College Football Trends Report: Week 9

Kenneth Walker III #9 of the Michigan State Spartans runs the ball against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers during the first half of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 02, 2021 in East Lansing, Michigan.
Image Credit: Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Three Top 20 matchups highlight the Week 9 schedule in college football, including a pair of Top 20 matchups between Big Ten opponents. Here are BetPrep’s key trends for the biggest matchups in Week 9.

No. 6 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 8 Michigan State – 12:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 51)

This will be the first time since 1964 that both the Wolverines and Spartans are ranked in the AP Top-10. This will also be only the sixth game between Big Ten programs in the last 100 seasons where both teams are 7-0 or better entering play.

The Wolverines are just 2-8 against AP-ranked opponents on the road under head coach Jim Harbaugh, which includes an 0-5 record against AP Top-10 teams. In all 10 of those games, Michigan was also ranked. Harbaugh’s 2-8 road record against AP-ranked opponents is the worst by any head coach with a single school (minimum of 10 games).

Michigan Key Trends

  • The Wolverines are 2-11 against the spread in their last 13 games against the Spartans.
  • Michigan is also just 1-5 ATS in its last six games in East Lansing.
  • The Over is a perfect 5-0 in the Wolverines’ last five road games.

Michigan State Key Trends

  • The Spartans are 5-0-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
  • Michigan State is just 4-15-2 ATS in its last 21 home games.
  • The Over has cashed in 17 of Sparty’s last 22 games following a bye.

No. 20 Penn State (+18.5) at No. 5 Ohio State – 7:30 p.m. ET (O/U: 61)

Ohio State leads the FBS in total offense with 559.3 yards per game, as well as in scoring offense while averaging 49.3 points per contest. That said, Penn State is allowing just 14.7 PPG this season, which ranks sixth in the FBS.

The Buckeyes have won 25 straight games against conference opponents, which is the longest active streak in the FBS. They’re 20-8 against the Nittany Lions since PSU joined the Big Ten in 1993, which is the best mark by any team that has played Penn State at least 10 times over that span according to ESPN Stats & Informational Group. The Nittany Lions are also just 2-12 at Ohio State over that stretch, which is their worst record against any team they’ve played at least five times on the road since joining the Big Ten.

Penn State Key Trends

  • Coach James Franklin is 1-6 against Ohio State, which is his most losses against any opponent.
  • Penn State is 2-3 outright when getting more than 17 points since the FBS/FCS split in 1978, which is the best mark by any team over that stretch.
  • The Nittany Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Buckeyes.

Ohio State Key Trends

  • The Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams in Columbus.
  • The Buckeyes are a perfect 4-0 ATS over their last four games.
  • Ohio State is a perfect 8-0 ATS in its last eight games played in the month of October.

No. 1 Georgia (-14.4) vs. Florida – 3:30 p.m. ET (O/U: 51)

Georgia can actually become the first team to clinch a spot in its conference championship game this weekend with a win against Florida and a Kentucky loss at Mississippi State.

According to ESPN Stats & Informational Group, the Bulldogs have only trailed for 11 plays this season, all of which came in the first quarter against Auburn. Only two other FBS teams have trailed for fewer than 50 plays this season — Michigan (18) and Coastal Carolina (31) — while every other SEC school has trailed for over 100 points (Kentucky at 129 and Alabama at 130 are the closest). Georgia’s defense has only allowed four touchdowns in seven games this year and along with Penn State, are the only defenses that haven’t allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season.

Florida, meanwhile, won eight of its final nine games last season but has wind3 dropped six of its last eight games against Power 5 opponents.

Georgia Key Trends

  • The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams.
  • Georgia is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games overall.
  • The Bulldogs are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 neutral site games.

Florida Key Trends

  • The Gators are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss.
  • Florida is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 neutral site games.
  • The Over is 4-0 in the Gators’ last four neutral site games.

No. 10 Ole Miss (+3) at No. 18 Auburn – 7:00 p.m. ET (O/U: 60.5)

Auburn has won each of the past five meetings between these two teams, which is the third-longest streak for either school in series history. This will be just the third time that the Rebels and Tigers have met with both teams ranked in the AP Top-25.

Ole Miss rushed for 266 yards in its win over LSU, which was the fifth time the Rebels have topped 250 rushing yards this season. That said, Auburn is limiting opponents to 123 rushing yards per game this season and has only allowed one team to rush for 250 yards (Georgia State).

Ole Miss Trends

  • The Rebels are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight meetings with the Tigers.
  • Ole Miss is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games at Auburn.
  • That said, the road team is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams.

Auburn Key Trends

  • The Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite.
  • Auburn is 4-1 ATS in its last five games in October.
  • The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home favorite.