CFB Week 9 buy or sell: Houston continues to slide
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Every week, we're diving into which teams are too low or high in the betting markets ahead of the weekend.
Here's what we're seeing leading up to Week 9.
Buy - Washington State
Week 9: +14 at Oregon
Washington State has slipped through the cracks a bit since suffering three straight losses. The Cougars were able to right the ship last weekend against Colorado but face a stiffer test against Oregon on Saturday. The Ducks come into Week 9 off their biggest win of the season at Washington. They're more defensive-minded this year, but they're oddly short on talent in the skill corps. This feels like a good spot to back Washington State, which gets Oregon coming off a physical game and will throw a completely different offensive scheme at the Ducks than they saw from the Huskies.
Buy - Colorado State
Week 9: +14 at Fresno State
Fresno State doesn't have a defense this season. It's been evident for most of the year, with last week's game against UNLV the nail in the coffin. The scoreboard said otherwise, but the Rebels, on the second game of a back-to-back road trip, moved the ball pretty well on the Bulldogs' secondary. This should bode well for Colorado State, which is slowly finding a groove under backup quarterback Patrick O'Brien. He's averaging a whopping 9.1 air yards per attempt.
Buy - Duke
Week 9: +3.5 at UNC
Duke's been awfully unlucky this season. Despite heading into this weekend with a 4-3 record, the Blue Devils have allowed more than 350 yards just once this year, in Week 1 against Alabama. Duke is coming off its worst loss of the season in Week 8, but you can expect head coach David Cutcliffe to bounce back. He's 5-0 against the spread after losing ATS in the previous game. This is also a potential hangover spot for North Carolina, which fell to Virginia Tech in six overtimes last weekend.
Sell - Houston
Week 9: +13.5
Wait - so your starting quarterback and star wide receiver opted to take redshirts in a season that's essentially turned into a tank, and it backfired? You don't say. Outside of a win over lowly UConn and an underwhelming North Texas team in the aftermath of the redshirt saga, I don't know how you trust Houston at this point. On Saturday, the Cougars fought tooth and nail for a win against the Huskies in a game where microphones caught head coach Dana Holgorsen saying, "I can't f------ coach this shit." Things continue to snowball for Houston, which now gets an SMU team that's 6-1 against the spread and scoring at will this season.
Sell - Toledo
Week 9: -4.5 vs. Eastern Michigan
Speaking of teams you can't trust, Toledo has seemingly quit the last two weeks. Once thought of as the favorite for the MAC title, the Rockets are now on the outside looking in after losing by 20 as 26.5-point favorites to Bowling Green in Week 7 and getting blown out by 38 last weekend to Ball State. After two deflating losses, they host an Eastern Michigan team that's been great in the underdog role. Toledo should be an afterthought in Week 9.
Sell - Navy
Week 9: -3.5 vs. Tulane
Navy's been outstanding this season, but the Midshipmen are at the peak of their market price right now. They've been able to cruise through the weak part of conference play, handling Tulsa, South Florida, and East Carolina. Tulane will be the toughest test of the season, and I'm not sure these two teams are close to a pick 'em on a neutral field, which is what the spread is implying.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKoIodziej.