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College Football Odds & Market Report: Week 4 Early Bets, Including West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech & Hawaii vs. New Mexico State

College Football Odds & Market Report: Week 4 Early Bets, Including West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech & Hawaii vs. New Mexico State article feature image
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Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Timmy Chang and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

Week 4 of the college football season is here, and it’s time to put in work.

We all know the college football market moves a lot over the course of the week. Money pours in all over the place from the time lines open on Sunday afternoon to kickoff on Saturday. This week is no exception.

Like any other sport, it’s paramount to get the best price possible when betting on college football.

For example, a -6.5 favorite could move to -7.5 on Saturday morning and then you run the risk of that team winning by one of the most likely outcomes — a seven-point victory — and you just lost your bet. It could have all been avoided if the bet was locked in at -6.5 Monday morning.

I’m here to help you navigate the market by providing a few lines I’m buying right now with my specific thresholds or other lines that I’m waiting to buy for later in the week.

The hope for this piece is to beat the market, get the best price possible, and in the long run, save you some money with closing line value. To do that, we’ll utilize our TAN projections, ESPN’s SP+ and my own projections to create a consensus.

You hear all the time, “process over results.” The best way to know if the process is working is by closing line value (CLV), meaning how many points did you beat the closing line by?

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I’ll be keeping track throughout the year of exactly how many points we’ve beaten the market by:

Week 0

  • 3.5 Points: UConn +27.5 → +24 closing line

Week 1

  • Pittsburgh -7.5 → -7.5 closing line
  • Cincinnati +6.5 → +6.5 closing line
  • Rice +34.5 → +32.5 closing line
  • Boise State +3 → +2.5 closing line

Week 2

  • Louisville +6.5 → +5.5 closing line
  • Iowa -3.5 → -3.5 closing line
  • Virginia +5 → +4 closing line

Week 3

  • Western Kentucky +6.5 → +6.5 closing line
  • Houston -9.5 → -8.5 closing line
  • Memphis -13 → -14.5 closing line

Now, let’s dive into Week 4.


West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

Thursday, Sept. 22
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
West Virginia Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3
-110
53
-110o / -110u
-154
Virginia Tech Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3
-110
53
-110o / -110u
+128
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech Projections

Cunningham SP+
Virginia Tech -0.7 Virginia Tech -0.8 Virginia Tech -1.6

West Virginia makes the short trip down to Blacksburg as road favorites against Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers are going through a lot of personnel changes on both sides of the ball and have not looked good on defense, so should they really be favored on the road at Lane Stadium?

J.T. Daniels really hasn’t played that well in his first three games for the Mountaineers. His PFF passing grade sits at just 72.1, he’s averaging only 7.2 yards per attempt, and he has four big-time throws compared to four turnover-worthy plays against Pitt, Kansas and Towson.

Plus, he’s facing a Virginia Tech secondary that has three starters back and ranked 27th in Passing Success Rate Allowed last year.

The rushing attack looked great against a really good Pittsburgh front seven but then gained just 3.8 yards per carry against Kansas in Week 2. This is also a rushing attack that lost its top back in Leddy Brown and ranked 78th in EPA/Rush a season ago.

The Mountaineers are now going up against a Virginia Tech front seven that has five starters back, is in a better system with Brent Pry calling the shots, and allowed only 1.4 yards per carry to Old Dominion and Boston College.

There are a lot of new faces on the offensive side of the ball for Virginia Tech, and it’s started to get better from the disaster against Old Dominion on opening week.

Grant Wells transferred in from Marshall and has struggled so far outside of its last game against Wofford.

Wells is a very aggressive quarterback, who has a big arm and loves to take shots down the field. But he often makes a lot of mistakes. In his two seasons at Marshall, he had 54 big-time throws compared to 36 turnover-worthy plays.

He’s now learning a new system under former Penn State co-offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen.

.@GrantWells__ ↗️ @Bryceduke22

Now that’s a dime on the wheel route 🎯 @HokiesFB pic.twitter.com/EcI2HkWQgK

— ACC Network (@accnetwork) September 17, 2022

The West Virginia linebacking core got completely gutted after last season, losing its top six tacklers. It was very evident how inexperienced it was against both Pitt and Kansas, as it got gashed for 6.1 yards per play and 9.9 yards per attempt.

So, it’s going to need to turn Wells over to have a shot at slowing him down.

All three models have Virginia Tech projected as a favorite, so there’s value in grabbing them right now at +3.

Pick: Virginia Tech +3


Arkansas State vs. Old Dominion

Saturday, Sept. 24
6 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Arkansas State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+4
-110
56.5
-110o / -110u
+158
Old Dominion Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-4
-110
56.5
-110o / -110u
-190
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Arkansas State vs. Old Dominion Projections

Cunningham SP+
Old Dominion -7.7 Old Dominion -11.0 Old Dominion -8.8

This line is too low for Old Dominion at home.

The Monarchs lost a heartbreaker in Charlottesville last Saturday, losing to Virginia by two points. That dropped them to 1-2 on the season, but they’ve played a tough schedule that included a win over Virginia Tech at home and a loss at East Carolina.

Old Dominion’s offense has not been great in their first three games, as it’s averaging only 4.8 yards per play and ranks 103rd in EPA/Play.

However, it’s going up against one of the worst defenses in college football, as Arkansas State is allowing a whopping 8.3 yards per play (only Hawaii is allowing a higher average against FBS opponents) and ranks 128th in explosiveness allowed and 130th in EPA/Play allowed.

Hayden Wolff has already made big improvements from the opener against Virginia Tech when he went 14-of-35 for 149 yards with a 32.3 PFF passing grade. He posted a PFF passing grade of 79 against Virginia this past weekend even though it might not have shown up in the box score.

Wolff was also really good when he took over the starting job halfway through last season. He went 5-2 as a starter and averaged 7.7 yards per attempt with 19 big-time throws compared to 10 turnover-worthy plays.

Old Dominion lost just one starter on the offensive line. Otherwise, everyone is back, so it should be able to pour it on against one of the worst defenses in college football.

Arkansas State cannot run the ball to save its life right now. It gained just 2.2 yards per carry against Ohio State and Memphis and now ranks 127th in Offensive Line Yards and 120th in Stuff Rate Allowed.

So, that means a lot of its offensive production has been in James Blackman’s hands.

Blackman has been solid, putting up a 72.6 PFF passing grade and averaging 7.5 yards per attempt, but he’s going up against the strength of the Old Dominion defense through the air. The Monarchs have faced Wells, Holton Ahlers and Brennan Armstrong so far and rank 38th in EPA/Pass Allowed and 27th in Passing Success Rate Allowed while giving up only 6.6 yards per attempt.

INTERCEPTED!!!!! OLD DOMINION BEATS VIRGINIA TECH AGAIN!!!! pic.twitter.com/0WkWdSvxMP

— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) September 3, 2022

That’s an incredibly impressive mark and will be bad news for the Red Wolves offense if can’t consistently run the ball.

All three models have Old Dominion favored by over seven points, so I’d imagine the Monarchs -3.5 isn’t going to last long.

Pick: Old Dominion -3.5


Hawaii vs. New Mexico State 

Saturday, Sept. 24
8 p.m. ET
FloSports
Hawaii Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3
-110
55.5
-110o / -110u
+125
New Mexico State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3
-110
55.5
-110o / -110u
-150
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

 Hawaii vs. New Mexico State Projections

Cunningham SP+
Hawaii -3.2 Hawaii -1.7 Hawaii -0.2

I don’t know what to say other than I’m truly sorry for what you’re about to read.

These are without a doubt two of the worst college football teams in the country that are also going through regime changes, and boy, it is not going well.

Against FBS opponents, Hawaii has been outscored, 168-37, is allowing 8.6 yards per play (highest average in FBS), ranks 128th in EPA/Play Allowed, and just got outgained by Duquesne this past weekend, 364-184.

Outside of the Duquesne game, it’s played a tough schedule against Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Michigan.

In those three games, the offense averaged just 4.2 yards per play. But it did run the ball somewhat successfully, however, ranking 69th in EPA/Play, 64th in Rushing Success Rate and 67th in rushing explosiveness.

Hawaii brought back only four starters from last year’s team, and three of them come on the offensive line and have combined for 110 starts in their career. As a unit, it’s ranked 47th in Offensive Line Yards through its first four games.

Hawaii should be able to establish a ground game against a really bad New Mexico State front seven that ranks 120th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 100th in Defensive Line Yards.

He hit the jets! @HawaiiFootball runs it in for a TD! pic.twitter.com/RdhWeG2psq

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 11, 2022

New Mexico State truly has one of the worst offenses in college football. Jerry Kill has taken over and plays at one of the slowest paces in the country at 2.18 plays per minute.

There’s nothing wrong with playing slow, but it could become a problem when that team averages only 4.2 yards per play and ranks 106th in EPA/Play.

Also of note, only four starters return for the Aggies, and they’re all on the offensive line. So, they’re implementing a new system with entirely new skill position players, which is not a recipe for success.

New Mexico State quarterback Diego Pavia averages only 3.7 yards per attempt, has a 50.9 PFF passing grade and a 37.5% completion percentage.

I wish I could tell you the run game has given him some relief, but the Aggies sit 121st in Rushing Success Rate, 100th in EPA/Rush and 123rd in terms of run-blocking grade, per PFF.

Even though Hawaii has just two starters back on defense and has been the worst unit in college football so far, facing this New Mexico State offense might make it look competent.

All three models have the Rainbow Warriors projected as a favorite, and Caesars has Hawaii at +3, with some of the market at +2. I would grab that now before it’s gone.

Pick: Hawaii +3

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