What college football games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread going into Week 4?
Results So Far ATS: 26-14-1
It’s a rough week for marquee games, but it’s a week of bulk. There’s a whole lot to choose from even if there isn’t an Alabama vs. Florida on the board.
The other-team-has-guys-too call worked twice, going with the dog on Oregon against Ohio State a few weeks ago and Florida over Alabama last week. There isn’t anything like that in Week 4, but to throw the big game on here, just because …
Click on each game for the preview
LINE Wisconsin -6
ATS PICK Wisconsin
I wanted this at Wisconsin -5.5, but it jumped to 6 when I started this, so fine … don’t change your first answer.
We all know how this game is going to go.
Notre Dame shouldn’t be able to run a lick on the Badger defensive front, and the leaky Irish line might get QB Jack Coan killed. Even so, Coan will hit a few downfield plays, and Badger QB Graham Mertz will keep this interesting by missing a few key reads in the face of pressure from the Irish defensive front.
Wisconsin will hold the ball for 41 minutes – because that’s what it does – and it’ll seem like it’s dominating this game even though the score is close. In Chicago at Soldier Field, the rested Badgers should win this – have the Irish shown you anything so far? – but …
It’s this easy. Do you think Wisconsin will turn the ball over two or more times. If you do, then ignore this and take the Irish. If you don’t, then this should be a strong Badger win.
LINE Missouri -1.5
ATS PICK Missouri
I know I’m supposed to sell you on these being the 10 best college football picks and all of that, and that should mean that we don’t take any chances here. It’s the advice I give that drives people nuts – sometimes you stay away if you don’t quite know what you’re getting with a team.
That was Auburn last week with Penn State.
This week, we don’t quite know what we’re getting with Boston College, but I’m ignoring that because I’ll be mad if I don’t go with this and my instincts turn out to be right.
BC has been fine, but so far it played Colgate, UMass, and Temple, and now it’s without starting QB Phil Jurkovec. Missouri hasn’t been amazing, but if a miserable UMass offense can put up 28 on the Eagles, and if they can only beat Temple 28-3, I’m taking my chances that the SEC team with the terrific backfield can just get a win.
LINE Michigan State -5
ATS PICK Michigan State
Let’s keep this going.
I’m not a believer in superstition, but the 8 spot here has been a rock over the years. This season, it’s keeping the No. 8 chain going – it’s like the Turnover Chain, but cool.
I had Appalachian State covering against Miami, then last week it was Michigan State over the Canes, and this week I’ll go with MSU just in case this team is for real.
To be warned, though, my belief system that all performances over the Hurricanes this year have been overblown – see what I did there? – including Alabama’s victory in the opener, and certainly Michigan State beating Northwestern doesn’t appear to be any big whoop.
However, Nebraska might be playing just well enough to lose this respectfully. Even so, it’s only five, the Spartans have been air tight on defense so far, and it’s Nebraska, so 1) there will be penalties, 2) there will be turnovers, and 3) the defense will ball out only to give up third down conversions by the bucket.
LINE Louisville -2
ATS PICK Louisville
There’s something very trappy about this.
Louisville just beat a strong UCF team in a thriller, and Florida State beat itself in losses to Notre Dame, Jacksonville State, and Wake Forest.
Louisville has a dynamic offense that seems to be hitting its stride at just the right time, and Florida State is playing like it just wants all the sad to be over already.
The Noles can’t seem to ever convert a third down try, they’re getting hit with a gajillion penalties, they can’t do anything right in the red zone, there hasn’t been a turnover the offense hasn’t enjoyed giving away, and for what seems like the 14th year in a row, there’s nothing happening on the O line.
This seems like a trap. If it is, so be it. Ha ha you win, betting gods.
Louisville is only giving away 2. Until Florida State shows you something, go with it.
Speaking with sticking with the momentum …
LINE Duke -16
ATS PICK Duke
No real analysis here … it’s Kansas.
Until proven otherwise, the cash machine that is the Jayhawk fade has put America so far ahead that one misfire – when it inevitably happens – will finally bring sweet relief to this wild ride that doesn’t slow down.
I am still steadfast in my belief that the over on the Kansas win total of 1 is the second-best call of the year behind the over on the Stanford win total of 4.
I still believe that Duke could absolutely screw this up with one of its fabulous mega-turnover performance art performances. The team invented new ways to lose in whatever that was against Charlotte.
Kansas is still a Power Five program with a great new head coach and enough playmakers to get hot for one wild day – the guys coming out of that tunnel are on scholarship, too – and I wouldn’t take Duke giving away 16 points to a potted plant, but …
It’s Kansas. The show goes on.