Week 9 College Football Predictions: Saturday's Best Bets From Across The Country

Week 9 college football predictions for Saturday's action. College football expert Brett Ciancia is back, giving us his top betting picks for Saturday.
Brett Ciancia
Fri, October 29, 11:41 AM EDT

Week 9 College Football Predictions: Saturday's Best Bets From Across The Country

College football expert and analyst Brett Ciancia is back, giving us his best bets for Saturday's Week 9 games. Brett breaks down all four of his picks, most of which come to us from marquee games like Ole Miss vs. Auburn and Pitt vs. Miami.

Make sure you check back each week to see Brett's Saturday college football picks and best bets throughout the entire season.

College football odds for every single game on Saturday

Iowa State vs. West Virginia Prediction

After a rocky start, Iowa State is playing like the preseason Top 10 team that we all expected.  If not for special teams blunders and some untimely turnovers, 5-2 Iowa State could be 6-1 and very much in the Playoff discussion.  Instead, they are focused on climbing back up the polls and getting back to Dallas.

Through Week 8, Iowa State is #1 in the Big 12 in Pick Six Previews’ Game Grader formula.  Iowa State also places near the top of several other metrics.  They are #5 nationally in yards/game differential (+167) and #7 nationally in yards/play differential (+2.0).

The offense is living up to the “Brocktober” namesake yet again.  Quarterback Brock Purdy tends to play his best football in October, and yet again, this month he has thrown 7 touchdowns, no picks, an 82% completion rate, and is #3 in QB Rating.

West Virginia is one-dimensional on offense, unable (or unwilling) to establish a run game.  Their pass-heavy attack meets an Iowa State secondary and unique defensive scheme that allows the fewest pass yards in the entire Big 12.

Prediction   Iowa State 30, West Virginia 17

Pick:  Iowa State -7  @ -110

Ole Miss vs. Auburn Prediction

In Pick Six Previews’ Game Grader formula, Ole Miss is #3 in the SEC while Auburn is #9.  Even with the homefield advantage factored in, the wrong team is favored here.

Matt Corral has thrown 15 touchdowns (just one pick), is in the Top 10 in QB Rating, and is an effective runner.  His 68 rushing yards/game places 10th in the entire SEC.

This will be a tougher matchup for Lane Kiffin’s offense, as Auburn’s defense is ranked in the league’s top three in most key stat categories (along with Georgia and Alabama).  Ole Miss put up huge numbers against some of the weaker SEC defenses but now needs to elevate against a top unit. 

I trust Corral and Kiffin more than the hot-and-cold Bo Nix.

Prediction:  Ole Miss 34,  Auburn 31

Pick:  Ole Miss +3  @ -110

Pittsburgh vs. Miami Prediction

The ACC has been a total surprise from top to bottom so far in 2021.  It’s like if you took the preseason projections and put them through a computer randomizer. 

One of the few consistencies so far has been Pittsburgh’s offense and their 3-0 start to league play.  Against a solid sample of ACC opponents (Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech), Pitt is averaging a 21-point margin of victory, and a +170 yardage differential per game.

Kenny Pickett has made an incredible rise from his 2018 & 2019 seasons, and is now atop the Heisman race with a video game stat line: 

  • 319 pass yards/game (4th in Power 5)
  • 23 TD, 1 INT (Best ratio in Power 5)
  • 69% completion rate (8th in Power 5)
  • 4th best QB Rating in Power 5

Meanwhile, one of the usual staples of the conference, Miami’s aggressive/attacking defense, has been out of character.  They are outside the ACC Top 5 in almost all defensive metrics, including passer rating, completion %, sacks, yards/play, etc.  Worse, they are 2nd to last in scoring defense allowing 30 per game.

Prediction:  Pittsburgh 42, Miami 30

Pick:  Pittsburgh -9  @ -110

Baylor vs. Texas Prediction

Back in my Baylor season preview, I predicted that their defense would make the biggest jump from 2020 to 2021.  When I interviewed head coach Dave Aranda back in 2020 spring, you could tell he was a defensive genius but that his complex scheme may need a full install year before taking off.  Two months into the season, that prediction was spot on.

But what no one saw coming was the offensive explosion to match it.  Baylor currently leads the entire Big 12 in offensive yards/play (7.3) and yards/game (471). 

My numbers have this as a much wider margin than the Vegas line.

Prediction:  Baylor 34,  Texas 24

Pick:  Baylor -2.5  @ -110

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