College Football Picks:  CFB Week 4 Odds, Predictions and Best Bets

College Football Picks: CFB Week 4 Odds, Predictions and Best Bets

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

College Capper: College Football Bets for Week 4 

College Football Week 4 features a varied slate with some schools kicking off conference play and others rounding out their non-conference schedule. There are three ranked-on-ranked matchups (Clemson(-7.0/-7.5) at Wake Forest; Tennessee (-10.5) vs. Florida; Texas A&M (-1.5/-2.5) vs. Arkansas) and an interesting showdown between PAC-12 unbeatens with USC traveling to Oregon State with a total hovering around 70. Our college cappers are here to break down their best bets for Week 4 below.

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Chris' Picks

Hopefully, y'all have ridden the wave through the start of the season. Last week was a fourth-straight winning week, and I even hit a total! If Purdue hadn't gone completely insane late, I'd have been looking at a 5-0 week.  I'm really going out there this week with some bad teams, and underdogs. The former is usually destined to fail, and my brain doesn't think correctly when it comes to dogs. If this week hits...I'm apparently too hot to touch. Tread lightly as such.

I can't implore you enough to check into lines Sunday when they first come out. This week's big movers include Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, which seems to have come down some 4-5 points, and Utah at Arizona State. I'm not saying they aren't viable plays now, but they were far more so earlier  this week.

Clemson (-7) at Wake Forest

I don't enjoy double-dipping now that we're featuring some individual breakdowns on games, to which this was assigned to me. But it's a game I locked in Monday and I'm shocked the number hasn't moved. I fully trust Clemson to dominate along both lines. Clemson D and Wake's O are the top units, so we'll have strength on strength, and weakness on weakness. We have to go back to 2011 to find a matchup between these two that was within 14 points. This won't be any different.

Michigan (-16.5) vs. Maryland

Michigan couldn't have played an easier non-conference schedule, so this could take a bit to escalate. But over four quarters, I'll take the more complete team to stretch things out, as Maryland just won't get enough stops to compete. 41, 31, 21, 25, 56, 28; those are the victory margins for Michigan in this series since 2015.

Temple (-8.5) vs. Massachusetts

UMass has lost their two FBS games by a combined 97-20. The Owls have only fallen 46-14. It's always a risk when putting confidence in bad teams, but here I am. Temple battled against Rutgers last week, and I'm buying into new starting quarterback E.J. Warner, the son of Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. He didn't set the world on fire last week but should continue to grow as he gets more reps. It's a fun angle that could be completely meaningless, so fall back on the fact we can get the Minutemen at less than 10-point underdogs.

Tulsa (+21.5) at Mississippi

My gut feel last week was South Alabama at UCLA, I didn't have the guts to put it out there, and would have looked prophetic had I done it. This screams the opposite but I'll put it out there and see where the line goes. If it dips under three touchdowns, no thank you. Ole Miss' defense has been terrific, and so has their running game. But this feels like a sandwich spot. They went on the road and waxed Georgia Tech last week, and face Kentucky to open SEC play next week. Tulsa's offense is flying high under QB Davis Brin, who leads the nation in passing, and WR Keylon Stokes. They are surely overmatched, but three scores can result in a cover.

Navy (+17) at East Carolina

Navy is a bad team; they lost to Delaware and got blown out by a rebuilding Memphis. How's that for confidence? Further, East Carolina has been sound against the run, allowing just 3.2 yards per carry. But the Midshipmen's option has had the Pirates' number in this series regardless of talent levels. They've won three straight against ECU by a combined 39 points. That sure seems like a lot for a 17-point dog. ECU could be out for blood, but a few clock-churning drives from Navy would make it difficult to cover this number.

Last week: 4-1; season 13-7

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I'm not going to lie, it feels like we've fallen into a bit of a rut here, that's the bad news. The good news is, this is the first card all season that I really like, as in, I had a tough time narrowing it down to five games this week. Before we get to this week's picks, a quick look back.

Another 2-3 week and honestly, I was fortunate to get two wins, so no complaints here. The three losses started with Colorado, which was never in it against the Gophers -- the Gophers might be really good or Colorado might be historically bad, but I don't think both are true. Nevada stayed within the number against Iowa for most of the game, but Iowa scored late to get over the top, which was loss number two. The final loss was another blowout as Virginia continues to struggle on offense and combined with a weak Old Dominion offense, that game never came close to going over. The wins were nail biters, the over in the Syracuse game looked dead in the water at the half and even well into the 4th quarter but a flourish of points came in the final minutes, and they just got over. The under in the Oklahoma game was the opposite as most of the points came early, then the Sooners luckily called off the dogs, keeping that game just under the number.  

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Syracuse -9.5 vs Virginia

Syracuse will undoubtedly be riding high after its dramatic win over Purdue this past Saturday and while I would normally steer clear of a team coming of such a big win, I'm back on Syracuse this week for a couple of reasons. First, this is a Friday night ESPN game, so the Orangemen shouldn't have any trouble getting up for or focusing on this game. It's also a conference match-up, so that solidifies my notion that they'll be ready. Second, there is something really wrong with Virginia's offense this year. Last year Brennan Armstrong and crew were a juggernaut, but that's not the case this season. I thought they would snap out of it this past week, but that didn't happen. Virginia is averaging 17.7 ppg this season against the likes of Old Dominion, Illinois, and Richmond. Syracuse is allowing 16.7 ppg and one of those came against a legit offense in Louisville.    

Georgia -44.5 vs Kent

What's going on here? Georgia just beat South Carolina, on the road by 41 points and now the Bulldogs are only favored by 44.5 points over a MAC team? I think this line has everything to do with the Samford game, where Georgia only managed a 33-0 win. Georgia can name the score against 95% of the teams in the land, so how much the Bulldogs win by is up to them. Motivation is key of course and while the Samford result gives me pause, it's also a reason to back them here as they obviously didn't play up to their standards in their most recent home game against a cupcake and I doubt they let that happen again. In case we are worried about a look ahead, that's not a concern as the Bulldog's conference opener is against Missouri.                   

Wake Forest +7.5 vs Clemson

 What do we know about Clemson right now? Are we sure that the Tigers are significantly better now than they were at any point during this past season when they looked mortal? Okay, so they looked much better toward the end of the season and they're 3-0 to start this season, but they haven't played anybody yet. Wake Forest is coming off a solid season and the 'Deacons are also 3-0, but the 'Deacons are coming off a scare this past week against Liberty, which is why this line is a touchdown. That scare this past week was probably due in part to looking ahead to this game and the fact that they survived will only help them this week. There's also a revenge factor in play here as even though Wake had a very nice season this past year, Clemson beat them pretty easily, spoiling what could have been a great season. If Wake wants to be taken seriously, they need to put up a fight here.

North Carolina -1.5 vs Notre Dame

Just like there's something wrong with the Virginia offense, there's something wrong with the Notre Dame offense as well. The Irish fought hard against Ohio State in its opener, but any momentum gained from a narrow defeat was lost the following week when they lost to Marshall at home. With a chance to right the ship this past week, they managed to eke out a win against California. Perhaps they'll use that as a way to restart their season, but I'm not sure they have the horses to do much this season. North Carolina is no machine, either; the 'Heels are 3-0, but it hasn't been easy and it's not like they've had a tough schedule either. With that said, the 'Heels are going to get up for a chance at beating Notre Dame and I expect their best effort yet this season.   

Michigan State +3 vs Minnesota

This line really took me by surprise. I get that Minnesota is 3-0 and has looked the part of a good team, but to be favored on the road in the Big 10 against a Michigan State team that hasn't done much wrong outside of losing a tough road match at Washington this past week? I was expecting MSU to be a slight favorite or maybe a pick 'em, but I did not see this. Anyhow, as mentioned, the Gophers have been great this season, no denying it, also undeniable is the incompetent opposition so far. You couldn't line up three worse teams and while they've done everything asked of them, they haven't faced a real opponent yet and I think that catches up with them here. It's going to be like going from practice speed to game speed for the Gophers and by the time they catch up, it might be too late. This will also be the first team the Gophers have faced that can actually slow down their run game. Without that, the Gophers are in trouble.  

Last Week: 2-3-0, This Season: 9-9-0

Be sure to check out our college football custom rankings and our player rankings cheat sheet for up-to-date season-long rankings, as well as our college football weekly rankings to help guide your lineup decisions. During the season, our college football DFS optimizer and value report are powerful tools to help build DFS lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. 

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Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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