Week 9 is the final opportunity for teams to make a statement before the first college football playoff rankings are released next Tuesday.
Style points matter at this time of the year, especially when you play ranked teams in your conference.
We started the season with a fake $1000 budget and have made 25 picks against the spread in eight weeks. After going 3-0 in Week 8, our budget now sits at $1,375 entering Saturday.
Season record: 15-10
No. 11 Wake Forest (-4) at Louisville
Pick: Wake Forest -4
Wake Forest is one of the most underrated teams in the nation. The Demon Deacons' only loss came in double overtime against Clemson a few weeks ago. Wake Forest also has one of the country's top quarterbacks in Sam Hartman, who threw for 313 yards with five touchdowns in a 43-15 win over Boston College last week. Louisville likely will have a tough time keeping pace with a Wake Forest team that averages 14.3 more points scored per game.
The Demon Deacons also are 6-1 against the spread (ATS) this season, and they've won six of their last eight road games. Wake Forest should earn its sixth double-digit victory of the season in Louisville on Saturday.
No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Kansas State (-1.5)
Pick: OK. St +1.5
Oklahoma State was a 6-point underdog at home versus Texas last week despite being a better team and higher ranked than the Longhorns. The Cowboys responded with a 41-34 win to remain in the top 10 of the AP poll.
There are plenty of reasons to back Oklahoma State in Week 9. For starters, the Cowboys have been a very good road team of late. They have covered the spread in eight consecutive road matchups. Oklahoma State also is 5-2 ATS this season and has won five of its last seven games versus Kansas State. Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy is 15-2 as an underdog in his career, which is a pretty impressive record.
Oklahoma State's offense is pretty hard to slow down. It ranks No. 3 in the nation at 44.7 points scored per game, led by star quarterback Spencer Sanders. He has tallied 300-plus total yards and two or more touchdowns in three straight games.
Oklahoma State is a better team than Kansas State, and the Cowboys still have plenty of motivation because earning a spot in the College Football Playoff is not an unrealistic goal for them.
No. 15 Ole Miss (-2.5) at Texas A&M
Pick: Ole Miss -2.5
Ole Miss led LSU 17-3 in the second quarter last week and lost 45-20. It was an astounding turnaround by the Tigers to hand the Runnin' Rebels their first defeat of the season.
Ole Miss is primed for a bounce back against a lackluster Texas A&M team that has lost three consecutive games, including a 30-24 defeat to South Carolina last week. The Aggies are scoring just 21.6 points per game -- the lowest of any SEC team. Ole Miss is scoring 38.3 points per game and tallying 490.5 yards per game, including an SEC-best 252.1 rushing yards per contest.
The Rebels are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games against Texas A&M and 4-2 ATS in their last six road matchups.
Ole Miss will beat Texas A&M and create more problems for head coach Jimbo Fisher in what has been a disaster season for the Aggies.