Week 4 College Football Picks

This week features two very interesting ranked games and a bevy of large point spreads. Not a great week overall, but I think we could see an upset few are predicting. Let’s get to the games.

Last week ATS: 12-9

Season ATS: 31-27-1

#1 Alabama (-45) vs. Southern Miss: Southern Miss is not very good. Alabama is very good. Bama will win by a lot, but does Nick Saban let his starters play too long in this one? I’ll take Bama to win by 46 in a slight lean.

Final Score: Alabama 49, Southern Miss 3

#2 Georgia (-35) @ Vanderbilt: This is normally a spot I would fade Georgia in the past, but they have legitimately looked like the best team in college football this year and dominated on the defensive side of the ball. It’s a no pick for me, because I’m still skeptical of UGA’s offense on the road, but I can’t fade them, because they have looked so good.

#3 Oregon (-29) vs. Arizona: Arizona is truly horrible this season starting 0-3 and most recently losing to Northern Arizona at home. This is their Super Bowl going into Eugene to take on an Oregon team that has been surprisingly dominant through the first quarter of the season. No play for me, because again, its a spot I’d normally fade Oregon, but I can’t back Arizona knowing there’s no way they can win.

#4 Oklahoma (-17) vs. West Virginia: This is the spot for OU. I’ve overrated their offense all year long and they haven’t looked nearly as good as we all think they should. WVU’s defense is average, so look for QB Spencer Rattler to make a Heisman push in primetime. Give me the Sooners big.

Final Score: Oklahoma 40, WVU 20

#5 Iowa (-23.5) vs. Colorado State: If you read this column each week, you know how I feel about Iowa at this point. They are solid, but not a national title contender given how bad they are offensively (low YPP) and they are very fortunate in TO margin. Two big games coming up (on rd vs UMD and at home vs PSU), make this a bit of a lookahead spot. CSU played very well last week winning on the road against a solid Toledo team. Give me the Rams to cover.

Final Score: Iowa 27, Colorado State 10

#6 Penn State (-30) vs. Villanova: Typical hangover spot for Penn State after a big national TV win against Auburn in a white out game. Give me Villanova on principle.

Final Score: Penn State 38, Villanova 17

#7 Texas A&M (-5) vs. #16 Arkansas: Two undefeated teams in an SEC West showdown. Arkansas has looked really good this year, as has A&M. Should be a defensive slog. I like A&M slightly move giving up less than a TD, but I don’t love it.

Final Score: Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 20

#9 Clemson (-10) @ NC State: This is the type of game that Clemson should dominate. Their defense has been tremendous all season long, but the offense has been equally as suspect. I think this is the game where Clemson’s offense comes out to play and they win going away.

Final Score: Clemson 31, NC State 10

#10 Ohio State (-48.5) vs. Akron: Akron won’t be able to stop OSU, it will only be a question of when Ryan Day calls off the dogs.

Final Score: Ohio State 56, Akron 7

#11 Florida (-19) vs. Tennessee: Florida played well enough to beat #1 Alabama last week and now has to host an upstart Tennessee program. No play here because I want to see how the Gators come out, but I certainly don’t think they have much of a shot of losing.

#12 Notre Dame vs. #16 Wisconsin (Neutral): The Irish have been fortunate in all three of their wins this year, and I think this is the game they get exposed. Wisconsin is a rough, physical team that I think ND has trouble with. Give me the Badgers off a bye.

Final Score: Wisconsin 28, Notre Dame 17

#14 Iowa State (-7) vs. Baylor: Baylor hasn’t played anyone of note, and Iowa State hasn’t beat anyone of note. Give me the Bears plus the points as I’ll need to see the Cyclones prove they can cover a TD on the road against anyone in conference not named Kansas.

Final Score: Iowa State 27, Baylor 23

#15 BYU (-23.5) vs. South Florida: Absolutely dreadful spot for BYU as they come off two monster wins and now have to play a horrible USF team that has played some good teams already (Florida, NC State). On principle, I have to take USF and the points, but it would be great to see BYU cover in this spot.

Final Score: BYU 38, USF 17

#17 Coastal Carolina (-36) vs. Umass: Umass sucks but this is a lot for CCU to cover. I’ll take the points but I don’t like it.

Final Score: CCU 48, Umass: 17

#19 Michigan (-20.5) vs. Rutgers: This is the stinky line of the week and we don’t fade it.

Final Score: Michigan 38, Rutgers 13

#20 Michigan State (-4.5) vs. Nebraska: I like MSU, but I’m not sure how good they are. I’ll take Nebraska and the points and wouldn’t be shocked to see the Huskers win.

Final Score: Nebraska 28, Michigan State 24

#21 North Carolina (-13.5) @ Georgia Tech: I think UNC is going to roll and QB Sam Howell is a darkhorse Heisman contender after the week 1 road loss to Virginia Tech.

Final Score: UNC 41, Georgia Tech 24

#23 Auburn (-27) vs. Georgia State: Auburn coming off a loss vs a bad team. Lay the points.

Final Score: Auburn 48, Georgia State 10

#24 UCLA (-4) vs. Stanford: I took Fresno St to cover against UCLA last week, and this week I think UCLA gets back on the horse and beats Stanford by a good bit. Stanford isn’t a pushover, but UCLA comes back to life in a big way.

Final Score: UCLA 38, Stanford 27

#25 Kansas State (+5.5) @ Oklahoma State: The ranked team on the road catching five? Give me the favorite :)

Final Score: Oklahoma State 26, Kansas State 19

Other Interesting Games to Watch:

LSU (-2.5) @ Mississippi State: The loser of this game is hurting. Give me the Bulldogs in defensive dogfight.

Final Score: MSU 20, LSU 13

Louisville (-1) @ Florida State: Is this the Seminoles last stand? I think so.

Final Score: Florida State 33, Louisville 30

Maryland (-14) vs. Kent State: Two MONSTER games looming on the horizon for UMD makes this a tough lookahead spot. Take Kent State and the points.

Final Score: Maryland 41, Kent State 33