With conference play getting into full swing this week there are a number of crucial games on the Week 4 college football schedule. As always, the Power 5 league’s dominated the headlines and a mega battle takes place in Wisconsin between two ranked teams. The Pac-12 has regained some of its swagger with six teams ranked in the latest AP top-25 poll, the most in almost four years. However, that doesn’t mean the league is chasing down the SEC for supremacy.
An early season Big Ten battle has Michigan travelling to Madison for a showdown with the Badgers. Both teams had last week off to prepare for this tilt though Bucky is wishing it got the chance to play. The Badgers won their first two games of the season by a combined 110-0, easily covering the line in both. Wisconsin opened -2.5 and is currently a 3-point favorite on the college football betting lines.
There will be a number of SEC games featuring ranked teams throughout the season, but the first of the bunch takes place in College Station on Saturday with Texas AM a 4-point favorite over Auburn in a West Division tussle. Following their loss to top-ranked Clemson two weeks ago, the Aggies dismantled an overmatched Lamar squad 62-3 covering the 45-point closing line to improve to 3-0 against the spread.
The marquee matchup of Week 4 pits a pair of top-10 teams against each other when Notre Dame visits Georgia. The Bulldogs are coming off a 55-0 cover win over Arkansas State and will present a major problem for the Irish after outscoring opponents 148-23 on the season. UGA is a two-touchdown favorite between the hedges. Notre Dame hasn’t been given this many points since late in the 2016 season and the Irish are 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS in their last four when getting at least 14 points.
The betting week gets started on Thursday, September 19, with an AAC West tilt between Houston and Tulane. The Green Wave is laying 5.5-points on the current college football line and had a respectable showing two weeks ago in a 24-6 loss at Auburn.
Five games hit the board with spreads north of 30 points and not surprisingly those favorites are all big boys in the college football world. Top-ranked Clemson’s 41-point spread against Charlotte is the largest currently posted. The Tigers dispatched Syracuse last week covering the 28-point closing line and they are 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS since 2006 when laying at least 40 points. Ohio State hasn’t lost its way after a coaching change and is favored by 39-points to dispatch in-state rival Miami. Alabama has faced some huge lines this season and is doing so again, spotting Southern Miss 38.5-points. The Tide got by South Carolina last week but failed to cover the smallest spread ( 25.5 ) they’ve faced this season.
The ACC has a couple other big favorites on the opening college football betting lines with Miami and Virginia both favored by 30.5 points for their non-conference tilts. The Cavs are 3-0 for the first time since 2005 and pushed the line in last week’s 31-24 win over Florida State. It’s the second time already this year they’ve been favored by 30 or more, covering the 32-point line against William and Mary two weeks ago.
I nailed one of my upset picks last week with Arizona coming through with the outright win as a 2-point dog against Texas Tech. My heater ended when North Carolina fell to Wake Forest and I didn’t even get the cover. Oh well, I’m back at it this week with a couple more upset specials. One thing about Stanford is the guys are smart enough to make adjustments. After getting walloped by USC and UCF, the Cardinal are back home for the annual slugfest with Oregon. And Stanford has the upperhand in the series winning three straight and five of the last seven while going 5-2 ATS. Oregon is a 10-point fave, the biggest spread if it stands since 2013 when the Cardinal won outright as a 10-point dog.
Both teams are coming off a bye, but the down time likely helped Michigan more than Wisconsin. The Wolverines are a 3-point dog on the college football betting lines for the Big Ten showdown and they haven’t overwhelmed their first two opponents. And an extra week to get the offense untracked is pivotal against a Badgers squad that hasn’t allowed a point this year. Wisconsin is good, but they can’t keep doing what they’ve been doing. UM’s defense will rise to the occasion for the outright victory.
Week 4 Lock
It’s time to give UCF the credit it deserves. It was another game and another win for the Knights after throttling Stanford last week. They were flying around the field thoroughly outplaying the opponent. And the Knights showed they can play a physical game against a physical team. UCF is currently giving Pitt 12-points and that’s a gift for backers, especially after the Knights won last year’s meeting 45-14.
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