NCAAF Week 9 Best Bets: ‘Under’ the Spell of Gambling Ghouls and Goblins

It’s Halloween weekend, a time when ghouls and goblins can wreck the best-laid college football betting plans, and we think we’ve found the winning potion for a couple of high-profile games.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Syracuse Orange

Saturday, October 29, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at JMA Wireless Dome


Teams coming off their first loss of the season are very often under a witch’s spell the following week, and the way the Syracuse Orange lost their first game could have them in a zombie state for their clash with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Current NCAA football odds point to a close, low-scoring affair. Syracuse is favored by a field goal with the total set at 47½, and we might also expect a tight spread and low total when the Fighting Irish host the Orange on the hardwood in early December.

Can Orange Rebound from Clemson Catastrophe?

Notre Dame didn’t let the boys from Sin City have much fun in South Bend last week, and while the 44-21 win over UNLV wasn’t quite enough to cover a nearly 4-TD spread, the Fighting Irish surprised us with enough offense to nearly top a 46-point total on their own.

Syracuse appeared ready to return home from Clemson with a huge upset as a 2-TD underdog at FanDuel, but the Tigers rallied behind backup quarterback Cade Klubnik for a 27-21 win that stunned Dino Babers and the Orange.

Irish Have Won Last 4 Meetings

The 10 previous gridiron collisions between Notre Dame and Syracuse have resulted in seven wins for the Fighting Irish, including the last four in a row with covers in three.

The last three contests took place in South Bend. The Golden Domers are making their first appearance in the ‘Cuse Dome since a 31-15 win in 2014 with totals splitting during Notre Dame’s 4-game win streak.

A Dull Day for Scoreboard Operator

Syracuse ranks sixth in the country allowing just 16.1 points per game, the top mark in the ACC while also ranking first in both pass defense (171.4 ypg) and total defense (294.1 ypg).

Notre Dame is way down the list at 80th nationally scoring 26.6 points per game, and it’s closer to 20-even if you discount last week’s scoring against a pathetic UNLV team.

It’s an easy college football pick on the total stopping short.

NCAAF Pick: Under 47½ (-106) at FanDuel


Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Saturday, October 29, 2022 – 02:30 PM EDT at TIAA Bank Field


This year’s version of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party looked like it could be the de facto SEC East Championship Game before the season started, but the matchup with the Florida Gators has become just another conference contest for the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

Dawgs Favored by More than 3 Touchdowns

Instead of it being relevant to the conference race, the Florida-Georgia contest is one that has seen the spread balloon by nearly a touchdown at some of the best online betting sites, where the Bulldogs are burdened with 22-22½ point chalk with the total running 56-57.

Both Sides Off Bye Week

Florida has had two weeks to lick its wounds following a 45-35 loss as a small home favorite to LSU, and while that might give Billy Napier and his staff extra time to prepare for Georgia, it also gives Gator players more time to fret facing the best team in the country.

Likewise, Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs took last week off after easy wins and covers over Vanderbilt and Auburn, and they will have used that time to keep Georgia players focused on this rivalry while also scheming for next week’s big game against Tennessee.

Historic 100th Meeting in Series

Georgia fans will tell you – with a wink of the eye – that last year’s clash was the 100th in the rivalry, but history doesn’t agree with their count, making Saturday’s tilt No. 100 with the Bulldogs holding a 53-44 advantage (plus a couple of ties).

There is no disputing Georgia won and covered with an easy 34-7 win over Florida a season ago, giving the Bulldogs four wins and covers in the last five meetings while totals have run 7-2-1 since 2011.

Will Rain Dampen Cocktail Party?

There aren’t any new pressing injuries, though bettors will want to confirm that before placing their wagers, and they’ll also want to keep an eye on the weather that currently shows a 40%-50% chance of showers in Jacksonville on Saturday.

The OddsTrader computer pick suggests taking the Gators plus the points, and that is an inviting play. But the safer bet is to play the final score to come up short of the total.

NCAAF Pick: Under 56½ (-105) at FanDuel


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