NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 4 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
It was a rather uneventful Week 3 in the college football landscape as 20 of the Top 25 teams all emerged victorious over their respective opponents. The three teams who were on the wrong end of the scoreboard were No. 21 Maryland (lost to Temple), No. 24 USC (lost to BYU), No. 18 Michigan State (lost to Arizona State). Thanks to those losses, all three of those losers got bumped entirely from the rankings.
Looking ahead to Week 4, there are three games that feature two ranked teams, and each one of them has massive CFP implications. No. 11 Michigan travels to No. 13 Wisconsin to take on the Badgers, and No. 8 Auburn travels to College Station to tangle with No. 17 Texas A&M . These two games are also huge in terms of conference standings and as such will be closely followed by college football fans and bettors alike. We feel as if this week will be a critical week when we look back on the season after the CFP participants are named in December.
Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Illinois Fighting Illini (+13, 63): This line is one of the biggest movers on the Saturday slate as it opened at 6.5 and has since been bet up to just shy of two touchdowns. We all know how bad the Cornhuskers' bubble burst two weeks ago with their loss to Colorado, but they did bounce back last week to handle Northern Illinois with ease. Now the real test begins. The start of conference play is of utmost importance, and this is a game the Cornhuskers should (and we expect them) to win going away. I don't blame the bettors for betting this game up to 13 as this team is as healthy as can be. They should also be chomping at the bit to snap an eight-game road losing streak, and against an Illini team who has given up a ton of points over their last two games, the Cornhuskers' offense should move the ball with ease.
No. 15 UCF @ Pittsburgh (-11, 61) - We saw how explosive the Knights offense is last week versus Stanford as they routed the Cardinal 45-27 (this game was not as close as the final score dictates). We also saw how Pitt hung tough with a good Penn State team, only to lose 17-10, despite going off as 17-point underdogs. Bettors have decided to jump on the UCF bandwagon and have bet this game up to 11 points from the opening line of 10. The total has also been bet up to 61 from an opening number of 59.5. Pittsburgh may be in for a letdown after coming so close to beating their old in-state rival in Penn State. We know how good the UCF offense is, and we won't be shocked to see this number reach two touchdowns by kick-off. Remember, UCF needs as many style points as it can get in order to get real recognition and will not take the foot off the gas in the late stages.
No. 4 LSU @ Vanderbilt (-24, 62.5): This game has seen one-way action, and do you blame bettors for wanting to fade Vanderbilt? The Tigers opened as 19-point favorites with the total set at 58, and those numbers have since moved to -24 and 62.5, respectively. Excluding the back-and-forth affair vs. Texas where they gave up 38 points, LSU has given up a total of 17 points to Georgia Southern and Northwestern State. While Vanderbilt is a cut above those two schools, Vandy has shown very little to inspire confidence in even the luckiest of back door covers. They lost by 24 to Georgia and 18 to Purdue and now must deal with a very explosive LSU offense led by quarterback Joe Burrow, who is coming off a solid 21-for-24 performance for 373 yards and two touchdowns. This spread figures to climb and climb until the Noon kick-off on Saturday. I'd jump on it as soon as possible.
No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ No. 3 Georgia (-14.5, 58.5): This contest is by far the marquee contest in Week 4. This game has College Football Playoff implications, and both teams know it. The bettors do too, and they've seemingly taken their side and have bet Georgia up to a two-touchdown plus hook favorite after the line opened up at 12.5. The total has gone down a tick, from 59.5 to 58, but I'm not sure we don't see that jump back up. Think about it, prime-time game, two ranked teams, the public is going to be all over the "over" in hopes of seeing some fireworks. From a matchup perspective, only Notre Dame has been tested this season as they escaped Louisville with a season-opening win. Georgia has played cupcakes, so their numbers on offense are a bit inflated. We do, however, see this game as a bit of a revenge game for the Bulldogs as they were held out of the 2018 CFP despite having one loss (the SEC Title Game vs Alabama) by this very Irish squad. With this being a true road game for Notre Dame, the line movement in favor of Georgia is warranted.
Get all of this Weeks College Football Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Football Picks