Ranked teams bounced back to have a winning week 4 in college football, as far as those who backed them financially were concerned. And one of the simpler methods of handicapping big games proved profitable, too, as upsets were hard to find among the top 25.
Teams ranked in the USA Today’s Top 25 went 13-0 straight-up vs. unranked teams over the weekend, and 8-4-1 against the pointspreads. So on the season ranked teams are now 65-6 SU vs. unranked teams, and 36-33 ATS.
Of the five games over the weekend that matched two ranked teams against each other, the higher-ranked outfits won four outright, and covered three of the pointspreads. No. 2 Alabama crunched No. 12 Arkansas 38-13, covering as 12-point favorites; No. 3 LSU outclassed No. 16 West Virginia 47-21 in Morgantown, covering as 6.5-point chalk; and No. 6 Oklahoma State rallied to win at No. 8 Texas A&M 30-29 as four-point underdogs.
In the other ranked-vs.-ranked games No. 14 Florida State, as a one-point dog, lost at No. 22 Clemson 35-30; and No. 24 Georgia Tech beat No. 25 North Carolina 35-28, pushing the spread as seven-point favorites.
So on the season, in the 12 games that have matched two ranked teams, the higher-ranked squads have won eight times outright and are 8-3-1 ATS.
This Saturday features four more games matching two ranked teams; No. 3 Alabama visits No. 12 Florida; No. 13 Texas A&M takes on No. 18 Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium; No. 10 Virginia Tech hosts No. 15 Clemson; and in a highly anticipated Big 10 bout No. 7 Wisconsin hosts No. 8 Nebraska for the Huskers’ first-ever game in their new conference.
As of Monday morning 5Dimes.com is lining the Tide at -4.5 over the Gators; the Aggies at -2.5 over the Razorbacks; the Hokies at -7 over the Tigers; and the Badgers at -10 over Nebraska.
The biggest upset of week 4 took place down in Miami when Louisiana-Lafayette, as a 16.5-point underdog, beat Florida International 36-31. Other upsets included Colorado State, at +13, winning at Utah State 35-34 in overtime; and Kansas State, also at +13, beating Miami (Fla.) 28-24.
For this week 5Dimes is listing the Ragin’ Cajuns at -9 over Florida Atlantic; the Rams at -3 over San Jose State; and the Wildcats at +4 at home vs. Baylor.
The two largest spreads over the weekend involving FBS-vs.-FBS games saw the favorites win outright, as we might expect, but lose vs. the numbers. Auburn, at -31 over Florida Atlantic, won 30-14; and South Florida, at -30 over UTEP, won 52-24.
For this week 5Dimes’ largest lines include Oklahoma at -38 over Ball State; LSU at -30 over Kentucky; Tennessee at -28.5 over Buffalo; and Boise State at -28 over Nevada.
And the largest FBS-vs.-FBS over/unders split over the weekend. Baylor and Rice played over 68.5; Texas A&M and Oklahoma State went under 68; Oregon and Arizona played over 65.5; UAB and East Carolina went under 65; Troy and Middle Tennessee went over 63; Boise State and Tulsa played under 62.5; Auburn and FAU went under 61.5; and Texas Tech and Nevada played over 61.5.