Spread Options: Dr. Saturday’s Week 9 picks against the spread

Nick Bromberg
October 25, 2013

We're back rolling.

Hope you didn't fade. Dr. Saturday's picks in Week 8 as I went a cool 7-3 to bring the cumulative record to 42-39-1. So what if I needed a late Clemson touchdown to hit the over and get to that point? It still counts.

Let's get on with it in week 9. Did you know the line for ESPN's College Gameday game in Eugene for Oregon and UCLA has the Ducks favored by 23? That's massive for a game receiving that much attention.

Nebraska at Minnesota (+10), Noon ET: Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is a game-time decision with a turf toe injury and Minnesota is playing well after defeating Northwestern on the road. Don't count out the inspiration from coach Jerry Kill as well, who surprised the team last week before the Northwestern game and at halftime. Also, don't be surprised if Minnesota wins this straight up.

Ball State (-9) at Akron, Noon ET: Ball State covered the spread at Western Michigan last week, and suddenly is favored by 10 points fewer at Akron. Yes, Akron did beat Miami (OH) last week, but do I really need to get into detail about how awful of a matchup that was? But hey, at least the Zips beat an FBS team. They won't make it two in a row, however.

Vanderbilt at Texas A&M (-17), 12:21 p.m. ET: Johnny Manziel started the week off with his right shoulder in a sling for precautionary reasons and is listed as questionable. I think he's playing in this game. Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels is not. He's out and Patton Robinette takes his place. Vandy took advantage of a couple of late Georgia mistakes to hang on last week. Manziel and company are mad. This could get ugly.

Duke at Virginia Tech (-13.5), 3:30 p.m. ET: Duke is 5-2 and coming off a win against Virginia where it scored 35 unanswered points to win 35-22. Yet Virginia Tech has been sneaky good since losing to Alabama and surviving against Marshall. Trusting Logan Thomas with a double digit spread is a little risky, but it's at home.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma (Over 59), 3:30 p.m. ET: After a lackluster performance on the road against Kansas and Texas Tech's win at West Virginia, the line of 6.5 in Oklahoma's favor is right on the edge, which means Vegas did good work. However, with the Red Raiders' offense and the Sooners' depleted defense, I'm confident that this game hits the over. After all, Iowa State scored 35 on Tech two weeks ago.

Tulsa at Tulane (+2.5), 3:30 p.m. ET: Tulane can't get no respect. Tulsa is 2-4 overall and Tulane is 5-2 and 3-0 in Conference USA. Yet they're home underdogs. Tulane gets to bowl eligibility with a win and here it says that Curtis Johnson's reward of a week off works.

Notre Dame at Air Force (+20), 5 p.m. ET: Air Force is 1-6 and 0-5 in the Mountain West. Temple, who lost to Notre Dame 28-6 in week one is the only team that Notre Dame has beaten by more than 20 this season. Temple is also 1-6 and 0-3 in the AAC. Who's worse? The Irish are banged up -- Louis Nix is out, though quarterback Tommy Rees will start -- and while the Irish can afford to sleepwalk through this one, it won't be a monstrous margin of victory.

Baylor (-35) at Kansas, 7 p.m. ET: Can Kansas score enough to keep the game within reach in the first half? The Jayhawks' presumed strength coming into the season was on offense, but that hasn't been the case. Jake Heaps had 16 yards passing against Oklahoma last week. I don't think this is a game where Baylor gets to 70, but does Kansas get to 17 or 20?

Texas (+2.5) at TCU, 7:30 p.m. ET: Case McCoy joked that he was the reason Texas was an underdog, but he's the reason that Texas wins the game. Trevone Boykin hasn't gotten much help from the people around him at TCU, though the Frogs are better running the football. Joke all you want about Greg Robinson being the defensive coordinator at Texas, but the unit has improved under his watch. Though could it have gotten much worse?

Cal at Washington (-27.5), 11 p.m. ET: The Cal defense has been horrendous and Washington returns home after losing badly at Arizona State. This has bounceback game written all over it for Keith Price, Bishop Sankey and the Washington offense. Cal can throw the ball -- no matter who the quarterback is this week -- but they can't stop anyone. The Bears are second worst in FBS in points allowed.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!