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College Football Week 4 picks, predictions against the spread

We love college football, and we love gambling. Here’s our favorite plays on the board this week.

Western Kentucky v Ohio State Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

College football isn’t just one of the best sports to watch on a Saturday afternoon, it’s also one of the best to find ways to make plenty of cash as a sharp sports bettor. Each week we’ll find the best value for NCAA football games against the spread, total, and on the moneyline so you can make plenty of cash. No touts, no fees, and just the best numbers we can find.

Here are our best picks on the board to get all the dollars in Week 4 of FBS football. All lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:

Collin Sherwin: 2023 Record 4-4-1

Florida State -2.5 at Clemson

The Tigers offense under Cade Klubnik for sure looks smoother than it did at this time last season, but the talent gap between these two teams is significant due to a lack of bodies and depth recruited by the transfer portal-loathing Dabo Swinney.

Noles QB Jordan Travis has been in Tallahassee so long he’s memorized the entire Happy Hour menu at Madison Social, and Keon Coleman sure looks like a first-round pick at wide receiver. Without the bodies up front they’ve had in previous season to keep Travis contained, they could hang a huge number on the Tigers in Death Valley. I’d lay this even at 3 comfortably.

Utah -6 vs. UCLA

Cam Rising coming back for the Utes has moved this from -4.5 to -6, but the bigger issue here is true freshman QB Dante Moore going on the road to what is by the math the No. 1 home field advantage in college football. The MUSS ain’t no joke, and that’s not a fun way to open your Pac-12 career. The Utes have won 16 in a row at home, and they should make it 17 by more than a TD here.

UConn +21.5 vs. Duke

One of the bigger trap games in human history for the No. 18 Blue Devils, who get Notre Dame at home next week for what might be the biggest and loudest crowd in Wallace Wade Stadium history. But this week they head to Hartford for a glorified exhibition against a 0-3 UConn team that has nothing to play for but this game.

We like this even more if the Blue Devils RB Jaylen Coleman is indeed out again, but UConn has proven feisty in these spots under Jim Mora Jr., who needs a good finish here to keep the momentum from last year’s surprise bowl berth.

Nick Simon: 2023 Record 5-4

Ohio State -3 vs. Notre Dame

We’ve been waiting to see these two teams play more level competition and we’ll finally get it here. OSU vaporized a really good Western Kentucky team last week and that’s what you want to see out of a team that could go to the playoff. Meanwhile, Notre Dame has already played four games this year, so they should be in a rhythm and Sam Hartman looks good. On paper, both teams are evenly matched as they’re both ranked in the top five in SP+. But one team has Marvin Harrison Jr. and that’s the difference for a team winning and losing these heavyweight fights. Buckeyes cover and win outright on the road.

Florida State -2.5 vs. Clemson

Florida State had a bit of a weird game against Boston College last week with Jordan Travis getting slightly banged up and BC making a late rally. I still have them covering against this Clemson team even on the road at Death Valley. Again, who outside of Will Shipley (and I guess Cade Klubnik) is going to make plays for this offense? FSU’s ascent back to the top of the ACC will require it to take down a Clemson program it hasn’t beaten since 2014 and I think that it will get that done on Saturday. Give me the Seminoles to cover and outright win in a game that I think will be a blowout.

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Under 55

Even with the quarterback situation at Alabama being a mess, I am staying the hell away from the spread and sticking with the under. Ole Miss’ defense has improved this year and they’re probably licking their chops after seeing what USF did to Bama’s offensive line. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide defense is still excellent and that unit may have to carry this team for the rest of the year. They should have Rebel QB Jaxson Dart under duress for the entire afternoon. Give me the under in Tuscaloosa.

Grace McDermott: 2023 Record 4-4-1

Baylor +15 vs. Texas

Texas beat Alabama, yes. But their offensive production has not been particularly impressive outside of that game. Baylor has had some bad luck to start the year, but they hung with Utah and nearly beat the Utes, and have had time to work out some of the kinks that got them off to a slow start. The Bears are hosting here, and I like them to keep it within two touchdowns.

Colorado +21 vs. Oregon

I’m shocked that the spread is this wide for a Colorado game. While they did struggle to pull one out against Colorado State this week, this Buffaloes team does not seem the type to be on the wrong end of a blowout. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders is one of the top talents at his position this year, and while Colorado’s defense may struggle to limit the Ducks’ offense, I think that the Buffaloes’ offense will make this one a fun — and close — shooutout.

NC State -9.5 vs. Virginia

This Virginia team just might be hopeless, unfortunately. They were blown out by Penn State, blown out by Maryland, beaten by James Madison — I don’t think 10 points is too much to ask from a solid NC State team. If the Wolfpack takes this one seriously and comes out in full competition mode, this shouldn’t be close.

Chris Landers: 2023 Record 2-4

UTSA-Tennessee Under 59

As a long-time passenger on the Fade Joe Milton bandwagon, I admit to taking some pleasure in watching Tennessee’s offense turn into a pumpkin in real time in their loss to Florida. But the Gators simply underlined what had already been made clear over the first two weeks: If you can keep the Vols in check on the ground, Milton isn’t accurate enough — and his receivers aren’t explosive enough — to hurt you. UTSA gave up a chunk run or two against Army’s option attack, but that’s a unique assignment, and the Roadrunners looked pretty salty up front in bottling up Houston (101 yards, 2.7 ypc) and an actually-pretty-explosive Texas State squad (31, 1.1). I’d be surprised if Tennessee cracks 40 in this game, and that puts a ton of pressure on a UTSA offense that managed just 14 points against the one Power 5 defense it’s played so far this season — and that may still be without starting QB Frank Harris. (Even if Harris plays, the fact that he was wearing a boot on the sideline last weekend means he’s likely to be pretty limited.)

Michigan -24 vs. Rutgers

As a native of the great state of New Jersey, it pains me to admit this, but I think we may be benefitting from a bit of recency bias here. Rutgers has looked surprisingly solid en route to a 3-0 start, while Michigan played with its food for 60 minutes in an ugly 31-6 win over lowly Bowling Green. Look under the hood here, though: The Scarlet Knights have played three truly dismal offenses in Northwestern, Temple and Virginia Tech (down their starting QB, no less). Defense has never been Rutgers’ problem under Greg Schiano; offense very much has, and we’ve yet to see what that unit looks like when it runs into a team with a pulse or actually has to play from behind. (To wit: QB Gavin Wimsatt has thrown the ball just 66 times so far this season.)

The Wolverines, meanwhile, will be fired up to prove that last week was a fluke — and to welcome Jim Harbaugh back to the sidelines after his three-game suspension. The final score masked the fact that Michigan outgained BGSU by 3.5 yards per play; this is still one of the very best teams in the country, one that’s yet to allow an opponent into double-digits this season. Just last year, Rutgers also started 3-0 against underwhelming competition ... then lost its next two games by a combined score of 66-20 before later losing at home to Michigan, 52-17. We don’t actually have reason to think the Scarlet Knights are any more capable of scoring on this team than they were last year, and Michigan finally has a reason to get out of second gear.

Boston College-Louisville Over 54.5

I may be overreacting to one out-of-body performance, but I think BC has found something in UCF transfer QB Thomas Castellanos after last week’s 400-yard effort against Florida State. The Eagles put up 29 points and over six yards per play on the ‘Noles, and now they get to go up against a Louisville defense that’s underwhelmed so far this season. The Cards opened the season giving up seven yards per play and 34 points to a middling Georgia Tech team, then just last week got a real scare from an Indiana squad down its best receiver and led by a QB making his first career start. Louisville has explosive offensive talent all over the place — leading receiver Jamari Thrash is averaging 23.5 yards per catch while leading rusher Jawhar Jordan is averaging over 10 yards per rush — and we know Jeff Brohm teams are always going to score in bunches. The question is whether BC can do enough on their end to hit this over, and I think the answer is pretty clearly yes.

Chinmay Vaidya: 2023 Record 5-4

Notre Dame +3 vs. Ohio State

I have an alternate line at ND +3.5 (which you can get at plus money using a DK profit boost promotion on the game) and I would even say taking the Irish on the moneyline isn’t a bad play. This is Notre Dame’s “plant the flag” game. The Irish have held on, somehow, as an independent football program amidst the ridiculousness of realignment. They have to prove they can maintain that type of prowess in this new age of college football. They’re at home, and they have a quarterback who is playing at an elite level. Ohio State is talented and Marvin Harrison Jr. is going to be a tough assignment for the Irish, but the Buckeyes are lacking at some other key positions. Take Notre Dame to make the big statement Saturday.

Colorado +17.5 vs. Oregon (+117)

I would’ve bet this down to Colorado +14.5 if I had the option. We can talk all we want about the Buffs not having a great defense and nearly losing to Colorado State but this offense is on fire. Shedeur Sanders is arguably the top quarterback in the country right now and even with Travis Hunter out, I think there’s enough weapons for Colorado to keep this very close. Oregon’s defense has faced one competent offense and gave up 30 points. This should be a shootout where the Buffs match the Ducks until the end. Oregon wins but Colorado easily covers.

FSU-Kentucky ML parlay (+107)

Kentucky should easily take care of Vanderbilt, so this is really about whether the Seminoles beat Clemson. Since the 2014 overtime thriller involving No. 1 Florida State and No. 22 Clemson, the Tigers have won seven in a row. That ends Saturday.

The Tigers aren’t nearly as bad as their Week 1 loss to Duke may have led people to believe, but Jordan Travis is the real deal. Florida State has too much talent offensively to be held in check for the whole game, and the Noles will create enough pressure up front to shut down Will Shipley and Cade Klubnik.

Teddy Ricketson: 2023 Record 2-4

FSU -2.5 vs. Clemson (-110)

I’m just as concerned with anybody that the Noles were only able to beat a really bad Boston College team by 2 on the road, but I think they will bounce back this week. Clemson has gotten to blowout some cupcake teams the past two weeks after their season-opening loss to Duke, and I don’t think that Cade Klubnik is going to have as easy of a time settling in on Saturday, even at home.

Notre Dame ML vs. Ohio State (+124)

Oh yeah, I’m going full “upset.” All aboard the Sam Hartman train as he gets to play his third game in the shadow of Football Jesus. This will clearly be the team’s biggest test, but I think the Fighting Irish are ready. Ohio State QB Kyle McCord has been fine, but he is coming off games against Youngstown State and Western Kentucky and doesn’t look that great in Week 1. Notre Dame’s defense should be able to slow down the Buckeyes’ running backs enough to pick up a big win and keep their CFP hopes alive.

UNC (-7.5) vs. Pittsburgh (-108)

The Tar Heels have scored at least 31 points in every game this season and should be able to continue that trend on the road against the Panthers. The coaching staff finally unleashed Drake Maye and threw for 414 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Pitt just got beat by West Virginia 17-6 on the road. The offense was horrific under Phil Jurkovec, and the Tar Heels should roll.