NCAA Football Predictions: Week 4 Opening Line Report and Picks
It was a rather straightforward week in College Football over the weekend, with most ranked teams handling their business and coming away with a win. Three games featured two ranked opponents, so, rightfully, someone had to lose. The only game that a ranked team lost to an unranked foe was the UCLA/Fresno State game in which No. 13 UCLA lost, 40-37. The top four teams in the country remain unchanged with just one small tweak – Oregon moved up from No. 4 to No. 3, and the Oklahoma Sooners fell from No. 3 to No. 4. This week features a ton of great games, including No. 12 Notre Dame at No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 7 Texas A&M at No. 16 Arkansas and No. 9 Clemson at unranked North Carolina State. I’m excited. Are you?
As far as last week’s results go, it was tough sledding once again as we connected on just one of four selections. I wish I knew what was going on with the Buckeyes’ defense and we missed the Arkansas/Georgia Southern total by a field goal. That’s the way she goes sometimes, and the only thing we can do is move onwards and upwards.
Doc’s Sports offers college football picks against the spread for every game on our college football predictions page.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Wisconsin Badgers -5.5, 46.5
If everything goes according to plan and both teams come out and play their hearts out for a full 60 minutes, this game will be the must-watch game of the weekend. No. 12 Notre Dame is 3-0 and has hopes of getting back into the College Football Playoff discussion. They are going to need to be a hell of a lot better on defense than they’ve been through the first three games if they want to remain undefeated and keep that dream alive. It’s not often you have a higher ranked team getting points to a lower ranked team, but this is the predicament the Fighting Irish find themselves in. Wisconsin is 1-1 on the season after losing to Penn State to open the year and beating Eastern Michigan two weeks ago. They’ve had a week off to prep for Notre Dame, and we believe they are ready for the challenge. Defensively, Wisconsin has a major edge. And if they can just not turn the ball over, they should be in line to pick up a win over a ranked opponent. This line opened up at -3 but has since been bet up to Wisconsin -5.5, and with good reason. I see Wisconsin’s defense being the difference-maker here and getting stops when they need to.
Pick: Wisconsin -5.5
Missouri Tigers at Boston College Eagles +2.5, 59.5
This line is one of the lines that jumped off the page at me when I was combing over the games to put together this piece. Boston College opened up as one-point home favorites, but all the money has since come in on the Tigers and now the Eagles are getting 2.5 points on their home turf. I don’t get it. I don’t see why the Tigers are deserving of that much love after a 2-1 start that has seen them sneak by Central Michigan, lose to Kentucky and wallop a poor Southeast Missouri State team. Perhaps it’s because the Tigers offense has scored more than 28 points in each of the three games. But even still, so have the Eagles. However, to be fair, Boston College’s perfect 3-0 start has come at the expense of Colgate, Massachusetts and Temple – not exactly an elite list of teams. However, this is their first true test of the season. And as someone who is on the over in regard to the Eagles’ season win total, this is a game I penciled them in as winning. Boston College is solid on both sides of the football, and I believe they’ll get the extra stop when needed.
Pick: Boston College +2.5
Kansas State Wildcats at Oklahoma State Cowboys -6, 45
Somehow, someway, the Kansas State Wildcats find ways to win games against quality opposition. Their win against Stanford looks great now that Stanford blew the doors off USC and beat Vandy, and the Wildcats just beat a good Nevada team with their second-string quarterback under center. The Wildcats continue to defy all logical reasoning as to why they are going to lose, and they continue to make bank for their backers. The only question I have is if they can do it away from home. This is their first road game of the season, and it comes in Stillwater, home of the 3-0 Cowboys. The Cowboys got a big win last week themselves as they went on the road to Boise and held the Broncos to just 21 points and escaped the Smurf Turf with a huge win. This line opened up as Cowboys -9 but has since been bet down to Cowboys -6, and that’s understandable given how good K-State has looked. I do think the under is worth a look here as both teams figure to run the ball and bleed as much clock as possible with two good defenses.
Pick: Under 45
Texas-San Antonio at Memphis Tigers -3.5, 65
Perhaps the biggest winners of Week 3 were the Memphis Tigers. They came back to beat Mississippi State 31-29 after a blown call by the refs that led to a Memphis Tigers punt return touchdown. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s absurd, and you should check it out to be reminded that we wager actual dollars on a game that’s officiated by humans that make mistakes. Nonetheless, the Tigers moved to 3-0 on the season and now face a UTSA team that is also 3-0 on the season and that is coming off a good win vs Middle Tennessee. Both teams can score points for fun, and so I think the total is a little low for this game.
Pick: Over 65
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