Stuckey’s Favorite Week 4 Situational Spots on Saturday’s Slate
Bobby Wilder-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Old Dominion
- Stuckey details the Week 4 games he's interested in betting this weekend, including Louisiana Monroe at Iowa State (12 p.m. ET)
There are a few noteworthy situational spots on Saturday’s college football betting card.
Identifying the potential situational spots each week isn’t rocket science. It’s just a little bit of manual work. One just has to look at a team’s opponents the week prior and week after to get an idea of where any potential flat spots might pop up.
There are also other ancillary factors to consider and it’s not pure science. There’s an art and feel to using situational spots in one’s handicapping. And ultimately, the actual number still reigns supreme. No matter how great a situational spot appears on paper, you still have to factor in how much value the spread holds.
Let’s take a look at my three favorite situational spots for Week 4, starting with a noon kick and finishing with a late night special. I’ll also include two honorable mention candidates at the conclusion that just missed the cut.
(I also think there’s a solid FCS spot worth exploring, which you can find in the article below.)
Louisiana Monroe +18.5 at Iowa State
- Over/Under: 54.5
- Location: Ames, IA
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: FS1
The Cyclones are coming off a draining one-point loss to in-state rival Iowa in a game they probably should’ve won. And before they begin Big 12 play next week, they welcome in Louisiana Monroe for a noon kick. Talk about a potential flat spot.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Monroe comes off a bye after a confidence-building one-point loss of its own two weeks ago at Florida State.
The Warhawks, led by quarterback Caleb Evans, have a pass-first offense that can put up points in a hurry. They are more than capable through the air, which is how you have to attack this excellent Iowa State defense.
ULM also features one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country. It’s especially strong up the middle, which is critical against the elite Iowa State defensive front, led by Ray Lima.
The Monroe defense is nothing to write home about but Iowa State’s offense is still trying to find itself after losing running back David Montgomery and wide receiver Hakeem Butler to the NFL draft.
I like the Warhawks at anything higher than 17.
Old Dominion +28 at Virginia
- Over/Under: 46
- Location: Charlottesville, VA
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Probably the spot of the day here. Fresh off a close, emotional win over Florida State, the Cavaliers will take on Old Dominion in Charlottesville with a trip to South Bend to face Notre Dame on deck. A classic sandwich spot.
Meanwhile, Old Dominion is coming off a bye week and should show up for this one against an in-state older brother. The Monarchs will try to recreate the magic of last year when they pulled off an upset in Blacksburg over another in-state team in Virginia Tech. That spread? Also 28.
I don’t think that will happen, but I do think there’s some value with ODU at 28 or better.
Virginia may come out a little flat and will likely sit their starters early once they likely extend out to a bigger lead in the interest of health. The ‘Hoos staff also may have sacrificed some ODU prep time this week to get ahead of the game with preparation for the Irish next Saturday.
It’s also worth noting that Virginia is one of the slowest teams in the nation. They finished 125th out of 130 teams in Adjusted Pace last year, which makes it enough tougher to cover these larger numbers.
I also think there’s value in the under at anything 45 or above.
Colorado +8.5 at Arizona State
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Location: Tempe, AZ
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: PACN
Good buy low/sell high spot after last week’s results. Arizona State pulled off an upset at Michigan State, while Colorado was upset at home against Air Force.
This Arizona State offense is still deeply flawed, starting with its offensive line. It’s a piecemeal unit that’s now starting two true freshman (one 17 years old) after losing senior left tackle Zach Robertson (personal reasons) and senior center Cade Cote (broken foot).
The Sun Devils’ defense has been excellent but it’s offense just isn’t built to cover as a favorite.
ASU is already 0-2 as a favorite at home this year against two significantly inferior opponents (Kent State and Sacramento State). Even with two cupcakes on the schedule, Arizona State is only averaging 19.7 points per game — 111th in the country.
If those results last week were flipped, we may have seen a spread of a touchdown or less here. And I didn’t drop Colorado for losing to an excellent Air Force team, while the Sun Devils won a game they had no business winning. They were out-gained by the Spartans in East Lansing 410-216.
I make this 6 and like the spot, so fancy the Buffs at anything over a touchdown. Keep your eyes on Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault Jr.; the future pro is a treat to watch.
Ole Miss -2.5
A noon local kick can’t be ideal for Cal here, especially in the sweltering Southern heat and humidity.
After a number of injuries, the Cal offensive line is a mess right now. And the offense overall is just dreadful. The defense is elite, especially in the secondary, but there are opportunities to run on Cal.
You’re not going to get huge chunks against the Bears but I think workhorse Scottie Phillips and the electrifying freshman Jerrion Ealy will do enough to win a potential rock fight.
The problem is points could be at such a premium that Ole Miss could win this game and not cover. I wouldn’t be shocked at a 14-12 final. I may end up throwing the Rebels in a moneyline parlay to avoid that disaster. I also fancy the under.
Arkansas begins SEC play next week, while SJSU comes off a bye into Fayateville. Potential flat spot here for the Hogs but I’m not sure if I fully trust this Spartan defense. More digging required. Follow me on the Action App to see if I add anything there.