Tailgate Pick ‘Em Week 9 Predictions Including Auburn vs LSU

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 15: The LSU Tigers offense lines up against the Auburn Tigers defense at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The 2019 college football season rolls on with key conference games including Wisconsin at Ohio State, and Oklahoma at Kansas State. Traditional rivals Notre Dame and Michigan face off, while all eyes will be on Baton Rouge as Auburn travels to take on LSU. Our panel of John Bava, Steen Kirby, and Yesh Ginsburg offer their predictions.

#13 Wisconsin at #3 Ohio State (Saturday in Columbus, OH)
Line: Ohio State by 14.5

John: This looming battle in Columbus is between the only two teams in the Big Ten allowing fewer than 10 points per game. So, on paper, it figures to be a defensive-minded slugfest. But both teams boast immensely talented playmakers on offense. It includes Badger running back Jonathan Taylor and Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields. Wisconsin suffered a huge letdown last week when they were shocked by Illinois. And despite how stout they are defensively, they’ll find it hard to contain the conference’s most potent offense. Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 21

Steen: Both these teams have been winning in blowouts…until last week when Wisconsin fell in the ultimate trap game against Illinois. Make no mistake, the Badgers are still good, but that loss exposed their offense and took some of the luster out of this matchup. Wisconsin will steady themselves and have a good season, but I don’t see it happening today in Columbus. Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 21

Yesh: The Wisconsin defense is really good. The offense can be efficient, but can also struggle at times. Ohio State will take away the run game and force the Badgers to throw downfield. With an inconsistent and young quarterback, that’s a very dangerous proposition for Wisconsin. Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 14

#5 Oklahoma at Kansas State (Saturday in Manhattan, KS)
Line: Oklahoma by 23.5

John: Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts has certainly installed himself as a Heisman Trophy frontrunner with his impressive play in 2019. But he might be in for a challenge in Manhattan against a Kansas State defense that’s allowing the fewest passing yards among Big 12 teams. The Sooners are certainly in the mix for a CFP berth. That said, it’s hard to go with a team favored by over three touchdowns on the road. They should prevail but expect the Wildcats to cover. Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 21

Steen: Kansas State is overmatched all over the field in this matchup, but the Wildcats are used to that and they won’t surrender at home without a fight. Oklahoma is a complete team though, and I don’t expect this game to be live in the 4th quarter. That may allow the Wildcats to cover, barely. Oklahoma 45, Kansas State 24

Yesh: What has Kansas State really shown us this year? They have fought hard for decent wins against Mississippi State and TCU, but the inability to move the ball against Baylor does not bode well for facing Oklahoma. The Wildcats actually have a surprisingly strong defense, so they may get a few stops, but nowhere near enough to keep this close. Oklahoma 45, Kansas State 24

#9 Auburn at #2 LSU (Saturday in Baton Rouge, LA)
Line: LSU by 10.5

John: When your rival is Alabama, the pressure is always on to be relevant in the SEC. And this season, Gus Malzahn has Auburn in such a position. But they face their stiffest challenge of 2019 thus far on Saturday as they face the other Tigers from the SEC West division in a battle of top 10 teams. This game will feature another Heisman candidate in LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. And expect him to ball out against an Auburn defense that ranks 68th defending the pass. LSU 34, Auburn 17

Steen: After losing to Florida, this game is a (likely) playoff eliminator for Auburn, while LSU wants to keep their perfect record intact before they have to face Alabama. The LSU offense has been a revelation this year, this is a home game in front of a highly partisan crowd for LSU, and Joe Burrow has more big game experience than Bo Nix. The recipe is there for LSU to win this game even if Auburn can stifle the (other) Tigers a bit on the defensive side. LSU 31, Auburn 24

Yesh: This line feels high. The LSU defense isn’t good enough right now to stop Bo Nix and this Auburn attack. There is strength in the trenches to try to replicate what Florida did to Auburn, but it’s hard to count on that. The Auburn defense, on the other hand, can probably get a few stops against Joe Burrow, but will be worn down by the second half. LSU 41, Auburn 31

UCF at Temple (Saturday in Philadelphia, PA)
Line: UCF by 10.5

John: UCF already has two losses this season. So it’s pretty much a certainty that their run as the top Group of Five team is over. They face a Temple squad coming off a 45-21 loss to SMU who remain undefeated and are suddenly the favorite to represent the G5 in a New Year’s Six bowl. But back to this game. The Owls are 3-0 against the spread at home in 2019. And with two wins against Power 5 schools already (Maryland and Georgia Tech), they might be poised to pull off an upset here. Temple 31, UCF 30

Steen: A game that still matters for the American conference, even if both teams have fallen a bit from the national spotlight. UCF has been solid on offense all season and Temple struggled on defense last week against SMU. UCF should light up the Owls in this road game and walk out with a big win. UCF 42, Temple 28

Yesh: After the Pitt and Cincinnati games, it’s easy to forget that UCF is a very good football team. Temple’s defense is usually solid, but it just got shredded by SMU. There is no reason that the UCF offense won’t do the exact same. UCF 45, Temple 28

#8 Notre Dame at #19 Michigan (Saturday in Ann Arbor, MI)
Line: Michigan by 1

John: These two rivals face off under the lights of the Big House on Saturday night. Notre Dame comes into the game off a bye week which could give them and edge considering Michigan lost to Penn State on the road last week. The Irish clearly have the advantage at quarterback with Ian Book much more consistent than Michigan signal-caller Shea Patterson. And they also lead the nation in turnover margin which should tilt this game in their favor as the Wolverines have been fairly erratic in terms of taking care of the football this year. Notre Dame 27, Michigan 20

Steen: Michigan put up a fight against Penn State, suggesting they can do the same in this contest. The Wolverines have a lackluster offense though, and Notre Dame has proven they can move the ball enough to win big games. This is a de facto CFB playoff eliminator for the Irish and they should rise up to get a big road win against their rivals. Notre Dame 31, Michigan 17

Yesh: Who wins this game? Both teams are somehow overrated yet underappreciated at the same time. They’re each stacked with talent at almost every position. Neither has an elite quarterback, but both starters can be great at times. The game will hinge on which QB can play better for more of the game. Shea Patterson has a better upside, but Ian Book is more consistent. I’ll go with the Irish in a squeaker. Notre Dame 21, Michigan 20

 

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