Are you all revved up and ready to go for the 2013 college football season? Week 4 is here, and that means it’s time to break down all of the NCAA football odds that you have in front of you to sink your teeth into!
A number of the Top 25 in the land are going to be playing in games that are completely laughable, and if you do have the fortitude to turn the games on, it’s clearly only because you’re either an alum or a bettor. Case in point: The #1 team in the land, the Alabama Crimson Tide, who are coming off of that big time win over the Texas A&M Aggies, are taking on the Colorado State Rams. Not surprisingly, Alabama is a huge favorite in its first home game of the season, but the line opened at 38, has risen to 39.5 in less than 24 hours, and doesn’t seem to have any respite to it.
But oh, don’t worry. That’s not nearly the only joke of a game that we have on tap this weekend. The Louisville Cardinals are giving 41.5 to the Florida International Golden Panthers, while the UCLA Bruins are -42 against the New Mexico State Aggies.
But that’s not all! We haven’t even gotten to all of the Top 25 teams that are playing against FCS garbage. Sure, the Bethune Cookman Wildcats beat the aforementioned Golden Panthers last week in a big time way, but does anyone really think that they are going to be heading to Tallahassee and beating the Florida State Seminoles? Neither do the oddsmakers. FSU is -39.5. In case you liked that spread, you’ll love the Ohio State Buckeyes at -51 against the Florida A&M Rattlers and the Washington Huskies -49 against the Idaho State Bengals. But of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Miami Hurricanes, who are the biggest favorites of all of the massive favorites in Week 1, as they are -55 against the Savannah State Tigers. Think that spread is nuts? Consider this: The Tigers were +51.5 a few weeks ago against the Troy Trojans… and were beaten 66-3… And they were -61.5 last year against the Oklahoma State Cowboys… and were beaten 84-0.
Alas, there are actually a few serious games on the docket in Week 4 that deserve to be discussed, but we had to get the garbage out of the way early.
On Thursday and Friday night, we have a pair of games that could have some BCS implications. The Clemson Tigers are ranked third in America, but they are going to be facing their first “Clemson” test by taking on the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh. This is the game that everyone is waiting to see how the Tigers react. Will they “pull a Clemson” and fall flat on their faces in this game? Or will they just do what is expected of them and roll to a ‘W’? They’re giving 13.5, but they opened at -14.5, so many must think that they are going to have a real shot of screwing the pooch in this game.
The Boise State Broncos are normally the rogue team from the West Coast that we are talking about as potential BCS busters, but this year, it is up to the Fresno State Bulldogs. Fresno State is ranked in the Top 25 now, and winning out will clearly put it in the Fiesta Bowl or one of the other lesser BCS bowl games. The Bulldogs have the best in the Mountain West, and they’re out to prove it in this one. They’re favored by just a field goal, but they could be ready to make a huge statement against the men from the Smurf Turf.
Rolling on into Saturday, we’ve got a few very interesting games as well. In the 3:30 ET hour, the Florida Gators will continue their rivalry with the Tennessee Volunteers. You have to go back quite a ways to find the last time that UT won a game in this series, and in fact, the Gators are just 1-4-1 ATS in the last six in this series. Florida though, has struggled badly offensively all season long, and it is laying 17, a tremendous point spread for this point in the year.
Further down the rotation schedule, we find one of the primetime games this week. If you thought that the game last week between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Purdue Boilermakers was a lousy 8:00 ET game to put on national television, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The Michigan Wolverines, fresh off of their survival against the Akron Zips, are -17.5 on the road against the winless and hopeless Connecticut Huskies, who have already been beaten at Rentschler Field by the Towson Tigers this year. As far as those Boilermakers are concerned? They’re -24 against the Wisconsin Badgers, who clearly had better hope that clock management skills don’t come into play in this one.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are -5.5 against the North Carolina Tar Heels in a game that is clearly going to give positioning to one of these two teams in the ACC Coastal Division, and this isn’t a game to rest on. These two teams can flat out score when they get rolling, and this could be can’t miss TV.
Last season, the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks put two quarterbacks on the field at the same time and had them both throwing the football against the Baylor Bears. They put up 42 points in a narrow loss at home, but this time around, QB Kolton Browning and the gang are +28 and will probably get romped.
In one of the last games of the evening in the Holy War, the BYU Cougars are -7 at home against the Utah Utes in a game that always proves to be unpredictable. The Utes are 7-2 ATS in the last nine in this series, but three of the last four have been decided by three points or fewer and six of the last eight have been decided by seven points or fewer.
Want proof that the USC Trojans have fallen a long way? They’re only -6.5 at home against the Utah State Aggies, which essentially insinuates that they would have been right around a pick ’em on the road if these two were to play in Logan.
It’s interesting that the games featuring the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan State Spartans and the SMU Mustangs vs. Texas A&M Aggies are virtually right next to each other in the rotation schedule. The former game is the one with the lowest ‘total’ of the week at 42.5. The latter is featuring a ‘total’ of 80. That’s right. 80. Texas A&M, off of its narrow loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide last week, are -28.5 at Kyle Field in this one, while Notre Dame is laying a touchdown in one of the two games of the day that pits a pair of Top 25 teams against each other.
The other Top 25 duel is in the Pac-12, where the Arizona State Sun Devils will take on the Stanford Cardinal. We’re not really all that sure why college football betting fanatics are lined up to bet on ASU, knowing that last week’s win had to feature an apology by Pac-12 officials to the Wisconsin Badgers for essentially taking a game away from them. The Sun Devils are good, but are they good enough to go down to the Farm and win? The sportsbooks are telling you that there’s a chance, knowing that the spread in this one is just seven points.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.