For those following along at home, Best Bets has posted a winning record against the spread in three consecutive weeks.
Let’s stay hot!
TCU -7 at Kansas (over/under 68.5)
ESPN is sending “College Gameday” to Lawrence for its first football game this weekend, so we might as well start with this battle of ranked Big 12 teams. The Jayhawks have covered in eight straight games dating back to last season, with six outright wins over that time. They have won three games this season as underdogs and two more as favorites. Will Lance Leipold’s magical run with KU (and its bettors) ever come to an end?
His team will need a strong showing to remain undefeated against the Horned Frogs, who are also undefeated against the spread this year. They are the best team Kansas has faced this season. New coach Sonny Dykes has TCU playing at a high level. The Frogs demolished Oklahoma 55-24 last week. They are averaging 48.5 points per game. Max Duggan is completing 74.5% of his passes and averaging 6.5 yards per rush.
The Jayhawks won a rock fight against Iowa State 14-11 last week. It might take 45 points to win this game. Problem for KU is, defensive coordinators are seeing more and more video of Jalon Daniels. And the Jayhawks have seen their scoring numbers decrease in every game this season.
I feel like this is a good time to sell high on KU. Then again, it’s bad form to walk away from the table on a heater.
Kansas State -2.5 at Iowa State (over/under 45)
The Wildcats have quietly been terrific against the spread this season, going 4-1 with only an unexpected loss to Tulane staining their resume. K-State has also been involved in consecutive high-scoring games after being involved in three straight unders to start the year.
Iowa State is 2-3 against the spread. It lost as a favorite in each of its first two Big 12 games.
There are two important stats to know about Cyclones coach Matt Campbell. First, his ISU teams are 5-14 in close games that involve a point spread of 3.5 or less. That would seem to help K-State in this situation. But his teams are 13-6 coming off a loss. That would seem to help Iowa State.
The Cyclones will be desperate for a win on Saturday that could turn their season around. They are also one of the few teams in the Big 12 with a defense capable of slowing down Adrian Martinez when he takes off on designed runs.
If both teams bring their “A game” then Iowa State probably has an advantage at home. But the Cyclones are shaky on special teams, as evidenced by three missed field goals against KU last week. The Wildcats make lots of big plays in that phase. It wouldn’t take much to swing this game their way.
Missouri +11 at Florida (over/under 55)
It’s been a frustrating season for the Tigers, but they have won money for their bettors over the past two weeks.
Missouri lost a heart breaker against Auburn as a 7-point underdog and then surprisingly pushed Georgia to the brink when the Bulldogs were favored by 30.5. Does that mean we can expect another cover at Florida on Saturday?
Maybe. The Gators are only 2-2 against the spread at home this season. They are also coming off a rare Sunday game against Eastern Washington. The Tigers will benefit from an extra day of preparation heading into this SEC matchup.
Fascinating odds across the country
Like overs? These four teams have yet to play in a game that went under the points total this season: Rice, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, UTSA and Washington.
Like unders? Then these are the teams for you: Georgia, Virginia, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, Michigan and Virginia Tech.
Five teams remain perfect against the spread this season: Arkansas State, James Madison, Kansas, James Madison and TCU.
Four teams are still searching for their first cover: Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Stanford.
The pillow fight of the week is between Connecticut and Florida International. Amazingly, both of these teams are coming off a win. The Huskies are favored by five.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are three games involving a pair of top 25 teams. They are: TCU at Kansas, Tennessee at LSU, Utah at UCLA. The road team is unusually favored in all three of those games.
The highest O/U of the week is Western Kentucky/UTSA at 72.5.
The lowest O/U of the week is Iowa/Illinois at 36.5
College Football Best Bets Week 4
Texas -7 vs. Oklahoma: I jumped on this early in the week when the Longhorns were only favored by five, but I still like Texas to cover by more than a touchdown in the Red River Showdown. Why? The Sooners are a mess right now. They have lost consecutive games against K-State (41-34) and TCU (55-24) since conference play began to fall out of the top 25. They allowed 509 yards against the Wildcats and then 668 yards against the Horned Frogs. Who knew a Brent Venables defense could struggle this badly? Starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel is also questionable to play. Meanwhile, Texas seemed to figure things out last week in a blowout win over West Virginia. Quinn Ewers might also return at QB this week. This is a good spot for the Horns. Pick: Texas.
Colorado State +3.5 at Nevada: Unfortunately, the Colorado Buffaloes don’t play a football game this weekend. Fortunately, their in-state rival does. The Colorado State Rams are every bit as bad as their neighbors in Boulder. Actually, they are probably worse. Let’s try fading them. Colorado State is one of just two teams nationally that doesn’t own a win in real life or against the spread the season. The Rams are coming off a 41-10 home loss against FCS Sacramento State. Their next opponent, Nevada, is nothing special. But it has won two games this season. Nevada should also be fired up to go against former coach Jay Norvell. Pick: Nevada.
Auburn +30 at Georgia: Something is wrong with the Bulldogs. Yes, they are undefeated and ranked No. 1, but they are also 2-3 against the spread this season. They have failed to dominate in consecutive games against Kent State and Missouri. They are 0-2 against the spread at home. One more thing: None of their games have gone above the over/under total. This is simply too many points. Auburn should be able to stay within four touchdowns in a low scoring game. Pick: Auburn.
Texas Tech +9 at Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State looks like the team to beat in the Big 12. The Cowboys are off to a 4-0 start and they already own a road victory over preseason favorite Baylor. They won that game 36-25 as road underdogs. I am expecting good things to continue for the Pokes as home favorites this week. They have a high-powered offense and are starting to play solid on defense, too. They have allowed an average of 16.3 points per game since opening the season with a 58-44 win over Central Michigan. Oklahoma State has also covered in three straight games. The Red Raiders have struggled on the road this year, and I don’t see that changing in Stillwater. My biggest fear here is a backdoor cover from Texas Tech. Pick: Oklahoma State.
James Madison -11.5 at Arkansas State: There are only five undefeated teams remaining in college football that own perfect records against the spread. Two of them will play in this game. Usually, that would make this a tricky matchup to bet. But James Madison is the far superior team. It is undefeated in real life with three of those wins coming by 27 or more. Arkansas State is 2-3 with wins over Grambling State and Louisiana Monroe. Pick: James Madison.
Last week: 3-2. Season record ATS: 13-11-1.