CFB Week 4 best bets: Double-digit 'dogs pack the Saturday 7
A 4-3 Saturday got us back on the right track in this space, but Week 4 is more about the quality of the games than any previous week this season. For takes on the contests you'll want to watch, click here. If you're looking for your best chance at profitability, we go deep down the board for quality value.
We're looking for seven games in which the point spread might be off each week. That'll provide a bet on the underdog against the spread the vast majority of the time.
Despite a 3-0 record, Louisville's been appropriately downgraded in the market after dicey wins over Georgia Tech and Indiana. And the team also has significant questions on defense. On the other side, Boston College finally got the production from Thomas Castellanos that it hoped for when it scooped him up from Central Florida. A 300-yard passing day, coupled with almost 100 yards on the ground, against Florida State last week, is a good sign the Eagles can get back up to their preseason rating. I'm not sure what the answer is for the Cardinals reaching the high rating that this line is predicated on.
Pick: Boston College (+14)
Duke isn't used to being a three-touchdown road favorite, and that's largely the point here. UConn has started the season 0-3 and lost its starting quarterback, causing the team's rating to plummet to the bottom of the nation. It's been a struggle for Ta'Quan Roberson, but the Huskies doubled Devontae Houston's carries last week. Maybe better balance can keep them from getting blown out by a Duke squad with Notre Dame on deck.
Pick: UConn (+21.5)
We backed Ohio last week, getting an outright win over Iowa State, but it was ugly. Kurtis Rourke completed just half of his passes and was the Bobcats' leading rusher. While the defensive resistance should be weaker this week, Bowling Green can't be blamed for losing at Liberty and Michigan.
Starting quarterback Connor Bazelak sat out the Michigan game with a lower-body injury, which seemed like a surprise. That might have just been to keep him healthy for the MAC schedule. If he's starting this week, this spread is far too high.
Pick: Bowling Green (+13)
South Alabama went to Stillwater and beat a Big 12 team last week, causing its rating to bounce back up after getting smoked by Tulane to start the season. Central Michigan got obliterated by Notre Dame last week, but the Chippewas were without electric dual-threat quarterback Bert Emanuel Jr. due to illness. There's no word yet on Emanuel's return, but even if Jase Bauer has to play again, this line is too high based on one good game for the Jaguars.
Pick: Central Michigan (+16.5)
Missouri opening +5 at home to Kansas State last week never made much sense, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to see it bet down to a field goal. The Tigers won outright. However, relying on 60-yard field goals from college kickers isn't usually a good strategy.
Memphis survived a big rushing game from Navy, but the Tigers face a more traditional offense this week. There's a looming element of a letdown for Mizzou after such a dramatic win, while this is Memphis' lone chance to match up with a Power 5 team - a spot it's usually up for, winning three of its last four.
Pick: Memphis (+6.5)
The Wildcats also have injury issues with Will Howard questionable, but the coaching staff has grown accustomed to working around uncertainty at quarterback. If necessary, offensive coordinator Collin Klein can manage the inexperience of freshman Avery Johnson - the prototypical dual-threat, perfect for Klein's offense.
Pick: Kansas State (-3.5)
It felt like we were on the New York, New York rollercoaster as we backed UNLV in its win over Vanderbilt in one of the wildest games of the season last week. But the Rebels are probably no better than UTEP and are now favored on the road. The Miners should feel relief after playing a pair of Power 5 teams on the road, returning to El Paso for their first FBS home game of the season. Even though +4 and +3 are gone, with multiple dangerous tailbacks and a senior quarterback in Gavin Hardison, UTEP wins this game outright.
Pick: UTEP (+2.5)
Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.