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Top college football betting trends for Week 9

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Minnesota v Illinois Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

VSiN betting expert and data guru Steve Makinen shares his favorite college football trends for this weekend’s games.

I received a great response to the college football piece I put together last week detailing some of the top betting systems have formed this season using the DraftKings Betting Splits data on

I figured for this week, I’d showcase another valuable feature on our website that seems to go underutilized each season, that being the TEAM TRENDS listed for every matchup on the board. The trends are sorted each week by a grading scale and separated by which team or total side they favor. For this exercise, I went through all 18 of the games featuring a ranked team and handpicked one of the trends I felt was quite relevant to the upcoming matchup.

Along with the specifics of the trend, I’ve detailed the reasons why I find that angle important, giving you a glimpse into the type of things I look for when handicapping college football games, at least as it pertains to trends. Enjoy the analysis and good luck on your college football Week 9 wagers.

Again, these are all the big games featuring ranked teams and they are sorted in rotation order.

Thursday, Oct. 27


* Play AGAINST VIRGINIA TECH vs. decent team outscoring opponents by more than 7.0 points per game (13-2 ATS last 15 games)

Analysis: It’s been about five seasons since Virginia Tech was really competitive at the upper levels of the ACC. One of the reasons is the Hokies have struggled against their best competition. At 2-5 in 2022, they are facing an NC State team that is still very good even without QB Devin Leary.


* Play ON UTAH on ROAD vs. team with a winning record (17-8 ATS last 10 years)

Analysis: One reason Kyle Whittingham has been around so long at Utah is that his teams are gritty, disciplined and relatively consistent. This type of mentality tends to travel well, and it lends to teams performing in any environment against even the best opponents.

Saturday, Oct. 29

(117) ILLINOIS at (118) NEBRASKA

* Play ON ILLINOIS with more than 6 days rest (8-0 ATS last 2 years)

Analysis: Illinois is in control of its destiny in the Big Ten West, and despite the 6-1 record, I still don’t think oddsmakers and bettors are taking this team seriously. As I wrote about in my College Football Strength Ratings update this week, the Illini are still badly undervalued, with a top-10 Effective Strength Rating of 30.6. That is higher than teams like Oregon and Ole Miss. For this week, they are rested and come in on an 8-0 ATS streak when playing with more than the standard week of rest. Who stands in the way? A perennially underachieving Nebraska team.

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