Week 4 of the college football season is already underway and while there aren’t any big top ten matchups there are several games that should provide an entertaining watch.
One of the things that stands out so far this year is that more teams have legitimate hopes that they can crack into the College Football Playoff with staples Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State all showcasing new Quarterbacks and looking beatable. This should make for an exciting last ⅔ of the college football schedule and we could see teams with a couple of losses getting into the playoffs at this rate.
Notre Dame faces Wisconsin at Soldier Field on Saturday and Wisconsin is favored by 6.5 points which seems like a lot considering Wisconsin’s Week 1 loss to Penn State where they struggled on offense. The Irish have had opposite issues in their 3-0 start where they have looked good on offense but shaky on the defensive end in games against Florida State and Toledo where they won by a combined 6 points.
Notre Dame faces 8th ranked Cincinnati next week and if they can get through Wisconsin and the Bearcats with wins, they have a great shot to run the table and finish out the season undefeated. Brian Kelly knows how big this game is to their hopes for the postseason and I like the Irish to pull the upside in front of a packed Soldier Field.
Pick: Notre Dame to Win
Michigan State has looked very good out of the gates and had a big road win last week at Miami. This could be a trap game against a Nebraska team that showed some life last week against Oklahoma in a game many thought would be a blowout. Scott Frost has a ton of heat on him to show some progress so bet on Nebraska over at Boylesports sportsbook to pull off the road upset.
Pick: Nebraska to Win
UCLA suffered a disappointing loss last week to Fresno State at home but still has everything in front of them in the Pac 12. Stanford looked bad in week one vs. Kansas State, but they have put together a couple of nice wins and have the style of offense that could slow the up-tempo UCLA offense and keep them out of rhythm. I like Stanford to keep this game very close at home, but I think UCLA has too many weapons on offense and will pull away late.
Pick: UCLA to win, Stanford to Cover
One team that is off to a good start that is flying under the radar is Baylor, who face Iowa State at home this weekend as 7 point underdogs. Baylor played Iowa State close last year on the road losing 31-38 and I like them to pull off the upset to get to 4-0 under Coach Dave Aranda, who was the defensive coordinator during LSU’s title run in 2019.
Pick: Baylor to Win
Let’s take a look at the conference odds through week 3 in some of the big conferences:
Iowa looks like a good value here as they get Penn State at home in a couple of weeks, with only a road game at Wisconsin in week 9 as the only other big test in their way as they should wrap up the Big10 West easily.
The ACC is horrible this year so Clemson should win the ACC for the 7th straight year, but don’t be surprised if they don’t make the CFP with how bad they have looked.
The Big 12 could get interesting as the year goes on with teams like Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Baylor all showing some life early in the season. With how shaky Oklahoma’s defense has looked I wouldn’t be shocked to see them with a couple of losses.
Oregon looks like a class above the rest of the conference so far this season as they are the only 3-0 team in the conference and the only team that could keep up with Oregon on offense is UCLA, who showed some major holes on defense against Fresno State.
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