Well I blinked and it’s already Week 4 of college football. I say this every year, but it goes so so fast. That being said, throughout the first three weeks of this season, I’ve been tracking my picks (big shoutout to The Action Network for the awesome app that makes this so easy), and I’m doing pretty well. So far, I’m hitting 69.2% (nice) of my bets, as I have a record of 9-4.
I decided that instead of just tweeting out my picks the day of, I’m going to start releasing my college football betting advice here every Friday from now until the rest of the season. Feel free to reach out to me at any time on Twitter @Sports_Burd, or at my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Without further ado, let’s get to my Week 4 picks.
1. #4 LSU (-24) @ Vanderbilt
Through three weeks, LSU looks like a top-four team in the country and Joe Burrow looks like a legitimate Heisman candidate. Burrow’s completed 83.3% of his passes for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. That’s good for first in the nation in completion percentage and second in the nation in both passing yards and passing touchdowns. Furthermore, Burrow led LSU to a 45-38 win at Texas two weeks ago, a sign that this team can make a real push for the College Football Playoffs this season.
This week, LSU will go into Nashville to take on potentially the worst team in the SEC, Vanderbilt. Georgia, a team that I think is similar to LSU in terms of talent, beat Vanderbilt in Nashville week 1 by exactly 24 points. That game was 21-6 at halftime, and then Georgia couldn’t score a touchdown in the second half. They kicked three field goals. LSU’s offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders right now, so I don’t foresee that being an issue here.
What sold me even more on LSU though? Vanderbilt lost at Purdue by 18 points two weeks ago. They allowed 42 points to the Boilermakers, an offense that’s significantly worse than LSU’s. You’re going to tell me that LSU can’t beat Vanderbilt by at least seven more points than Purdue did? I just don’t see it. LSU will win this game 42-13, and cover the 24-point spread.
2. #15 UCF (-11.0) @ Pitt
Don’t get tricked by Pitt’s close 17-10 loss at No. 13 Penn State. Pitt is a bad football team, and there’s no denying that. Pitt hasn’t put up more than 20 points in a single game throughout the season so far, and when they did put up 20 points exactly, it was against a MAC team, the Ohio Bobcats. I will mention that the most they’ve given up in a game is also 20, but Pitt hasn’t faced an offense anywhere near the caliber of UCF’s. If Pitt wants to have a fighting chance at winning this game vs. UCF, they’re going to have to put up at least 30 points, something they’re clearly not capable of.
UCF, a team that’s probably under-ranked, scores a boat load of points every week. The Knights beat Stanford by a score of 45-27 last week, and that was the lowest amount they’ve scored this season. Furthermore, UCF freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel looks pretty legit, a major cause of their offensive dominance thus far. Gabriel has 719 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He’s also yet to throw an interception.
Think about it this way… The spread is 11. If Pitt scores a season-high of 28 points in this game, then UCF would need to score 40 to cover, a number that’s clearly not far-fetched for them. I don’t think Pitt will score that many, but even if they do, this shouldn’t be a hard game for UCF to cover.
3. #12 Texas (-6.5) vs. Oklahoma State
I’m not sure what Texas did to be disrespected by the oddsmakers, but this is disrespect if I’ve ever seen it. Texas clearly looks like a top-12 team thus far, led by QB Sam Ehlinger, who already has 956 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Yes, they lost to LSU, but the Tigers are a top-four team. Against LSU, Ehlinger 401 yards and four touchdowns. Imagine what he can do against Oklahoma State, who gave up 36 points to Oregon State in Week 1. Oregon State is the worst team in the Pac-12 by far, and lost to Hawaii the week after they lost to Oklahoma State.
Overall, Oklahoma State is 3-0, but they’re an average team. They were ranked by the media as the 5th best team in the Big-12 in the preseason and the Cowboys will probably end the season as an 8-4 or 7-5 team.
There’s no doubt that this will be a high-scoring affair, as the over-under is set at 72.5, but there’s absolutely no reason why Texas can’t win by at least a touchdown.