the UMass offense isn’t scaring anyone averaging 243 yards and 12.0 points, both near the bottom of the FBS rankings. The Aggies won last season’s meeting 44-27 easily covering the 7-point spread and It won’t take much for them to earn another payout. The records are similar, but the performance on the field is drastically different.

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San Diego State Aztecs ( +8.5 ) at Fresno State Bulldogs

It’s been a down year for two stalwarts in the Mountain West Conference making this an intriguing matchup. Playing at home where they are always tough to beat I expected the Bulldogs to be favored. What I didn’t expect was to see the line at 8.5-points. San Diego State got back to playing its brand of football winning its last two contests. The Aztecs like to bully opponents in the trenches and run the football. They did that beating Hawai’i and Nevada. They have a tougher task against Fresno State, which also has won two straight following a four-game losing streak. The teams are similar in a lot of ways with defense being a priority. If the game plays out the way it should we won’t see a lot of points giving the Aztecs an edge on the spread.

Northwestern Wildcats at Iowa Hawkeyes ( U 37 )

It’s as if oddsmakers are scared to go too low on the total setting us up for a win against the UNDER in this matchup between the Big Ten’s two lowest scoring teams. Four times the Hawkeyes had a closing total below 40 with the UNDER cashing in three of those games. It makes sense when you average 14.0 points and have scored that many or fewer five times. It tells you a lot about them when the punter is the most celebrated player. The Wildcats aren’t much better averaging 18.6 points leaving both defenses to cover for a lack of points. The teams played below the total in each of the last five encounters with only one game combining for more than the total in this one.

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