Last Week Recap:
Last week we went a disappointing 3-3, but the entirety of college football had weird vibes for a second straight week, so I’m not too worried about our results. We almost had a great last-minute cover in the Notre Dame game, and we’re likely to never see Bo Nix perform for Oregon again like he did last week against a Power 5 team (which blew what would’ve been an easy under). But in other news, it will be very interesting to see who comes calling for Lance Leipold as he has Kansas firing on all cylinders in year two. We now sit at 14-8 through the first three weeks. Here are our seven picks for Week 4.
Kansas -7.0 vs. Duke
Duke and Kansas are both 3-0 to start the football season in probably the first time ever. Kansas has two quality wins against formidable opponents, whilst Duke has been beating up on teams that barely have a pulse. Given each teams’ track records and playstyles I like this game to be generally higher scoring, but Kansas has the edge in overall talent, especially offensively. Both teams were outside the top 120 in defense last year, but have improved drastically to this year (Duke’s is in part to great turnover luck, forcing 9 turnovers on the year compared to just the 14 forced all of 2021). Jaylon Daniels has helped the Jayhawks ascend from last year to this year offensively, and there’s great buzz in and around the program right now, without there being too much pressure. Duke is due for a letdown game and I like Kansas to beat the Blue Devils by two scores Saturday. My guess is 41-31, but you should definitely shop around to make sure and get the line at 7, otherwise this play is just a lean.
Mississippi State -30.0 vs. Bowling Green
BGSU is 1-2 on the season after upsetting Marshall who was still hungover from their huge defeat of Notre Dame. Still, the Falcons lost to FCS Eastern Kentucky after seven overtimes the week prior. Most of their offense comes from the production of Senior quarterback Matt McDonald, who appears to be much improved from last year to now. They’re rushing for just 2.7 yards per carry, and teams have almost doubled their total offensive production this year. Yes, you read that right. They’ve given up 300-plus yards passing in every game and are allowing a staggering 545 yards of offense per game this year. And as we all know, Mississippi State kind of enjoys throwing the football around every now and then. We know MSU will be putting up a ton of points. So, the question to you is this: Do you think BGSU’s quarterback will be able to move the ball against Mississippi State when he’s put in second and long and third and long all game, facing tons of pressure? I’m thinking not. Which is why MSU runs away with this game handedly and gets back into conference play the following week with some confidence.
#4 Michigan -16.5 vs. Maryland
I’m going to let y’all in on a secret: Mike Locksley has one singular win away from home in conference play as head coach of Maryland, against teams not named Rutgers. And that win was against Illinois last year. Now, luckily for him, this is the best team he’ll have for a while as they bring back a ton of veteran players from last year’s team, but they also lost 59-18 last year to the Wolverines. And while Michigan hasn’t played anybody that can walk and chew gum at the same time, I believe they’re an overall better team from a year ago, especially with J.J. McCarthy as the starting quarterback. You’ll see improvements throughout the year for the Terrapins, but this is their first true test of the season. In the Big House. With clear CFP aspirations once again for Michigan. Wolverines by 20-plus.
#20 Florida +10.5 at #11 Tennessee
Ah, yes, one of Tennessee’s biggest hurdles and rivals every year, the Florida Gators. It’s one Florida has dominated the past 30 years and it’s been 1993 since Tennessee has beaten them by more than 10 points. Florida also seems to have Tennessee’s number every year, so why should this year be any different? The Vols have a second-year head coach versus a first-year, the better QB, WRs, D-line, special teams, and even more depth, but with this rivalry these aspects haven’t mattered since I’ve been alive. It’s kind of like how the Red River Rivalry is almost always a one-score game, no matter how different talent wise each team is from year to year. There’s no need to research numbers or injuries or anything else to back up an argument here. You just have to bet against Tennessee in this game until they prove they’re over the hurdle that is the team from Gainesville, Florida (as I’ve done for the past 10 years). Also, for what it’s worth, it looks like Cedric Tillman for UT isn’t supposed to play.
#10 Arkansas +2.0 vs. #23 Texas A&M and Under 48.0 (in Arlington, TX)
This game is simple in my opinion. What’s Arkansas’ worst aspect as a team? Their secondary (allowing 353 YPG through the air). What’s Texas A&M been almost completely unable to do this year? Pass the ball (122 YPG passing against FBS opponents). In every other aspect, the Razorbacks are about equal to or better than Texas A&M this year. This game, along with almost every other SEC matchup, will be won in the trenches. And it makes it a whole heck of a lot easier to win in the trenches when you know the other team is essentially one dimensional on offense. Conversely, the Aggies, whose defense has been extremely stout in its own right, will be stuck between trying to stop Raheim Sanders and K.J. Jefferson all game. These reasons lead me to picking Arkansas to beat Texas A&M, something to the tune of 24-20. So we get an Arkansas cover and the under all in one.
Northern Illinois TT Under 14.0 at #8 Kentucky
Northern Illinois fields one of the youngest two-deep rosters in all of college football, maybe even the youngest. Overall, they’re a far cry from their 9-5 team a year ago. And while they’re averaging 6.2 yards per play this year, it’s come against Eastern Illinois, Tulsa, and Vanderbilt. Kentucky is still without Chris Rodriguez, but they’ll have an added emphasis this week on running the football, as that’s what they’ve been struggling to do the most this year (averaging 2.2 yards per rush). While they’re chipping away down the field and chewing clock, the defense will stay rested as the Wildcats mostly look to just get out of this game without any major injuries. Their defense has only allowed two touchdowns and have four takeaways of their own this year, and that side of the ball is clearly their strength. For what it’s worth, I also lean the total under of 53 in this matchup as well. Kentucky cruises through another easy game, right before hitting conference play.
#17 Baylor at Iowa State Over 46.0
To me, it’s a stylistic matchup advantage for the offenses. Baylor’s able to be beaten through the air, while Iowa State believes in QB Hunter Dekkers. The Cyclones have yet to see a decent offense in the slightest, while Baylor more or less had an extra week to prepare for this game, considering they played Texas State last week.
Texas Tech +7.0 vs. #22 Texas
Hudson Card still doesn’t seem 100%, even after their win over UTSA last Saturday. While the Roadrunners couldn’t take advantage of that fact, the Red Raiders should have a much better chance at stopping, or at least slowing down, the Texas offense. I could certainly also see this game going under 60 as well.
Written by Alex Hill