Wilson: College Football Week 4 Games I Bet Right Away, Including Utah-USC
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: The Utah Utes enter the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
- College football Week 4 spreads and totals have already been released at some sportsbooks.
- Below I give projected lines for Week 4 games and hit on bets I've already made.
After weeks of multiple FCS-FBS, early bye weeks and non-conference play, college football brings the heat in Week 4.
Utah visits USC on Friday night, while Michigan at Wisconsin and Notre Dame at Georgia will headline Saturday. Both the Badgers, Utes and Bulldogs have a shot at their respective conferences and the College Football Playoff.
Each passing week provides more confidence in the Action Network power ratings. They held up in Week 3 to identify Temple, Air Force and Liberty as live underdogs — and all three of those schools went on to win outright. Week 4 has a number of dogs in a great spot for an upset.
This article will look at the numbers I have already hit, plus my projected spreads for every Week 4 game so you can keep an eye on lines as they move.
All odds above as of Monday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
College Football Week 4 Projected Spreads
Note: A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; inverse for a positive number.
Utah at USC (+4.5)
Circa Sports was first to market on this colossal game that should determine the Pac-12 South. Their opening point spread was a pick’em before a flood of Utah money moved the line, making the Utes more than a field goal favorite.
If you have been playing Utah futures since the Spring, this was always the danger spot. Depending on your investment in the Utes to win the conference, a USC plus-points spot at home on a short week is a must play.
Utah has yet to allow 100 yards of rushing to its first three opponents, while USC has rushed for 461 yards against BYU, Stanford and Fresno State. There are plenty of statistical similarities between the two teams as both rank in the top 10 in completion percentage and top 40 in yards per play.
The Trojans are minus-4 in the turnover department on the season, while the Utes are plus-4. With ball protection, USC can hang with Utah because of Kedon Slovis’ downfield passing, and a defense that is top 20 in opponent red zone scoring and top 25 in sacks.
Pick: USC +4.5 (wouldn’t play this any lower than USC +4)
Oklahoma State at Texas (-5.5)
These teams do not like each other, and the same could probably be said about the head coaches. Tom Herman has not been involved in a victory over Mike Gundy since his days as an Iowa State coordinator in 2009. Although both coaches downplayed the potential scrum, emotions ran high in last season’s matchup.
The Oklahoma State offense is back on track, ranking 12th in the country in total offense averaging 7.46 yards per play. The Cowboys have scored on every red zone attempt and rank top five in third-down conversion percentage. The Pokes defense has been better in a number of areas in comparison to the Longhorns.
Texas ranks outside the top 100 in opponent yards per play and opponent red zone points per attempt. The LSU game may have blurred the early statistics for the Horns, but multiple injuries throughout the roster may catch up to the home team.
Our power ratings make this game Texas -2.5, giving value to Oklahoma State at the current number.
Pick: Oklahoma State +5.5 (wouldn’t play this any lower than +3)
Washington at BYU (+6)
BYU continues to find themself in a sandwich spot. An outright victory over USC leads into Washington Week 4. The Huskies may have overlook to a Week 5 road trip to USC, while BYU has a revenge angle from an embarrassing 2018 loss.
BYU’s defense will let you move the chains, but it’s elite inside the red zone and at preventing big plays through the passing game.
The Cougars limited USC an extremely low IsoPPP rate of 0.98 last season, including 0.89 on passing downs. BYU, which ranked first in IsoPPP last season (0.9), will limit Jacob Eason in the passing game, keeping this close enough for a cover.
Pick: BYU +6 (wouldn’t play this any lower than BYU +5)