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Black Shoe Degenerates: Week 9

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Welcome to Week 9 of Black Shoe Degenerates, your weekly gambling column written by the smartest gambling expert you know.

I won’t get to watch much football this week. I wanted to give a shoutout to one of my oldest and best friends, Peter Le, for getting married to the wonderful Bridget Sanelli on Saturday — thanks for asking me to be in your wedding, dude! BUT, I take back the shoutout since two Penn State grads are getting married on a home football weekend. James Franklin would NOT be proud.

Before we get into this week’s slate, let’s take a look back and review last week’s performance.

Last week’s picks:

ARob’s week 8: 4-2 (26-27-1 this season)

  • Ole Miss +4 (loss)
  • Michigan -6.5 (win)
  • Indiana +15.5 (win)
  • Washington -15.5 (loss)
  • LSU -7 (win)
  • Purdue +13.5 (win)

Pat’s pick: App State -25.5 (loss, 3-5 this season)

Man do I love those all-black unis for Purdue. How satisfying was it to see Ohio State get smacked? Michigan survived the dreaded East Lansing weather delay, and Penn State (in classic Penn State fashion) let the Hoosiers hang around a little too long. But all in all, a great week!

This Week’s Picks:

#2 Clemson at Florida State, noon

My pick: Clemson -17

Florida State has slightly rebounded from a terrible start — 3-1 in its last four games. But I think Clemson is out to prove something. It throttled NC State at home last week, and Trevor Lawrence really seems to be hitting his stride. I like the road favorite here, and with the line moving, get on this as soon as you can.

Purdue at Michigan State, noon

My pick: Michigan State -1.5

This is just a gut feeling. Purdue is coming off one of its biggest wins in almost two decades, while Sparty just lost a brutal game to rival Michigan. I feel like the Boilermakers have to have a letdown after that rout of the Buckeyes, and Michigan State will be the beneficiary.

TCU at Kansas, 3 p.m.

My pick: Kansas +13.5

TCU has really struggled as of late. It’s lost four of its last five, and hasn’t really looked good doing it. Now, three of those four losses are against now-top 15 teams (Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma,) I understand that. But the Horned Frogs lost their starting QB against the Sooners last week, and their top receiver on Saturday night to an assault arrest. I think Kansas is in a great spot to keep this close at home.

Kansas State at #8 Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m.

My pick: Oklahoma -24.5

Oklahoma rebounded from its only loss of the season with a win against the TCU team we just talked about. It wasn’t as close as the scoreboard said it was. On the other hand, we have a really, really not good Kansas State team with one win over a power-5 opponent. If you can get any prop bets on Kyler Murray, smash the overs.

#18 Iowa at #17 Penn State, 3:30 p.m.

My pick: Iowa +6

Iowa looked dominant last week against Maryland at home, and Penn State hasn’t looked dominant since the Kent State game. James Franklin said the Hawkeyes have one of the best defensive fronts he’s seen as head coach, and I think the offensive line will struggle against it.

#16 Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 7 p.m.

My pick: Texas A&M +2

I love Joe Moorhead, but I just don’t understand how Mississippi State is favored. I think Texas A&M is one of the better teams in the SEC — the Aggies have a 5-2 record with two losses against the top-ranked and second-ranked teams in the country and they handed Kentucky its only loss of the season. I like the road favorites here too. If you’re looking for an outright road winner, I’d consider this.

#11 Washington State at #24 Stanford, 7 p.m.

My pick: Washington State +3

I’m buying into the Washington State hype, and I don’t know why. But any team with a quarterback who’s leading the nation in touchdown passes, completing almost 70% of his passes, and has this amazing mustache is solid in my book, and luckily this one has that exact quarterback in Gardner Minshew. Couple that with the uncertainty surrounding Stanford star running back Bryce Love’s injured left ankle, and I think the Cougars pull the “upset” here.

#6 Texas at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m.

My pick: Texas -3.5

Oklahoma State is trending down after two straight losses to underwhelming Iowa State and Kansas State teams, and TEXAS IS BACK, FOLKS. That’s a heck of a combination.